that hv coil from the transformer would make a handy search coil for detecting ac magnetic fields around your house.
Hook to an AC meter set for lowest scale , maybe 200 mv
see if you can find any.
I used in the power plant ten turns encircling 1/10th square meter
only in vicinity of huge ac currents was my measurement useful
i got two volts a couple feet from a bus carrying 20 kiloamps
that coil has thousands of turns but encircles only perhaps 1/40th of a square meter
volts per turn e = dΦ / dt
check my arithmetic
at 60 hz you'd get 377/40 X nturns volts per Tesla ?
If nturns is 1000 that'd be 45 millivolts per microTesla?
check my arithmetic
i expect there's way more than a thousand turns on that coil probably closer to 5,000.
anyhow - a reason to be gentle with the hatchet...
ahhhh I'm distractible to a fault. OTOH in this age of fascinating gizmos there's no excuse to be bored..
I wouldn't bother with PCBs and etching solutions. There are a few places that offer quick turn around prototype manufacturing, making your own just doesn't make sense. For a very rough prototype, use a vector board, if you want something that works well, then there is no substitute for a 'real' PCB.
Some of those vendors provide software for PCB design, other require Gerber files. A few companies offer free or low cost PCB design software.
The important things to have are: an oscilloscope and a signal generator.
Sounds expensive, but if you look around you might pick up a second-hand unit for a very reasonable price.
Next, a few BNC cables.
At least one power supply with variable voltage and current limit (in addition to standard 5 V, +/- 15 V ones)
I agree about making your own PCBs. There are plenty of 'free' for hobbyist design programs like Eagle that do a great job of transferring schematic design into board design with vendor build files generated with one mouse click.
This was a recent project to make a automation SECS/GEM host emulator with a 8-bit controller. The first prototype was built on a vector board using a surface mount adapter for the controller.
Using the verified circuit design from that board in Eagle a few two layer board spins were made by a local quick turn around vendor in a few weeks for a hand soldered (with a SMD hot air gun for controller) production host controller PCB with a external optional display for operational testing.
Left: first board layout test prototype, Right: final board design.