Black Lives Matter - Action and Equality. ... Adafruit joins the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.
0

How do you cut PCB?
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

How do you cut PCB?

by shobley on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:34 pm

I just spent about 20 minutes trying to cut through a PCB with a hacksaw. These things are really tough.

What is the correct tool to cut PCB material, and get a nice straight line?

I saw something about a guillotine, but can't find a vendor.

Steve
http://www.stephenhobley.com
http://www.youtube.com/shobley
For all your laser harp, tesla coil, and killer robots from outer space needs.
shobley
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:16 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by adafruit on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:42 pm

tin snips

adafruit
 
Posts: 12151
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:21 pm
Location: nyc

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by adshea on Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:00 pm

I agree on tin snips. Box cutter and a good straight edge works too for thin (<1/32) board.

adshea
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by zener on Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:31 am

Jig saw or band saw works too.

zener
 
Posts: 4567
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:38 am

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by trialex on Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:17 pm

This can suck hey.

There are a few different types of PCB material. FR4 is the most common, this is very difficult to cut with a hacksaw. FR4 is made up of glass fibre matrix held together with an epoxy resin

FR2 on the other hand is paper based with epoxy resin. I think this stuff is easier to cut.

Often the material isn't listed though, which sucks.
trialex
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:25 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by westfw on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:23 pm

for thin (<1/32) board
I spend quite a bit of effort seeking thinner PCB stock... Once it's thin enough, a pair of those cheap heavy-duty penny-cutting scissors works pretty well. Electronics goldmine currently has something they're calling "scissors cut" copper clad, and ABCFAB on ebay regularly has SS stock less than 1/16....

westfw
 
Posts: 1645
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:01 pm
Location: SF Bay area

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by adshea on Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:19 pm

I've found this seller on eBay http://shop.ebay.com/amt33461/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg= I haven't ordered any yet (still finishing up my printer for some direct inkjet mask stuff) but they seem a good place for thin stuff.

adshea
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by minerva on Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:38 pm

I will assume that you're using something like FR4, the standard glass-fibre composite PCB material, and not that cheap paper and phenolic resin stuff.

Try scoring a thick line across it, (both sides if you wish) using some sort of scorer or sharp pointy tool, and then clamp it against the edge of a bench, and snap it or break it.
Then use sandpaper or a file to clean up the edge.
minerva
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by rizla420 on Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:33 pm

Can paper cutters work as well for the FR4 or the heavier duty ones? I have some snips that i use for cutting steel sheets, i wonder if i should give that a shot.

rizla420
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:03 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by ieeej on Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:20 am

Here's what I did the other day:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ieeej/4177692921/
ieeej
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by shobley on Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:01 pm

I bought a pair of reciprocating action tin snips from Home Depot and they really do the trick...
http://www.stephenhobley.com
http://www.youtube.com/shobley
For all your laser harp, tesla coil, and killer robots from outer space needs.
shobley
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:16 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by adafruit_support_mike on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:12 am

I have an old guillotine-style paper cutter (the kind with the square board and the big-honkin' blade). It cuts FR4 pretty well. It's not as good as an actual PCB shear, but it's there and it does the job.
When you void a product warranty, you give up your right to sue the manufacturer if something goes wrong and accept full responsibility for whatever happens next. And then you truly own the product.

adafruit_support_mike
 
Posts: 61107
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:51 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by charliex on Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:09 pm

I've yet to find a cheap gullotine/shear, usually around $400-500 though i just cnc em now :)

$85 isn't terrible, and you can use it for other things like loosing fingers.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... mber=90757
http://032.la - Null Space Labs.
charliex
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:54 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by mojo on Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:21 am

I found a place that does matrixboard you can cut with scissors. I can't for the life of me remember the name now, but it's very useful for prototyping. If I remember I'll post a link when I get home next month.

mojo
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:04 pm

Re: How do you cut PCB?

by JRock on Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:23 pm

I'm a stone Mason by day. I had a hell of a time trying to score it and snap it or use a saw.
I ended up using my grinder with a masonry blade. It works perfect!
I imagine a wood blade on a power saw would splinter the crap out of a pcb but you can pick up Masonry/tile blades for them at the hardware store (the metal kind, I haven't used the carborundum, but they may work too.)
Cuts the copper pads too. Wear safety glasses though cause them tiny splinters are sharp! Probably wouldn't feel nice to catch a red hot copper solder pad in the eye either.
Once it's cut I can trim the sides up nice too.
JRock
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:16 am

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.