Learning to Solder & Mill a PCB

the first injury...

When I was about ten years old, I sat with my father and took apart a computer. A classic engineer, he sat with me discussing the cabilities of capacitors, resistors, diodes. We took apart circuit boards and talked about how they were manufactured. So, when I approached the PCB project, I realized that in the back of my mind I had some subconscious understanding of the parts and felt comfortable piecing it together. Milling, however, was a first.

It took me two tries to mill the board.... the bit on the milling machine fell out because it was not completely tightened on both sides. However, I learned my lesson and reconfigured the mill for a second time. However, once I was done, I cut a chunk out of my finger trying to peel off the copper plated poxy. Ouch!

While the mill was milling away, I multi-tasked by collecting my pieces. Never have I really known the power of double sided tape until this moment. Big thanks to Chris Saulnier for letting me in on this little secret.

And then I began to solder. Only once have I don this before, and it was a craft project soldering a glass window together. This was a bit harder. And much smaller. Thanks to Chris showing us some tricks of the trade, I was able to master the transfer of solder onto the extremely tiny copper piece. Here's the work in progress:

And finanlly, the end result!