Following on from a Project14 discussion DIY 100kHz VCO - Build & Test on copper-clad board techniques for prototyping, I was curious to know how I could improve my current method of using a craft knife to cut channels for creating isolated pads and islands on the boards. navadeepganeshu suggested using a Perspex cutter, which I have yet to try. I also attempted to use a scriber with a ground-out channel.
I posed the question on a DIY group channel I'm part of with a few old school friends. They suggested I try an electric engraver, or a 'scorper' or 'graver' tool (these tools are used by jewellers for cutting lines and channels in metal).
So, I gave it a shot, using the tools below.
I was really surprised at the quality of the engraver - it was under $20, and seems well made. I don't know if it will last, my main concern was that the grub screws that hold the shaft of the cutter are quite small and I didn't want to over-tighten them in case the screw thread gets torn. Maybe I'm over-worrying, but I will try to find slightly longer grub screws. Aside from that, it all seems like a very neat tool.
However I think I may end up using the second tool, the scorper, a lot more, simply because it won't generate dust as the engraver will.
The 4-minute video below shows the tools in use.
Any other suggestions or ways to improve these techniques would be great to hear!