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PCB Etch Tank

Plexiglass was my material of choice for my etching and exposure boxes.

The panels are chemically welded with methylene chloride. Plexi welding is very easy with methylene chloride but you need to make sure that you do this out doors and wearing a proper respirator. I have selected the 3M 6800 full face. 


I mixed cupric chloride from pool acid(30 percent hcl) clear volume 40 hair bleach (peroxide) and scrap copper.

Cool thing about cupric chloride is that unlike the competition it can be regenerated by bubbling air though it. 

Somewhere I have a picture of the aquarium pump I used to do this I'll try to find it and add it at some point.

The other neat thing about the bubbles is they help break the boundary layer over the board you are attempting to etch. Put simply they knock used or depleted acid clinging to the surface of the board away and fresh acid circulates in. 

Safety container

A constructed a wooden crate large enough to hold the etch tank and a rinse basin. I used silicone culk around the bottom corners and edges on the inside. I also gave it a plastic lining inside the wood. Cooper chloride isn't incredibly dangerous but it does pose some environmental concerns. A safety container was designed to minimize these. It was basically built heavy enough so the only way to drop of acid was to be spilled was if a tornado sucked up the box and at that point I figured roughly 24 oz of copper chloride was not going to bother anybody in the scheme of things.




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