Most tips I see these days seem to be plated material, that flakes off after a while, sometimes after quite a short while. They are also quite expensive from the likes of Pace and Weller, although here in the UK the service from Pace is truly excellent. Way back when I used to have soldering irons with plain, solid copper tips, and never saw any plated ones. I have a machine shop and it would be trivial to turn some copper rod into tips for my irons and file or even machine them to different forms. What are the pros and cons of plated tips versus plain solid copper ones? Thanks.