# Toner Transfer PCB Prototyping

N

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all,

I was just wondering if any of the guys in the UK knew of any good
paper to use in the toner transfer method of PCB prototyping.

So far I have tried the Staples paper recommended on a website
describing this method, but it didn't work. I assume the composition
of the UK version is different to that of the US version. I have also
used Tesco own brand matt paper, It worked quite well, but the toner
didn't adhear too well to the board.

I know about the blue transfer paper you can buy, but I think it is
far too expensive if the same sort of quality may be attained using a
good brand of paper.

Regards,

Rob.

J

#### James Thompson

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all,

I was just wondering if any of the guys in the UK knew of any good
paper to use in the toner transfer method of PCB prototyping.

So far I have tried the Staples paper recommended on a website
describing this method, but it didn't work. I assume the composition
of the UK version is different to that of the US version. I have also
used Tesco own brand matt paper, It worked quite well, but the toner
didn't adhear too well to the board.

I know about the blue transfer paper you can buy, but I think it is
far too expensive if the same sort of quality may be attained using a
good brand of paper.

Regards,

Rob.
If you have it there, the brand (JetPrintPhoto - Everyday) for inkjet
printers works well for me. You just need to let it soak a good time in the
water to get it to release well. Use the cotton setting on your iron and
solid pressure to the board. I find it useful to use a wood dowel once the
board is hot to roll over the paper with hard pressure to ensure all the
pattern in smooth to the board.

V

#### VER

Jan 1, 1970
0
James said:
If you have it there, the brand (JetPrintPhoto - Everyday) for inkjet
printers works well for me. You just need to let it soak a good time in the
water to get it to release well. Use the cotton setting on your iron and
solid pressure to the board. I find it useful to use a wood dowel once the
board is hot to roll over the paper with hard pressure to ensure all the
pattern in smooth to the board.

Do you pre-heat the board before applying the mask?

N

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
Do you pre-heat the board before applying the mask?

Yes, I do pre-heat the board. Actually, that does bring me to another
question, surely the pre-heating would not be ideal with a double
sided board because of the precision needed in positioning the second
layer?

Regards,

Rob

H

#### H

Jan 1, 1970
0
I was just wondering if any of the guys in the UK knew of any good
paper to use in the toner transfer method of PCB prototyping.

I have tried a wide range of paper. You are mainly looking for two
properties: It must have a very smooth surface, and it must dissolve
well in water.

My best paper so far is simply a catalog from these guys:
http://www.biltema.no. The paper is too thin to get safely through the
printer, but I simply tape it to a sheet of normal printer paper.

You won't find this company in the UK, but start trying different
stuff. It does not matter if it is printed, in fact, it may be an
advantage, as the surface may be even smoother.

J

#### James Thompson

Jan 1, 1970
0
VER said:
Do you pre-heat the board before applying the mask?
I don't preheat the board. I position the paper by cutting 2 sides of the
print and aligning it the the board edge for double side. hold the pattern
to a strong light so you can see when the pads match up, then while holding
them together tightly - trim at least one end or best 2 edges of the pattern
so when you lay them on the board you can match the edges up with the edge
of the board. I use a solid wood surface to lay board on and heat it with
iron. let the board get heated well and the pattern will stick to it.
While the board is very hot, I then lay a wood dowel on the pattern and
press roll it across the pattern to ensure it all contacts well. That is
the one critical step is enough heat and solid contact to the copper. Jtt

P

#### petrus bitbyter

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all,

I was just wondering if any of the guys in the UK knew of any good
paper to use in the toner transfer method of PCB prototyping.

So far I have tried the Staples paper recommended on a website
describing this method, but it didn't work. I assume the composition
of the UK version is different to that of the US version. I have also
used Tesco own brand matt paper, It worked quite well, but the toner
didn't adhear too well to the board.

I know about the blue transfer paper you can buy, but I think it is
far too expensive if the same sort of quality may be attained using a
good brand of paper.

Regards,

Rob.

Rob,

I experimented with several types of paper as well but to find out that the
printer is very important. With my Laserjet 4Si I got no good coverage
regargless what paper I used. When I had - halas for a short time - access
to a Laserjet 5 the cheapest local available glossy jetprinter photopaper
(no brand) worked perfectly. What printer are you using?

petrsu bitbyter

R

#### Rich Grise

Jan 1, 1970
0
I experimented with several types of paper as well but to find out that
the printer is very important. With my Laserjet 4Si I got no good coverage
regargless what paper I used. When I had - halas for a short time - access
to a Laserjet 5 the cheapest local available glossy jetprinter photopaper
(no brand) worked perfectly. What printer are you using?

I've heard that if you can get a good solid black from an inkjet, that
you could print the artwork and Xerox it. I've heard that their toner
is very reliable, albeit you still have the paper issue.

Good Luck!
Rich

E

#### ehsjr

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all,

I was just wondering if any of the guys in the UK knew of any good
paper to use in the toner transfer method of PCB prototyping.

So far I have tried the Staples paper recommended on a website
describing this method, but it didn't work. I assume the composition
of the UK version is different to that of the US version. I have also
used Tesco own brand matt paper, It worked quite well, but the toner
didn't adhear too well to the board.

I know about the blue transfer paper you can buy, but I think it is
far too expensive if the same sort of quality may be attained using a
good brand of paper.

Regards,

Rob.

The Staples paper (in the US) works great for me,
but you have to soak it a long time before removing
it from the copper. I've found the following:
* the copper must be clean, clean, clean!
use Copper cleaner
* after cleaning, wash it with brillo in circular strokes
or steel wool it, then wash.
* dry well, then immediately apply the artwork (no tarnishing)
* iron with heavy pressure for 5 minutes
* soak the completed copper/paper "sandwitch" a long time -
at least 1/2 hour.

I'd bet if you do the above, and if your laser printer covers
well, you'll get good results. I can't believe the Staples
paper would be different US vs UK. If you are already following
the procedure, I'd suspect the printer before the paper.

Ed

R

#### RST Engineering $$jw$$

Jan 1, 1970
0
The Staples paper (in the US) works great for me,
but you have to soak it a long time before removing
it from the copper. I've found the following:
* the copper must be clean, clean, clean!
use Copper cleaner

Yes, absolutely. Copper-Brite does a good job with a green kitchen
potscrubber.

* after cleaning, wash it with brillo in circular strokes
or steel wool it, then wash.

No, PLEASE. The copper cleaner with a water wash is perfect. Anything else
will contaminate the surface.

* dry well, then immediately apply the artwork (no tarnishing)

It helps to ever so slightly warm the copper in a toaster oven set on low
for a couple of minutes.
* iron with heavy pressure for 5 minutes

.... on the highest setting of the iron.
* soak the completed copper/paper "sandwitch" a long time -
at least 1/2 hour.

Or soak in really hot water for about five minutes, or as long as it takes
for your hands to be able to soak in the water without burning.

Jim

E

#### ehsjr

Jan 1, 1970
0
RST said:
Yes, absolutely. Copper-Brite does a good job with a green kitchen
potscrubber.

That might eliminate the steel wool step - great!
No, PLEASE. The copper cleaner with a water wash is perfect. Anything else
will contaminate the surface.

Yes PLEASE - at least for me. Works great and does not
contaminate. The brillo soap is washed off. But if the
kitchen potscrubber works in place of the steel wool,
then the brillo/steel wool step is not needed at all.

It helps to ever so slightly warm the copper in a toaster oven set on low
for a couple of minutes.

Never thought of that - thanks! Sounds good.

... on the highest setting of the iron.

Yes! I should have said that.
Or soak in really hot water for about five minutes, or as long as it takes
for your hands to be able to soak in the water without burning.

I've not had success with that. I soak it in water that
is too hot to leave your hands in, but maybe it's not
hot enough? I believe the water is 140 F - at least that's
what I think the water heater produces. Maybe I need
hotter?

In any event, I've got to try the potscrubber. It
will be nice to save a step. On the toaster oven -
when you take the blank out, is it too hot to handle,
or just a little bit less hot?

Thanks, Ed

R

#### RST Engineering $$jw$$

Jan 1, 1970
0
It will be just a little above the temperature you could achieve by putting
the board outside in the shade on a really hot summer's day. All you are
trying to achieve is to (a) be sure it is bone dry and (b) give the toner
plastic just a little head start at gripping the surface of the copper.

Jim

J

#### James Waldby

Jan 1, 1970
0
ehsjr said:
Yes! I should have said that.
....

I use blue Press-n-Peel rather than paper, not having
had particularly good luck with paper, but you still might
find some of the techniques at http://pat7.com/jp/etch/
of interest, eg, wrapping the board and film in aluminum
foil before ironing.
-jiw

R

#### Rich Grise

Jan 1, 1970
0
...

I use blue Press-n-Peel rather than paper, not having
had particularly good luck with paper, but you still might
find some of the techniques at http://pat7.com/jp/etch/
of interest, eg, wrapping the board and film in aluminum
foil before ironing.

I don't know what "blue Press-n-Peel" is, but I assume it's
something that you stick to the copper and peel the backing.

How do you get the pattern onto it?

Thanks,
Rich

R

#### Rich Grise

Jan 1, 1970
0
It will be just a little above the temperature you could achieve by putting
the board outside in the shade on a really hot summer's day. All you are
trying to achieve is to (a) be sure it is bone dry and (b) give the toner
plastic just a little head start at gripping the surface of the copper.

Jim, don't top-post. It disturbes the natural flow of the thread. Thanks.

Can that be done double-sided, with any kind of reasonable registry?

Thanks,
Rich

J

#### James Waldby

Jan 1, 1970
0
Rich said:
I don't know what "blue Press-n-Peel" is, but I assume it's
something that you stick to the copper and peel the backing.

How do you get the pattern onto it?

As JeffM implied, laser-print the traces onto the Press-n-Peel,
then ironing transfer step. The first few photos at my link
above show how I use a small piece of Press-n-Peel rather than
printing the whole sheet at a time, so cost per circuit is low.
Also see manufacturer's site http://www.techniks.com/how_to.htm
-jiw

J

#### joseph2k

Jan 1, 1970
0
Rich said:
Jim, don't top-post. It disturbes the natural flow of the thread. Thanks.

Can that be done double-sided, with any kind of reasonable registry?

Thanks,
Rich

My experience is that it is much more difficult. When the completed pattern
is done on the first side, drill the through holes and use them as
alignment guides. Also outline marks have been useful. Nor does this give
you through hole plating.

K

#### Ken Muldrew

Jan 1, 1970
0
then ironing transfer step. The first few photos at my link
above show how I use a small piece of Press-n-Peel rather than
printing the whole sheet at a time, so cost per circuit is low.

What kind of tape do you use?

Ken Muldrew
[email protected]
(remove all letters after y in the alphabet)

J

#### James Waldby

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ken said:
What kind of tape do you use?

Usually, ordinary "invisible" cellotape, like Scotch Magic.
I only tape across the leading edge - not along the sides
or trailing edge. It's visible in the top right corner of
http://pat7.com/jp/etch/01printed.jpg .

-jiw

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