WHICH Laminator for Toner Transfer? - Page 2 - diyAudio
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Old 18th March 2010, 02:28 AM   #11
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Those are not the same laminators.
The image shown on the Fab-on-a-box page is different than what is sold in the bay. The bay one only has one swithc. The Fab one has a top switch for heat level and side switch for power.
All the places that carry the better laminator use that same image with the heat selection on top.

Anyhoo.. I was able to get a print on the other printer and it turned out much better. Sent it through the laminator a few more times than my first attempt - 1/16" 1 oz double sided board with the same trace pattern on both sides with much better results. No pinholes with only a few spot but totally useable.
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Old 18th March 2010, 03:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParagonXL View Post
Those are not the same laminators.
The image shown on the Fab-on-a-box page is different than what is sold in the bay. The bay one only has one swithc. The Fab one has a top switch for heat level and side switch for power.
All the places that carry the better laminator use that same image with the heat selection on top.
I see that now......

It looks like the one with the heat switch is model #1701987, and the one without it is #1701860.

Other than the heat switch, they function identically. As long as they are both 350W units, I don't see what the point of the heat switch would be when used for toner transfer. You want it as hot as it can get, so a low setting is pointless anyway.
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Old 18th March 2010, 11:33 PM   #13
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If the heats are the same, the only advantage (or possibly a disadvantage) of the GBC is the lower feed rate. The 3M has around a 14-15"/min rate. Slower rate could help fuse the toner better.. or it could also start to squish the traces. I don't have enough exp to know. Not sure if I want to order it to find out.
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Old 19th March 2010, 12:00 AM   #14
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Before I saw Paragon's post, I ordered one of the 1701860 laminators on ebay last night. I guess we'll see how well it works when it arrives next week.

I can't find anyone selling the 1701987 model except pulsarprofx and neither is listed on the GBC site. If you're right about the heat being the same, I suppose it doesn't matter but I can't verify that on any of the sites I've looked at. I may open it up when it arrives to see how it's built.

I won't be using this for production. It's all for prototyping so running a board through a few times won't be the end of the world.
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Old 19th March 2010, 03:10 AM   #15
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I think the one PulsarProFX sells is an older model (1701987), and they did away with the low/hi heat switch on the newer model (1701860). They both look to be out of production though; replaced by the 1702760.

PulsarProFX seems to be the only place still selling the 1701987, even though there are google references to other sites that used to sell it. Those sites now sell the 1701860 or 1702760.

I could almost guarantee that the roller and heating system is the same, so I don't see the point of taking it apart (unless you like to do that sort of thing).

Last edited by theAnonymous1; 19th March 2010 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 31st March 2010, 05:31 PM   #16
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Any update on the laminator Ray?

I got the GBC H425 working that I pulled out of the trash at work. After spending quite a few hours going over the unit trying to figure out what the problem was, I finally narrowed it down to a stupid $1 thermal fuse. I replaced the fuse and now it works like new (an looks new as well).

The H425 can take my largest PCB without even blinking (6"x6" 60-mil double sided 2oz.). I can even pull on the board quite a bit while it's being fed into the unit and the motor doesn't even care, it just keeps on pulling back.

I haven't tried to transfer a layout yet; maybe later this weekend.
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Old 31st March 2010, 10:37 PM   #17
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The laminator arrived but I haven't had time to even take it out of the box yet. I did get some copper clad board today so I'll be getting back to this hopefully this weekend.

Sounds like you got a steal for your efforts. Mine cost $25.
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Old 1st April 2010, 08:36 AM   #18
yeti is offline yeti  Germany
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Default DIY laminator

Hi all

As i experienced trouble with my laminator (not hot enough , problems with thicker PCB`s etc.),i switched to a DIY laminator .
As i mainly use 'Euroboards' (100 X 160 mm) the method of ironing on didn't work reliable. So i cutted out 2 pieces of aluminum sheet metal, 3mm thick and 110 X 170 mm area. One piece lies on the bottom, then a piece of thin card board to equalize pressure, followed by the printout with traces up. Next the clean PCB with copper side down is adjusted to the markers on the printout and last is the second alu plate. All is fixed with 4 clamps, apply heavy pressure!
After all i put it in the oven at 150 C for about 15 min, then take it out (gloves!) and cool it in the sink.
As i use this waxy paper leftover from CD labels, peeling it off is very easy, no need to soak it.

Temperature applied may vary with toner brand, if traces a blurry it's too hot, if they don't stick too cold.

This method should work on large boards, give it a try!

Regards

Arne

Last edited by yeti; 1st April 2010 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 4th April 2010, 05:58 PM   #19
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I've had some time to play around with my laminator. All I can say is.... WOW.... why have I been using a cloths iron for the last 5 years?

This thing is amazing; completely effortless image transferring.

I also went out and bought some new paper. I was going to go with Toms advice and buy the glossy brochure paper, but my local store wanted $30 for 150 sheets.

Right next to it was some "Glossy Presentation Paper" (Q2546A) that was half the price and double the sheets ($15 for 300). This paper is a little thinner @ 34lb; and I assumed that would be a good thing. It seems slightly heavier than a magazine page, but not as heavy as a CD case insert.

The paper transfers the image perfectly and is much easier to remove than the Staples glossy photo paper I had been using.

I'm in the process of etching the board; will post a pic when I'm done.
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Old 11th April 2010, 11:20 PM   #20
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Alright, here are the pics I promised.

In the first pic you can see how cleanly the presentation paper releases from the toner. It literally fell off the PCB when I picked it up out of the tub of water. It took only minimal effort using a micro-fiber towel to rub the remaining paper residue off the toner.

The second pic is the etched board. There is some slight pitting, but it's not too bad. It was my first time using HCL+H2O2 to etch; I normally use FeCL3 but I ran out.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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