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Old 2nd September 2012, 02:46 PM   #1
djQUAN is offline djQUAN  Philippines
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Default DIY micro table saw

I've tried many ways of cutting PCBs and the one method I've settled and used for years was using a Dremel with a cutting disc and doing it free hand.

It works OK but the cut is less than straight. A PCB guillotine would work but it is too costly and the edge is rough.

An idea that's been floating around in my head was a micro table saw but kept putting it off due to insufficient time and motivation. But that changed so I made one this afternoon.

Quick details:
*12V Dremel as drive motor (powered off my renewable energy system in the shop)
*shaft and bearings from dismantled copier
*chuck from burnt out AC Dremel knockoff
*work area is 10 inches by 5 inches
*blade is 25mm diamond cutting disc and protrudes 2.5mm above acrylic work surface.

More details and pictures here: micro table saw
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Old 5th September 2012, 09:36 PM   #2
Simon B is offline Simon B  United Kingdom
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Nice job.

I like your pcb drill rig too:

PCB Drill Press


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Old 6th September 2012, 01:53 AM   #3
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Do not breathe the "chips" (dust) coming off the PCB cut!!

Suggest you install a decent vacuum cleaner in such a way that the dust is sucked up and out of the air.

Otherwise it is best to wear a good respirator, not just a paper mask. The very fine particles will remain floating in the air for a very long time.

They are fiberglass and can cause significant lung disease later in your life. Fyi.

_-_-bear

PS. I finally found a really good small old shear, and I cut PCB with that - cuts like butter.
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Old 7th September 2012, 03:04 PM   #4
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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I also recommend using a vacuum to suck up the dust. It is not good. I use a shop vac with a "high efficiency" bag that is designed to trap extra-fine particulate like drywall dust, bacteria, and other things (like PCB fiberglass dust) that will easily go right through an ordinary filter bag. And forget about using a shop-vac without any bag at all, the ordinary motor filter is not nearly good enough.

I cut by hand, usually by scoring and breaking, which leaves a very bad edge. Then I use a tabletop disc sander to finish the edges.
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Old 7th September 2012, 03:48 PM   #5
djQUAN is offline djQUAN  Philippines
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Thanks for the comments,

I usually try to avoid breathing the dust but as the heavy particles pretty much settles under the workspace the ones that do come off the top settle pretty quickly and could be brushed onto the waste bin easily. Although the old phrase "what you can't see can kill you" certainly is applicable here. Indeed a vacuum would be a good idea. I'm looking for options too as I would also like to do the same for the PCB drill press.

I made a motor mount so that the Dremel motor can be held more securely than lying on the table and also did a few modifications as the flexible coupling has a bad habit of vibrating and then jumping off. The solution was and aluminum sleeve around the silicone tube and a spring to provide some forward force to the motor to prevent it backing out of the coupling.
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Old 9th September 2012, 10:22 AM   #6
djQUAN is offline djQUAN  Philippines
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I did a neat trick to chamfer the sharp edges of cut acrylic using the micro table saw.

I don't know if it has been done before but this is how I did it.

I made a guide along the axis of the blade with a slot so that only a small part of the blade protrudes and the workpiece is slid along this guide. The blade then grinds only the corner of the edge. Worked pretty well.
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