Author Topic: PCB etching with vinegar  (Read 1405 times)

RobA

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PCB etching with vinegar
« on: June 09, 2013, 02:14:29 PM »
Anyone here ever try this method?

http://quinndunki.com/blondihacks/?p=835

The part where she talks about etching is way down the page in "Part V."
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atreidesheir

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 05:27:47 PM »
Tried it.   very very slow.
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RobA

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 08:19:37 PM »
I figured it would be pretty slow. I'm just wondering how well it works, especially with a toner transfer method. It could be a safer way to do projects with kids (as long as no one eats the waste byproducts I'm guessing). So, it might be worth the extra time in some cases. Besides that, it's hard to beat the cheapness of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
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gordo

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 08:47:51 PM »
It is cheap, but as noted it's very slow.  You may find you need to keep adding a bit of salt and keep the solution moving.  Keep it covered, as the fumes are still caustic but it's a lot less brute force than ferric chloride.  The one advantage is that the solution is clear (well actually a pretty blue green) so you can monitor what's going on.

That said you can work ferric quite well by mixing with hot water and for disposal use a very large container and add baking soda.  It goes nuts and expands like a mother but forms a relatively inert solid you can toss in the garbage.
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RobA

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 09:14:25 PM »
I use Sodium persulfate for the etching I do. It is a bit slow, but if I keep it warm it goes pretty fast. It's clear too, so that's nice. The cleanup is dead easy. I've got enough of it to last the rest of my life probably. The issue with using it with kids is that the sodium persulfate is an irritant.

I think I'll have to give the vinegar a shot just for the fun of it.
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atreidesheir

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 10:48:50 AM »
I want this to be a smashing success.
keep us posted.
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RobA

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 11:27:34 AM »
I'll have to try it out on a couple of boards before I test the patience of 10 year olds. I'll let you know how it goes when I do get a chance to do it.
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rullywowr

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 09:04:15 AM »
I think anything that eats away solid copper is going to be hazardous to children (and humans) in one way or another (except for maybe a cnc with a mill bit). 

I have had great luck with h2o2 (hydrogen peroxide) and h2so4 (muriatic acid) for my etching needs.

With proper safety equipment (goggles, gloves, even a Tyvek suit) and a demonstration on how to handle the materials this may be a good opportunity to teach them the dangers in a safe manner.  Of course, in my high school many years ago we still had idiots etching their arms with nitric acid so YMMV.



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Valid

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2013, 05:54:14 AM »
V.

Valid

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2013, 07:24:29 AM »
My toddler stole the phone. Won't happen again:)

croquet hoop

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2013, 08:12:47 AM »
These are your first two posts here, so I guess a welcome is in order!


RobA

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2013, 08:18:02 AM »
Well, at least they ended up in the thread where we were discussing kid safe electronics  :).

BTW, I do think that the vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and salt method will be pretty safe for kids. After all, you can put them all in your mouth with no harm in these concentrations (even as recommended usage). Although, you would have to be a bit careful with the waste byproduct as it's a bit toxic. It is a common item in kids chemistry sets though.
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neve1272

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2013, 06:06:24 PM »
i did this and worked great stuff stopped working after 15 min...
made another batch  and finished up.....too bad i've no way to drill the board though :(

i used the laser printer and magazine paper worked like a charm

i have to thank the OP for posting ....i would never have been brave enough to try if not for this thread
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RobA

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2013, 12:32:05 AM »
Cool! I'm glad to hear that it worked. I really do have to try this out now.

There are easier ways to do it, and I'm sure you can get better advice around here on drilling methods, but I actually drill my boards with a small hand crank drill. It takes some time, but if you are looking for a new way to meditate ...
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atreidesheir

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Re: PCB etching with vinegar
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2013, 11:37:07 AM »
I tried this during the Xmas holiday 2012.  It took @ an hour to get a good result.  I will stick with etchant solution.  I add baking soda to neutralize it and dispose with in chemical disposal.
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