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Old 3rd May 2013, 11:42 PM   #1
admc007 is offline admc007  Scotland
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Default cutting glass fibre PCB?

is there a good way to cut a glass fibre PCB?

I bought some glass fibre board to make my own PCBs. I have just started trying to cut it. I'm beginning to think it will blunt some of my cutting tools. I'm beginning to think it was a mistake buying glass fibre PCB!

thought I'd ask before going any further!
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Old 3rd May 2013, 11:50 PM   #2
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Fiberglass is a man-made material found in many consumer and industrial products. Airborne dust containing fiberglass may irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. High levels of exposure to airborne fiberglass may aggravate asthma or bronchitis.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 11:51 PM   #3
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Just use a small blade metal hacksaw.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 11:56 PM   #4
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1. Use a Dremel roto-tool with an abrasive rotary disk. Clean edges with fine sandpaper, or a fine-tooth file, or

2. (try this on a SCRAP piece of PCB....!) Score the PCB glass (and copper) several times with a sharp razor knife or box cutter. Place the scored line over a edge (a piece of wood, edge of a table, whatever) and snap the PCB along the score. Clean with fine sandpaper or a fine-tooth file.

Both methods have worked for me, for the last four decades.
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Old 4th May 2013, 12:01 AM   #5
admc007 is offline admc007  Scotland
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I've been using hand tools so far, so not much in the way of dust. The dust particles are too big to become airborne. They just kinda sit there.

Maybe if I use a Dremel it will kick up more dust. I can't use a Dremel right now cause the neighbours are trying to sleep!
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Old 4th May 2013, 12:06 AM   #6
admc007 is offline admc007  Scotland
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I tried one of those little scalpel blades with serrated teeth. It definitely blunted some of the teeth. I think the serrated scalpel blade is made from stamped steel and is maybe not as hard as the steel usually used in scalpel blades.
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Old 4th May 2013, 12:28 AM   #7
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Those are good for balsa wood.
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Old 4th May 2013, 12:50 AM   #8
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In order of preference (assuming a board cutter isn't available):

1) sheet metal shear
2) Table saw with a blade suitable for plywood.
3) Band Saw
4) Dremel with a cutoff wheel
5) Sharp Xacto knife, scribe and break method in post #4

Items 1 through 3 are found in the shop class at many high schools. I take adult night wood shop classes just to use the shop. Otherwise, got school age kids?
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Old 4th May 2013, 12:51 AM   #9
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I use the shear at work. A largish paper cutter will also do the trick. Both of these methods leave a fairly clean edge and don't generate any dust to speak of. I didn't check your location, but Harbor Freight sells a small shear.
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Old 4th May 2013, 08:33 PM   #10
admc007 is offline admc007  Scotland
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I used a silicon carbide tile cutter, which seemed to work OK. Well, it OK for small quantities. Better than some craft knife.
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