Today 12:37
Forum: Proton Plus Compiler v3
Starter: Henk57
Views: 0
Replies: 0
Today 10:51
Forum: Proton 24
Starter: nhadzid
Views: 0
Replies: 0
Yesterday 22:52
Forum: WIKI Discussion
Starter: AlbertoFS
Views: 0
Replies: 10
Go to last post By: joesaliba
Yesterday 15:48
Forum: Absolute Beginners Section
Starter: amod
Views: 0
Replies: 21
Yesterday 14:59
Forum: Website / Forum Issues
Starter: hadv215
Views: 0
Replies: 8
Go to last post By: charliecoultas
Yesterday 14:23
Forum: The Lounge
Starter: charliecoultas
Views: 0
Replies: 7
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: PCB Stencils33 days old

  1. #1
    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    801
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 21
    Given: 14
    Total Downloaded
    465.13 MB

    0 Not allowed!

    Default PCB Stencils

    I've made a lot of PCB's but never used stencils so thought I would give them a try.

    I usually use a syringe to dispense the solder paste but it's very tedious and not very precise.

    I never do more than a few boards so a stencil is not really necessary but I just fancied having a go' it may even take longer but probably won't hurt my thumb as much!

    One thing that has stopped me in the past is the price of them, when you can pay around 10 for a bundle of boards the price of a stencil seems expensive.

    I've just ordered some boards at PCBWay ($14 for 10) and adding a stencil to the order was going to take the price to around $50!

    Not wanting to give up I found a couple in the UK:

    http://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/pcb-stencil 12 inc shipping

    https://www.smtstencil.co.uk/secure/ 15 inc shipping

    Does anyone have any recommendations for cheap stencils? Has anyone tried any of the above?

  2. #2
    Member Henk57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    302
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 23
    Given: 28
    Total Downloaded
    192.60 MB

    0 Not allowed!

    Default Re: PCB Stencils

    My thoughts.

    I use sometimes also solder paste, if it is drying up a bit bit, if so, then I use a tiny drop of (iso)alcohol and solder flux,
    and mix them together with a wooden toothpick
    Then I use another toothpick and place solderpaste on the smd-pad(s) accurate, and if you have try it a little bit then you have your own practice.
    Then it is doable and cheap.

    But there are also Solder Dispencer, I have one, but in test, it was already broken, 2 IC's defect and power Fet's.
    I draw a handmade sketch and I see the culprit in the powersupply ciruit (and fix it also).
    I could repair the Dispencer, but after all the toothpick method was more handy (for me)!

    Henk.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    801
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 21
    Given: 14
    Total Downloaded
    465.13 MB

    0 Not allowed!

    Default Re: PCB Stencils

    Yes my solder paste is pretty old! I use the same method, thin it down usually just with flux.

    When I first got the paste I kept it in the fridge sealed in a bag but now just have it on the bench, despite being well past it's sell by date (it's probably over five years old!) it still solders just fine.

    I had thought about a dispenser and even started making one once, what is it like to use when it did work?

  4. #4
    Member Henk57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    302
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 23
    Given: 28
    Total Downloaded
    192.60 MB

    0 Not allowed!

    Default Re: PCB Stencils

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJA View Post
    Yes my solder paste is pretty old! I use the same method, thin it down usually just with flux.
    ....what is it like to use when it did work?
    Look at youtube to see some vid's while hobbyist working with Dispencer.
    I'd like to work with toothpick's, but you know it's me.

    Henk.

  5. #5
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    7,942
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 67
    Given: 93
    Total Downloaded
    884.13 MB

    0 Not allowed!

    Default Re: PCB Stencils

    My 2 cents worth

    For SMD that is not just simple SMT and it's a one off eg has legs that stick out then a solder iron is great. If it has hidden legs or is very fine pitch then a solder mask is great. They are simple to use and work well. Combine it with a toaster oven and you can do pretty good work.

    PCBway etc will not ship you a little bit of plastic as a solder mask. It's a great big aluminium framed A3 sheet of stainless steel. It's designed for production manufacturing. It's useless for the home user.

    I'm not sure on Hobbytronics but have used smtstencils. First order took around a week. I had to threaten a refund from Paypal before they shipped my last order. So I cannot recommend them.

    With the plastic sheet using a stencils is easy. Put down 2 pieces of PCB to keep registration then line up the mask and stick with tape down on one side. Flip it up to remove the PCB once paste has been laid down.
    Tim

  6. #6
    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    801
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 21
    Given: 14
    Total Downloaded
    465.13 MB

    0 Not allowed!

    Default Re: PCB Stencils

    In the end I decided against trying a stencil, this time.

    When I looked at the spec for the stencils I had several components with a finer pitch, I was going to alter the dxf file but it just seemed easier to do things my usual way.

    I did however order a paste dispenser on Ali Express which came very quickly, it is not great quality but works reasonably well and is quicker and less painful on my thumb than a syringe. The nice thing is I get a spare hand to move the board around under the microscope as I go which speeds things up and in the end is probably quicker than a stencil for doing a single board at a time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    801
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 21
    Given: 14
    Total Downloaded
    465.13 MB

    0 Not allowed!

    Default Re: PCB Stencils










Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. My New PCB
    By SimonJA in forum PCB Production
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 6th May 2018, 19:23
  2. www.real-pcb.com, PCB & stencil supplier
    By Lynn in forum Wanted and For Sale
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29th May 2015, 17:00
  3. cheap solder stencils
    By cgriffin in forum Printed Circuit Construction
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10th December 2008, 21:44
  4. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 8th December 2008, 14:53

Members who have read this thread : 40

Actions :  (Set Date)

You do not have permission to view the list of names.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts