Easy toner transfer – after preheating the board

I posted this on the Yahoo QRP-tech group as well.

Regardless of toner or transfer medium, i.e. paper or plastic film, here’s a simple way to success.

Since I already had a $29 B&D Toaster Oven for solder paste re-flow, I decided to preheat the board and then run the board and transfer through the laminator.

1 – Preheat the oven to ~300F/150C.

2 – Turn on the laminator.

3 – If using plastic film, clear or Press-n-Peel, have a piece of cover paper ready. I just cut a sheet of printer paper to mostly cover the board and then folded it about 30% from one end, but the remaining 70% or so should completely cover the plastic transfer film.

4 – I then carefully laid down the transfer onto the board, and used the cover paper to rub over and flatten the film.

5 – While holding the board with pliers, align cover sheet with 70% on top and 30% underneath board and insert into laminator.

6 – One pass through the laminator to flatten under pressure is all that is required. Run board under cold water and peel off film.

The cover sheet is just used for the same reason it is when doing badges, which is where the idea came from. It just adds a margin of protection for the laminator and seems to make feeding the board seem easier.

The result was 100% coverage for both the paper and film transfer trials. Obviously (duh..) the higher board temperature at the start was key to getting the toner stuck down well.

Your mileage will vary, but this was neither cumbersome nor time consuming; especially using plastic film since there is no wash step. You are ready to etch!

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