Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is a very small PCB that I made with the hacked Laminator (just testing and not putting much effort in to make it look good) and the tracks are very small (11 mil or 0.3mm). There is one place where the tracks are touching but by looking at my PCB program the track clearance was set for 2mil and that is way too small.
PCB's up to 1.6mm will go through. Go here to see how to make crisp good looking PCB's with the toner transfer method using this laminator.
Unfortunately I could only find one component at Digikey and one at Mouser but you might have more luck finding both at one place on the web. The thermal fuse was $0.99 and the Thermostat $4.50. The thermal fuse is there for a final protection before the unit catches fire. You can just take the fuse out and connect (jump) the two wires but like PodeCoet said "don't forget to send me photos when it catches fire"

I've been making PCB's for years and I had different ways of making them, including using a router, like my video below. My router's PCB's came out really good but it took hours of setting the machine up and then watched it in slow motion cut the tracks. The circuits is actually called isolated circuits and it makes it very difficult to solder small surface mount parts. One little drop of solder falling between the isolated track underneath a component and it takes hours of finding it. I was looking around on the internet and found an interesting web site that uses the Toner Transfer Method and a hacked Laminator to make really good looking boards. You can find PodeCoet's hacked Laminator here. He was using an Australian laminator and added a resistor in series with an electronic temperature control to make the laminator warmer. I looked around and found a GBC Personel laminator at Digikey for $69 + tax and shipping(not converted). Way too expensive for me! I found the same one on E-bay for $24, no tax and free shipping and converted it to a warmer 338F temperature for a couple of bucks more. Look at the photos above how to hack a US laminator and PodeCoet's site for more information. CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO SEE A FULL SIZE PHOTO


  1. Almost the same way i did...with a laminator, but mine didn't had that board with electronic regulator... I removed thermal fuse(150'C) and "thermal regulator" (a small brown cilinder which controls the temperature-a bimetallic strip),then i rewinded the heating resistance(600W)-with the original resistance max temperature was 150'C-and i built a simple triac power regulator to control the temperature.The melting temperature for toner is greater then 180'C, but i got good result with 200-210'C. I had to build another side support from an aluminium angle, because the original was from plastic and had melted.

  2. thank you very much for teaching me step by step.
    This page has good information

  3. hey buddy,this is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.


Your comments will be reviewed before being posted to keep spam out. Please add your name to your comment.