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Old 6th March 2008, 03:46 PM   #21
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I used to use a belt sander, but unless you have only a little material to trim away it quickly becomes hard to see where you are meant to stop. Also I could never get it dead square or dead flat.

Now I use a mini circular saw meant for cutting ceramic tiles. I can use a set square to get everything square once I have one good edge. Also make a lot less dust than the belt sander and the edge is perfect no finishing required.
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Old 6th March 2008, 03:57 PM   #22
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Default another dremel user

I use a dremel and then clean up the edges with a long machinist file...


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Old 6th March 2008, 04:26 PM   #23
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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At one point in my life I had a custom home remodeling business with my cousin. Between the two of us, there wasn't much we couldn't do and do it well.

We did a lot of Ceramic tile (and I have the knees and back to prove it) and many other specialties. Maybe I should use my wet saw to cut larger PCBs.

Another thought, when we did siding work, there was a siding product called Nailite. It was a fiberglass/plastic siding that emulates hand split shakes. Snips were out of the question. Circular saws with panel blades worked marginally in warm weather and forget it in the cold...shatter!

Then we reversed the blade and it cut slowly like refrigerated butter! No shattering, chipping, losing control of the material or saw, etc. We were even able to use larger toothed carbide blades when on backwards.

Maybe this is applicable to PCBs as well? Maybe this is the answer to the bandsaw too!

Regards//Keith
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Old 6th March 2008, 05:48 PM   #24
gmikol is offline gmikol  United States
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No need to mount a saw blade backwards...I would imagine that any blade with a 0 or negative hook angle will probably work. Like the ones for cutting Corian or similar materials, I would guess.

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Old 6th March 2008, 06:34 PM   #25
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I just gave the reversed band saw blade a shot. Comparing a couple of cuts with the blade normal and backwards, here are the results. The blade has a low hook angle and 14TPI.

Normal
Cut quickly, leaving many shreds of copper on the exit side of material.
Difficult to control a straight line.

Backwards
Cut much more slowly, accompanied by increased smell due to increased heat.
Fewer shreds of copper on exit side, but still too many to consider a finished cut.
Easier to control a straight line.

Conclusion
I will not bother to change the blade around when I cut PCB material.

I always finish my cuts with a belt or disc sander, mounted right next to the band saw.
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Old 6th March 2008, 06:47 PM   #26
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Well thank you GTF.

Looks like I am sticking with the knife/hacksaw/beltsander routine.

But tell the truth, the burning fiberglass smelled good, didn't it? Kinda like the smell of napalm in the morning! LOL

This makes sense, the "Nailite" was nowhere near as dense and had no copper. We also hid the cut edge with a self trimming edging called J-Channel. This kind of precision wasn't required.

Regards//Keith
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Old 6th March 2008, 06:51 PM   #27
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This all sounds like far too much agro. I just score both sides, put the board in the bench vice to the line, and snap the spare off. A little sandpaper, and Robert is your mother's brother.
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Old 6th March 2008, 07:04 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by pinkmouse
and Robert is your mother's brother.
now that is creepy, how did you know that?

Burning fiberglass gives me a headache and bad memories of wrecked race cars.
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Old 6th March 2008, 07:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by gtforme00
now that is creepy, how did you know that?
I'm a moderator, we know everything...
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Old 6th March 2008, 07:50 PM   #30
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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Something to keep in mind is the orientation of boards... the side that gets cut first should be the top, and the break away side should be the copper... side. this keeps the board from threading away... so imagine you were using a table saw, you would push the board through coper side to the bottom...

Also with my metal shears there is a diffirence in the boards depending on which side faced up while cutting....
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