During COVID-19 I began dabbling with metal etching, and I grew a bit tired of using a 9V battery as my power supply. After looking at D. Comeau’s ‘Poor Man’s Etching Power Supply’, I decided to remix things and make my own machine.
- Radio Shack 13.5/30v 1000mA AC Power Adapter
- 5A 120V Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) Switch
- 20A 125V Single Pole Single Throw (SPST–basically just on-off) Switch (linked is the switch I had on hand that I used. Any SPST on-off switch will work)
- Alligator clip (or alternative for clamping metal)
- Q-tips or for a fancier set up, a small block of wood with a metal and felt facing, as outlined in Comeau’s guide
To start, I removed the power supply from its original plastic case. No need to save the case or screws. There’s some BIG capacitors in there, so do be careful. I wired the 2-way SPST switch to be the unit’s on-off switch, then wired the DPDT throw in with the 13.5v line, allowing for 13.5V AC, 13.5V DC, and 30V DC. The AC is mainly just for blackening after etching, so I didn’t feel a need to have much variation with that.