# The scoop on PCB layout software

#### JonSea

##### Well-Known Member
It's humorous. People complain that they don't want 10 boards even when the price is virtually nothing.

Let's say you use PCBExpress (EXPRESS PCB? I can never keep the name straight). You can get 3 boards of a fixed size, no solder mask, silkscreen on obey side only for $67. Not too many years ago, that was the cheapest game in town. Now you can get 10 boards with silkscreen and solder mask on both sides, custom routed to any space you want for$10 - \$15. If you opt for DHL shipping, you can have those 10 boards in your hands in a week for less than half the cost of 3 stripper boards. It's a fantastic age we live in.

Many of the Chinese fans have started offering 5 board deals, usually for the same price as 10 boards. The savings is on shipping cost.

I design few boards that I ever just use one of. I try to add features that will make it useful for other applications...add connector locations to make Port pins available for other applications. Or if you have room, add footprints for some part you've wanted to experiment with. Or even offer the board to other users here - if you have a particular need, others may too.

#### throbscottle

##### Well-Known Member
Okay okay!
But I enjoy the process, I like overcoming the challenges! For me it's not just about building something that works, it's a whole creative process and I want to create as much of it as I can and learn to understand as much of the process as I reasonably can. It used to be about cost, but that's not so much of an issue now, and still I want to do things the hard way because that's what I like doing. Call me crazy...

#### large_ghostman

##### Well-Known Member
I like the pain of making my own, yes these days it costs you more to make your own, but i just like doing it.
I think because it took so long to master making my own boards, i am kind of reluctant to give it up. having said that, if its complicated or has alot of holes.........Then i do go the Chinese route

#### throbscottle

##### Well-Known Member
I can really recommend using dry pcb film. It's as much better than toner transfer as toner transfer is better than using a sharpie! I made a nice little drilling machine (the automated one is on hold because it's feedback is crap) and use tungsten carbide bits (cheapo set) so lots of holes isn't a problem. I quite enjoy being able to drill lots of different sized holes...

#### spec

##### Well-Known Member
...I made a nice little drilling machine (the automated one is on hold because it's feedback is crap) and use tungsten carbide bits (cheapo set) ...
Any pictures TC?

spec

#### throbscottle

##### Well-Known Member
Any pictures TC?
spec
I took photo's as I went whilst making it, intending to write an Instructable, but didn't get round to doing so. I thought I had a picture of it in it's final form which I posted in another thread quite a long whiles ago, but can't find it. So here's the last couple of pictures showing it as nearly complete, but it doesn't have power connectors or chuck yet. I also added a microswitch to turn the motor on when the handle is pulled down, and off again when it goes up.

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#### spec

##### Well-Known Member
I took photo's as I went whilst making it, intending to write an Instructable, but didn't get round to doing so. I thought I had a picture of it in it's final form which I posted in another thread quite a long whiles ago, but can't find it. So here's the last couple of pictures showing it as nearly complete, but it doesn't have power connectors or chuck yet. I also added a microswitch to turn the motor on when the handle is pulled down, and off again when it goes up.
Looks pretty solid.

I tried to work out a simple drill press for Willen in Nepal to make- your design looks like just the ticket.

spec

#### throbscottle

##### Well-Known Member
These are most of the pictures I took. You get a fairly good idea how it's built.
Notes:
• I left the back part of the bracket with rectangular(ish) wings then cut them triangular after folding so I'd get the corners right.
• There is a spring under the sliding block on each post. Mine came out of cheap speed clamps that broke.
• The procedure for drilling the vertical holes was: drill one bottom piece and the sliding block, put a post in the hole to hold them together, drill the other hole, fasten the block down to the base and use it as a guide to drill through the bottom block.
• The pin on which the operating lever hinges is just a long wood-screw. I threaded a bit of aluminium tube onto it, which is now fixed into the lever
• I experimented with making sleeves out of sheet copper to go inside the holes in the sliding block, but it was more trouble than it was worth. so it's just plain wood sliding up and down the steel.

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#### Mosaic

##### Well-Known Member
Quite an effort there.
Did u use a hardwood and grease the slides?