Power Supply for Etching With Salt Water





Introduction: Power Supply for Etching With Salt Water

Make a "cheap" power supply for etching metals with salt water.

Step 1: The Gathering

Gather up the materials you need. My son who tattoos, had an extra power supply he gave me. I bought two 1/4 inch phone connectors, two small alligator clips, and had a piece of two strand wire I salvaged.

Step 2: Close the Gap


Two Stand Wire

One 1/4" Telephone Connector

Electrical Tape

Soldering Gun



Wire Cutters

Cut a small length of wire (about 1 1/2") and strip about 1/2" off both ends of one of the wires to expose the conductors. Take the phone connector apart and solder one end of the wire to the tip and the other end to the ring of the phone connector. Then wrap the exposed wire with electrical tape and screw the phone connector back together.

I was going to integrate an on/off switch but found it was unnecessary.

Step 3: Plug It


Two Strand Wire

One 1/4" Phone Connector

Wire Cutters

Length of Two Strand Wire

Take apart the second phone connector, slip the cover over one end of the wire. Cut the exterior insulation of the end of the wire, back about 2 inches, and cut the insulation of both strands back about 1/2".

Step 4: Solder It


Electrical Tape

Soldering Gun



Solder one end of the white wire to the tip, and of the black wire to the ring. Rap one of the soldered wires with electrical tape to stop arching. Put the phone connector back together and screw on the cover.

Step 5: I Feel Exposed


Wire Cutters

Take the wire with the phone connector attached to it and cut of the exterior insulation back about 18". Cut the insulation of both stands about 1/2".

Step 6: Clip It


Two Small Alligator Clips

Soldering Gun



Needle Nose Pliers

Solder and crimp one alligator clip on each end of the exposed wires. The maximum current that will be going though the wires will be 15 volts, so there is no need of covering any exposed wires.

Step 7: Etch It

Plug the first phone connector with the single wire into the jack marked foot peddle. The foot peddle on a tattoo power supply acts as a on/off switch. The first phone connector wired will close the circuit, and ensure a constant power supply to DC Out jack. Plug the second phone connector in the DC Out jack, and you are ready to etch.

With the picture of the finished product, is a knife I etched my mark on using salt water and 9 volts.

(Test your wires to see which is your positive. I found that my black wire is positive)



    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Thanks I needed simple info like plug type to make it into a general purpose power supply. Its really hard to find that level of detail. This solved it. Thanks for posting!

    1 reply

    Glad that my post was of help

    Defiantly a step up than the Harbor Frieght Manual Car Battery Charger I use for etching, rust removal, and plating.

    Thank you, you are welcome