I demonstrate how to cut and finish useless, old RAM sticks, but any type of PCB will work. The beauty of the RAM stick is that about a half is good for the business information and they come with a hole cleanly drilled already. This things are great for a key chain and clients are receptive to novelty of the card.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
To continue on safety, there are two dangers you should prepare for as you cut the RAM, or whatever PCB you decide on using. First of all, make sure to use a mask and work in a well ventilated area. The dust from the PCB is not good for your lungs and it does not smell very good. Be especially aware of the PCB dust when you are grinding the rough edges.
The second danger in this project is from your tools. If you are experienced with a hack saw and a rotary tool, you should be just fine, but regardless, these things can harm you, so be careful. When cutting and grinding the PCB's, always wear respiratory and eye protection.
- Old computer chips (I recommend RAM, for size and dimensions)
- Labels or sticker printer paper
- Hack saw
- Rotary tool
- Needle nose pliers
- Face mask
- Safety goggles (not pictured)
- Table vice (not pictured)
- Music (doesn't matte how it gets to your ears; it makes every project more fun)
Step 2: Cutting
Going into the mechanics; the key to making a good cut is to first secure the RAM as close to center notch as possible and second, taking long and even strokes with the hack saw.
You can wrap your PCB in a paper towel if you are afraid that the chip will get scratched by the vice. Use the center notch of the RAM to start your cut. If you are using a different kind of PCB, just measure out your desired dimensions and try to cut straight.
Cutting the RAM does not take too much force, so be gentle and easy with the saw. And let me remind you again, the dust from the PCB is harmful, so wear a mask.
Step 3: Grinding
To get a nice finish, glide the tool head over the rough edges of the RAM. I rounded off the bottom edges, but it is not necessary to do this. Slide your fingers across the newly ground edge and continue until it is satisfactory smooth to the touch. The edge probably will not look very uniform, but it isn't very large, and does not detract too much from the final product.
Let me remind you, PCB dust is nasty, so wear a mask. When grinding, you will produce the most dust, so make sure you are not breathing it in. Also, whenever using a rotary tool, use eye protection. You may encounter a loose resistor or something of the type while you are grinding the RAM, which could potentially become a projectile flying at your eye.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Once done with the business card PCB's, carry some around with you and distribute as necessary.