Picture of Home Electrolysis Kit
Electrolysis is a useful skill to pick up and the beauty of it is that it's super easy to do. Electrolysis can be used to plate materials, to clean, for etching and even to produce pure forms of a material.

In this article we'll show you how to make your own small electrolysis kit. With what you'll learn you'll be able to scale up the kit if you wanted to.

For more projects visit our blog.
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Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed
List of materials:

  • Crocodile clips
  • A battery
  • Some pencils
  • A non-conductive container
  • A knife
  • A pair of snipe nose pliers
  • A piece of card (big enough to go over the top of the container)

Step 2: Prepare Your Pencils

Picture of Prepare Your Pencils
Firstly prepare your pencils by removing the rubber and the metal holder on top. Using your knife, scrap off the wood to expose the carbon graphite underneath.

Step 3: Mount Pencils Through Cardboard

Picture of Mount Pencils Through Cardboard
Cut a piece of card just big enough to cover your container. Now pierce the card to allow the pencils through it. This should be a snug fit and ensure the probes are not too close to each other so they won't touch.

Step 4: You've Made An Electrolysis Kit

Picture of You've Made An Electrolysis Kit
Place the cardboard with the pencils attached onto the glass, ensuring that they would dip into the solution. Now attach your crocodile clips to the pencils and battery, being careful not to break the graphite.

Your now good to go.

Don't forget this was a simple introduction into electrolysis, but once you've learnt the basics you can adapt what you've learnt and scale up the kit.

Here is our video in case you missed it.

to upsize you could buy some graphite rods here http://www.mcmaster.com/#graphite/=ohdxsf
tanya741 year ago
I can't see the video
Go Repairs (author)  tanya741 year ago
I have embedded the video at the start and end of the instructable and it appears fine for me. If it's not showing properly for you on this site try visiting our Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/GoRepairs
it would have been a better idea that instead of having it cut by a knife, just burn it.
The wood will burn and the graphite will stay there.
Go Repairs (author)  fahadshihab1 year ago
I wouldn't say that burning was any better - a different way yes.
the lead will be a bit soft.that's the only problem. it is only to insert it in water... that's
This is something that I did as a kid long ago and had fun with it till I electroplated things that Ma liked to have in the colour she bought it. It cost me a long time to get the plating off in the intrinsic nooks and corners on her dust collecting figurerines
Go Repairs (author)  KROKKENOSTER1 year ago
I know what you mean, once you start you wonder what you can do next.
OK? So where's the end that you would use to say "etch" with? (or anything else) I think that a working end should be part of any kit.

I understand as far as it goes and you explained well.
Go Repairs (author)  Tracy_Marie1 year ago
Hi, thanks for commenting. The idea of the article was to be a basic introduction to electrolysis. With this simple kit you can start to learn about the process and hopefully you will want to learn more. At some point in the future I will put up another article (maybe an intermediate level) which will be slightly more advanced than this.
Looking forward to it! I'm especially interested in plating jewelry, and other jewelry making applications. Pinning this... its really intriguing and informative!
Go Repairs (author)  rverdi1 year ago
I'm glad you liked it.
misterken1 year ago
as a retired science teacher I find this Instructable to be clearly and elegantly presented
Go Repairs (author)  misterken1 year ago
Thank you for your kind words.
airborne821 year ago
Nice presentation! What kinds of solutions can be used for this process? Can I clean jewelry using this process? Can I use this process to tin a circuit board, and how can that be done? Thanks
Go Repairs (author)  airborne821 year ago
I will hopefully go into the applications more in the future - cleaning, plating etc.
ngill21 year ago
how do I get my legs in there?
gfdgary1 year ago
You mention 'solution' - what is your solution that you used in the glass jar? Just water??
Go Repairs (author)  gfdgary1 year ago
When I mentioned you would dip your pencil probes into the 'solution', I'm referring to whatever you want to do electrolysis with. In the video I was using water (the clear liquid) and copper sulphate (the blue solution).
Edgar1 year ago
Neat, and went to my Blog:
Go Repairs (author)  Edgar1 year ago
Thanks I appreciate the support.
Tou don't state what the solution is, or indeed what you've transferred to/ electroplated the pencil with
Go Repairs (author)  filtercages1 year ago
Yes your right I don't, the reason is it's not a 'How To Do Electrolysis'. This is a how to make a small home electrolysis kit. But if your interested, the examples in the video were water (clear solution) and copper sulphate (the blue solution). I may go further into the details of electrolysis in the future. Thanks for leaving a comment.
antioch1 year ago
Go Repairs (author)  antioch1 year ago
No problem.
stacld871 year ago
We got a new parts cleaner in our bike shop and it cleans parts by creating electrical currents through the water. I really never looked into it but is this pretty much the same thing?
Go Repairs (author)  stacld871 year ago
Yes by the sounds of it you are using electrolysis to clean those parts.
xarlock6671 year ago
I like it! Short sweet and to the point. Now, make a few more showing the applications, like plating, etching, etc... keep up the good work.
Go Repairs (author)  xarlock6671 year ago
I may show some examples in the future. Thanks for leaving a comment.
xarlock6671 year ago
I like it! Short sweet and to the point. Now, make a few more showing the applications, like plating, etching, etc... keep up the good work.
xarlock6671 year ago
I like it! Short sweet and to the point. Now, make a few more showing the applications, like plating, etching, etc... keep up the good work.