first i want to say i'm sorry about the quality of some of the pictures
There are many ways to etch your PCBs from toner transfer to using a sharpie. I found this method by accident one day while I was etching a board. I hope it is nice enough to win the UP! Contest, though I may also enter it in a few others :)
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
Copper Clad board
hacksaw blade to cut the board
An etching container
Vinyl tape and
A razor knife.
I personally use a glass peanut jar since most of my boards are small enough to fit in it and the jar holds approx. 32 oz of fluid.
Step 2: Trim the board
First using a hacksaw blade and the razor I cut a section off my board. Use the razor to score first I normally use the back side of the hacksaw blade as a straight edge. Then going slowly I saw thorough the board using the scored line to guide me.
Step 3: Prep the board
Next place the vinyl tape over the board. You can sometimes get scraps of vinyl tape from sign shops, I got mine from a place I used to work the used it to mark walk zones on the floors. I haven’t tried it yet but Electrical tape is vinyl and easily accessible and its usually around 50 cents a roll.
Step 4: Design
After covering the board I use a marker to draw where I want the traces to stay. Using the razor knife and a careful hand trim around the markings you made, I would suggest using a straightedge to keep the lines sharp. I just did a little design here to use as a book mark its the Instruct-o-bot a few lines and a stylized design of my initials J C W
Step 5: Weeding
After scoring the tape carefully peel the areas that you want etched off away. If any of the traces shifted carefully reposition them in the correct area. Using your thumb firmly press all the remaining tape to the surface of the board.