Tag Archives | PCB

PCB Drill Press

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Inkjet/Toner Hybrid PCB printing method.  Now it’s time to drill the through holes, a job which I never find much fun – I guess that’s why I’ve put it off for a couple of weeks, that combined with the fact that I didn’t really have the right tools.  My big old clunky drill press really isn’t up to the task, it has far too much horizontal play and is nowhere near fast enough for 0.8mm drill bits.

I would have loved to pick up a Dremel 300, Dremel Drill press and Dremel mini-chuck.  Dremel make fantastic tools but all up it would’ve cost me over $200NZD which I really didn’t feel like spending just to drill some tiny holes.  I already had a pretty decent Makita power drill so I decided to see what I could knock up from junk I had in the garage.  Here’s what I came up with.

Materials Used

  • Various scraps of wood and MDF I had lying around the garage
  • Rack mount server rail (Cut in half) from an old Dell server – this provides the slide mechanism
  • A bunch of wood screws I had in my collection
  • Mini chuck (This was the only thing I had to purchase – TradeMe $17NZD inc P&P )
  • Short tension coil spring from a box of bit’n’pieces

Tools Used

  • Table saw
  • Hand saw
  • Hack saw
  • battery drill
  • Screw drivers
  • Google sketchup

That’s it! ~75 tiny holes later and no bent or broken drill bits! It’s nice and accurate but very loud!

Thanks for reading.


Electronic Component Salvage

I needed to salvage a few electronic components off some old boards and since last week’s video went so well I decided to do another.

I use a heat gun to melt the solder then a quick tap on the bench and the components just start falling off!

Tools Used

Bosch PHG630 DCE Heat Gun
3M 6000 Series Half Face Respirator – I use this a lot and actually really rate it


Inkjet/Toner Hybrid PCB Printing

After a fair amount of trial and error I’ve got a reasonable method for printing a PCB with a silkscreen using a modified inkjet printer.  This isn’t a new idea but I haven’t really seen the inkjet/toner hybrid method detailed so I thought I’d share my experience and tips.  The great thing about the hybrid method is that it stands up to Cupric Chloride etchant which is helpful when you don’t have access to Ferric Chloride.

The videos are a bit long but I wanted to share some of the detail, I hope it’s helpful.

This method comes with 2 warnings (The later you should take seriously)

  1. Acid is dangerous
  2. Epson inkjet printers are dangerous (for your sanity)

Part 1

Part 2

Here are some shots of the printer modifications viewed from the rear of the printer.  It’s a bit of a pain to get a hacksaw blade in and cut the carriage but fortunately you only have to cut it in 2 places.

Left side cut

Left side spacer washer

Right side cut and spacer bracket.

And here’s a shot of the board just after etching..

…and of the silkscreen

Hopefully in the next few weeks you’ll be able to see the project for which this board is intended. No prizes for guessing what it’s going to be!


Etching with Air Regenerated Acid Cupric Chloride -This is the etchant used in the video

Hacking A Printer To Directly Print PCB’s (CNCZone Forum) – I got most of my information from here before I got started