Salt Bath Etch Recipe

45% Copper Sulfate

45% Table Salt

10% PH Down (Sodium Bisulfate)


Put the dry solution in a bucket and add warm water to dissolve the crystals.  The solution should be a nice blue color.  For 1 cup of Copper Sulfate approximately 1 gallons of water is added.


Copper Sulfate is packaged as Root Kill ( 99.9% copper sulfate).  It can be found at Home Deport or Ace Hardware in the plumbing section.  This product will kill trees and is toxic to fish.

PH Down can also be purchased at Home Depot or at a pool supply shop. 

As the solution is used it will become depleted.     Its not acid but you still need to be responsible when using this solution keep a cover on the bucket and dont let your kids drink it.  



There are a number of different products to use as the resist.  I use shellac with an amber tint.  You could also use wax, latex paint, or nail polish. For etching steel you will want to choose a resist that will stand up to the etching solution over a reasonable length of time. 


Candle holders

2 pieces of 2 X 1/4 strap 8 long

Forge an arc shape with a jig for more uniformity or use the anvils horn.  Cut holes on the top of each arc with a plasma cutter large enough for a piece of schedule 40 pipe approximately long.  Weld the pipe to the arc.  Be sure to clean up the welds and remove any scale with a grinder or in a pickle.  Now its time to have fun get your paint brush and awaken your creative muse!   Remember anything that does is not covered with resist will etch that includes the edges, sides and back.