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I'm looking for advice on my DIY PCBs. For some reason the toner transfer step never goes perfectly. I have attached some images to show you what I mean. Is my iron not hot enough perhaps? Also, are there known methods for attaching the magazine paper to the PCB so that it does not slip during the ironing?

Or do I need to just concede that this method is rather inexact and allow even larger tolerances? I don't know much larger I can make them though since it looks like the .1" spacing for DIPS isn't even consistent.

Thanks for any suggestions

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2 Answers 2

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I wish photos were higher quality, but from what I can see it is too hot/too long ironing. Try to add a piece of cloth between your PCB & iron so that pressure would be more even.

Usually, you need as little ironing as possible as long as toner does not fall off when washing out paper (also, wash paper out in cold water, not hot).

Toner transfer Jedi can make 0.1mm line reliable (which is 0.005"), and only some practice needed to get to 0.2mm.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ oh wow, I didn't realize it was possible to be ironing too long. All the guides I've read really overemphasized making sure you were doing a thorough ironing job. \$\endgroup\$
    – NickHalden
    Jun 26, 2011 at 16:01
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I have a similar problem with slippage when ironing. Especially when working with small circuits. I find it is best to let the iron get hot first, then place the paper and board together on a tea towel, cover with a folded paper towel, and put the iron on the top and leave it. The iron I have cuts out after 30 seconds of inactivity, which I find is usually enough. I do like to press down a bit before lifting the iron off to ensure a good transfer, but I try and move it as little as possible.

Obviously, for a larger board, I'd need to move the iron around to cover it all - in this case I like to do it in a number of phases - sit the iron in the middle for a bit, then lift and move it to one side (not slide - lift), then the other, and work my way outwards from there.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I marked Bars' answer correct just because he answered first, but thanks for your information too (I was doing a ton of sliding vs. lifting). \$\endgroup\$
    – NickHalden
    Jun 26, 2011 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only thing you have to watch if you're no longer sliding is the holes on the bottom of the iron - you may need to use the iron in a number of positions over the same area. \$\endgroup\$
    – Majenko
    Jun 26, 2011 at 16:06

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