Tinning PCB and drilling holes

PCB, Projects

Tinning PCB is a very important thing to do. It helps prevent the copper traces from corroding, it helps with soldering components in the future, and if you have to drill your own holes, it helps by acting as a guide for the drill bit.

Materials needed

  • Solder Iron
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Flux remover or alcohol wipes
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits 1/32″
  • Components

To start, I usually cover all the traces with flux. This is not needed but makes the solder flow a lot better. I have my solder iron set to roughly 600 to 630 degrees Fahrenheit. I do not apply any pressure when soldering, this can cause the glue on the copper to release and you will loose your trace. Tinning should be only enough solder to cover the copper, it should not be globs and globs of solder. When I am finished with the tinning, I get some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and wipe off all the excess flux.

Now I am done with tinning the board. I get out my trusty drill and start drilling the holes. I have broken many bits so I don’t use any pressure other than the weight from the drill.

Tinning PCB

Now that everything has been tinned and drill. I start to put on the components. The key here is to have the iron set to 600 to 630 degrees Fahrenheit again. Do not keep the iron on the leads of the components for more than 10 seconds because heat can damage the board and the component. Heat can also ruin the solder joint. What I try to do is put on the smallest component first and finish with the largest.


Tinning PCB


This is my completed board. Click here to see the How I etched my PCB

*Note: If you decide to attempt to recreate any of these blogs, you do so at your own risk. Be sure to read all MSDS information when working with chemicals.

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