Etching Tank, et al

The Tank

I am using a vertical tank because there isn’t much counter space in my studio, so I need something a little more compact with a small footprint. This is an old Tupperware container that my mom used to keep our cereal in when I was a kid…now it holds a solution of zinc sulfate.

Etching tank with power supply
Etching tank with power supply

Pop-rivet a piece of plexi to the inside of the tank to hold the bracket straight in the tank, while still allowing the cover to fit.

Plexi strip to hold brackets
Plexi strip to hold brackets

The Brackets

It is best if you make the brackets out of the metal that you are etching, so that the electricity flows well from the bracket to the plate and so on. These were made from old etching plates scavenged and hoarded from undergrad. I have actually reduced the system down to just one bracket per plate for simplicity’s sake. (I am using pretty small plates for now until the magical Money Fairy visits again, so the one works. Larger plates may need the two)

A bracket to hold the plates while etching.
Etching plate bracket.

Simply drill a few holes, layer some bits to build out the main bracket and bottom ledge for the plate.

The part of the bracket that allows it to attach to the tank.
The part of the bracket that allows it to attach to the tank.

Bend a small strip around the main center strip, drill a hole and inset a set screw to hold it in place.

Set screw allows the piece to clamp the plate in place.
Set screw allows the piece to clamp the plate in place.

Be sure to varnish these pretty well so that they are not etched away in the process. Leave a small patch open as the contact point with the plate.

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