repairing really tiny traces

Scrappy Laptop scrappylaptop at
Thu Sep 27 11:46:51 CDT 2007

  If your friend is only looking for a functional repair (i.e. appearance is secondary), it is much easier to run a wire to the next component lead or via on either side of the break.  Something like 35 to  42 AWG wire works and can be scavanged from a tiny speaker or the like.  Radio Shack may even still carry 30AWG.  1 or 2 pound spools can be bought online, but what do you do with the other several thousand feet of wire?   The insulation for this wire is typically enamel, so you'll need to scrape the tips before tinning, but a better way is to dip in acetone.  Of course, if capacitance is an issue...then again, try the repair and test to see if data is corrupt, etc.  This repair ends up looking like the post-design wires you often see on small-run pcb's if done nicely (i.e. route the wire between components, use dabs of hot melt glue to hold the corners in place).

A nice hack and useful tool for doing such repairs that takes about 20 minutes to build and costs about $20 if your junkbox is empty:
Using this to do hot air reflow is much, much easier than trying to hand-hold even the finest of soldering irons if you don't have professional equipment at provides just enough heat to melt low mp solder and applies it to a very small (2-3 mm) spot.

On what kind of board are the broken traces? Can it be removed and shipped?  


David Griffith <dgriffi at> wrote: 
A friend of mine dropped a screwdriver into an open chassis and dinged two
very tiny traces that are beyond his ability to fix.  Is there someone in
or around Portland, Oregon who could possibly fix this?

David Griffith
dgriffi at

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