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Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size



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Thanks for your input.
hmm, I wish i HAD those machines! =)  No it would be only once in a blue
moon really.  It's just a hobby.
Jason.

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Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size




Jason S wrote:

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But a jigsaw can be had for under $20 these days - KMart or one of those
cheapy auto shops

David - who thinks a jigsaw is a handy thing to have anyway


Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size



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Hi, thanks for your input.
Don't you find that the tool chips or cracks the fibreglass doing that?  Is
it difficult to do?
Jason.



Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size


Thanks for your input everyone!  I just thought perhaps there was some sort
of non-expensive tool or machine that is used to specifially cut PCB's in
the electronics industry.  Obviously there are different methods of doing
this (going by all your replies), but most of which are too very expensive
for something I'm only going to be doing once in a blue moon. Haha, I just
felt stupid cutting them using a sharp utility knife and a steel ruler!!!

Sir Nigel Puke-Fuui's idea of a hand nibbling tool and a fine file sounds
quite reasonable. What do people think of this idea?

Thanks again.
Jason.

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Depending on the shape, a nibbler can be a viable option.  For simple
straight-line cuts - which some use the knife/ruler/edge-of-table for - I use a
very rare but inexpensive tool.  It's called a ....







hacksaw.

Then I Nigel-Puke-it with a file to get clean edges.

Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size



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There's nothing stupid doing it that way. As you've heard, some people
cut their boards to size using that method. It gets the job done, and in a
short period of time without fancy/expensive methods. I've done it too,
but I prefer a different method when I've got the resources.

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Ok, but you might get a sore hand, and the cut surface will have to be
tidied up anyway using a file. Any filing of the pcb will introduce fibreglass
fibres which get everywhere. Just do that part of the job outside where the
particles can be dispersed.

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And the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to do this is with a pair of
tin snips, but be warned that the board edge wont be real happy, or any
tracks near it. Give it a try on some old boards first to test for results.

Don...


--
Don McKenzie
E-Mail Contact Page:       http://www.e-dotcom.com/ecp.php?un=Dontronics

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Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size


In "the business", either a guillotine is used, or the PCB drill file "cuts"
the boards up by specifying strokes with a cutter bit. Obviously, these cuts
must be done as the very last step in the manufacturing process :-)

    Craig

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Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size


I use woodworking tools.

I mark out the edges of the board with a ball-point pen or a scriber.
and then saw along the marked lines with a tenon saw, leaving a bit of
waste.

I then clamp the blank in a Workmate, and using a hand smoothing or
block plane remove the scrap down to the scribed line, checking the
squareness of the board with a try-square.

I's pretty hard on the plane, the blade needs frequent honing to keep
it sharp, and you'll find the saw won't be much good for anything else
either  --  but it's cheap and I've got all day to do this.  The
result is quite precise.

Not recommended for high production but it suits me fine for only a
few boards a week.

Cheers de MikeN

wrote:

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Yep, pretty hard on the tools.  Fibreglass boards are pretty hard on
standard HSS drill bits too.  Tungsten Carbide tipped generally tends to
last longer.

Cheers,
Alan



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You can save the plane and use a bench-mounted belt sander or even a
disk sander to true-up the edges. Works a treat, but wear a facemask.

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For small runs I just clamp the PCB and run a mill file over the edges and
vacuum up the dust.  :-)
Still not overly keen on the score and snap method, but if the tracks aren't
too fine near the board edges it shouldn't become an issue.

Oh the joys of DIY :P

Cheers,
Alan



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Thanks guys.



Re: Cutting blank PCB's to size


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Hi Alan,

I found it depended on what speed you ran the drills at: TC drills run
well in a fast PCB drill but I find they snap easily and are expensive.
I found wire gauge HSS drill in a normal drill press last for quite a
long time but burn out and go blunt in a Dremel almost immediately.

Even at the fastest speed of a small tabletop press they seem to go on
forever and do drill fast: I retired some last month from bluntness. I'd
estimate they did close to 1000 holes minimum.

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