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Dec 26, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Best toner transfer paper? Certainly the cheapest!

I had to program some PICs for IR receivers and needed an adapter. I found out the the backing paper from laser labels is ideal from the toner transfer method. It has some sort of wax coating. The laser will print on it OK but the printed parts shouldn't be touched as the toner can smear. Place on clean copper and press down with a hot iron (cotton setting). Don't press too hard as this can cause the toner to smear. Let it cool for 30 seconds then peel off the paper. If you got the pressure and temp right no toner will be left on the backing paper. Even very thin traces are possible. The pads on the adapter for 10Fxxx PICs are only 0.5x0.5mm. The etched adapter is for 16F630 and has 0.65mm pad spacing.

I use a lot of laser labels for Indoor Flyer so the backing paper is really a waste product that I now have a good use for. Forget Press'n'peel - get some laser labels instead.

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Dec 26, 2006, 10:48 PM
Good info, Michael !
I've been using Staples photo paper forever, works the best for the folks who don't have access to laser labels or whose wife isn't an office manager.
For the people in the US , who wants the cheapest 0.4 mm copper clad (PCB), very good quality 5x12 inches sheet for $1, go here :

A tip: you can use myriatic acid instead of ferric chloride for etching. Mix 1 part of Muriatic Acid (the common kind that's sold in hardware stores, about $1.5 for a bottle) to 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide (the common 3% kind that's sold in dollar stores & drugstores), works faster than Ferric Chloride and doesn't require constant moving of the liquid.
Dec 26, 2006, 11:30 PM
Plus you never have to throw away the HCl - H2O2 mix. Just keep using it and adding more H202 and it will eventually turn in to Cuperic Chloride and etch for ever and ever with a little maintenance.

After it has enough copper content in it all you ever have to do is occasionally add water or acid to keep the SG and pH correct. Never throw it out. Never buy any more H2O2. Just bubble air through it to regenerate it.

Only advantage FeCl3 has is that it does slightly better resolution. Though when your dealing with huge pads like 0.5mm x 0.5mm the resolution loss is prob not an issue

Mutratic acid = HCl (hydrochloric acid)
Using 20-30% H2O2 from the hydroponic shop for top-ups will add less water.
0.5mm = 20thou in imperial. Cupperic Chloride is good enough for 6 to 8thou features.
Dec 27, 2006, 03:41 AM
resistance is futile!
Tanis's Avatar


Hi Michael,

the paper-tip is very useful, cause since my daughter is born, i don't like to have the chemicals needed for fototransfer in the house. Thank you! Now i'd like to comment your programming-adapter: I've tried a PCB for programming SO8 Pics too (i had to programm ~ 80 chips), but the result was very poor! Now i've build an Adapter from a SMD PLL Socket and it works like a charm! Here is a Picture of it (It looks a little bit messie, but for me it's ok! ):

best regards

--- Tanis ---
Dec 27, 2006, 12:30 PM
WOW, I've been a ham operator for 45 years and have etched a number of boards for things I built. But you guys have come up with methods that put my efforts to shame, I never expected to find this kind of info on a modeling forum. Thnx guys this should help my next project go much easier.

------------------73 Ron
Dec 27, 2006, 01:18 PM
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You can pick up 100 sheets of labels on Ebay for under 10 bucks. Still cheaper than photo paper or press'n'peel I think.

I normally etch with sodium persulfate.

Tanis, I made something similar for programming 12C509 PICs some time ago. Junk box doesn't contain anything with 0.65mm or 0.95mm pitch though and for the few PICs I have to program the PCB works OK. Very low tech - I used a clothes peg to hold the PIC in place.

Jan 22, 2007, 12:32 PM
Micro Crazy Man
epicdoom's Avatar
Tried this method with laser label backing Works perfectly thanx Michael that was a great find. It beats the poo outa scrubbing the paper off when using photo paper. I Printed onto the label backing ironed it onto the PCB took about 2 min and then just peeled the backin off. Worked like a charm.


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