How to Build a Deep Cycle Battery

By Chris Moore

A glass jar can be transformed into your own battery.
i empty glass jar image by vadim kozlovsky from

A deep cycle battery is a type of lead acid battery that can be charged and discharged several times for long life. They can be a good source of portable power. A deep cycle battery stores power through lead plates and sulfuric acid, so it is possible to create and charge your own battery. You need to use extreme caution if you try this, because sulfuric acid is highly corrosive and poisonous.

Pour the sulfuric acid carefully into the glass jar, filling it between half and two-thirds full.

Cut a sheet of lead that is between one and 2.5 millimeters thick into 10 plates, using a knife or trimming shears, that are just the right size to fit within the circumference of your jar. Cut two more pieces into tabs six inches long.

Cut a piece of nylon into 18 strips that are the same size as your lead plates using scissors.

Stack the lead and nylon on to of one another, placing two nylon strips in between each plate. This will help create enough spacing in between the plates.

Lower and insert the plates into the jar of acid -- they need to barely fit into the jar, being able to stand vertically in the jar on their own.

Cut two slots into the lid of the jar that are six inches in length using your knife. Slide the metal tabs in and out through the slots and confirm they will fit before closing the lid on the jar.

Insert the lead tabs back into the slots within the jar. Make sure they touch the lead plates in the jar along the sides.

Connect a DC power source to the battery, connecting the positive clamp to one tab and then the negative clamp to the other. Remember which tab is connected to which clamp to identify the battery's positive/negative terminals.

Turn on the power source and set its voltage to 2.15 volts. Wait four hours for the source to charge the battery.