Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Electrochemical etching


I’d really like to get into etching, and after doing my research I
think I would prefer to try the electrochemical option. I like that
there are less dangerous chemicals to fuss about with since I work
out of my home, and the cleaner etching it gives appeals to me. I
thought about building a rectifier but that seems like a pain in the
butt now. Do any of you use this method? What rectifier would you
recommend I get? I would be etching primarily silver, and sometimes
brass, doing it semi regularly. (this is my full time job) I would
love to do more than one piece at once as well, if that’s even
possible. (I know I would need different solutions for the different
metals as well) Any advice you can pass along? Thanks!


A car battery charger will work in a pinch. Google for advice.

Personally, Edinburgh etch solution for copper and brass is not
particularly dangerous, only messy.




I use an old cell phone charger. It plugs in to a standard wall
socket and has dc output at 12 volts and about .5 amps. I use copper
sulfate (aka Root Kill) for copper, brass, bronze and nickel silver.
I use cupric nitrate for sterling silver and fine silver. In both
case, I mix 100 gr into 500ml of distilled water.

Etching time and depth seems to vary based on the surface area of
the anode and the cathode (what is being etched) and the distance
between them.

For the copper/brass/bronze/nickel silver etching, the copper will
be deposited on the anode. For the sterling silver/fine silver, the
silver precipitates out and falls to the bottom.

Michael Nelson