DIY Metal Etcher




This project can use as engrave any metal product or if you giving a gift you can etch your name on it wright draw somethings be creative have used a stencil because my my free hand drawings are bad.

Step 1: Things What You Need for This Project

Power Adapter Between 6V -12V

2 Aligator clips

Small piece of jumper wire

Stensil (if you are good at drawing free hand don't need it )

Step 2: How to Do It

In here i have used 12V A/C power adapter you can use old phone charger or old router power supply


1st step

connect alligator clips to the power adapter (i have cut out the wire on this adapter because this wire is not enough for this project )

2nd step

clip the piece of jumper wire to the alligator clip

connect the other alligator clip to the metal that you gonna use for etching

now you all done check the video how i did it

Step 3: DEMO

I Have used old floppy drive here you can use any metal surface for this etching

When you done clean the surface with some paint thiner or rubbing alcohol

thanks for watching hope you enjoy feel free to comment if you have any problems or question ;)

Step 4:

Burn It! Contest

Participated in the
Burn It! Contest



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    58 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Ahhh...I saw a tool over in a flea market just a few weeks ago that works exactly the same way. It was an electric marking tool for identifying tools and such if you didn't have an engraving tool. Nice job on a modern-day adaptation!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Jesus... most of the posters here, ...i get upset reading the comments. The author didn't force anyone to construct the so called "metal etcher"

    Do you want to construct it ?? construct it,its simple !! By the way its not so dangerous as the they mentioned.

    looks pretty cool.... but as mentioned before, this is not etching, it's small scale DC welding.... etching by definition removes material, you are adding... therefor welding or "plating"

    Very cool nonetheless

    1 reply

    That looks like 'spark erosion' to me. NOT welding at all

    The smoke you see is small amounts of metal material being vaporised.

    For it to be welding, you'd have to have a steady arc to melt the material and then use a filler rod to add material.

    If it was me, i'd just buy an etcher or a dremmel, but thats me.

    I get more than enough arcs and sparks at work as a welder!

    Plus, it's a bit irresponsible promoting kids start messing about with live electricity. You might find an inquisitive little bugger decides to try something a bit more powerful, takes the mains cable from a light or something else and winds up at best blowing the main house fuse, at worse blowing their life away...


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Rant begins:

    Safety is such an annoying subject! Of course it's essential to be careful, but do we really have to go on and on about every little thing? -- In every friggin' instructible?

    There should be a link to all the warnings in all the various categories of projects and it should be the responsibility of the user(or his/her parents) to make sure these warning are observed. Then a poster could simply refer to the existence of that repository of fear-mongering and boredom, and then move on to the creative stuff. Having so many of the comments about hand-holding is restricting more inspirational input from other members who already know all this stuff. How many good ideas were never posted for fear that one might forget to state the obvious and get all this backlash?

    I fail to see why we should all endure this silliness every time we read an instructible just because of the possibility that some stupid kid might blow up his house. When did that unsupervised kid become MY problem? Where are the parents??? How about assuming that users are smart enough to care about their own safety and stop obsessing about everything that MIGHT happen? Enough already!

    Yes, by all means, keep mentioning safety in your instructions but keep it simple and/or refer the user to the appropriate page at the Warnings part of the website that i suggested earlier. Otherwise, this site, like so many others will become so tedious that we will stop coming and join another website where people are less obsessed with other people's right to be wrong.

    Rant over. ;-)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    i wise to ask will these metal etch work on annealed stainless steel ?


    4 years ago

    The name of this "project" should be called the...

    Miniature (Dangerous) Welder

    The kid who made this project is probably new to electronics because he seems Oblivious to the dangers of "etching" as he calls this but it is no different than welding but just on a smaller scale -_- And if anyone does go the ought with this and try's to "etch" by shorting a 12v power supply on a floppy disk drive, god help them, and it would be best to where some sort of uv protection and a mask for the poisonous gasses u make. But hey u could just not do it and maybe live another day:)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    there is absolutely no danger in doing this because:

    1) when you touch it, the current will flow through the shorter path, that means it will go through the metal

    2) this is DC, and we humans have a great parasitic capacity wich blocks DC

    3) you get twice the uv radiation by just sitting there looking at the computer

    4) the ammount of poisonous gases is lower than the one your car produces

    you would need to do this for continous hours for days to barely get anything

    the only real danger here is to break the power source or get your fingers burned in the sparks

    sorry english not my first language

    I agree with Fastfocus, this is not etching, it is welding. This is exactly how and electric welder or arc welder works, just on a smaller scale. Etching is the process of removing small amounts of material.

    In the video, the guy was actually holding onto the welding rod with his bare hand so there doesn't appear to be much danger in this configuration because it is a low-amp transformer. The issue is if someone else grabs something with a little higher amps and actually gets hurt.

    Finally, the end result is kinda cool. This could be a good instructable if more knowledge was put into it, especially around the amperage concerns.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah I am with you NERANJAN.GHOST..Who cares about these people that are scared to burn the house down inhale some yammy yammy fumes or go blind, blow of couple of fingers or little bit of brain damage.They have no common sense to do experimentation the right way.You are my hero and I would jump out of a plane without a parachute to prove it.

    GO MATE!

    2 replies

    4 years ago on Introduction

    where do i connect the alligator clips? on the prongs that go in socket?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Instead of including health warnings and pointing out hazards and dangers the author prefers scoffing at people who are trying to be helpful.
    Pretty immature for someone his age, but fits the selfie in the portrait. =)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Most wall socket supplies are not build to run in almost short circuit mode. Sorry.
    Also there is no description how many Ampere the supply must have. The range of success is from a poor spark to an eye burning welding arc. There I would recommend welding googles. Also burning zinced surfaces results in hazardous fumes. So don't do that inside the house.