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Still Air Box design/prototyping/theory


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#1 Rangley

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:12 PM

First off I want to thank you for reading this, and hope it can help you in your pursuits. My mycological experience is limited but I have been building mechanical/electrical components for years. This write-up should guide you through building a quality still air box relatively easily and for just $20.

 

I tinkered with many different concepts, but chose this one because at its base design it can be built relatively cheap with minimal tools, and experience. It also is fully enclosed allowing you to work comfortably in a sterile environment. It utilizes PVC flanges so you can replace your gloves after each work session or as necessary. 

 

This SAB will support inoculation, agar work, G2G, prints/syringes, and cloning. Giving you an affordable foot in the door in clean work. 

 

Note: There are many different approaches to creating a sterile environment. This particular post is about still air boxes. Contaminations can and will happen with every method. This is to decrease the chance of contamination as much as possible. 

 

 

 

Items needed to build the base version - 

 

Sterilite container

Two 4-inch PVC flanges 

Gloves large enough to be folded over the flanges and allow movement in the container!

GE Silicone (Mold resistant) 

DUCK heavy duty weatherstrip seal 

Dremel 

Razor Blade 

IMG_2413.jpg

 

 

Start by putting the larger portion of the flange to the container, and trace it with a sharpie. You can use alcohol to clean the marker off the PVC if you are as OCD as me. I used the ribs for the lid to make sure the cut outs were evenly spaced. 

 

IMG_2414.jpg

 

One of the reasons I decided to write this was to aide others through my mistakes, and contribute tricks of the trade that I have learned through out my life. This seemingly easy task is where I made several mistakes with my other concepts. "Not all plastics are created equal".  Some will crack, tear or split. Not something you want to happen after you have been cutting holes in your box for two hours rendering it useless. Sterilite is a very easy plastic to manipulate, sturdy and cheap! 

 

Use a Dremel! It will save you time, and with practice will give everything you craft a finished appearance. If you have any questions on specifics tips or attachments to use please pm me! I use my Dremel for many different applications. 

 

 

I started with a course red sanding disk. Start to cut 1/4-1/2 inch away from your outline. Working your way to the other side creating a line. Start again from the outside working your straight to the other side creating an X. This now allows you to manipulate the plastic without ruining it. 

 

IMG_2415.jpg

 

Continuing to use the same small red sanding disc cut around the circle in the 4 tabs you created. You can push or pull on the "tab" to get a good cut. Use gloves because to be precise you need to be close.

 

You have created your flange hole! From here change attachments to the orange grinding stone. You need to smooth out the cut, and the grinding stone slowly cuts, and melts the plastic giving you a great surface for your silicone to seal too. 

 

 

 

IMG_2416.jpg

 

*I pressed the flange into the container* As you slowly enlarge your hole with the grinder you need to try and work your flange through the hole. You can eventually get it to the point where you will feel resistance but it will press in! Giving you a tight fit even before you seal it with silicone! 

 

IMG_2417.jpg

 

Rinse, lather, and repeat for the other flange  :biggrin:

 

IMG_2418.jpg

 

Next you need to make sure that no air is escaping past your flanges. I used a GE Silicone that is mold resistant. You can use whatever you are comfortable with. I chose the silicone for a specific reason. 

 

Start by pulling your flanges halfway out of the holes you just created. Place a good bead of silicone around the lip of the PVC that will be pressed into the container. Now slowly press them into the holes until the flange is seated against the plastic container. I clamped it down overnight and added some weight. 

 

Next you need to seal the flange on the inside of the container. Start again by placing a large bead all the way around the flange. Here you can use a trick to ensure the seal has no air holes, and looks professional. Alcohol restricts the silicone sticking to your skin. Spray your finger/nitrile glove with alcohol, and run it around the bead ensuring you have coverage from the container up to and around the flange. Now let it cure  :meditate:

 

 

IMG_2419.jpg

 

 

After the flanges have cured take your heavy duty weather seal and apply it around the lip of the plastic container where the lid seats. Cut a 1/4 in notch around the corners of the container to allow the weather seal to bend. Here you can see it in action with the lid on. 

 

* I will upload a better picture of the seal installation soon* 

 

Next use the Dremel to cut guides around the flange to secure your gloves. I used the orange grinding attachment to create a 1/4 inch guide in the four beveled edges you see around the flange. This will give the zip-tie securing your glove to the flange a flush all around seal.

 

*I will upload a better picture of the guides soon   

 

IMG_2426.jpg


Edited by Rabbittt, 25 April 2017 - 03:30 PM.

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#2 Heirloom

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:21 PM

Nice SAB , that'll be a nice glovebox when you attach your gloves.
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#3 Rangley

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

Note: I consider this the base model

 

I used this SAB at it's current configuration to inoculate my jars, but during the inoculation I already noted several things I can improve on. Now that my jars are inoculated I am going to be constructing those improvements and will add them to this write up as enhancements to the base model.  

 

As your hobby grows, and your interest to invest more money/time into it does you can add these on to your box, but that base model will be sufficient  :biggrin:



#4 Rangley

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:28 PM

Nice SAB , that'll be a nice glovebox when you attach your gloves.

 

Sorry if I muddied the terminology. I consider a Glovebox to be a type of SAB. Any end user who builds this can choose to attach the gloves and zip-tie them around the flange sealing it off. Or they consider to just use gloves, and approach it un-sealed. 


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#5 Ferather

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 04:23 PM

Very nice, thanks for taking the time for a write up, with added experience.

 

:biggrin:


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#6 Heirloom

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:12 PM

no offence intended. I thought you might like this about Pharmacist using still air boxes to make sterile compounds. This say's how good a SAB can be.



"Aseptic Compounding in New Zealand and the Use of Still Air Boxes
To meet the requirements of palliative care patients and to facilitate the compounding of sterile preparations, community pharmacists began to compound certain aseptic preparations with a Still Air Box, a unique apparatus that is an alternative to the more expensive and bulky laminar airflow cabinets."


peace
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#7 Rangley

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:30 PM

Admin: If you can please place this in the original post as it fits. Thank you 

 

IMG_2440.jpg

 

Next use the Dremel to cut guides around the beveled lips to secure your gloves. I used the orange grinding attachment to create a 1/4 inch guide in the four beveled edges you see around the flange. This will give the zip-tie securing your glove to the flange a flush all around seal.

 

 

IMG_2441.jpg

 

Be safe, share your experience, and your skills. Now more than ever we need safer more natural experiences. I hope this can be a contribution. 

 

 

-Rabbit 



#8 Rangley

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:34 PM

no offence intended. I thought you might like this about Pharmacist using still air boxes to make sterile compounds. This say's how good a SAB can be.



"Aseptic Compounding in New Zealand and the Use of Still Air Boxes
To meet the requirements of palliative care patients and to facilitate the compounding of sterile preparations, community pharmacists began to compound certain aseptic preparations with a Still Air Box, a unique apparatus that is an alternative to the more expensive and bulky laminar airflow cabinets."


peace

 

None taken, it can be used either way. Its also good to clear that up for everyone else. That is some great information! I am simply a beginner in mycology so a flow hood is not even an option right now. I tend to rush things, and I want to be patient with this   :meditate:



#9 Juthro

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:08 AM

Nice write up, Rabbittt.

Nice clean design, and well constructed. Kudos to you sir.

:)
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#10 Rangley

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:36 AM

Nice write up, Rabbittt.

Nice clean design, and well constructed. Kudos to you sir.

:)

 

Thank you. Although this rabbit can tinker his green thumb is not practiced. Newbie here, so when I first used it I noticed several enhancements were needed. I am building a sterile tray elevated on the left side for my syringes to sit out of the way. I also plan on building a lower shelf on the right side to hold the jars out of the way. 

 

Maybe in the future an agar tray  :wub:

 

I also plan on cutting a large portion of the top, and replacing it with a sealed plexiglass window. To aide with an always clear view I am also adding LED lights around the window facing down.  That I think will make me unstoppable in the lab! 



#11 MLBjammer

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:23 AM

The only thing I would have done differently is to put the hand holes on the bottom of the tub so that you can use the lid as a back door and would eliminate the need to replace the lid with clear plexiglass.  And if you heat up a metal coffee can on a stove burner, it makes perfect holes in those plastic tubs for your hands.  And it's much easier than cutting/drilling plastic.

 

Nice work.


Edited by MLBjammer, 26 April 2017 - 03:25 AM.

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#12 scott_1971_h

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:30 AM

Yes good write up mine isnt quite as classy... Can always use the arms of tyvek overalls for ... arms, keep skin flakes out that might get past gloves. Get ones with elastic on ankles and wrists. The rest of the suit can always be put to good use...


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#13 Rangley

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:59 PM

The only thing I would have done differently is to put the hand holes on the bottom of the tub so that you can use the lid as a back door and would eliminate the need to replace the lid with clear plexiglass.  And if you heat up a metal coffee can on a stove burner, it makes perfect holes in those plastic tubs for your hands.  And it's much easier than cutting/drilling plastic.

 

Nice work.

 

 

I utilize the lid as the floor of the glovebox. Allowing the weight of the container to seal on the weather strip. Once added the glass, lights, shelfs, and trays will help with that. The container is also widest utilized that way.  

 

Good tips on the heat method. You can see in one pic where that razor blade is burnt   :wink:  I am just real handy with a Dremel


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#14 Cue

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:50 AM

 

I am just real handy with a Dremel

Dremels come in real handy for making plastic jar lids. I use a cone shaped grinding bit to make the holes for my plastic lids.


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#15 jkdeth

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:54 AM

Dremels are good for toe nails as well.
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#16 scott_1971_h

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 07:50 AM

Dremels are good for toe nails as well.

And for dogs nails unless you have a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I have never been permitted.



#17 Rangley

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 11:53 AM

 

 

I am just real handy with a Dremel

Dremels come in real handy for making plastic jar lids. I use a cone shaped grinding bit to make the holes for my plastic lids.

 

 

 

Good info! I love breaking mine out because of how handy it is! I will be investing in a PC within a month, and cannot wait to start making jars. The orange grinding stone I mention several times during the article is that one precisely. I forgot to mention it was "coned" doh! 


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#18 Rangley

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 12:01 PM

Yes good write up mine isnt quite as classy... Can always use the arms of tyvek overalls for ... arms, keep skin flakes out that might get past gloves. Get ones with elastic on ankles and wrists. The rest of the suit can always be put to good use...

 

 

Might have to add something like that to the enhancements  :biggrin:  good info!



#19 CatsAndBats

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 08:44 PM

First off I want to thank you for reading this, and hope it can help you in your pursuits. My mycological experience is limited but I have been building mechanical/electrical components for years. This write-up should guide you through building a quality still air box relatively easily and for just $20.

 

I tinkered with many different concepts, but chose this one because at its base design it can be built relatively cheap with minimal tools, and experience. It also is fully enclosed allowing you to work comfortably in a sterile environment. It utilizes PVC flanges so you can replace your gloves after each work session or as necessary. 

 

This SAB will support inoculation, agar work, G2G, prints/syringes, and cloning. Giving you an affordable foot in the door in clean work. 

 

Note: There are many different approaches to creating a sterile environment. This particular post is about still air boxes. Contaminations can and will happen with every method. This is to decrease the chance of contamination as much as possible. 

 

 

 

Items needed to build the base version - 

 

Sterilite container

Two 4-inch PVC flanges 

Gloves large enough to be folded over the flanges and allow movement in the container!

GE Silicone (Mold resistant) 

DUCK heavy duty weatherstrip seal 

Dremel 

Razor Blade 

IMG_2413.jpg

 

 

Start by putting the larger portion of the flange to the container, and trace it with a sharpie. You can use alcohol to clean the marker off the PVC if you are as OCD as me. I used the ribs for the lid to make sure the cut outs were evenly spaced. 

 

IMG_2414.jpg

 

One of the reasons I decided to write this was to aide others through my mistakes, and contribute tricks of the trade that I have learned through out my life. This seemingly easy task is where I made several mistakes with my other concepts. "Not all plastics are created equal".  Some will crack, tear or split. Not something you want to happen after you have been cutting holes in your box for two hours rendering it useless. Sterilite is a very easy plastic to manipulate, sturdy and cheap! 

 

Use a Dremel! It will save you time, and with practice will give everything you craft a finished appearance. If you have any questions on specifics tips or attachments to use please pm me! I use my Dremel for many different applications. 

 

 

I started with a course red sanding disk. Start to cut 1/4-1/2 inch away from your outline. Working your way to the other side creating a line. Start again from the outside working your straight to the other side creating an X. This now allows you to manipulate the plastic without ruining it. 

 

IMG_2415.jpg

 

Continuing to use the same small red sanding disc cut around the circle in the 4 tabs you created. You can push or pull on the "tab" to get a good cut. Use gloves because to be precise you need to be close.

 

You have created your flange hole! From here change attachments to the orange grinding stone. You need to smooth out the cut, and the grinding stone slowly cuts, and melts the plastic giving you a great surface for your silicone to seal too. 

 

 

 

IMG_2416.jpg

 

*I pressed the flange into the container* As you slowly enlarge your hole with the grinder you need to try and work your flange through the hole. You can eventually get it to the point where you will feel resistance but it will press in! Giving you a tight fit even before you seal it with silicone! 

 

IMG_2417.jpg

 

Rinse, lather, and repeat for the other flange  :biggrin:

 

IMG_2418.jpg

 

Next you need to make sure that no air is escaping past your flanges. I used a GE Silicone that is mold resistant. You can use whatever you are comfortable with. I chose the silicone for a specific reason. 

 

Start by pulling your flanges halfway out of the holes you just created. Place a good bead of silicone around the lip of the PVC that will be pressed into the container. Now slowly press them into the holes until the flange is seated against the plastic container. I clamped it down overnight and added some weight. 

 

Next you need to seal the flange on the inside of the container. Start again by placing a large bead all the way around the flange. Here you can use a trick to ensure the seal has no air holes, and looks professional. Alcohol restricts the silicone sticking to your skin. Spray your finger/nitrile glove with alcohol, and run it around the bead ensuring you have coverage from the container up to and around the flange. Now let it cure  :meditate:

 

 

IMG_2419.jpg

 

 

After the flanges have cured take your heavy duty weather seal and apply it around the lip of the plastic container where the lid seats. Cut a 1/4 in notch around the corners of the container to allow the weather seal to bend. Here you can see it in action with the lid on. 

 

* I will upload a better picture of the seal installation soon* 

 

Next use the Dremel to cut guides around the flange to secure your gloves. I used the orange grinding attachment to create a 1/4 inch guide in the four beveled edges you see around the flange. This will give the zip-tie securing your glove to the flange a flush all around seal.

 

*I will upload a better picture of the guides soon   

 

IMG_2426.jpg

Well done! Nice write up too!


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#20 Rangley

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 11:23 PM

Well done! Nice write up too!

Thank you! I cannot wait to make the trays and expand on this. I’m fixing to spend some good time in there with agar for this KSSS.




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