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MJL21193 31st December 2010 06:00 PM

Toner Transfer Paper Problems
2 Attachment(s)
Up until yesterday, I had been using a nearly empty pack of Staples photo paper (as recommended on Tom Gottee's site). It was the 100 sheet package. For those who haven't seen some of my PCBs, this is an example:

Attachment 203288

a board that just came out of the etchant. Sharp quality - perfect results always.
So, about a year ago, I bought another 100 sheet package of the same paper - same name, same item number - 471865. I didn't need it until yesterday and I opened it up and did a print. The results:

Attachment 203292

I tried another sheet, same thing. I compare this paper to the older stuff (I had 1/2 a sheet left) and there is a difference. The new one has less gloss and stays flatter, where the older one would curl slightly at the sides. The new one has a Staples watermark on the back, the old one doesn't.
I'm totally pizzed off - 100 sheets of useless paper and no (cheap) way of finding a good replacement. If Staples needs to 'improve' a product, why not re-itemize it. Don't claim it's the same product.

I went to Staples this morning and attempted to explain the situation to the nearest 17 year girl (that and 17 year old boys work there) but she was totally vacant - not a clue about what I was doing or what paper to suggest. I took a couple of their gloss sheets (from the print department) and bought a pack of HP photo paper ($18 for 30 sheets). Neither of these is usable. The HP I will return.

So, anyone out there have a suggestion for a replacement?

AndrewT 31st December 2010 06:46 PM

some who have compared the recommended papers are saying the best results come from using glossy magazine paper.
Recently another Member reported the same as you, the new Staples paper does not work as well.

MJL21193 31st December 2010 06:53 PM

I have used magazine paper and the results are good, just not as good as the original Staples paper - detail is not as sharp.
Another problem is all the printing already on the paper makes alignment tricky in a 2 sided design (as seen in the first photo above).

AndrewT 31st December 2010 07:04 PM

some are reporting better results if the PCB is heated rather than the paper.
The "ink" then sticks to the hot copper face.

MJL21193 31st December 2010 07:14 PM

Worth a try, I guess.

My kingdom for a laser printer capable of printing directly to PCB! (under $500, that is)

NYCOne 31st December 2010 07:20 PM

I've run some home experiments as I was unable to find the old Staples paper.

If I prep the copper by sanding with 1500 grit in a circular motion, clean with acetone, then use thin, slightly glossy magazine paper, I get good transfers. I iron directly on the magazine paper, use a lot of pressure, and leave the iron sitting on the paper for 5 min.

With this method I get pretty good transfer, but occasional pinpoint holes. To solve this, on important boards, I take a thin sharpee marker and run all the traces. It's tedious, but the boards are perfection.

If anyone knows of a replacement paper for the old Staples, I'd be interested.

I also just found this link, worth a try?

theAnonymous1 31st December 2010 08:28 PM

I tossed an almost full pack of the old Staples paper in the trash. I didn't even have a use for it as photo paper as I have a deep seeded hatred for inkjet printers.

Buy yourselves some HP Glossy Presentation Paper (Q2546A) and forget about using photo paper.



Originally Posted by NYCOne (
I also just found this link, worth a try?

Intersting, looks like that fella and I both stumbled upon the same product. Good stuff.

MJL21193 31st December 2010 08:49 PM

I'll check it out. Thanks!

MJL21193 31st December 2010 09:00 PM

Looks like that HP paper is discontinued. Everywhere I look online, it is out of stock or unavailable.

gaborbela 31st December 2010 09:18 PM

I used to use the same paper in red cover from Staples.
Really those are the best. I also run out..
I have some advise please use the color copy printer the ink quality much better!
Also if still not work try to put under the PC board a flat heatsink or metal something. Set up your iron very hot.
Also I advise you first just push the paper with the iron until stick after cover the whole thing with a thin cloth 100% cotton and iron that way very well everywhere
After you finished the ironing right away trow the PC board to cold water.
After use hot water to clean done the paper.
Yes there is a difference between papers and papers.
I purchased similar in blue cover it was useless!

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