How do I make my own single-sided
PCBs? It’s fairly simple:
1. Print a reverse image positive of the
PCB pattern onto the shiny side of
Pulsar dextrin transfer paper.
2. Place the transfer paper’s toner side
against a copper-laminated board that
has been cleaned with steel wool.
3. Place a sheet of ordinary paper
above the transfer paper to help
4. For two minutes, apply, with a few of
pounds of pressure, a common clothes
iron set to the highest “cotton” setting.
5. Immerse into water, the ironed-together paper/copper-laminated
board. After a couple minutes, the
paper probably will float off. If it
doesn’t, lift it off.
6. Dry the board, and with the toner side
up, lay the dull side of the Green Toner
Foil against the toner and another
piece of ordinary paper above that.
7. Using the same clothes iron set slightly
cooler (to “wool”), iron for one minute
with a few pounds of pressure.
8. Peel off the Green Toner Foil.
9. Etch the board as described below.
I make only single-sided boards. If
you’d like to make a double-sided board,
watch the video at http://youtu.be/
XX7IekbCNIY. This DIYer uses HP’s glossy
brochure paper and seems to get pretty
Etching the PCB
Having read much of what is readily
available on the Web concerning DIY
PCB etching, when the need arose, I
decided to etch a single-sided board
two different ways: first with the
vinegar and salt method and second
with the sponge and ferric chloride
method. Some DIYers are using muriatic
acid, but I have not tried that.
The vinegar and salt method works,
albeit slowly. Etching my small board
took two hours. The formula I used
was equal parts vinegar and hydrogen
peroxide and a few tablespoons of
table salt. Keep adding salt until the
“fizzing” continues all by itself. The
liquid starts out clear but then turns an
attractive shade of blue (Figure 10).
The sponge and ferric chloride
method works extremely well,
etching the same board in a couple