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The Original Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder
Designed and created by Bruce Drummond.
Copyright © 2011 Novel Solutions, Bruce Drummond. All Rights Reserved.

FIG. 1

A Few Of The Features:
  • Accepts a 3" X 4" board size or less ("CUSTOM" for slightly larger)
  • Weighs approximately 3 pounds
  • 18" tall with carrying handle and rubber feet
  • 7 5/32" diameter not incuding thumbscrews or power cords
  • Capable of double exposure in a single time frame
  • Capable of UV and non-UV incandescent exposures
  • Quick and easy to assemble, inexpensive to repair
  • Approximate Maximum Cost: $160.00 USD
    Approximate Project Time: 3 Hours


    ***NOTICE***
    The content of this web page/site is considered proprietary information. Basically you have the permission Bruce Drummond/Novel Solutions to distribute and share the information, content, photographs, etc... of this web page, just as long as you do not do it on the internet, or make a profit from it. Permitted use of this information is as follows:

  • You may distribute FIG. 1 and/or Fig.9 on the internet without restriction, but copying and/or distribution of any other photographs on this web page for internet distribution is not permitted. Additionally, you may not copy and/or distribute any other photographs on this web site without prior written permission.
  • You may distribute a general description on the internet, but the distribution of construction and/or instruction details on the internet is not permitted.
  • Reproductions of this article for internet distribution is strictly forbidden.
  • You may distribute this article in digital or paper form without restriction, providing that you are not distributing it on the internet or distributing it in relationship with the selling of any products or commercial activity. In other words, an electronics teacher may copy, print, and distribute this article to all his students, providing there is no profit made from the sale of parts.
  • Copyright infringement, including derivative works, on the internet will not be tolerated.
  • If you want to share this information on the internet, you may do so by simply providing a link/hyperlink to this web page.

    ***DANGER***
    If you should decide to make either a single or double sided Tin Can Exposure Box / Cylinder as outlined on this page, please keep in mind that you are a building a pair of metallic light fixtures which are capable of carrying electrical current, therefore equipment grounding integrity must be maintained. The Tin Can Exposure Box / Cylinder must only be plugged into a grounded outlet where an actual equipment ground exists, and all fasteners must be mechanically tight to maintain equipment grounding integrity.

    ***DANGER***
    This exposure box/cylinder generates a significant amount of heat, perhaps enough to start a fire, therefore it should never be used unattended and should always be unplugged when not in use.

    ***DANGER***
    Never allow flammable objects to touch or be in the near vicinity of the exposure box/cylinder when in use, otherwise a fire may occur.

    ***DANGER***
    Never look directly at UV (Ultra Violet) lighting, damage to eyesight may occur. When doing UV exposures, always prevent the UV light from escaping the exposure area with some type of shroud or container to avoid accidental eye contact.

    ***DANGER***
  • Fire Hazard - Never use this exposure box unattended!
  • Electrocution Hazard - Always maintain an equipment ground from the service panel to the exposure unit!

    ***LIABILITY DISCLAIMER***
    By following the information presented on this page, you do so at your own risk. If proper safety measures are not introduced and maintained, fire and electrocution hazards will exist. This page is set forth to merely provide an example of an inexpensive exposure box/cylinder, demonstrate a few procedures to reduce the cost of making printed circuit boards, and to explain the use of our exposure plates. Creating an exposure box involves knowledge of electrical wiring practices and all electrical wiring should be performed by a licensed professional.
    Introducing The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder
    What can you do with two empty tin cans? Read on and I will tell you.

    Creating PCBs (printed circuit boards) can be quite complicated, confusing, and expensive, so I have made it my mission to simplify the process, to make it more affordable, and to share what I have learned. Before I start, let's set the record straight. It is not possible to get a superior quality PCB from the hot iron toner transfer method. It may be good enough for some people, but not for me. If you are ready to take the next step in producing a much higher quality PCB, then you have come to the right place and this article may be worth reading. Without a doubt, photo imaging is an excellent method of creating high quality PCBs, and this is the method that I will be discussing. Considering the cost of PCB materials, experimenting with photo imaging can become quite costly. There are many things that can go wrong and destroy valuable PCB materials, such as, over-exposure, under-exposure, improper registration for double sided boards, as well as other possibilities. There are many factors to consider when using the photo imaging method, and some experimentation must be done to obtain a good process for producing high quality PCBs.

    FIG. 2                                                                                 FIG. 3
               VS           
    The exposure box is the main tool for creating PCBs with the photo imaging method. The are many commercial exposures boxes available, but these are very costly. The Do-It-Yourselfer often creates their own exposure box, but this also can be quite complicated, costly, and time consuming. Take for example the first exposure box that I made shown in FIG. 2 above. It is a very solid and useful exposure box for large size boards, but it took approximately a week to design, several days to build, and cost approximately $275. Now for the other facts, it is bulky, heavy, difficult to align for double sided exposures, and it only exposes one side at a time. To overcome these problems and a few more, I decided to design and build a much smaller, double sided exposure box, that would permit consistent quality. The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder is the result of my endeavors.

    The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder is inexpensive and easy to build or repair, it is lightweight, compact, and portable with a carrying handle, it has rubber feet for the entire unit, the exposure plate assembly, and the exposure plate stand, it permits both UV and non-UV incandescent exposures, all moving parts can be strapped down for portability, and it allows quick and easy precise alignment of artwork and PCB material of predetermined board sizes for concurrent double exposures. Once all the parts have been gathered, with the exception of waiting for the paint to dry, the average person should be able to complete this project within approximately three hours. This is the perfect project for the electronics student, hobbyist, or enthusiast. If I were an electronics teacher, I would make it a course requirement for each student to complete one of these, just so that they would have it around for the rest of their life. At the very least, I would build enough of these exposure units to accommodate a classroom of students.

    Please click on the thumbnails below to see various photos and features.



    Maxium PCB Size And PCB Material
    This article and exposure box is dedicated to PCB's having a size of 3 inches by 4 inches or less, which is pretty close to the maximum size circuit board that can be drawn with Cadsofts Eagle Lite version of PCB design software. However, slightly larger custom made plates are available. Additionally, this exposure box/cylinder can be used for both UV and non-UV incandescent bulb exposures.

    For non-UV incandescent bulb exposure, the following boards will be sufficient.
    Datak Positive Acting Premier Board Part# 14-024 (Size: 1/16" X 2" x 4", Copper Wt: 1oz., Single Sided Board)

    Datak Positive Acting Premier Board Part# 14-034 (Size: 1/16" X 3" x 4", Copper Wt: 1oz., Single Sided Board)

    Datak Positive Acting Premier Board Part# 14-234 (Size: 1/16" X 3" x 4", Copper Wt: 1oz., Double Sided Board)
    For UV incandescent bulb exposure, any board with a UV activated film or coating may be used, so there is a much broader selection to choose from.

    Tin Can Exposure Box Safety And Durability
    For this project I will using two 28 oz. cans from Keebler® Export Sodas®. The cans are made of tin and can be easily dented or crushed, however, every attempt will be made to make this project as safe and durable as possible. Appropriate fasteners have been chosen to provide mechanical strength and integrity. Additionally, tin has the ability to conduct electrical current, therefore power to the exposure box should be provided by a three conductor cord set. The plug on the end of the cord should have three prongs, and the exposure box should only be plugged into a three pronged grounded receptacle outlet that is attached to grounded circuitry. It is of the utmost importance to maintain the integrity of the equipment grounding from the power source to the exposure box, otherwise an electrocution hazard will exist. Although it is not absolutely necessary, it might be a good idea to keep the use of this exposure box limited to a ground fault protected circuit. The exposure box will also generate and transfer a significant amount of heat, therefore it is also a good idea to place the exposure box on concrete during use and provide adequate clearance around the perimeter. Always maintain visual eye contact with the exposure box during use and have a fire exstinguisher present, just in case a fire develops. By following the outline above, the procedures that follow, and by gently handling and properly storing the exposure box, it should be reasonably safe and provide many years of use. However, if a tin can or two should get damaged, or anything else for that matter, repairs are easy and inexpensive.

    Hardware Kits And Exposure Plates Available Through This Web Site
    Considering our willingness to share the following information, we prefer that anyone constructing the Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder, would also consider purchasing one of our exposure plate assemblies and/or hardware kits available at the bottom of this web page. The design and construction of the exposure plate assembly or the parts involved will not be discussed in this article. Besides the fact that we want to sell our exposure plate assemblies and hardware kits, it will make your life a whole lot easier to just purchase these items from us prior to assembly. These items are reasonably priced and will save you a good amount of time as compared to shopping for the individual hardware items, cutting the glass, designing the assembly, making the assembly parts, and putting it all together.

    The hardware kits contain everything needed for this project, except the tin housings, the exposure plate assembly, white semi-gloss paint, flat black paint, light bulbs, masking tape, solder, and the optional electrical timer. If you purchase one of our hardware kits and/or exposure plate assemblies, it will include a drilling template for the tin cans, and it makes the drilling process quick and easy. Please note that we do not modify any of our parts, electrical or otherwise. A few parts within the hardware kits will require some simple modifications.
  • We do not paint parts
  • We do not cut cord ends off of power cords
  • We do not modify duplex receptacle outlets
  • We also sell exposure plate assemblies for both UV and non-UV incandescent exposures. The non-UV incandescent exposure plate assemblies contain single strength household glass, whereas the UV incandescent exposure plate assemblies contain Starphire Ultra-Clear glass and initially cost a little more . UV exposures can be made with a non-UV incandescent exposure plate assembly, however it will require a little more exposure time, therefore a UV incandescent exposure plate assembly is recommended and may prove to be more economical. However, please note that the UV incandescent exposure plates have a two week turn around time, due to the scarce availabilty of 1/8" Starphire Ultra-Clear glass. Both types of exposure plate assemblies are specifically made to snuggly adapt a can to can placement, and provide a precise area for aligning PCB artwork and materials. There are currently two sizes of stock exposure plate assemblies available, which are, a plate that fits a 2" x 4" board and a plate that fits a 3" x 4" board. These exposure plate assemblies will accommodate either single or double sided exposures. If you should decide to make one of these exposure box/cylinders, the purchase of an exposure plate assembly will help ensure correct alignment of artwork to the board and have you creating very nice PCBs in a very short period of time. In addition to our stock exposure plates, we also offer custom made exposure plates to fit custom size PCB boards. All custom made exposure plates are designed to fit the exposure plate holder. It should be noted that the exposure plate assembly, the exposure plate, and the exposure plate holder are three completely different items. The exposure plate assembly consists of an exposure plate, an exposure plate holder, an exposure plate stand, and an exposure plate stand strap. If you require a custom made exposure plate, please purchase the custom plate below, and email us the dimensions.

    Parts Required For The Double Sided Exposure Box/Cylinder
    With the exception of the drilling template provided with the hardware kit, all items can be purchased at a local hardware store, automotive supply house, fabric store, and/or on the internet. There are two parts lists provided, one list contains all the items included in our hardware kits, and another list for the items that must be purchased seperately.

    Please note that the following part lists do not contain any items required for making an exposure plate or exposure plate assembly.

    The following part list coincides with the provided instructions and the hardware kits available for this project at the bottom of this web page.
  • 2 - Leviton 3152-8 porcelain lamp sockets
  • 2 - Leviton T5320-W 15A-125V duplex receptacles
  • 2 - 5/16" grommets
  • 2 - Computer power cords
  • 4 - 4 inch cable ties
  • 3 - 1/4-20 X 7/8" coupling nuts
  • 3 - 1/4-20 X 1/2" Screws
  • 3 - 1/4" external tooth lock washers
  • 3 - 3/8" I.D. X 1" vacuum caps
  • 1 - Black metal handle secured with (2) 8-32 screws 4" center to center
  • 2 - 8-32 X 1/2" machine screws
  • 2 - 8-32 X 1/4" machine screws
  • 4 - #8 external tooth lock washers
  • 2 - 8-32 nuts
  • 4 - 6-32 X 1/2" machine screws
  • 8 - #6 external tooth lock washers
  • 8 - 6-32 nuts
  • 4 - 6-32 X 3/8" knurled round thumb screws with shoulder
  • 2 - O-rings
  • 2 - Feet of 1/2" One-Wrap® VELCRO®
  • 1 - Drilling template

  • The following parts are not contained within our hardware kits and must be purchased seperately.
  • 2 - Cans of Keebler® Export Sodas® 28 oz. (readily available on the internet)
  • 2 - Cans of cheap white semi-gloss paint
  • 1 - Can of cheap flat black or semi-gloss paint
  • 1 - Small quantity of laquer thinner
  • 1 - Roll of paper towels
  • 2 - fan or UVA bulbs (60 watt suggested, but you may have to experiment to suit your needs)
  • 1 - GE 545912 7 day digital timer (optional)
  • 1 - Exposure plate assembly (available at the bottom of this web page)
  • 1 - Roll of 3/4" masking tape
  • 1 - Piece of corrugated cardboard (approimately 12" X 12" or more)
  • Preparing The Tin Cans For Assembly


    ***DANGER***
  • Always read the manufacturers instructions prior to the use of power tools.
  • Always wear eye protection when using power tools.
  • Always read the manufacturers instructions prior to the use of any chemicals such as paint, laquer thinner, etc...
  • Use only sharp drills bits for drilling holes.
    1. Start the layout procedure by designating one tin can as the top can, the other as the bottom can.
    2. Take the top can and place it so that the bottom edge of the can is against the template, with the seam of the can being in alignment with the REFERENCE LETTER (A) and the can itself being centered within the largest circle. The location of REFERENCE LETTER (B) should now be marked on the bottom rim of the top can. Using a square, measure up from the bottom of the can at location (B) for a distance of 2 1/8" and mark the spot where this measurement and location (B) intersect. Now drill a 5/16" hole at this intersection.
    3. Take the bottom can and place it so that the bottom edge of the can is against the template, with the seam of the can being in alignment with the REFERENCE LETTER (A) and the can itself being centered within the largest circle. The location of REFERENCE LETTER (C) should now be marked on the bottom rim of the top can. Using a square, measure up from the bottom of the can at location (C) for a distance of 2 1/8" and mark the spot where this measurement and location (C) intersect. Now drill a 1/4" hole at this intersection.
    4. Take the top can and place it so that the top edge of the can is against the template, with the seam of the can being in alignment with the REFERENCE LETTER (A) and the can itself being centered within the largest circle. Mark and drill the locations of REFERENCE LETTERS (D) and (E) within the center of the upper lip of the can with a #25 or a 5/32" drill bit.
    5. Take the bottom can and place it so that the top edge of the can is against the template, with the seam of the can being in alignment with the REFERENCE LETTER (A) and the can itself being centered within the largest circle. Mark and drill the locations of REFERENCE LETTERS (D) and (E) within the center of the upper lip of the can with a #25 or a 5/32" drill bit.
    6. Cut out the template to the size of the second largest circle.
    7. Take the top can and place it so that the top edge of the can is against a work surface. Place the template within the bottom lip of the can and rotate the template until REFERENCE LETTER (F) and the seam of the can are in alignment. With a sharp punch or awl, mark the locations of REFERENCE NUMERALS (1), (2), (3), and (4). The marked locations of REFERENCE NUMERALS (1) and (2) may now be drilled with a #16 or a 3/16" drill bit and the marked locations of REFERENCE NUMERALS (3) and (4) may now be drilled with a #25 or a 5/32" drill bit.
    8. Take the bottom can and place it so that the top edge of the can is against a work surface. Place the template within the bottom lip of the can and rotate the template until REFERENCE LETTER (F) and the seam of the can are in alignment. With a sharp punch or awl, mark the locations of REFERENCE NUMERALS (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7). The marked locations of REFERENCE NUMERALS (3) and (4) may now be drilled with a #25 or a 5/32" drill bit and the marked locations of REFERENCE NUMERALS (5), (6), and (7) may now be drilled with a letter H or a 17/64" drill bit.
    9. Remove any sharp edges or burrs from both cans that may have resulted from the drilling process and vacuum out the inside of both cans to remove all debris.
    10. Wipe down the outside of both cans using paper towels and a small amount of laquer thinner to remove any fingerprints or oily residue.
    11. Place both cans with the top edges of the cans against a work surface and give them both a nice even coat of white semi-gloss paint.
    12. Shove all screws (including the knurled thumb screws, but excluding the 1/4-20 X 1/2" screws and the 8-32 X 1/4 screws) into a piece of corrugated cardboard until the heads are just slightly above the cardboard surface and give these screws a nice even coat of flat black or semi-gloss paint.
    13. After the paint has dried on the cans, being very careful not to cut yourself on any remaining sharp edges, wipe down the inside of both cans using paper towels and a small amount of laquer thinner to remove any fingerprints, oily residue, or paint over-spray.
    Preparing The Brackets Intended For Reducing Heat Transfer And Electrocution Hazards
    After being an electrician for twenty years, I have the deepest respect for fire and electrical safety. To help ensure the safety of the exposure box, it is of the utmost importance to provide an adequate equipment grounding termination point and to provide adequate clearance for the light bulbs from the tin surfaces. To achieve these goals, I am utilizing the support yoke of a grounded duplex receptacle outlet, because it has an integral equipment ground screw, appropriate mounting holes, and it has a hat shape form which is required for raising the light sockets and hence raising the light bulbs. The double sided tin can exposure box will require two of these support yokes and modifications to these receptacle outlets are a follows:

    FIG. 4

    FIG. 4 above shows a new and unmodified Leviton #T5320-W 15A-125V, residential grade, duplex receptacle outlet. Reference #1 generally indicates the support yoke. Reference #2 generally indicates the plaster ears. And reference #3 generally indicates the equipment ground screw. All plaster ears will be removed and the receptacle outlet will be removed from the support yoke.

    FIG. 5

    Referring now to FIG. 5, with the aid of needle nose pliers, a standard hand file, a rotary file, a hammer, a nail set or punch, and a rotary drill (preferably a drill press), the plaster ears were easily removed, and the receptacle was seperated from the supporting yoke. Reference #4 generally indicates the remaining ground screw. The power cord ground will be attached to this screw for grounding purposes. The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder requires two of these brackets.

    FIG. 6                                                               FIG. 7

    Referring now to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 above. With the aid of a screw driver, a nut driver, an 8-32 X 1/2 inch machine screw, a #8 external tooth lock washer, and an 8-32 nut, the lamp socket is firmly and securely attached to the bracket. Please note that the socket mounting bracket goes to the underside of the support mounting bracket to prevent the socket from being able to rotate. The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder requires two of these assemblies.

    Wiring Up The Exposure Lamps
    As I mentioned, all wiring should be performed by a licensed professional. Since I have been an electrician for twenty years, I imagine it is okay to proceed. I began the procedure of wiring the exposure lamps by first putting the 5/16" grommets into the 5/16" holes drilled earlier. The next order of business is to cut off the female ends of the PC power cords and strip off approximately 3-1/2 inches of sheathing thus exposing three individual conductors. Pertaining to the PC power cords supplied with the kits, the conductor colors should be green with a yellow stripe, brown, and blue. A continuity test should be performed on each of the wires to determine the ground and hot/neutral polarity before attaching the wires to the lamp socket. In the United States, pertaining to a three prong grounded outlet (providing it is wired correctly), ground is always wired to the semi-circular portion of the receptacle outlet, and providing that the ground is facing downward, the neutral will always be on the left, and the hot will always be on the right, unless the ground is facing upward, in which case it would be the opposite. Additionally as another indicator of proper polarity, many electrical devices will have a green screw for ground, a nickel plated screw for neutral, and a brass or black screw for the hot, and such is the case for my lamp sockets with the exception of the green ground screw. Providing that the polarity for a lamp socket is not properly indicated, the hot wire always attaches to the center inner tab and the neutral always attaches to the outer shell. In addition to having proper grounding, it is also essential to wire the lamp sockets with the proper polarity for safety reasons. In this specific case as determined through continuity tests, the green wires with the yellow stripes were the equipment grounds, the blue wires were the neutral wires, and the brown wires were the hot wires. After polarity and function has been determined, it is necessary to tin approximately 1/2" of wire on each of the conductors for attachment to the lamp sockets. Tinning is necessary because the wires are very thin and uncontrollable. With the plug end remaining on the outside of the can, the tinned ends of the power cords can now be pulled through the grommets so that enough wire extends above the tin cans to permit easy wiring. Care must be taken when pushing or pulling the power cords to avoid damaging the cans. As mentioned earlier, in this specific case as determined through continuity tests, the green wires with the yellow stripes are now attached to the ground screws on the mounting brackets, the blues wires are now attached the nickel plated (neutral) screws of the lamp sockets, and the brown wires (hot) are now attached to the brass screws of the lamp sockets. After wiring the lamp sockets, all excess cord except 1/2 an inch can be pulled back toward the outside of the cans. The smallest holes on the bottom of the cans, for both the top and bottom cans are utilized for securing the mounting brackets. The mounting brackets can now be secured to the tin cans with (2) 6-32 X 1/2" machine screws per can, with the painted heads on the outside of the cans, and each topped off with a #6 external tooth lock washer and a 6-32 nut. Pertaining to the remaining 1/2" of cord inside each can, a 4 inch cable tie is wrapped around it, then pulled tight, and then from the outside of the cans, the cord is pulled until the cable tie butts up against the grommet. The cable ties help to prevent the cords from slipping out of the grommets and becoming a potential electrical hazard. Dependant upon the fit of the cords to the grommet, it may be desirable to add a cable tie on the outside of the cords as well. To view one of the wired tins, please refer to FIG. 8.

    FIG. 8


    Completing The Assembly Of The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder
    1. As it pertains to the bottom can, in each of the three remaining holes on the bottom of the can, going from the inside to the outside of the can, insert a 1/4-20 X 1/2" screw with a 1/4" external tooth lock washer attached, and on the outside of the can, top off each screw with a 1/4-20 X 7/8" coupling nut. Tighten the screws and nuts, and then push a 3/8" I.D. X 1" vacuum cap over each of the coupling nuts.
    2. As it pertains to the top can, in each of the two remaining holes on the bottom of the can, going from the inside to the outside of the can, insert an 8-32 X 1/4" screw with a #8 external tooth lock washer attached, and firmly secure the handle to the can.
    3. Place both cans with their bottoms against a work surface, and in each of the remaining holes, in the upper lip of the cans, insert a 6-32 X 1/2" knurled round thumb screw from the outside toward the inside, and top each of these thumb screws off with a #6 external tooth lock washer and a 6-32 nut.
    4. At this point, double check to ensure that all fasteners are mechanically tight.
    5. Insert the chosen light bulbs into each of the lamp sockets.
    6. If you purchased one of our exposure plate assemblies, place the exposure plate holder on a work surface with the recess facing upward. Insert the exposure plate into the recess of the exposure plate holder. Place the exposure plate stand on the top of the exposure plate, with the rubber feet against the glass. Secure the exposure plate and the exposure plate stand to the exposure plate holder, by hooking one of the provided eyelets with the provided retaining band and stretching it across the top of the exposure plate stand and latching it onto the opposing eyelet.
    7. With the rubber feet of the bottom can against a work surface, insert the exposure plate assembly into the bottom can, in such a manner that the exposure plate stand will extend upward.
    8. The top of the top can is now placed over the exposure plate assembly and rotated until cords and thumb screws align.
    9. The One-Wrap® VELCRO® is only necessary for UV exposures to help prevent UV light from escaping during the exposure process. Wrap the One-Wrap® VELCRO® around the seam where the bottom can, the exposure plate assembly, and the top can meet, meanwhile ensuring that the band goes in between all thumb screws, and fasten the One-Wrap® VELCRO®.
    10. Secure the top can to the bottom can by latching the (2) O-rings around the two sets of top and bottom thumb screws.
    11. While not in use, wrap and secure the cords by any means available.
    12. You are done! Looks nice, doesn't it? Now lift it up by the handle and go show it off to your electronic buddies. I am sure they will put it to good use.
    Fig. 9

    Exposing With The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder
    There are many factors to consider when exposing PCB materials, and this will ultimately lead to another article or articles. Until I learn more and write more on this particular subject, I do have a few suggestions. Exposures can be made using very thin tracing paper, which can help reduce cost, but investing in transparent laser printer film is generally a good idea, therefore I will be discussing this method. It is the designers responsibility to ensure an accurrate positive or negative used for exposures, and to ensure the correct size of PCB material being used. The dimensional layout areas of our exposure plates for the Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder have dimensional tolerances of +.005/-.000 on both width and length. When printing the positive or negative on transparent laser printer film, always print a mirror image of the board, so that the laser toner will be placed in direct contact with the PCB material. After printing the positive or negative, cut it down to fit within the tight tolerances of our exposure plates. The PCB material must also fit within the tight tolerances of our exposure plates. Once these two objectives have been achieved, aligning the artwork from the top of the board to the bottom of the board is simple.

    If you purchased one of our hardware kits and one of our exposure plate assemblies, here are the various steps required for aligning the artwork and getting ready for an exposure.
    1. Remove the O-rings which hold the top and bottom cans together and put them in a safe place to prevent them from getting lost.
    2. Remove the One-Wrap® VELCRO® and also put this in a safe place to prevent it from getting lost.
    3. Grap the upper can by the handle and set it off to the side.
    4. Remove the exposure plate assembly from the lower can and set it on a work surface.
    5. Remove the exposure plate stand strap and also put this in a safe place to prevent it from getting lost.
    6. Remove the exposure plate stand from the assembly, and place it on a work surface with the rubber feet pointing upward.
    7. Lift the assembly from the work surface and position the exposure plate over the rubber feet of the exposure plate stand.
    8. Lower the assembly until the rubber feet of the assembly rest against the work surface, and the exposure plate should now be raised from the recess of the exposure plate holder and be resting upon the rubber feet of the exposure plate stand.
    9. Grab the exposure plate by the outter edges to prevent the smudging of the glass, turn the plate upside-down, and gently tap it into the palm of your hand, until the top and bottom glass sections seperate from each other.
    10. Place the top glass section in a safe, oil and lint free location.
    11. With the bottom glass section still being held, place your bottom layer positive or negative within the board layout perimeter area, with the laser toner facing upward. Ensure that the positive or negative is flat against the glass.
    12. With the bottom glass section still being held, place your PCB material within the board layout perimeter area and against the bottom layer positive or negative. Ensure that the PCB material is flat against the bottom layer positive or negative.
    13. With the bottom glass section still being held, place your top layer positive or negative within the board layout perimeter area, with the laser toner facing downward. Ensure that the positive or negative is flat against the PCB material.
    14. With the bottom glass section still being held, place the previously removed top glass section within the board layout perimeter area, and press it into place until it is flat up against the top layer positive or negative.
    15. Place the exposure plate back onto the rubber feet of the exposure plate stand.
    16. Raise the exposure plate assembly from the work surface in a manner that the exposure plate aligns with the recess and ultimately rests within the recess of the exposure plate assembly.
    17. Place the exposure plate assembly back into the bottom can.
    18. Place the top can back over the exposure plate assembly.
    19. If a UV exposure is being made, wrap the previously removed One-Wrap® VELCRO® around the perimeter of the cans and the joining seam, and fasten into place.
    20. Provide power to the cans for a predetermined exposure time.
    Every film or coating utilized for making PCBs will have different specifications, requirements, exposure times, etc... You will have to experiment with bulb wattages and exposure times to suit your needs and PCB materials. If you do not have a timer, I suggest purchasing a GE 545912 7 day digital timer or making a new 120V timer with your new exposure box. As time permits, and as we experiment with this new equipment, we will post known bulb, exposure time, and PCB material combinations that work well for us and others. However there are currently other irons in the fire. I suggest low wattages and work your way up. If you find a good combination that works well, drop us an email, and we will post the information for other users.

    Summary And Prices Of The Tin Can Double Sided PCB Exposure Box / Cylinder
    Some key facts to consider:
  • At this point in time, we currently just ship within the contiguous Uniited States. Please be patient, we will work out international shipments in a short period of time. If you cannot wait, please give us a call during normal business hours, and we will work out some type of payment and shipping options.

  • This exposure box/cylinder allows quick and easy precise alignment of artwork and PCB material of predetermined board sizes for concurrent double exposures
  • With the exception of waiting for paint to dry, the average person should be able to complete this project within approximately three hours.
  • All orders that require a UV incandescent exposure plate must have a two week turn around time due to the scarce availabilty of 1/8" Starphire Ultra-Clear glass.
  • All exposure plate assemblies contain an exposure plate.
  • Exposure plates are interchangable because they all have the same external dimensions. If more than one size exposure plate is required, purchase an exposure plate assembly that contains one of the desired sizes, and then either purchase a replacement exposure plate of another size or have us custom make the required size for you.
  • 1" X 1" is the absolute minimum size for custom made exposure plates.
  • 3 1/2" X 4 1/2" is the absolute maximum size for custom made exposure plates.
  • To obtain a custom made exposure plate, first it must be purchased with one of the buttons below, and then followed by an email which contains the desired dimensions.
  • PCB layout area dimension tolerances : +.005/-.000
  • What Should I Purchase To Get Started?
    Besides the items listed earlier in the second parts list, at the bare minimum you will need a (EBHK) Exposure Box / Cylinder Hardware Kit and one of the following exposure plate assemblies:
  • 2X4NONUVEPA - 2" X 4" Non-UV Exposure Plate Assembly
  • 2X4UVEPA - 2" X 4" UV Exposure Plate Assembly
  • 3X4NONUVEPA - 3" X 4" Non-UV Exposure Plate Assembly
  • 3X4UVEPA - 3" X 4" UV Exposure Plate Assembly

    EBHK - Exposure Box / Cylinder Hardware Kit $49.99
    2X4NONUVEPA - 2" X 4" Non-UV Exposure Plate Assembly $59.99
    2X4UVEPA - 2" X 4" UV Exposure Plate Assembly $64.99
    3X4NONUVEPA - 3" X 4" Non-UV Exposure Plate Assembly $59.99
    3X4UVEPA - 3" X 4" UV Exposure Plate Assembly $64.99
    2X4RNONUVEP - 2" X 4" Replacement Non-UV Exposure Plate $9.99
    2X4RUVEP - 2" X 4" Replacement UV Exposure Plate $14.99
    3X4RNONUVEP - 3" X 4" Replacement Non-UV Exposure Plate $9.99
    3X4RUVEP - 3" X 4" Replacement UV Exposure Plate $14.99
    CSNONUVEP - Custom Size Non-UV Exposure Plate $19.99
    CSUVEP - Custom Size UV Exposure Plate $24.99
  • Return And Refund Policy Pertaining To Exposure Box / Cylinder Items
    Customer assumes all responsibilty for return shipping. Novel Solutions will gladly accept your return and refund your payment, providing all returns are in good condition when received and the return is made within a period of 30 days.
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