1. Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.
    Dismiss Notice

DIY Toner Transfer Paper (cheap and easy))

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Rolf, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Rolf

    Rolf Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    655
    Likes:
    8
    Location:
    E. Tennessee, USA
    I have been experimenting for a few days trying to come up with a simple and cheap solution.
    My new method uses ordinary wax paper (think old fashioned sandwich wrap), print on the side that it is curling to-wards. Makes a fantastic print.
    Transfer as usual and let the PCB cool down so that you wont burn yourself. Then soak the wax paper with rubbing alcohol for a minute or so. I just dabbed it on with a small rag, then peal it off slowly. No residue on the PCB at all!
    My first try was close to perfect!
    Material cost next to nothing and all is redly available just about anywhere in the world.

    Enjoy and have fun all you tinkerers.

    Rolf
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
    • Like Like x 2
  2. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes:
    56
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Damn, I just printed out two designs on regular photo paper about an hour ago. I'm going to try out the wax paper instead, but I likely wont get to it until tomorrow morning.

    Thanks.
     
  3. Wp100

    Wp100 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    958
    Likes:
    43
    Location:
    England
    Hi,

    That sounds good, will have to give it a try instead of the magazine paper which can vary unless you keep the same mag all the time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 1997
    Messages:
    -
    Likes:
    0


     
  5. MrDEB

    MrDEB Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,364
    Likes:
    22

    are you using laser or inkjet??

    if using inkjet the ink will disolve in the etching solution.
    sounds like a novel idea with the wax paper
     
  6. mneary

    mneary New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes:
    67
    Location:
    California USA
    The wax paper doesn't leave deposits on the printer drum or fuser and make ghosts on subsequent documents?

    [edit] I can see how wax paper can make two sided registration a lot easier. [/edit]
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  7. kchriste

    kchriste New Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,677
    Likes:
    47
    Location:
    Victoria BC, Canada
    Is this the brown waxed paper, which I think is waxed on one side only, or the regular translucent stuff which I believe is waxed on both sides?
    ditto on mneary's question. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  8. Rolf

    Rolf Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    655
    Likes:
    8
    Location:
    E. Tennessee, USA
    It is not the brown but what we would call translucent.
    I have not noticed any ill effects on my regular papers print quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  9. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    9,404
    Likes:
    227
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA USA
    It sounds like you are on to something.

    Does the alcohol dissolve the wax ?

    It may work with just the wax paper brand you are using or a group of brands.
     
  10. MrDEB

    MrDEB Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,364
    Likes:
    22
    you remove the wax before etching

    I assume.
    But does the inkjet ink disolve or are you using a laser printer??
    I am going to have to try this
     
  11. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    9,404
    Likes:
    227
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA USA
    You must use a laser printer to do toner transfer.

     
  12. Rolf

    Rolf Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    655
    Likes:
    8
    Location:
    E. Tennessee, USA
    "It sounds like you are on to something."
    I hope so.

    "Does the alcohol dissolve the wax ?"
    It must because it doesn't work with plain water, hot or cold. I meant to try 90 prof but forgot to look at the label. I knew that alcohol doesn't dissolve the toner.

    "It may work with just the wax paper brand you are using or a group of brands."
    I am hoping others will try so we can find out.
     
  13. kchriste

    kchriste New Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,677
    Likes:
    47
    Location:
    Victoria BC, Canada
    I would be a little concerned about the wax melting when it goes though the printer since wax typically melts at 50C where as the fuser temp can go as high as 200C. I'll see if anyone else tries it first. ;)
    What brand of wax paper and laser printer are you using?
     
  14. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    9,404
    Likes:
    227
    Location:
    OKLAHOMA USA
    There are many types of waxes.

    IIRC the coating used on wax paper is not wax and it may vary with who made the paper.
     
  15. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes:
    56
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I couldn't find my wax paper, so I tried Parchment Paper, which has a silicon coating. I tried two boards. One I let cool after ironing and the paper peeled off leaving all sorts of spots. Second one I peeled off while it was still warm and it seemed to work fine, but when I went to use a marker to touch up and empty edge, I found the toner wasn't really stuck to the board well.

    So Parchment Paper is a fail.

    I managed to find my wax paper. I've printed off a design. I'm going to clean off the old board and try to iron it on. It goes through the printer without any issues and leaves a clean print on the wax paper.
     
  16. Rolf

    Rolf Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    655
    Likes:
    8
    Location:
    E. Tennessee, USA
    This evening I tried some freezer paper, it seems to have some kind of plastic coating on one side only. I got a partial transfer that looks sharper than the ones from the wax paper. Have not completely solved the transfer or the paper removal yet. But it looks promising.
    Will try to find some time over the week end to do some more tests.

    By the way, the rubbing alcohol I used was 50% alcohol.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  17. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes:
    56
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    No, it didn't work for me. Back to my old picture paper.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Rolf

    Rolf Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    655
    Likes:
    8
    Location:
    E. Tennessee, USA
    What was the issue, it is hard to tell from the picture. :-(
     
  19. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes:
    56
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I thought it was pretty clear in the picture. There are areas with toner that lifted. At the top near my finger and the traces close to the single pin header. Some of the annular rings on the double row header are way too thin.

    I'm not certain what the alcohol is supposed to do, but it doesn't seem to do anything special for me. I'm thinking the wax paper may be different.
     
  20. be80be

    be80be Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,795
    Likes:
    134
    Location:
    morristown,tn
    ONLINE
    Maybe its the toner I have a old hp1310 going for the gold lol
     
  21. mneary

    mneary New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes:
    67
    Location:
    California USA
    I never got the ironing to work well, so I was addicted to the photo method till this thread. I'm using an HP LJ4P with an HP 92274A (official) cartridge. My laminator is a Gordon 92499. I use 7 to 10 passes. The board gets *very* hot, of course.

    I tried the super-thin glossy Wednesday supermarket and restaurant ads. Doesn't matter if there's any ink on them, so I aim for a blank spot so I can inspect better. Paper release is almost 100% within a minute, with lukewarm water and light rubbing. Within minutes, I was making perfect boards with 0.012" traces.

    I've just started with wax paper, but the parameters seem different. I'm having trouble in the printer, it wants to wrinkle and the toner density on the wax isn't as good. If I learn anything more, I'llpost all that I know.
     

Share This Page