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'[OT] Summer has come'
2009\06\23@210757 by solarwind

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Summer has come and I finally went out and bought some etching supplies:

- ferric chloride
- large copper clad board
- drill bits
- pin headers and other fun stuff
- all stuff required for soldering

Also just ordered some more Microchip PIC devices.

First project will be a simple DIP size prototyping board. Nothing
fancy, just enough to hold a PIC, program it, and headers for UART.

I have quite a large copper clad board. How do I cut it? Will a normal
box cutting or exacto knife do?

-- [ solarwind ] -- http://solar-blogg.blogspot.com/

2009\06\23@213337 by Jesse Lackey

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Cutting pcbs... after experiments with paper cutters (they break fast),
dremel with cutting wheel (work, but fiberglass dust everywhere, and the
wheels break easily), I discovered tin snips work very well.  There are
several types as I understand it, which have something to do with how
the material curls away when you cut, I'm pretty vague about it all, but
the ones for "center cut" or something like that work nicely.  Bought at
Sears for $20.  An essential tool.

J


solarwind wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\06\23@215855 by John Gardner

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Fiberglass dust is'nt a probiotic, last time I looked.

Sheet metal snips do OK on thin boards.

2009\06\23@225258 by solarwind

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On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 2:58 AM, John Gardner<spam_OUTgoflo3TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Fiberglass dust is'nt a probiotic, last time I looked.
>
> Sheet metal snips do OK on thin boards.

Thank you for your replies. Would it work if i score the underside of
the board (not the copper side) with an exacto knife and snap it?
Would I have to score the copper side as well? If I do, would the
copper damage the metal on my knife?

2009\06\24@001233 by Sean Breheny

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Hi Solarwind,

If you are going to try to snap it, I would score both sides. If you
want to score only one, I would score the copper side, NOT the bare
side. This is because snapping, without cutting through the copper,
may cause part of the copper to tear and pull off the PCB. I would
score it by making many fairly light passes and then clamp the board
between two straight edges (like a table and a piece of wood or the
jaws of a vice) and bend it back and forth at the score linet. The
score line should lie very close to the line where the board is
clamped to make that line the highest stress concentration.

A sharp utility knife would probably work better than an xacto knife,
although both would work. Wear eye protection as the blade could snap
if you press too hard. Of course, also make sure that no part of your
body is in the line of cutting in case the blade slips. I speak from
experience here, with a scar on my thumb to prove it :)

Copper is so much softer than steel that it will cut very easily with
the knife. It should not damage the knife much faster than any cutting
job would.

Sean


On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 10:52 PM, solarwind <.....x.solarwind.xKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 2:58 AM, John Gardner<goflo3spamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> > Fiberglass dust is'nt a probiotic, last time I looked.
> >
> > Sheet metal snips do OK on thin boards.
>
> Thank you for your replies. Would it work if i score the underside of
> the board (not the copper side) with an exacto knife and snap it?
> Would I have to score the copper side as well? If I do, would the
> copper damage the metal on my knife?
> -

2009\06\24@015332 by solarwind

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On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 5:12 AM, Sean Breheny<.....shb7KILLspamspam.....cornell.edu> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Very useful information. Thank you!

2009\06\24@024156 by cdb

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:: Copper is so much softer than steel that it will cut very easily
:: with the knife.

Many moons ago (like the 80's) there was a company who sold sticky
backed copper foil sheet. It was designed for the hobbyist (hobbiest
), one laid the PCB pattern over it and then 'knifed' out with a
scalpel  the unwanted copper and then peeled off the protective
backing paper and slapped it onto a hard something or other of your
choice - it was about 1.5 mm thick including it's semi rigid backing.

It was advertised in the original ETI magazine by a company who also
were big on wire wrapping equipment.

End of useless thoughts for the day :)

Colin
--
cdb, EraseMEcolinspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbtech-online.co.uk on 24/06/2009

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359







2009\06\24@060521 by Vic Fraenckel

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>Cutting pcbs... after experiments with paper cutters (they break fast),
>dremel with cutting wheel (work, but fiberglass dust everywhere, and the
>wheels break easily), I discovered tin snips work very well.  

Try something like this:
*http://tinyurl.com/nypzjg

I had the opportunity to try some similar to these on PCBs quite a few years ago and they worked well - they're not like cheesy paper cutting shears! Found these after a NOT exhaustive search of eBay. Probably something cheaper if you really looked. Look nice though.

Vic
*

--

*Victor Fraenckel
KC2GUI
windswaytoo ATSIGN gmail DOT com**
*

*
*

2009\06\24@061701 by Picbits Sales

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I've got a few methods of cutting PCB

Bandsaw - great but can be a little inaccurate if you use a smaller one.
Blades blunt quickly when cutting FR4
Scrollsaw - still in its box but I'll get round to using it at some point
Tile cutter (electric) - fantastic as for £20 I got something that goes
through a PCB like butter but makes a lot of dust. I've used it for cutting
over 100 tiles and 30-40 PCBs and the blade still looks pretty new.
Guillotine - picked this up off Freecycle and its a really old solid metal
jobbie but makes a nice job of cutting PCB. Delaminates the edges slightly
but if you design this in then there isn't a problem
Dremel - I've got a load of PCB router bits for this. Nice for curves and
reasonably fast but generates a lot of dust and no good for straight edges.


Dom
{Original Message removed}

2009\06\24@095115 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 06:05 AM 24/06/2009, you wrote:
> >Cutting pcbs... after experiments with paper cutters (they break fast),
> >dremel with cutting wheel (work, but fiberglass dust everywhere, and the
> >wheels break easily), I discovered tin snips work very well.
>
>Try something like this:
>*http://tinyurl.com/nypzjg
>
>I had the opportunity to try some similar to these on PCBs quite a
>few years ago and they worked well - they're not like cheesy paper
>cutting shears! Found these after a NOT exhaustive search of eBay.
>Probably something cheaper if you really looked. Look nice though.
>
>Vic
>*

This kind works nicely:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/G6089/images

.. and is also useful for sheet metal work. No dust, and pretty accurate.



Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamspam_OUTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2009\06\24@114916 by Dwayne Reid

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At 04:05 AM 6/24/2009, Vic Fraenckel wrote:

> >Cutting pcbs... after experiments with paper cutters (they break fast),
> >dremel with cutting wheel (work, but fiberglass dust everywhere, and the
> >wheels break easily), I discovered tin snips work very well.
>
>Try something like this:
>*http://tinyurl.com/nypzjg

I have one of those units that I purchased from Princess Auto up here
in Canada.  If I recall correctly, it was significantly less
expensive than the one shown on eBay - I bought it when it was on sale.

I'm mentioning this because Solarwind might have a Princess Auto
location near to him.

dwayne

PS - I don't use mine for cutting PCB material, although I think that
it would work very well.  I'm lucky in that I have a 30"
metal-cutting shear that I use instead.  However, someone else
mentioned using tin snips.  The brand-name "Wiss" shears are about
the best that you can purchase easily - the center-cut snips
mentioned are the ones with Yellow handles.

The no-name tin-snips I've purchased have varied greatly in quality
and I don't buy them anymore.  The Wiss snips have always been
great.  And: they last almost forever!

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <@spam@dwaynerKILLspamspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2009\06\24@115510 by solarwind

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On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM, Spehro Pefhany<KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com> wrote:
> This kind works nicely:
>
> http://www.grizzly.com/products/G6089/images
>
> .. and is also useful for sheet metal work. No dust, and pretty accurate.

I'm sure it does, but unfortunately, I don't have hundreds of dollars
available to spend on a cutting utility.

I need the cheapest, most effective way possible to cut PCBs. A ruler
and a utility knife may work but I'm asking if there's anything else.

2009\06\24@123258 by Charles Mancuso

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solarwind wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 2:58 AM, John Gardner<RemoveMEgoflo3TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
>  
>> Fiberglass dust is'nt a probiotic, last time I looked.
>>
>> Sheet metal snips do OK on thin boards.
>>    
I've used snips. They work but you need to clean up the cut with sandpaper.
>
> Thank you for your replies. Would it work if i score the underside of
> the board (not the copper side) with an exacto knife and snap it?
> Would I have to score the copper side as well? If I do, would the
> copper damage the metal on my knife?
>  
I been using a tile cutter to score the board on both sides. Then snap
it on the edge of the bench. Works great, and no damage to the cutter so
far. You do need to sand the cut, but a lot less than the snips.

The cutter was about $5USD when I bought it at Home Depot.

2009\06\24@124706 by Peter Restall

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On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 18:33:52 -0700, Jesse Lackey wrote:

> Cutting pcbs... after experiments with paper cutters (they break fast),
> dremel with cutting wheel (work, but fiberglass dust everywhere, and the
> wheels break easily), I discovered tin snips work very well.  There are
> several types as I understand it, which have something to do with how
> the material curls away when you cut, I'm pretty vague about it all, but
> the ones for "center cut" or something like that work nicely.  Bought at
> Sears for $20.  An essential tool.
>
> J

I always use a hacksaw; a junior hacksaw or coping saw should work alright
though.  I was going to purchase myself one of those mini tabletop jigsaws
(which also does work well), but haven't gotten around to it yet.  And
hopefully when I get my CNC machine done (once this recession malarkey ends
and I have some money to play with again), then I should be able to cut with
that :)  I've not tried tinsnips on anything other than veroboard (SRBP), but
that causes cracks.

Regards,

Pete Restall

2009\06\24@125714 by Derward Myrick

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----- Original Message -----
From: "solarwind" <spamBeGonex.solarwind.xspamBeGonespamgmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:54 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] Summer has come


<snip>
> I need the cheapest, most effective way possible to cut PCBs. A ruler
> and a utility knife may work but I'm asking if there's anything else.
<snip>

Solarwind,

Although I have a metal shear and I still use a paper cutter, at times,
because it is
easy to use.  I have used this for years and it gives a good clean cut
without
problemas.

Derward Myrick, PE    KD5WWI


2009\06\24@143456 by Clint Sharp

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In message <RemoveMEa94764e0906240854q2fa0ee56vbd5d307d3fba2380spamTakeThisOuTmail.gmail.com>,
solarwind <x.solarwind.xEraseMEspam.....gmail.com> writes
>I need the cheapest, most effective way possible to cut PCBs. A ruler
>and a utility knife may work but I'm asking if there's anything else.
Whenever I've needed to cut PCB material at home I've used the straight
edge and utility knife method, it works very well as long as you only
need simple shapes, just make a few score lines on each side so the cuts
get progressively deeper and then snap.

A few practice pieces and you'll get to know how many cuts for a fairly
clean snap, buy a pack of blades because fibreglass will blunt them
rapidly.

Smooth the edges with fairly coarse wet and dry 'sandpaper' (wet it
because fibreglass dust is *not* nice when it's airborne) on a flat
surface.

--
Clint Sharp

2009\06\24@224848 by solarwind

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On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 6:45 PM, Clint Sharp<EraseMEpiclistspammit.edu> wrote:
> Whenever I've needed to cut PCB material at home I've used the straight
> edge and utility knife method, it works very well as long as you only
> need simple shapes, just make a few score lines on each side so the cuts
> get progressively deeper and then snap.
>
> A few practice pieces and you'll get to know how many cuts for a fairly
> clean snap, buy a pack of blades because fibreglass will blunt them
> rapidly.

Will the fibreglass dust created during the scoring process pose a threat?

> Smooth the edges with fairly coarse wet and dry 'sandpaper' (wet it
> because fibreglass dust is *not* nice when it's airborne) on a flat
> surface.

Good idea. Thanks!

2009\06\24@230912 by Richard Prosser

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2009/6/25 solarwind <RemoveMEx.solarwind.xEraseMEspamEraseMEgmail.com>:
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 6:45 PM, Clint Sharp<RemoveMEpiclistspam_OUTspamKILLspammit.edu> wrote:
>> Whenever I've needed to cut PCB material at home I've used the straight
>> edge and utility knife method, it works very well as long as you only
>> need simple shapes, just make a few score lines on each side so the cuts
>> get progressively deeper and then snap.
>>
>> A few practice pieces and you'll get to know how many cuts for a fairly
>> clean snap, buy a pack of blades because fibreglass will blunt them
>> rapidly.
>
> Will the fibreglass dust created during the scoring process pose a threat?
>
>> Smooth the edges with fairly coarse wet and dry 'sandpaper' (wet it
>> because fibreglass dust is *not* nice when it's airborne) on a flat
>> surface.
>
> Good idea. Thanks!
> -

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