Pocket Sized Penny Etcher

Introduction: Pocket Sized Penny Etcher

About: I love to build thing I am an early teen that likes sparks

I thought it would be cool to carve into pennies some people do it with a knife or a chisel. But for me, that is to much work. So I made an electric etcher so I can be able to draw on any copper plated metal. This is how to make the Pocket-sized Penny etcher.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: What You Will Need

you will need...

1 small sewing needle

2 alligator clips

A bug zapper ( one that runs at 3000 volts to 5000 volts)

A small tin or box (I used a metal playing card box)

A spool of solder

Now for tools

A soldering Iron

A small screwdriver that will fit the screws in you bug zapper

A drill with a 1/4 inch bit or punch

Step 2: Disassembling Bug Zapper and Attaching Alligator Clips

  1. The next thing is to remove the screws in the bug zapper, once inside remove the mesh/net thing that you hit the bugs with. And throw it away.
  2. Then grab the circuit board and take it out carefully, cut any wire that is attached to the plastic casing leaving as much as you can get to be attached to the board(this is the most important part) and set the board aside.
  3. Then cut the head off one side of both of both of the alligator clips and strip the insulation so the wire itself is exposed. Tin it then and solder them to the positive and negative high voltage electrodes on the bug zapper circuit which has also been stripped and tined.

Step 3: Placing Circuit in Box

You then place the circuit in the tin and tape and or glue the circuit in a place where you can fit everything in including alligator clips, and battery.

Step 4: Drilling Holes

If the switch on the circuit board or anything else will not fit in the case then you will have to drill holes in the case in the proper place to let things go through the case if you have a big enough box you will not have to do this step.

Step 5: Hot Glueing

fill the small area in between the board and tin to hold in place make sure to leave the larger space free to hold the battery and wires.

Step 6: Using It

In one of the Alligator clips, clip a standard US 1982 or after US penny( which means that it is 97% zinc ). In the other clip, clip the needle that will be your engraving tip ( after a while maybe 4 hours of engraving solid you might want to change it out because they do erode. Slowly move the clip with the needle in it toward the penny. It will soon start to make arcs and that will make little holes in the copper on the penny which turns the dots a silvery zinc color. So you can make Abe Lincoln have a smile.

Step 7: Great

Awesome now you have your very own penny engraving machine you can make em for your friend or for your self and best of all it is partially legal ;)

Finally be safe don't be stupid this is running at High voltages and I do not take any responsibility for any injuries this invention may give you.

Pocket-Sized Contest

Participated in the
Pocket-Sized Contest

Be the First to Share


    • LED Strip Speed Challenge

      LED Strip Speed Challenge
    • Sculpting Challenge

      Sculpting Challenge
    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest

    4 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago

    Do you have any etched pennies to show us? I've never seen one.


    2 years ago

    Hey Alex. I placed a vote on yours. I just posted mine.


    2 years ago

    You got my vote!!

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    Fun idea! Do you have a picture of something you have etched with it?