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Ask Slashdot: How To Safely Saw Up Motherboards?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the letters-we-get-letters dept.

Hardware Hacking 247

James-NSC writes "I like to do arts and crafts. I've been saving up motherboards for a while as a new medium and I started working on it last night. I wore the same gear I wear while painting – fine particulate respirator and safety goggles. I just cut some templates out of some motherboards and when I was done I used the shop-vac to clean myself & workspace up before removing my mask. Even after 5+ minutes, in a well ventilated area (not as well as it should have been apparently) my first breath was pins and needles. I'm looking into containment and exhaust solutions – ala baby's first iron lung, but seriously, am I nuts? Are these materials just too toxic to work with?"

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247 comments

Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (5, Informative)

ChrisKnight (16039) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701954)

Motherboards are essentially epoxy bound fiberglass. If you are going to be sawing it up, you need gear that is designed for extremely fine stiff fibers. You need filtration equipment suitable for removing fiberglass, or better yet asbestos, particles from the air.

Good luck. Try not to give yourself lung cancer.

DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702022)

Only pain, unless it results in scar tissue and then only could cancer induce it's foothold.

Cancer is when an invading fungus takes root in a region of the body that is more an acid substrate, either from scar tissue or heavy metal deposits or generally poor lifestyle.

Fiberglass just embeds into the tissue and gives PAIN.
Asbestos on the other hand is a bi-product of a fungus, which explains all the cancer that it caused; when a host substrate is acid then the viral attack function of any invading fungus can penetrate the cell walls of it's host where otherwise a alkaline host simply has a cellular structures in which the environment contributes to their non-ability to be infected by that virus of said fungus.

Source: Otto von Warburg, Nobel Prize Winner (1930?) for Conclusion on Oxygen as preventing the Acidity which causes los of Immuno-response to Cancer.

Source: Professor Patric, University of Utah (2010/2011) Cellular Matrix Study pertaining to Oxygen Transport of Cells using a high Sulphur diet in which a Cell succumbs to acidosis and fungus/Cancer when it's Oxygen content is reduced below about 25%.

Source: Raymond Royal Rife, Substrate PH-level of Host is cause of spread of virus.

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (3, Informative)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702036)

Asbestos on the other hand is a bi-product of a fungus

quack alert !

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702368)

Asbestos on the other hand is a bi-product of a fungus

quack alert !

The fuck? Why did you feel a need to point that out?

Anyone who doesn't already understand that, isn't going to. Let nature take its course.

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (1)

kakarote (2294232) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702456)

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (1)

xeon13 (2268514) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702478)

wht..!!?? is diss some kind of services.!? becoz many days m finding and in the end i got that from yew...

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702150)

I'm surprised that you didn't mention subluxation once. Don't you need a Doctorate in Chiropracty to discuss cancer?

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702168)

Asbestos on the other hand is a bi-product of a fungus

Asbestos is a rock you idiot. From peridotite mostly - you know the damn mantle where funguses are not exactly common.

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702308)

Wow! This ignorant bozo (or lying douchebag that's going to get someone killed) doesn't know jack about the most basic components of cellular biology or mineralogy.

Mod down that idiot before anyone stupid and/or ignorant reads it and doesn't know its total B.S. of the lowest caliber.
(I don't have any mod points this week.)

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702416)

Wow! This ignorant bozo (or lying douchebag that's going to get someone killed) doesn't know jack about the most basic components of cellular biology or mineralogy. Mod down that idiot before anyone stupid and/or ignorant reads it and doesn't know its total B.S. of the lowest caliber. (I don't have any mod points this week.)

Oh no! A stupid person might harm themselves by believing and taking medical advice from every idiot who comes along. Shit man, we might LOSE a MORON! That would make me sad. We have such precious few of them to spare and the ones we have left are so timid, never ever overestimating their own competence or importance. Why, if their own stupidity did them in that would be terrible INJUSTICE! We must prevent this even if that's to our grevious detriment.

We sure as hell don't want a world where adult people make their free choices and live with the consequences, no sir! Some people would have better lives than others based on the quality of their decision-making, and that would be so UNFAIR. There's nothing more UNFAIR than a world where everybody who makes good choices tends to have good "fortune" and everybody knows it. What we should REALLY do is acquire political power so we can try to force reality to adhere to our theory of how it should be. Surely we are more sophisticated than insisting on theories which adhere to reality. That's why we can afford to ignore questions like whether this has been tried before and how that worked out, because we're special and the history of these ideas doesn't apply to us.

Oh, wait, right ... you think choosing to take medical advice from Joe Random Anonymous Coward and getting hurt makes somebody a victim of Joe Random Anonymous Coward. Your heart's in the right place, but that's just stupid and there's no sense in treating adult people like helpless children. You really don't want to live in the kind of society that would create. We're already dangerously close to that particular form of horribly micromanaged dystopia.

Damn. That means I probably can't reason with you. No matter how hard I try, I just can't reason with denial of the obvious. Within your own faulty frame of reference your denial seems perfectly valid and you have an alternative victim-based explanation for everything that's really about personal responsibility. They are two theories that both explain the phenomena observed; it's just that one theory is only an explanation. The other also gives you the ability to change which phenomena you experience so you tell me which is better.

Re:DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER, maybe induces. (1)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702318)

Looks like Dr Bob or whatever the quacks name is is posting Anon now.
Yeah Lets here how having your Bones ADJUSTED will cure cancer.....Fucking Quacks

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702072)

Agreed, I work with Diatomaceous earth frequently, & have been around many asbestos abatement people & projects. Use a HEPA mask that is suited for asbestos work, preferably with a pre-filter (what I use). Or check (OSHA, Bureau of Mines, industrial supply sites/catalogs) to see if there is a specific mask for this kind of work, likely there is. Be careful.

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702124)

I should have noted, you could set up a negative pressure curtain then, when you leave the work area you less likely to breathe in the contaminant. Allow your site filter to keep running, while you remove your work jumpsuit for laundering, carefully remove the mask last, & shower. If nothing else, look for a youtube video, demonstrating technique! ;)

are you better than the people in China? (0, Offtopic)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702128)

google image search 'china pollution' or 'china ewaste'
thats where all our 'green recycling programs' dump our e-trash

if they can breathe it, surely we can!

Re:are you better than the people in China? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702504)

The difference is, I can open my eyes. It would take something thicker than dental floss to blindfold me. Hah!

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (1)

essayservices (2242884) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702496)

so what i already know abt that he is "JonySuede".!!! but ________________________ aaah forget it ;)

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (5, Insightful)

Hungus (585181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702126)

Better yet use a wet saw and keep water running over it the entire time. Then you can filter the water but particulates should never become airborne and so you will never inhale them. You should also be wearing thick non porous gloves what handling them and make certain any think you work with is lead free if you plan on making jewelry out of it.

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702346)

Yes, wet saw should keep the particles out of the air. Also even filtering the air may not be good enough, try a rebreather or a tube for air if your sawing motherboards. I'm sure it would take millions and years to prove it, but I'm sure it can't be good for you.

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (5, Insightful)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702140)

Indeed. The Shop Vac doesn't have filtration anywhere near what is required for fiberglass particulate. All it likely did was fill the air with whatever the shop vac sucked up.

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702214)

You can create a water filter for a shopvac relatively easily. 5 gallon bucket, a hose extension, and two appropriately-sized pieces of PVC pipe. One long intake pipe below the water line, a short exit pipe above the water line, and you have wet filtration.

Re:Treat it like fiberglass or asbestos (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702488)

It is especially important to avoid the fine fibers if you are a smoker since the combination of asbestos (or similar fibers) and smoking is the real trigger for lung cancer. Smoking hampers the ability of the lungs to keep themselves clean, the cancerous smoke particles sticks to the fibers and then penetrates the tissue wall in the lung.

But use a central vacuum cleaner that vents to outdoors and have it suck out the material at the point of work - that should cover for most of the problems. A normal indoor vacuum cleaner will just pass through the finer particles.

Fiberglas (2)

jra (5600) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701966)

Or things even worse. You can do this, but you're going to need pretty hefty realtime dust collection; I suppose it's possible that a Rainbow water-curtain vac might be enough, but I'm not sure.

I'll bet someone else will be sure. :-)

And I'm not sure if you can finish off the cut edge of a board to a point where it won't unravel -- or at least, how you would do so.

People *do* do this: I have a favorite notebook whose covers are circuit boards. But it's non-trivial.

Re:Fiberglas (2)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702018)

Or things even worse. You can do this, but you're going to need pretty hefty realtime dust collection; I suppose it's possible that a Rainbow water-curtain vac might be enough, but I'm not sure.

No, those things are actually ineffective over-hyped pieces of shit. A HEPA filter is what is needed for filtration. I don't know what should be used for containment in order to make sure it all actually gets trapped by the filter...

And for a respirator, what you need is kind of hard to find--you won't get it at Home Depot. But there's some place in every major city that sells supplies for asbestos abatement, and you can get the respirator you need there.

Re:Fiberglas (5, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702228)

My brother (maybe somewhat excessively) bought a military surplus compressor-based breathing system (on eBay) for use in his studio (they make rather large fiberglass sculptures/models [cmstudio.com] for museums).

Not only does it do a great job protecting from all of the fiberglass flying around, with i's 50's style military look and the 100' hoses connected to full face masks, it just looks damn cool :)

This (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701968)

This is why I come to Slashdot.

Ask Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701970)

Here, I google this for u.
http://pcplus.techradar.com/feature/hardware/how-motherboards-are-made-13-07-10

U google the rest

mild suggestion (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701974)

You said

Even after 5+ minutes, in a well ventilated area (not as well as it should have been apparently) my first breath was pins and needles.

Your first breath? Try breathing more often?

Re:mild suggestion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702078)

Breathing causes cancer. I've trained myself to breath as seldom as possible. -OP

Re:mild suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702380)

Have to agree that whoever modded this flamebait needs to no longer be able to mod.

Off-topic or over-rated maybe, but certainly not flaimbait.

modded funny would be the most appropriate.

In the Hood (1)

robertc5 (55078) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701984)

t one of those isolation boxes used for sandblasting of small objects. That should keep stuff out of the air and some of them can be vented either to a filter or the outside.

Just brainstorming out loud... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701990)

Maybe coat them in polyurethane first, or some sort of mix-then-pour&set resin - something that will bind the fibers of the board, but itself only creates a non-irritating powder when cut. I am thinking along the lines of how asbestos insulation is contained and dealt with - is a wet saw an option?
Here's hoping you don't develop mesothelioma.

MSDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701992)

Look up the MSDS for FR-4 PCB material.
http://www.isola-group.com/docs/isola_files/GetekFR4LaminateMSDSDecember2006Final.pdf

Re:MSDS (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702130)

Unfortunately, there will be more to it than that, with a finished motherboard: solder, quite possibly pre-ROHS and whatever other components are left on the board are going to be getting the saw treatment as well.

We can only hope that no beryllium copper is present in any of the components requiring excellent conductivity and spring properties...

Proper tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701998)

Use metal shears.

Ventilation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702000)

The fine particulates of the motherboard are being put into the air, just a shop vac will only get what's on the floor and the respirator will only help as long as you have it on. I hope this area isn't near children or animals -- someone could get very sick. If you're breathing pins and needles, you need to stop, go to a home-improvement store and talk to someone about the materials you're sawing up and they'd be able to recommend the best gear. You're really going to need a full ventilation and filtration system though and it could cost a lot. You're going to need an area that's tight from the rest of the house/workspace, a filtration system for the air to suck all the particles out and a way in/out of that area. But the people at the store would know better than I do. For your health and safety, breathing 'pins and needles' is *telling you something*: STOP! What you're doing is hurting and possibly killing you. You could have complications from this later in life. Any particulate matter can contribute to long-term issues with breathing, something piercing your lungs, you should go to the doctor for. There could be metal fragments in your lungs that could get into your bloodstream. This could seriously cause issues for you.

Solution: GO TO A DOCTOR ASAP, then go to a home improvement store and ask them the best method for a ventilation system or just stop doing this all together.

Careful... (2, Funny)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702030)

Don't breathe that stuff in. You might catch a virus.

Re:Careful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702086)

Get old Linux boxes and will be safe on that

Re:Careful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702172)

But then he'll have to recompile his brain and resolve 27 package dependency issues just to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Re:Careful... (2)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702344)

At least he wasn't using an Apple Board....he would get cancer and LOSE HIS SOUL....
Then he would be overcharged on top of that...and his cancer would have to be approved of by Apple, as well as the treatment.

Underwater (4, Informative)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702034)

When cutting things that make lots of dust, its best (if possible) to cut them underwater, or submerged in a fluid. This way none of the particulates become airborne.

Re:Underwater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702076)

But what do you do with the water or fluid once you're done?

Re:Underwater (5, Funny)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702348)

Drink it. It will make you smarter.
It works. I did that once and now I'm smart enough to never do it again.

Re:Underwater (1)

Dartz-IRL (1640117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702084)

This is a superb idea. Though, it can be difficult at times, especially if you accidentally stick a heft saw through your container. As a compromise maybe just keep the board wetted down and damp.

Running water or oil across the cutting area, or some sort of cutting fluid may be a good idea. Though that exactly depends on what OP is using to cut the things.

Re:Underwater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702166)

Mod parent up -just like asbestos, keep things wet! Good catch.

Re:Underwater (3, Informative)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702200)

Sounds like a wet-saw for tile or masonry would do the job.

Re:Underwater (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702394)

High strength steel/titanium/etc-metal saws will do as well, since they use a fluid to cut down on heat, chips, and fracturing while cutting.

Re:Underwater (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702422)

If using a saw underwater, just be sure it runs on waterproof electricity.

Two Words (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702042)

Scuba Gear...

christian louboutin clearance (-1, Troll)

Louboutins (2331422) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702048)

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HEPA and Resperator (1)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702050)

HEPA or similar air filter might help, as well as Organic rated filters on a respirator. Or perhaps just do it outdoors?

You cut up MY motherboard... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702054)

...and you ARE risking your health!

Outside in yard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702064)

I'd do it outside in the middle of my yard with a fan or two blowing everything away from me. I'd be wearing the mask too. But I really like the underwater idea....

Negative pressure... (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702074)

Once it gets into the air, fine fiberglass dust is going to remain there a good while. It's light enough that it will effectively never settle in any useful amount of time, and your typical house probably doesn't completely recycle its internal atmosphere nearly fast enough to solve the problem that way.

If you are going to be doing much of this, you might want to consider building a negative-pressure work area large enough for your tools and workpiece to be comfortably manipulated:

Basically, a reasonably adequately sealed box(doesn't need to, and won't, be airtight, because of the negative pressure) with a slot for you to stick your hands in, a plexiglass window to see what you are doing, and a shop vac or similar pulling air out of the box and through a HEPA filter. Because of the suction, air will continually be flowing into the box(preventing the egress of most dust, even though the box isn't fully sealed) and the dust-contaminated air will be filtered before it leaves to ruin your day. Still probably not a bad idea to have the outflow vent outdoors, rather than into the room; but the filter should scrub most of it.

Re:Negative pressure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702240)

or if you live in a non-urban area just do it outdoors with a small but steady breeze blowing, preferably with a mask and the shop-vac running so as not to needlessly pollute the neighborhood any more than you must.

it's not super dangerous it you're not stupid about it, but it is smart to limit your exposure as a matter of standard op. practice.

Understanding Negative pressure (2)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702330)

OP has very good advice. Take it. Understanding what negative and positive pressure can be very important in circumstances like this.

Ever wonder why dust collects so badly inside your PC? It's a negative pressure environment - the main power fan at the back blows hot air OUT of the computer, causing air to rush into every crack and orifice in your case, making your expensive electronics into a poor quality air filter. The dust collected is a byproduct of this fact.

I once was called in to deal with a computer in a very dusty environment. (they raised pets) Their computer required extremely frequent cleaning and despite this, they had numerous hardware failures. The CD ROM drive was pretty much always useless no matter how often it was replaced. Using a medium-sized box, a cheap 8" fan, and HEPA air filters and lots of duct tape, I made a large, low-pressure air filter that blew large amounts of HEPA purified air into the computer, creating a positive pressure inside the case of clean, filtered air. A year later, the computer had only traces of dust and was working perfectly, including the CD ROM drive!

In PPs example, you want to create a negative pressure environment to keep dust from getting OUT.

Cutting (1)

eugene259 (871089) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702098)

I use a guillotine for cutting PCBs and since it shears rather than cuts there is pretty much no dust generated.

what you need is a tile saw. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702100)

electric and fast. the water captures the dust.

Safety. (4, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702104)

First off, you need the correct saw blade.

Most motherboards (all? I've never seen one on phenolic), are G-10 fiberglass.

G-10 Fiberglass is nasty stuff. While it will not give you cancer (this has been studied because people thought fiberglass seems similar to asbestos, but it isn't) it's definitely an irritant. Your lungs will expel the fibers.

That said:

Wear a dust mask. A full nose-and-mouth mask from the hardware store is fine. You don't need to go overboard.
Use a vacuum pickup.
Use the correct saw blade. A silicon carbide blade (particles bonded to a steel band saw blade) is ideal.

You also might want to try using a tile cutter saw that uses an abrasive blade and flood water cooling.

Don't try to cut with a steel blade.

--
BMO

 

Re:Safety. (3, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702282)

Replying to myself

I had forgotten the OP had been using a shop vac to pick up particles.

Shop Vacs are notorious for spitting out small particles back out into the air without the proper filter. There are different kinds. The default is an open cell foam filter. These do absolutely nothing for fine particles. Indeed, they guarantee that all you will have in the air after vacuuming are fine particles that will stay there for hours.

You need the aftermarket filters. Google for "shop vac hepa" and you will find them.

--
BMO

I know this is Slashdot, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702108)

You all DO know there's this thing called "outdoors", right? Negative-pressure containment, HEPA filters, blast shields... how about a cheap box fan and the good ol' outdoors?

Re:I know this is Slashdot, but (3, Informative)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702234)

It ain't friendly to flood your neighbours' airspace with fiberglass particles.

Re:I know this is Slashdot, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702396)

Screw those a-holes. What have they done for ME lately?

You Are Machining Fiberglass - yes you are nuts (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702110)

You are using neither the proper tools nor proper containment nor proper suit nor respirator for machining fiberglass. It is dangerous, it can damage your lungs, eyes and other parts of your body, it can give you cancer.

Re:You Are Machining Fiberglass - yes you are nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702144)

fiberglass doped with lead, arsenic, and lots of other fun stuff... really just don't do this.

Re:You Are Machining Fiberglass - yes you are nuts (5, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702194)

>it can give you cancer.

Hi. I'm a machinist. I used to machine boards and G10 fiberglass parts for circuit board testers (basically a big board with hundreds of probes on it that you plonked a circuit board onto and it QCed the board).

This concerned me.

So I looked it up. The only study I found that had a link to cancer was that they surgically implanted a chunk of fiberglass into rat lungs that the lungs were not able to expel. This chronic irritant did produce tumors. The rat population that only had inhaled fiberglass dust did not have a statistically significant increase in cancer over the control group of rats without exposure.

The human lung cilia and mucus are able to expel fiberglass fibers. This is not the case with asbestos, which is why asbestos is a hazard and fiberglass (a much larger fiber) isn't.

The IARC removed fiberglass from its list of "possibly carcinogenic materials" in 2001.

This is not to say that fiberglass is not a hazard. It is. It can cause asthmatic reactions and difficulty in breathing because it's a strong irritant. Wear a good facemask. Try to keep the fibers from entering the air in the first place. Use vacuum pickup and if you can, try to cut under flood water-based coolant.

--
BMO

Don't cut it (2)

Zomalaja (1324199) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702114)

Can you maybe score one or even both sides with a razor knife, then snap it ?

Re:Don't cut it (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702408)

Nope, that's not feasible. The components will get in the way. They do score bare boards using special equipment, but once the board's been populated, it's no longer a simple task.

Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702136)

Try getting the motherboard wet first and keep it wet whilst cutting... It will stop the dust from floating in the air. That with some air filter and you should be fine.

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Lead (1)

rimian (2148932) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702186)

If I'm not mistaken, you're working with lead. If lead gets hot you can breathe the vapors and it could be thrown into the air as dust. I worked with lead for many years and my advice is to steer clear of it. You could also expose yourself to other heavy metals.

Re:Lead=GO TO A DOCTOR (1)

ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702366)

GO TO A DOCTOR. "pins and needles" = not good. Get informed.
There are heavy metals in more of the electronics than most people think. The pins and needles was most likely fiberglass. There may be things like mercury and cadmium (amongst other impurities) in Mobos.

you could ... (1)

vonshavingcream (2291296) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702212)

built a containment box with a plexiglass top and cut holes and attached welding gloves. kind of like one of those bio hazard boxes they use in labs. you could make the cuts and then let the dust settle in the cabinet then do some removal.

Use a laser it cuts with no dust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702224)

Video of a laser cutting fiberglass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVf0JOi1W2Y

The solution is easy.... (2)

SirTreveyan (9270) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702236)

don't use a saw. Use pressure.

The way they cut the motherboard safely for notebook covers is by using multi-ton presses. The even use presses to punch out the rivet holes for attaching the hardware to the cut motherboards. There will be no particulates to speak of but the only drawback is that you can only cut straight lines. If he is wanting to cut out anything more than a straight edge he might have to experiment with nibbling away small sections until he gets the shape he wants.

With a little thought he could probably design an adequate press using commonly available bottle stye hydraulic jacks. A few things he needs to be aware. Since the cutting time will be slower than a industrial press, it is possible he will splinter the board along the edge being cut. This can probably be avoided using a sharp cutting edge, or possibly a scissor type cutting action.

After the piece is cut, a little urethane should be enough to seal the edges to keep them from unraveling.

Re:The solution is easy.... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702314)

One thing I could think of is not using a press.

Waterjet.

Rent time on a waterjet machine and have them cut that way. Burr free, no airborne particles, and done quickly.

At 300 bucks/hr, this sounds expensive, but not really when you consider how many pieces you can get in an hour and the time saved in not having to manually deburr and apply epoxy to the edges.

--
BMO

Re:The solution is easy.... (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702386)

The way they cut the motherboard safely for notebook covers is by using multi-ton presses. The even use presses to punch out the rivet holes for attaching the hardware to the cut motherboards.

That's a good idea. If you have access to ordinary sheet metal shop tools like a sheet metal shear and a turret punch, you can cut PC boards into various shapes without generating dust.

Re:The solution is easy.... (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702418)

The tool you're thinking of is a guillotine, or shear. These are made for sheet metal, and can be had from Harbor Freight. You'd need to spend a few hundred smackeroos to get a good one that will handle a thick material, esp. since the components will have to get sheared as well, and the ceramic capacitors will dull the blade quickly.

heavy duty scissors? (2)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702272)

Correct me if im wrong, but doesnt the velocity of the blade influence the debris cloud. You'd probably still have a few airborne particles, but it seems that using some industrial scissors would produce less dust-like debris; instead you might get chunks of on leftover mobo. It might be a poor analogy, but consider slicing through a wood plank with a table saw. Then cut that same piece of wood using a well placed swing from a heavy axe. The table saw would produce a pile of saw dust while the heady blade would cut straight or produce wood chips.

shearing instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702288)

Try scoring with a Utility knife (Several times on both sides) then snap (away from you). Alternatively you can use a metal shear (http://www.micromark.com/Mini-Metal-Shear-and-Brake,9645.html) to cut PCB boards. This will avoid the dust problem to begin with. I would not recommend cutting the board with a saw since the dust will be everywhere and will settle everywhere and remain a hazard for an indefinate time.

Look for asbestos abatement equipment (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702342)

Asbestos abatement equipment will filter the particles out of the air for the fiberglass. A shop-vac or industrial vacuum with a HEPA filter for fine dust will usually work well enough if it were simply fiberglass (it is not). A local shower, eye-wash station, protective suit, safety glasses and respiratory equipment will also be required (not just suggested) because of the other products and even if it were just fiberglass, getting that stuff in your clothing or on your skin or around your house may be an irritant.

Besides fiberglass a motherboard usually contains other metals, plastics, gasses and chemicals from the chips, solder, components, conduits which could contain toxic brominated substances (flame retardant), gold (still a heavy metal!), lead, silver, tin, aluminum, lithium, copper, mica, glass, ceramic, electrolyte fluid and that's just off the top of my head.

Unless you can make a machine that's entirely closed off and properly filtered to do the cutting, washing extensively and waste removal autonomous I would NOT suggest you do this AT ALL. Get a recycler to pick up the stuff. Also, your "arts and crafts project" result may have to be classified as hazardous material/waste or require at least an MSDS.

Speed (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702358)

It is possibly the irritant you breathed in is fibreglass dust but it is also possible that it is fumes from cutting too fast. Blade speed has a big impact on the dispersal of dust and fumes. If the blade moves too fast one can actually burn the fibreglass and produce irritating fumes. My suggestion would be to use a scroll saw with a vacuum attachment and cut using the slowest speed possible. Make sure you use a water filter attachment or a drywall filter in the shopvac. Drywall filters are finer than regular filters and will catch more fibres. If possible, do it outside or at least put the shopvac outside.

Use power saw with vacuum attachment. (1)

RKBA (622932) | more than 2 years ago | (#36702372)

Many small hand help circular power saws come with a vacuum bag and system that sucks the debris into the bag. That should take care of most particulate matter, but if it's an out-gassing problem of some kind then you probably need better ventilation.

Get a HEPA filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702390)

Get a room air filter, AKA a HEPA filter. That will clear the air. Keep wearing the mask, just leave the room and let the room air filter do it's job for 30min (or more). Wonderful things.

duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702434)

heat it up and slice it.

doofus

silicosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702464)

Dude you are working in the wrong medium.
Try something with less impact on the environment.
Glass fiber plastic ("fiberglass") is really a rather nasty material from a resource sustainability point of view.

Better idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36702486)

Purple Wave had a bunch of exhaust hoods listed - check government and state/private surplus sales and get yourself a good chemical exhaust hood, and make yourself a HEPA or fine particulate filtration system from supplies somewhere like McMaster-Carr.

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