# Project: How to make PCBs

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
Again, there is no wax side. The paper is coated with wax on both sides. Why argue the point when it is irrelevant? Which brings up the other point I like about wax paper, it is cheap. You will have transfer material for years.

If you have text on the paper, and the text is readable (not mirrored), then you have it correct. It is how I tell. And yes, I have had template reversed. It was not pretty. Acetone is your friend.

Last edited:

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
Sigh...

Made the complete fricken board, and discovered I had my PCB print backwards. Guess the pictures are still good.

#### Kermit2

Joined Feb 5, 2010
4,162
It was just a practice run anyway, I think I remember you saying... right?

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
Actually I like to combine several things, it helps motivate me. If you refer back to this thread, you will find there is someone who could use this board. The second board is coming along nicely, so far it is better than the first.

Make that much better, the traces are perfect.

Last edited:

#### brozizds

Joined Aug 15, 2010
135
Bill,
You could have been a teacher with that type of lesson! Wow what agreat job. Happy New Year! And Thank You!

Last edited:

#### beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
The impressive part is being able to do a silkscreen on the top.

I always do positive resist coated PCB's, so that feature is not possible. Some years ago I posted some info on resist coated PCB's - http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=12474

It appears that being careful about the results, toner transfer is as useful for hobby work. The price you get quoted from any of the PCB outfits (I use ExpressPCB for my "real" work) will make you do something else to make a board.

Nicely done project.

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,676
Very nice job, Bill.

I've learned a lot, and I will try out your etch method. I use photo-resist PCB, but when it is developed, I can etch your way. I use Sodium persulfate, but this works best at 45-55°C. Each time I etch I need to turn my kitchen into a lab. Lucky for me is my spouse lets me do it over and over and over.

Happy New Year!

#### iONic

Joined Nov 16, 2007
1,650
Nice. Coming from a master such as yourself, I'd be inclined to make it a stickie or adding it to the book.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
Concerning silk screen layers, there is nothing that says you can't use the toner transfer for a silk screen and the photographic method for the copper.

I bought a really cheap sponge, and have been cutting strips off of it. I figure each sponge piece is disposable, and costs less than 25¢ each.

#### beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
discovered I had my PCB print backwards.
It always helps to have some text on the foil pattern that gives a positive indication of which way is correct. I always put on my initials and the date, but "This Side Up" showing so it can be read in the correct orientation is really hard to miss.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
I did, but it was an afterthought and backwards. It is odd, took 2 days to do the 1st board, less than a day for the second. Some of that was the photography (like the pictures?), but a lot of it was relearning procedures.

I'm trying to get costs down while improving quality. The peroxide/acid etchant is spectacularly cheaper and works really well, and I really like the wax paper (though I am still willing to try other transfer materials). The magazine paper worked for me but I would like something besides paper to leave less residue.

#### soda

Joined Dec 7, 2008
177
Hi Bill,

I want to add something useful to your post. The picture i added is about the type of pcb drill i use to drill the holes.

You can get these drills from your dentist. Ask him for all the used drills he usually dump.Place it in boiling water for 10 min to clean it.

I use mine for almost 10 years now and it's still as sharp as the first day.

I know it's a bit small, but if you have a Dremel drill and stand, it work very well. I always leave two thirds of the drill bit to hang out and as far as i concern, that's good enough.

#### Attachments

• 29.5 KB Views: 117

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
Like I said, I have a professional set I lucked into. I am living proof if you keep your eyes open all things will come to you.

I use the yellow ones, the plain one I put next to the set is the last, and it is a bit big, so I pulled a 0.054 drill bit from my index for the large holes, the TO220 cases.

They are labeled (starting from the left) 0.0320, 0.0240, 0.0135, 0.0292, 0.0180, 0.0330, 0.0350 (Yellow). I figure it is a lifetime supply.

#### Attachments

• 32.1 KB Views: 452

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Like I said, I have a professional set I lucked into. I am living proof if you keep your eyes open all things will come to you.

I use the yellow ones, the plain one I put next to the set is the last, and it is a bit big, so I pulled a 0.054 drill bit from my index for the large holes, the TO220 cases.

They are labeled (starting from the left) 0.0320, 0.0240, 0.0135, 0.0292, 0.0180, 0.0330, 0.0350 (Yellow). I figure it is a lifetime supply.

What did you end of paying for the set?

This place looks like it has decent prices.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I would like to suggest a Carl Paper Trimmer for trimming the transfers. They work great.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
What did you end of paying for the set?

This place looks like it has decent prices.

Mine was $10, I bought them in 2005 from Dan's Small Parts and Kits when it was obvious I was going to make a batch of PCBs. I was pretty active in a Robotic Combat Club, and I had made the light tree for the large arena (looked pretty good too). I made the plans for a Stadium Timer, but never got around to making it. The club folded around me, too many egos. I would like to suggest a Carl Paper Trimmer for trimming the transfers. They work great. It would work. I have a fairly new swiss army knife I use for cutting shapes out, it is what I did for the second board. I keep a piece of plywood for a cutting board. #### spinnaker Joined Oct 29, 2009 7,835 Mine was$10, I bought them in 2005 from Dan's Small Parts and Kits when it was obvious I was going to make a batch of PCBs. I was pretty active in a Robot Combat Club, and I had made the light tree (looked pretty good too). I made the plans for a Stadium Timer, but never got around to making it. The club folded around me, too many egos.

Wow that is a really good price even with allowing for inflation.

I just noticed that the bits I posted most are used. But Hosfelt has some good prices and they are new.

Hosfelt is about 30 miles from my house. They do not have much but they are fairly local. Problem is they have strange hours.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
The drill press is probably more critical than the drills. This is not a job you can do by hand. If you look at the picture of the box you will see mine have been reconditioned too.