the copper-laminated board once it is
re-heated. A big part of the secret here
is the type of paper you use.
Several paper solutions for the “toner
method” exist, and some are better than
others. Regardless of the type of paper
used, the process is to place the reverse
image positive laser print with the toner
touching the metal surface of a clean
copper-laminated board and then apply
heat and pressure to loosen the toner
from the paper, permitting it to transfer
to and adhere to the copper-laminated
board. Most DIYers use a common
clothes iron as the heat source, although
a laminating machine designed for
identification cards is successfully used
with one commercial product that I’ll
talk about later.
The cheapest and simplest method
is simply to use ordinary copier paper.
Once heated under pressure, the toner
ends up adhering to both the paper
and the copper-laminated board.
The paper/copper-laminated board
is then soaked under water, and the
waterlogged paper is rubbed off with
your fingers. This method leaves a
lot of paper residue embedded in the
toner’s surface, this is undesirable for
reasons explained later.
Many other paper types are used by
various DIYers. One of the most popular
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is to use a high-quality magazine page
that has a smooth, glossy appearance. The
gloss is caused by a white clay (kaolin)
coating. Because the kaolin fills in many
of the pores of the paper, the toner is less
firmly bonded to the paper. Second, the
kaolin dissolves in water, thus freeing the
toner more readily than plain paper. This
method is superior to using plain paper,
but it still leaves too much paper residue
embedded in the toner’s surface.