Introduction: No Etch Circuit Board Technique

Picture of No Etch Circuit Board Technique

This is a method I use to make power circuits.

Problem: How to connect a heavy wire to small component leads?

Solution: Flatten solid wire and drill through it.

I first used this technique in a project I have posted to this site previously, but I did not elaborate on it then. This whole article is about the method I am doing. The introductory picture shows the top of the board I will be using this method with. What interests us is what is going on underneath though. We'll get to that shortly.

Step 1: Shaping and Flattening

Picture of Shaping and Flattening

In this image we can see I have already bent a piece of thick wire and flattened it where I need to drill through it.

Step 2: Marking Wire

Picture of Marking Wire

Here I have used a felt tip marker to mark where I want to work on the wire. Look carefully for blue marker marks on the wire.

Step 3: Flattening Wire

Picture of Flattening Wire

Here we can see how I am flattening out the wire. I am using an anvil, and a small hammer with a flat face on it. Note that I am not using a large hammer, this is delicate work.

Step 4: Fitting Wire

Picture of Fitting Wire

My piece of wire hardly looks like a piece of wire any longer. Now it more resembles a small flat bar. Try to form the wire while it is still round, because the wire becomes more difficult to bend after it has been hammered flat.

Step 5: Aligning Conductor

Picture of Aligning Conductor

Here we see the conductor aligned over the leads the conductor needs to attach to. I'm not calling it a piece of wire anymore because it really isn't.

Step 6: Marking Conductor to Drill

Picture of Marking Conductor to Drill

Again I am marking where I wish to work on my material. In this case where I want to drill my holes. Try to line things up well here so it will be easy to fit the workpiece onto the project.

Step 7: Centerpunching to Drill

Picture of Centerpunching to Drill

I have brought my conductor back to the anvil in order to centerpunch it so I can drill it out.

Step 8: Drilling Conductor

Picture of Drilling Conductor

Here I am drilling holes in my conductor so I can put my component leads through it.

Step 9: Fitting the Conductor to the Project

Picture of Fitting the Conductor to the Project

Now I have to put the conductor on the board, on the leads it needs to attach to, in order to solder it. I took this photograph when I test fit the conductor. It fits.

Step 10: Solder Conductor

Picture of Solder Conductor

All that remains to do now is simply to solder the leads to the conductor. I also trimmed the excess on the end before doing this too.

Comments

Kaljakaaleppi (author)2015-03-09

Does the wire stretch much when you flatten it? One way to use a technique like this is to save on cost as the surface to volume ratio increases. Meaning there could be less heat in high amperage situations. Copper is expensive and for example if you build a spot wedler or something the heat is an problem. Maybe needs a few calculations, shall do at some point when I need this idea!

BeachsideHank (author)2014-08-06

This idea has merit.

Lots of it in fact.

A very clever way to employ bits and bobs of material that
otherwise remains in orbit around the constellation "Junque Box II"
in the workshop nebula. I've been thinking along the lines of fully de-
laminating the copper traces from old circuit boards to reuse the high quality
G10 types, and the flexibility issue may be solved by annealing the copper
during routing fabrication. This is neither a time nor money saver, but offbeat
enough to put on my bucket list, thanks for the inspiration.

pfred2 (author)BeachsideHank2014-08-07

Thanks. Making this was a bit trickier than just soldering jumper wires, but I like the finished effect. I think it looks pretty neat.

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