Etchant solution

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pwillard
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Re: Etchant solution

Post by pwillard » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:56 pm

I've used this method for years and have grown to like it WAY more than using Ferric Chloride.

I've been making my own boards since 1977 so I'm no stranger to Ferric Chloride bit it was starting to have a lot of items in the negative column for me so I was thrilled to discover the Muriatic Acid/Peroxide method.

Here is my list of why I prefer "pool chemical" etching versus hobby shop stuff.

1) FErric CLoride is slower
2) It requires heat
3) It has permanently stained way more than just my favorite jeans over the years.
4) It is opaque so it's harder to see when you are "done"

The Pool Chemical solution is fast. I can so a single sided 100cm x 100cm board in 5 minutes (no heat added) It's essentially a clear liquid so I can SEE when I'm done. I only use small amounts so mixing order doesn't really matter. I do it outdoors and do NOT stay above it when mixing. The initial mix, regardless how you do it, will immediately create some fumes your nose won't like... so just do it at arms length. Slight agitation is all that is required and you are done in no time. You can have GALLONS of the stuff for the same amount you pay for ferric chloride at the hobby shop.

For some history, you might want to look at http://www.fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc.htm

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sofaspud
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Re: Etchant solution

Post by sofaspud » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:27 pm

Hmmm... y'all are making a strong case. I have a buddy in the pool business so I could get
the acid for next to nothing. He's given me some before - the stuff will easily remove hard
water deposits and make your faucet fixtures look like new! :lol:

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MrAl
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Re: Etchant solution

Post by MrAl » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:54 pm

pwillard wrote:I've used this method for years and have grown to like it WAY more than using Ferric Chloride.

I've been making my own boards since 1977 so I'm no stranger to Ferric Chloride bit it was starting to have a lot of items in the negative column for me so I was thrilled to discover the Muriatic Acid/Peroxide method.

Here is my list of why I prefer "pool chemical" etching versus hobby shop stuff.

1) FErric CLoride is slower
2) It requires heat
3) It has permanently stained way more than just my favorite jeans over the years.
4) It is opaque so it's harder to see when you are "done"

The Pool Chemical solution is fast. I can so a single sided 100cm x 100cm board in 5 minutes (no heat added) It's essentially a clear liquid so I can SEE when I'm done. I only use small amounts so mixing order doesn't really matter. I do it outdoors and do NOT stay above it when mixing. The initial mix, regardless how you do it, will immediately create some fumes your nose won't like... so just do it at arms length. Slight agitation is all that is required and you are done in no time. You can have GALLONS of the stuff for the same amount you pay for ferric chloride at the hobby shop.

For some history, you might want to look at http://www.fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc.htm

Hi there,


I've used Ferric Chloride since the mid 1970's. It does not require heat, although heat speeds up
the process. If you are doing a single sided board and you use a white plastic container, you
can shine a light under the container or on the sides and see right through the board when the
copper gets etched away...you can start to see the pattern and the pattern gets more and more
distinct as the etching progresses.
You have to take precautions to prevent spills yes, but isnt that true of most chemicals?
You can get a large dish washing tub and put your etching tray inside that and take it from there.
That helps prevent spilling even when poring the stuff back into another container.
Im not saying that there are no other chemicals you can use, but FC isnt that bad really.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

psycho
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Re: Etchant solution

Post by psycho » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:38 pm

I am curious about something... I had my muriatic acid outside for storage. I figured I would bring it in 24-48 hours before I planned on etching a board (to get it to room temp). I brought it in a few weeks ago and things got a bit medically complicated and I never got to etching and it is still in the basement hobby room.

When they tell you that the vapors will "leak" through the tightly sealed bottle, are they talkin days/hours or months/years? Also, do I have to worry about the (leaked) fumes on people and pipes/ductwork? Note that I do all of my etching outside so that isn't an issue - just the "leaked" vapors...

Thanks,
Kevin

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reloadron
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Re: Etchant solution

Post by reloadron » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:15 am

psycho wrote:I am curious about something... I had my muriatic acid outside for storage. I figured I would bring it in 24-48 hours before I planned on etching a board (to get it to room temp). I brought it in a few weeks ago and things got a bit medically complicated and I never got to etching and it is still in the basement hobby room.

When they tell you that the vapors will "leak" through the tightly sealed bottle, are they talkin days/hours or months/years? Also, do I have to worry about the (leaked) fumes on people and pipes/ductwork? Note that I do all of my etching outside so that isn't an issue - just the "leaked" vapors...

Thanks,
Kevin
I lived in Europe (Italy) for a number of years and muriatic acid was as common place stored under a kitchen sink as Windex is to us. When drains run slow they pour a half cup or so down the drain like we use liquid plumber. Generally one liter plastic jugs. I think as long as you don't store the stuff for years it would be just fine. I never had any issues with it. However, I can't remember the concentration it was.

Ron

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