Introduction: Electro Etching Machine Made From Trash! (EASY)

About: 14 yrs old, Woodworking, woodcarving, knifemaking, DIY how to, and much more are just what I do everyday! Stay tuned and find out what I make next!

How to make a Electro Etching Machine! What these are used for is etching your Maker's Mark on anything from Knives, to tools, to even kitchen ware! This is a VERY easy project, and quite interesting with the science behind it! I have seen some of these electro etching machines, but what's special about this one is that I invented it myself!

So without further ado, let's get started!

You will need these materials and tools for this project.


• Switch (an electric switch)

• 9 Volt Battery (any brand will work)

• 9 Volt Battery Connector

• Binder Clip

• Vinegar (any vinegar you like)

• Sea Salt

• Bottle/ Jar

• (optional) Copper Wire

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Now it's time to gather your materials. The materials and tools are listed in the 1st step. What you want to start with is a 9 volt Battery, Binder Clip, Switch (preferably one with a plug), and a 9 Volt Battery Connector. Once you've gathered these, you're ready to start!

Step 2: Wire Your Plug

The first thing I'll do is wire the Plug to the Battery Connector. My Battery Connector has a + and - wire, so I need to connect the + to the +. And the - to the -. So I found that the wider spoke is the Negative, and the narrow spoke is the Positive. And the round one is Ground. We don't need ground, so you can tape that one off. So, I'll start by wiring the Positive to the Positive, and Negative to the Negative wire. Here i'm just taking the Connector wires, and twisting them unto the spokes. You could do this with a Soldering Iron also, but I tried to limit this project to NO Power tools.

Once done, you're ready for the next step!

Step 3: Attach Your Clip

Now it's time to attach your clip. Here the White Wire is Positive, and the black wire is Negative. (the Green wire is Ground) So, we won't need the green wire; so we'll just go ahead and clip that one off. So we'll start by taking the positive, and attaching it to one of the Binder wires.(see images above) You can Solder it unto the binder clip if you want.

NOTE: Do NOT attach the Negative wire to the other Binder side, you want to ONLY attach the Positive.

Once done, you're ready to move on!

Step 4: Make Your Etching Solution

Now it's time to make your etching solution! Here I took some White Vinegar, and put it into a Glass Jar/ Bottle. Then, I added about 1 table spoon of Sea Salt. Once done, I shook it up to mix together the solution. You want it to be pretty strong, because the stronger the solution the better it etches. The vinegar etches the metal Naturally because it erodes the upper surface layers of the steel. So in the vinegar, the salt that we added dissolves into positive charged sodium ions and negative charged chloride ions. And so what this does is it allows a current to travel through the solution; allowing it to etch the top layer of the steel permanently.

Step 5: Start Etching!

Now it's time to start etching!

The first thing you'll do of course is:

1. Plug in your battery

2. Turn the switch 'ON'

3. Attach the binder to the tip of metal you're etching

4. Apply 1 or 2 drops of the Vinegar solution to your metal.

5. Take the negative wire, and touch the surface of the solution, without touching the metal.

6. Sit back, and watch it etch!

NOTE: Try not to touch the metal with the negative wire, this will create sparks that will effect the etching pattern.

Step 6: Done!

Now that you've created your etching machine, and have tried it, you are officially a 'Grand Electro Etcher'! This is a very fun, and easy project and I hope you all found it helpful! And of course, if you want more elaborate etches, you have to cut out a stencil and etch inside it to create a special design of your own! (as seen in images above)

Thank you so much for viewing this project, and as always... 'Create Something'.

Want to see more? Visit my Youtube Channel and Website for more!

Makerspace Contest 2017

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest 2017

Explore Science Contest 2017

Participated in the
Explore Science Contest 2017

Invention Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Invention Challenge 2017