What can you do with old motherboards, unused boards, or broken Arduinos and Raspberry Pis? It turns out you can do a lot more than throw them in the trash. Roll up your sleeves, it’s time to get creative and use those old boards for a new use.

How to cut diagrams

Some of the projects listed below require trimming of old PCBs. The ideal tool for this job is a circular saw or a Dremel. But it is not a common tool in most households. There are two other options.

paper cutter pcb

You can use a paper cutter (with a sharp blade) to cut PCBs into straight lines. This is perhaps the best way to avoid splinters or jagged edges. However, after that it is better to sand the board. Sanding is a necessary skill so take the time to study it.

The other method is the easiest tool to find in homes, but it’s a bit complicated. A sharp blade can cut the board, but you will need to apply some elbow grease and scratch the board with the blade back and forth. It’s best to use a ruler (or any other stable object) along with a blade to keep the lines straight. Make sure you scratch both sides as shown in the video above before snapping the board.

Now that you know how to cut a circuit board, take any broken gadget you have, rip out its circuit board, and turn it into one of these cool projects.

1. PCB earrings.

If you can cut a circuit board, you can turn it into great jewelry. We say wear your badge with pride. This is his sole purpose anyway.

pcb earrings

User Instructables CameronSS made a guide for long earrings from rectangular circuit boards. You will also need earring hooks and jump rings for her method, which can be purchased online. Make sure you select the correct part of the PCB to make the earrings look like a set. You don’t want soldered parts sticking another hole into your ear, so choose only etched parts.

Another Instructables User Maramas turned his circuit board into stud earrings. This is a cleaner and slightly lighter project. There is no need to drill here, it’s all about strong glue.

Remember that for any of these projects, you need to sand the edges to make them smooth. Or not, what do I care — you never listen to your mother.

2. PCB Journal: who says paper is dead?

Here is a completely new way to start logging. magazine. With the added benefit of making scary daddy jokes about your new «digital magazine».

printed magazine

Choose a decent-sized PCB, one that fits the book you would like to write in. Then, according to TeslaTeslaTesla just cut a piece of wood to fit it. However, if you have two of the same PCBs, you can use both of them as the front and back covers, completely cutting down the tree.

Cut the paper to fit the size of your «book», tie it all together and voila. You have the coolest magazine around. Remember kids, the definition of «cool» is subjective.

3. PCB desktop clock: about time

Nothing says «forever alone» like throwing a clock on a desktop and replacing it with a clock made from an old circuit board. But at least you can count the exact seconds of your loneliness with a cool metal watch.

a table clock

Just like creative designs for old hard drives As we saw earlier, making a desktop clock on a board is the easiest. All you need is a quartz watch and a set of hands and a set of standard batteries. A drill will help make a hole in the board, but you don’t need to buy one. Go to any hardware store and ask them to do it as a favor or borrow it from your grumpy grandpa’s toolbox when he talks about how kids today don’t fix things themselves. Damn it, chowder.

It will be difficult to mark the hours on the board. User Instructables cXrisB used clear bumper stickers but they don’t look good. Stickers are a good idea. As long as the hands are free to spin, get creative with how you mark the hours.

4. PCB Plectrum: Never Buy a Pick Again

Psst, I’ll tell you a secret. Can’t find your guitar plectrum? There is a reason for this. There is a major worldwide scam created by guitar pick manufacturers. They hire invisible pixies to steal plectrums all over the world, so unlucky guitarists have to buy more. But a modest circuit board will break their nefarious scheme.

PCB guitar pick

In one weekend project, you can turn a large PCB into an endless supply of picks. Use any plectrum to trace the shape on the board, then cut it using one of the methods shown above. A sharp blade works best for this, unless you choose a straight-edged plectrum. You are one step ahead in your quest to become a guitar god.

The trick to this is that it is sanded. Oh man, you need to put some serious time into this. You can’t leave the solder on this bad guy intact, it has to be completely removed. Etching is fine, of course. Round off the edges, raise your hands to the gods of rock and roll and roll them down to finally send the Pixie Pixies away.

5. PCB Smartphone Stand: because you can

PCB smartphone stand is perhaps the most functional of all these projects. This speaks not only about projects, but also about us. You are for reading so far, I am for writing even further. We are together now, do not leave the ship.

smartphone stand

You will need two PCB pieces: cut off the larger one or use two separate ones. The boards should be about slightly smaller than the length and width of your smartphone. You will also need a cool looking chip from some old circuit. Yes, and a standard door hinge, along with plenty of strong adhesive.

Select one board as the «bottom» and place the hinge back on it. On the other hinge flap, install the second board so that it forms an angled smartphone stand. Glue the chip to the bottom board to hold the phone and prevent it from slipping.

It’s funny, it’s fun, and it’s one of those projects where when someone asks why you did it, you smugly say, «Because I can.» Tiny achievements like smartphone stand stand help us get out of bed tomorrow, my friend.

Are you hoarding unnecessary gadgets?

There is no shortage of board ideas on the internet. Some of them are crazy enough to be turned into artistic insects, while others have much simpler ideas, like a coaster or mouse pad. But for all this, you need these unnecessary gadgets. Which brings us to a bigger point.

Are you hoarding all your old gadgets, hoping to turn them into something in the future? Do you still have old PCs? Or do you recycle them after the update?

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