No need to soak PCB board using toner method

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Robin Mitchell, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Robin Mitchell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    Hi everyone,

    I can now make some pretty darn good looking PCB boards but there is something i need to say.

    DO NOT SOAK THE BOARD IN WATER TO REMOVE THE PAPER.

    Instead. Allow the board to cool slightly but it must still be very hot and just peel the paper off. No paper is left behind, no toner comes off, you get perfect toner transfer with not water + scratching or rubbinb etc.

    This works best with dead cheap paper. I use Tesco Value photo gloss paper.

    Please dont soak in water, its a really bad idea!

    PS i claim this method, tis the Mitchell method ;)......I had to say it :D
     
  2. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Do you have any sample pictures of your boards...?
     
  3. Robin Mitchell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    [​IMG]

    This is the newest board i have made. Every board uses this method and has a 100% pass rate so far (more tha 10 board, 5 where double sided)

    The board you see here is currently in use as my Z80 computer. There are NO bleeds (even if it looks like there are).

    Oh and by the way, I can sucessfully make 8 mil traces. the only problem is clearance :(
     
    nerdegutta likes this.
  4. Mad Professor

    Active Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    It's a small world on this little rock we call an island.

    I have move away from the tonner, I now use photo transfer, or mill my pcb's.
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Mitch,
    I think you just found the "perfect" paper..
    It won't work like that all the time for all photo gloss paper.
     
  6. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    and not letting it "cool" down enough is why some of the toner lifts off of the copper.... since the toner is still very pliable when warm.... that is one reason why the boards need to cool off before removing the paper, so the toner has time to "set", and as mcgyvr said, you just found some "good" paper..... next batch may not be that easy to remove.
     
  7. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    I'll give it a try tonight
     
  8. Robin Mitchell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    You guys do not understand.
    This is not one batch of paper, so far it has worked with five different kinds:
    Tesco Value High Gloss paper
    Tesco finest High Gloss paper 240g/m2
    HP InkJet Professional High Gloss Paper
    Another Tesco one (cant remember name)
    Another HP one (cant remember name)

    The toner does NOT come off in anyway! Its as simple as peel off. No paper between traces remains. I have made an unmentionable amount of toner transfers in experiments and every one was perfect because I allow the board to cool for about 25~30 seconds and then just peel. Infact, if there is an area that is not peeling, i quickly apply heat and peel. There is no loss in toner density, all the toner stays on the board. I shall have to take pictures of the paper that was used to hold the toner, you can see where the toner was, but only as white outlines. This is the best method you can use.

    I think the trick is the gloss, DONT use magazine paper. Use only inkjet high gloss paper. I wish i could make a youtube video of this, infact i shall try :)
     
  9. Mad Professor

    Active Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    What printer and toner are you using?
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Does not work for me. The toner comes off if it has not set.
     
  11. Robin Mitchell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    ---------------------------
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  12. tpny

    Member

    May 6, 2012
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    I assume you used iron.. What is the optimal ironing time? Is it possible to over iron?
     
  13. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Laser Jet 6P.

    How I make PCBs

    Wax Paper tends to loose all its wax, which means the toner really imbeds into the paper.

    You will know if you over iron if the toner starts to spread. I have never had any luck with an iron, but laminators work great.

    If I ever get my hands on a couple of smooth aluminum plates I will try C-clamps and the oven, and report back.
     
  14. tpny

    Member

    May 6, 2012
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    but there's no way to know if the toner has spreaded during ironing... (the toner side is faced down)
     
  15. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Sure there is, wax paper is tranparent.

    But you didn't expect to get it down first try did you? Some expermentation required.
     
  16. Robin Mitchell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    Guess im just lucky :/
    If it turns out that my toner is different then i will MAKE SURE that i only get an identical type :)
     
  17. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    hey man, I tried it with glossy picture paper and magazine paper. no luck. toner lifted off with the paper. But in the process I discovered the wonders of magazine paper. I'll never use glossy picture paper again. It has a layer glossy "stuff" that melts to the board and the toner, sealing the toner in. It's always been a PITA to remove and I usually end up scraping some toner off trying to get the glossy off. Well the magazine paper just comes right off with the rub of a thumb when wet. I have included the board done with glossy paper (which I gave up on) and with magazine paper.
     
  18. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Just remember, you don't need to get anything off that is on the toner, only the spaces in between.

    I have settled on wax paper myself because it is common, cheap, and extremely predictable.
     
  19. tpny

    Member

    May 6, 2012
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    Do you mean you printed on a sheet of magazine paper taken off of a magazine (seems that way in picture 2)? If so, wow! I am all for saving money on expensive glossy paper.
     
  20. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Yup that's what I did and it's great. I was at work and that's all I could find. I remembered you talking about wax paper bill and I searched through all the break rooms but no luck. I'll bring some from home and try it. I need to make a few more boards.
     
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