copper perf board island cutting

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by masa6614, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. masa6614

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    I'm working on some prototyping, and been using this 1sided copper perf board, like shown ( ) .... Now if i wanted to make the bottom mostly a ground plane, i'd need to isolate some of the holes for the rest of the circuitry. Now i seen a tool like this from Vector, a pad cutter, 71.pdf , but they seem overly expensive. Now i dont know much about drill bits, but doing some google searching for 'pad cutter', doesn't turn up anything in what i'm looking for. A drill bit would be fine, with that type end, the pilot for a 0.042" hole, and the outer ring 0.125" , would be nice. Any suggestions on the type of tool or other keywords I should be searching for. Even something that would remove the whole pad area of 0.125", but with the pilot as well, would work too. Thanks.
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    Woodworking stores sell "screw extractors" like this:


    See Rockler:

    They are still quite expensive for what you get, and they don't automatically center. I would just make one by filing teeth in a piece of steel tubing -- like SS hypodermic tubing -- and fixing a piece of music wire with epoxy for centering.

  3. rjenkins

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 6, 2005
    I just use a bare twist drill bit, around 3.5 or 4mm.

    You can get a specific tool, a 'Spot face cutter' - it's basically a drill bit tip in a plastic handle; eg. here:

    Either is fine for both breaking tracks at holes and creating clearances on the ground plane.

    To isolate tracks between component holes, I normally use a needle file & notch across the copper. The end of a snapped-off 'junior hacksaw' blade also works quite well for creating even-width isolation cuts.
  4. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    I must say that, your board seems to be difficult to work with. I prefer this type. And I use a drill bit 3mm to cut tracks
  5. masa6614

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thanks alot for all your suggestions
  6. flat5

    Active Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    Thought it best to use an 'island cutter' thread even though it's quite old.

    You must use a drill stand but these 'diamond cutter' bits do a fine job of making moats.

    I recommend 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm. If you only want to try one then 8mm because the pad will be smaller.
    It costs 0.79 Euros! Free shipping. (will take over a week)

    It's actually a good site to buy parts & tools. I've spent over 250 Euros so far and am happy.
    Edit: over 800 Euros
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    Bernard likes this.
  7. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    You can buy a spot-face cutter as you describe - most people just use a drill-bit.

    Stripboard isn't cheap, and I don't like wasting holes - so I cut narrow slots between them with a Swan & Morten scalpel.

    This used to be easy when the blades were available from a pharmacy, now they're only from craft shops etc - and brittle. So if you take up my method, keep your fingers out the way while pressing on the blade!