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Author Topic: Looking for copper clad FR4, that can score & peel off copper foil by hand?  (Read 4078 times)
N8CBX
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Posts: 149




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« on: December 13, 2012, 11:06:42 AM »

I don't want to use any chemicals or milling. 20 years ago at the Hamvention, I purchased some one-sided circuit board material, that had about 0.0035" copper clad foil. I was able to score it with a #11 x-acto blade knife and then actually peel the foil off the board with pliers. Its all gone now, and I'm looking for of this type of board material to buy. Anyone know of a vendor that sells it?
(Again, I want to score & peel it manually, using NO chemicals and any milling)
Thanks
Jan N8CBX
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Dayton Ohio - The Birthplace of Aviation
VK2TIL
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Posts: 328




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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 12:41:39 PM »

You can do this with any PCB material.

First do the scoring then heat the edge where you want to start lifting with the soldering iron; a little solder helps heat transfer.

Lift the edge with sharp pliers (or a sharp knife until you have enough for pliers to grip).

Now lift with the pliers and draw the iron tip back as the strip peels-off, keeping the heat in the angle where the strip is lifting from the board.  The heat loosens the bond between the copper and the substrate.

This requires one hand for the iron and one hand for the pliers so the board should be held-down with a weight or clamp.

It takes longer to describe than it does to do; co-ordination of the heat and the lifting force is the key.

Sometimes the pliers aren't required; you can heat a small cut-out area then rub it with the iron tip and it will break free and stick to the tip.
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W9GB
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 08:49:52 PM »

Copper Foil is readily available from numerous sources: Dick Blick Art Supplies; Granger; Art/Craft/Hobby stores like Hobby Lobby; Basic Copper http://basiccopper.com/ ;
OnLine Metals http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=129&step=2  ;
NimrodHall. http://www.nimrodhall.com/ ;

3M also sells EMI Metal Foil tapes
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ElectricalOEM/Home/Products/Catalog/?N=5561499+4294885267&loc=en_US&plmlblid=1273692470463&rt=c3&sorttype=list


w9gb
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VK2TIL
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 10:41:29 PM »

G'day Greg.

I think the OP is looking for FR4/G10 PCB stock.

The quoted copper-thickness of 0.0035" is very thick; the common "one-ounce" copper is 0.0014" thick.

Thickness of 0.0035" is approximately equivalent to three-ounce copper; I have never seen PCB material with that thickness.

The "heat & peel" technique is useful for microstrip and other simple board layouts; I have used it for things like this;

http://i48.tinypic.com/35lb211.jpg

http://i45.tinypic.com/22ysxx.jpg


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KB8E
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 08:20:00 AM »

You're probably looking for 0.5 oz copper thickness; it will peel easier than the common 1 oz board material. Try ebay and look for the thinner copper.

Sam
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KC0QCQ
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 12:15:04 PM »

Far circuits sells FR-4 as well as ready made boards for published circuits,
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N8CBX
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 12:42:33 PM »

The 3M foil tape looks interesting. I know MCM sells it.
The foil thickness that I quoted (0.0035") is true. The measurement was done with my 1" micrometer. Ebay has a tremendous amount of copper cladded boards.
Jan
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Dayton Ohio - The Birthplace of Aviation
W9GB
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 04:47:03 PM »

Copper Foil is sold as 3 or 4 Mil thickness by Nimrod Hall.
3 Mil Product:
3 Mil (.003 inches) Rolled Copper (110-anneal (dead soft), ASTM-B152, 99.9% CU density, min, bare commercial finish, 3" ID).

Most Mils (thickness) are slit to 6", 12", 18", 24", and 36" inch widths, custom widths are availble. For small lot purchases foil is available in 5' , 10', 25' and 50' rolls.
==
The 3M Copper Foil 1126 is sold as 3.5 Mil thickness, OEM Electrical product.
--
3M™ Copper Foil Tape 1126 is typically used as an EMI/RFI shielding tape for applications in the electronics industry such as static charge draining, seaming shielded rooms, cable wrapping and surface contact to non-solderable materials.
3M™ 3.5 Mil Copper Foil, Conductive Acrylic, on Liner 1/4 in x 36 yd (6,35 mm x 16,5 m)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 04:53:07 PM by W9GB » Logged
VK2TIL
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Posts: 328




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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 10:20:49 PM »

I sometimes use copper tape for various purposes, mainly shielding; I've found ebay to be a good source at reasonable prices.

Search "copper tape" on ebay; I got over 1000 hits on US ebay.  It seems to be in high demand for guitar-pickup shielding.

Up to a couple of thou/mils thickness it can be easily slit into PCB-track-width strips with a sharp snap-off knife and a steel rule; I use a plate glass tile as a cutting surface.

I've never used it for PCB tracks, though; I use the heat & peel method or other methods of PCB-making.
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