My Homemade Etching Tank

Thread Starter

bluebrakes

Joined Oct 17, 2009
251
I thought I would share with you my homemade etching tank.

More importantly, it does exactly what it says on the tin without stretching your budget to several hundred on a professional system.

I made mine in 20 minutes.

I bought the following...

A 3.0L breakfast cereal container. cost £5 from tesco
An aquarium pump kit from ebay... cost £10 incl P&P from ebay
1.9mm square garden mesh... cost £0.99 from a garden centre
An Aquarium heater £7 (optional)
A few cable ties, a drill and a hot glue gun.

The aquarium pump kit (ebay) came with a pump, hose, one way valve and a 12 inch flexible air curtain. Bargain! I thought it would be a good idea to buy a cheap one in case i have issues with using ferric chloride.


I drilled a small 6mm hole at the top RH corner of the cereal container for the air hose to go through. Used the hot glue to stick the air curtain to the bottom of the container.

Cut the garden mesh to size, folded in half, cable tied.
Then I drilled four small holes in the lid of the container. Cable tied the mesh to the underside of the lid.


Attached is some pictures.
 

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KL7AJ

Joined Nov 4, 2008
2,229
I thought I would share with you my homemade etching tank.

More importantly, it does exactly what it says on the tin without stretching your budget to several hundred on a professional system.

I made mine in 20 minutes.

I bought the following...

A 3.0L breakfast cereal container. cost £5 from tesco
An aquarium pump kit from ebay... cost £10 incl P&P from ebay
1.9mm square garden mesh... cost £0.99 from a garden centre
An Aquarium heater £7 (optional)
A few cable ties, a drill and a hot glue gun.

The aquarium pump kit (ebay) came with a pump, hose, one way valve and a 12 inch flexible air curtain. Bargain! I thought it would be a good idea to buy a cheap one in case i have issues with using ferric chloride.


I drilled a small 6mm hole at the top RH corner of the cereal container for the air hose to go through. Used the hot glue to stick the air curtain to the bottom of the container.

Cut the garden mesh to size, folded in half, cable tied.
Then I drilled four small holes in the lid of the container. Cable tied the mesh to the underside of the lid.


Attached is some pictures.
Nice job!

Another method, commonly used when I was a squirt, was the "auto-slosh" method. You rigged a clock motor up with a cam that would tilt the etching tray back and forth slowly to agitate the solution. I imagine the bubbler does a more effective job. I'll have to present this to my students.

An additional note on etching boards from my "Opus of Amateur Radio Knowledge and Lore" due to be published some year soon. :D

"......
We occasionally use corrosive compounds in the ham shack, like circuit-board etching solutions. It is advisable to use rubber gloves and chemical goggles when etching circuit boards. Dispose of the used etchant solution in the proper fashion, which means, don’t flush it down the sink. Save it in a proper plastic bottle, sneak it over to your neighbor’s garage, where, upon its discovery, they can flush it down their sink. No. Just kidding. Scratch that from the record. Forget I ever said that......"



Eric
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,368
I've been thinking of doing something similar with a RC servo and a couple of 555s (of course :rolleyes: ).

Nice job though, what work, works.
 

THE_RB

Joined Feb 11, 2008
5,438
You can use a microwave oven turntable motor, with a simple 2 bump cam, it wil rock the tray every few seconds.

Personally I don't know what the fuss is about, I just hand-slosh them and they are done in 5 mins and that's at room temp. Maybe people mix the FeCl too weak??

(edit) And that's a cool setup bluebrakes. :)
 

t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,934
I've been thinking of doing something similar with a RC servo and a couple of 555s (of course :rolleyes: ).
It has been some wild rumours on this side that BIll actually is looking for uC development tools, but I guess some people will prove overunity before that happened:cool: Ha ha
 
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