Hey guys, thanks for helping to answer my questions in the past. Here's something some of you may find interesting, it's an experimental result of me being poor and being tired of buying more expensive small bottles of ferric chloride etchant from Radio Shack every time I wanted to etch another board.
How I Make Ferric Chloride Etchant
Ingredients that I use...
- Gallon bottle of muriatic acid (bought at local hardware store (Lowes) for a few dollars)
- Half-gallon of 40-volume hydrogen peroxide (bought at local beauty supply store (Sally Beauty Supply) for under ten dollars)
- Steel Wool 6-Pack #4/0 Steel Wool Pads (bought at WalMart for under 3 dollars, can get at Lowes for under 4 dollars) Do NOT use the soapy cleaning pads found in the kitchen area, use the shop pads found in the hardware section of the store!
- Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate, already had it in the kitchen)
Hardware that I use...
- Clean plastic one-gallon milk jug with lid
- Clean plastic juice jug with lid (46 to 64 ounce size) or 32-ounce Gatorade bottle with lid
- Silicone airline tubing for fish tank (about three dollars at pet supply shop)
- Nitrile gloves (bought at hardware store for under 4 dollars, they're reusable)
- Drill with 1/4" drillbit (or a drillbit slightly smaller than the diameter of the silicone airline tubing)
Getting the ferric chloride labratory ready!
- Get your jugs, silicone tubing, and drill ready!
- Go outside and away from anything you don't want to get stained and discolored. Don't do any of this stuff indoors, because the fumes are harmful to your health and will corrode any exposed metal in your house (loose change, light fixtures, faucets, picture frames, circuit boards, etc). The fumes are harmful, but the spouse can be deadly if any important or expensive metallic objects in the house get irrepairably rusted. Also, ferric chloride will stain concrete rusty-red and will not wash off so stay away from sidewalks, the driveway, and the porch.
- For the milk jug, drill one hole in the middle of the lid for some silicone tubing.
- For the juice jug, drill two holes in the lid for some silicone tubing.
- Cut a three-foot piece of silicone tubing and push one end into the hole in the milk jug lid. When you're done, the silicone tubing will protrude only about a half-inch into the milk jug and it should fit tightly in the hole. If the silicone tube won't fit in the hole at all, find a slightly bigger drillbit and drill the hole a little wider. If the silicone tube fits loosely in the hole, find another milk jug lid and use a smaller drillbit to drill the tube hole. The tube needs to fit tightly!
- For the end of the silicone tubing that's sticking out of the milk jug, stick it in one of the holes in the juice jug lid. Push the tubing down the hole until it goes all the way to the bottom of the jug. When you're done, the silicone tubing should be touching the bottom of the juice jug.
- Cut a 12-inch piece of silicone tubing and stick it in the other hole in the juice jug. It should protrude about a half inch into the milk jug when you're done.
Now we have a milk jug with a tube connecting it to a juice jug. The juice jug also has another short tube simply stickoug out of it and not connecting to anything. The lab equipment is now done, so you can put the drill away and get the chemicals ready. If you're not already outside, go outside! The chemicals are corrosive and the vapor and fumes are harmful, and the end result (ferric chloride) will permanently stain concrete/stone/wood! OK, on to post number two...