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'[OT] Cutting PCBs'
2003\05\13@123626 by Marc Nicholas

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I have a few very small PCBs to cut...has anyone got any suggestions as to
*cheap*, easy ways to cut them by hand?

-marc

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Marc Nicholas Geekythings Inc. C/416.543.4896
UNIX, Database, Security and Networking Consulting

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2003\05\13@130510 by Tal

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I bought last year a soft pcb.
it's so soft you can cut it with scissors! and it wont effect the quality.
it's not so expensive either. about 2-3 $ for 10x16cm board.

Tal

{Original Message removed}

2003\05\13@133436 by Marc Nicholas

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Unfortunately, these are pre-made PCBs that arrived from the prototype house
that I'm trying to cut now ;-)


-marc

On 5/13/03 1:04 PM, "Tal" <spam_OUTkooterTakeThisOuTspam012.NET.IL> wrote:

> I bought last year a soft pcb.
> it's so soft you can cut it with scissors! and it wont effect the quality.
> it's not so expensive either. about 2-3 $ for 10x16cm board.
>
> Tal
>
> {Original Message removed}

2003\05\13@133844 by Andrew Kieran

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I use a Dremel rotary tool.  They're more expensive than a
coping saw, but they're fast and they have many other uses when
working on electronic projects.

Cheers,
Andrew



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---- On    , Tal (.....kooterKILLspamspam@spam@012.NET.IL) wrote:

> I bought last year a soft pcb.
> it's so soft you can cut it with scissors! and it wont effect
the quality.
> it's not so expensive either. about 2-3 $ for 10x16cm board.
>
> Tal
>
> {Original Message removed}

2003\05\13@135305 by Kyrre Aalerud

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If there aren't any components mounted yet, the easiest way is to simply use
a sharp stanley-knife and cut a groove on both sides, then break it.  PS:
Only works for square boards!!!

   KreAture


{Original Message removed}

2003\05\13@140155 by Dwayne Reid

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At 12:35 PM 5/13/03 -0400, Marc Nicholas wrote:
>I have a few very small PCBs to cut...has anyone got any suggestions as to
>*cheap*, easy ways to cut them by hand?

Olfa "P cutter"

Vaguely looks like a lino knife - standard Olfa yellow color handle.  The
blade is in the form of a hook and is easily re-sharpened.  Available in 2
sizes - the smaller one works better.

Use it with a straight edge and score from the copper side.  If this is a
double sided board, score both sides.  You have to make sure that you cut
at least half way through the fiberglass.  Then just snap the board apart.

Takes longer to describe it than to do it!

Back in the early '80's, I used to do dozens of boards using this
method.  I still have the original Olfa cutters I used back then.  I know
they are still available 'cuz the guys in the shop just bought a couple of
the larger size recently.

dwayne

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2003\05\13@141224 by Marc Nicholas

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Like this?

http://www.store.yahoo.com/olfablades/9171.html

BTW: it's your boards I'm cutting ;-)


-marc

On 5/13/03 1:59 PM, "Dwayne Reid" <.....dwaynerKILLspamspam.....PLANET.EON.NET> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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Marc Nicholas Geekythings Inc. C/416.543.4896
UNIX, Database, Security and Networking Consulting

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2003\05\13@143606 by Dwayne Reid

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At 02:11 PM 5/13/03 -0400, Marc Nicholas wrote:

>BTW: it's your boards I'm cutting ;-)

Those are so small that tin snips work really well.  That is what I often use.

dwayne

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2003\05\13@143619 by Dwayne Reid

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At 02:11 PM 5/13/03 -0400, Marc Nicholas wrote:
>Like this?
>
><http://www.store.yahoo.com/olfablades/9171.html>

Exactly!

Thanks for the link.

dwayne

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2003\05\13@155538 by William Chops Westfield

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   I have a few very small PCBs to cut...has anyone got any
   suggestions as to *cheap*, easy ways to cut them by hand?

Use thin PCB material (0.032 or thinner) , and then those cheap import
"penny cutting" scissors to cut them...

BillW

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2003\05\14@014623 by Jesse Lackey

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I did this for awhile, you get lots of fine pcb dust (fiberglass!)
everywhere, and I kept breaking cutting wheels.  Plus there isn't much
clearance from the wheel to the body of the dremel.

I've tried:
hacksaws (works, but laborious, and you never get a straight cut.)
nibbler (works, but laborious - very laborious - and it eats a fair
amount of board as you go)
paper cutter - worked for maybe 30 cuts, then it was toast.
tin snips.  These are my preferred means now.

Good luck-
J


Andrew Kieran wrote:
> I use a Dremel rotary tool.  They're more expensive than a
> coping saw, but they're fast and they have many other uses when
> working on electronic projects.
>
> Cheers,
> Andrew
>
>

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2003\05\14@022646 by Picdude

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On Tuesday 13 May 2003 11:35, Marc Nicholas scribbled:
> I have a few very small PCBs to cut...has anyone got any suggestions as to
> *cheap*, easy ways to cut them by hand?
>
> -marc

I use a few different things:
- Nowadays I mostly use a pair or paramedics scissors (some hobby/craft stores have them I think).  I cut thru .062 board with these.

- I've also used a rotary cutting tool -- like a rotozip or dremel (with a roto-zip rotary cutting bit on it).  Big mess, but very nice clean cuts.  Takes time as well.

- This list has mentioned paper-guillotines for straight cuts, though I've never tried that.

- Hacksaw.  Very time-consuming, and a rough edge, but I've noticed that the photo-sensitive coating on positive-etch boards tend to chip/crack with any of the scissor techniques, so I still use this method.  Cut a bit oversize and cut with scissors to precise size after etching.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\14@024426 by Picdude

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On Wednesday 14 May 2003 00:46, Jesse Lackey scribbled:
> I did this for awhile, you get lots of fine pcb dust (fiberglass!)
> everywhere, and I kept breaking cutting wheels.  Plus there isn't much
> clearance from the wheel to the body of the dremel.

Cutting wheels?  Ouch!  Those are great for cutting screws.  Try a rotary cutting bit instead -- like the all-purpose Roto-Zip bits.  Will fit the dremel as well.  Same dust, but you really can't break this, and works really well.


> nibbler (works, but laborious - very laborious - and it eats a fair
> amount of board as you go)

Tried this on .062 FR4 -- painful on the hands when you're done and pointless.


> paper cutter - worked for maybe 30 cuts, then it was toast.

Hmmm.


> tin snips.  These are my preferred means now.

Does this "curl" the board at all?  What about cutting a long (say 6") length?  Do you have a problem not being able to get the cutter all the way thru to the other side?


Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\14@091723 by John Ferrell

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IF you choose to use a Dremel cutting disk:
Use a fiberglass disk rather than the very fragile ceramic disk
Fixture a vacuum cleaner hose to collect the dust as close as possible to
the cutting operation.
Expect to loose about 1/16" to the kerf.



John Ferrell
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Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
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