More Homemade PCB Tinning

[Marko] styles himself as a crazy chemist. His video showing a fast tin plating solution for PCBs (YouTube, see below) doesn’t seem so crazy. We will admit, though, it uses some things that you might have to search for.

The formula calls for stannous chloride — you could probably make this by dissolving tin in hydrochloric acid. There’s also thiourea — the main chemical in silver-cleaning dips like Tarn-X. Sulphuric acid and deionized water round out the recipe.

It probably goes without saying, that you shouldn’t be handling these nasty chemicals without the right set up and a good idea about safety. You should know the right way to mix water and acid and have appropriate lab gear and safety equipment. [Marko] mentions getting acid from a battery, but these days it can be hard to get to the insides of a car battery. Luckily, it is pretty easy to buy chemicals online and locally — some stuff you don’t want to ship.

This is similar to, but not the same as, [nurdrage’s] formula that we examined earlier. It is possible to make really professional-looking boards yourself if you have the time and know-how.

15 thoughts on “More Homemade PCB Tinning

  1. Thanks to the government’s “punish everyone first, think later” approach to thought & responsibility-avoidance, I can’t even buy RedDevil to make a good hand soap. What utter crap…

      1. MSDS says, its stannous chloride, sulfamic acide and ammoniumchloride.
        Other product “liquid tin” is fluoroboric acid (~10%), stannous fluoroborate (~10%) and thiourea (~5%)
        I don’t know, which chemicals are easier to get.

  2. This method requires more time, work and has greater costs, whereas NR’s method is optimal unless you are doing an entire production run and can benefit from the scales of economy with regard to purchasing technical grade thiourea etc..

    1. I have not, but what I have done is take some coax braid and make a little sleeve around the soldering iron tip. Melt solder into it or dip it in a solder pot and drag it along the traces like a paint brush. Bonus points if you heat the board with IR or on a hot plate while doing this.

        1. Isopropyl alcohol? You mean the devils wee wee the gangster terrorists use to make hyper addictive mariHUana shatter extract with which they taint with fruit flavours and give to kindergartners….

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