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A very small improvement to the generic plastic-tub SAB


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#1 WalkingCatfish

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 10:27 PM

Forgive me if this is obvious, but in the scant 2 months I've been haunting this and other forums, I haven't seen any pics of a Still Air Box with 3 holes.

 

For reasons we all understand, it's a pretty good idea to keep fire outside the box. I think nearly everyone agrees about this. However, 35 years ago, when I was a young idiot instead of the distinguished old idiot I am today, I did not have this knowledge. I modeled my  inoculation box after a sketch I saw in the classic Oss and Oeric guide to growing mushrooms.  It clearly showed an alcohol lamp inside the box, and I reproduced this design faithfully. 

 

It worked well enough, for a few weeks. Before doing an inoculation, I would lavishly spray the interior of the box with Lysol, and then I would spray my hands and arms as well.  Sometimes, I'd spray the lids of my agar and grain jars, too, in case any loose spores were hiding there. Then I would light the alcohol lamp, and get down to business.

 

Imagine my surprise when, one day, I lit that lamp and a blue ball of fire blossomed in the air around my lighter. It was kind of beautiful, actually. The plastic covering my box melted away and a column of fire shot up into the room. Tongues of flame enveloped my arms, singing all the little brown hairs.  Foom!!!!  And then it was over.

 

I completed the rest of that agar transfer in the open air, and there were no contaminants. ;)

 

Anyway, when I took up mycology again a couple of months ago, I remembered that little incident. So, when I made my new box I made sure to cut a third hole in the back side, so that I could sterilize my loop without having to remove my hands.

 

Like so:

 

SAB with hole.jpg

 

It's a really small thing, but convenient.

 

 

 


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#2 Turdly81

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 10:36 PM

I wish my holes looked that good. I had to use a dremil blade and it really just melted the plastic. Its so rough it tears holes in my gloves if I'm not careful. But the 3rd hole is a good idea2c73e6a1a50631f95844e14850b3bec1.jpg

#3 WalkingCatfish

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:08 PM

I wish my holes looked that good. I had to use a dremil blade and it really just melted the plastic. Its so rough it tears holes in my gloves if I'm not careful. But the 3rd hole is a good

 

Dremels are great for the the things they're great for. :wink:  Really good tool for cutting the slot for a guitar rosette.

 

I used a hole saw, there...same size I'd use for doing electrical work in drywall.  Some people seem to use hot coffee cans, but my coffee comes in a bag. :tongue:


Edited by WalkingCatfish, 20 November 2018 - 11:10 PM.


#4 onediadem

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 12:20 AM

Turdly, you can clean that up with a red hot knife and some sandpaper.


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#5 Billcoz

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 03:07 AM

 Nice dude, I am ALWAYS scared of that happening when flaming something near my SAB and i know the sketch in "Psilocybin, Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide" by Oss & Oeric and pondered that same thing, they even warn of Lysol & alcohol flammability in th book lol. 

 

 I love these obvious but genius improvements, NO ONE woulda thought there could be anything else to add to a tub besides gloves(or hepa ventilation or something).

 

 I actually made a thread here,("Holeless SAB") about how I was using my tub/sab, I would the upside-down bin off the edge of the table(no lid) and reach up underneath and work, it was slightly ackward but not that bad, I've since added holes.

 

 An easy way to do the holes is to take the lid of a small saucepan, just larger than your arms, and set it on the stove to heat up and with an oven mitt, melt the holes(You probably have heard of using a metal coffee can like this).

 

 The hole cut-outs pop out and I save em and tape em back in place when I need it to function as a bin, you could use silicone for permanence. 

 

 Awesome idea! mine's gettin updated to a "Catfish SAB", 3 holed(like my gf, giggity).


Edited by Billcoz, 21 November 2018 - 03:42 AM.

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#6 WalkingCatfish

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 08:57 AM

Another small thing I did (and I think lots of other people have done the same thing) is install an acrylic "window" in the top, for better visibility.

 

SAB lid.jpg


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#7 Billcoz

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 12:24 AM

Another small thing I did (and I think lots of other people have done the same thing) is install an acrylic "window" in the top, for better visibility.

 

attachicon.gifSAB lid.jpg

 I put a clear plastic piece over a square hole cut out of almost the whole lid. I hot-glued it in but I need to find better plastic.

It needs to be crystal clear so I'm plannin to use the clear plastic cover from a big cheap plastic picture frame cut to size.

 

 Having the window in the lid rather than bottom makes it so the arm holes and walls are tapered inward and downward, when it's upside down with tapered walls sloping out the holes could kinda "catch" any dust falling straight down, say if your sleeve brushed any dust off the top it would fall straight in, maybe it's minimal at best, but a thought,

 

 The reason I did mine with the window in the lid was for visibility, the bottom is VERY hard to see through.

 

 What do you think of "glove boxes"? I've read that since it's sealed, it might make currents inside the box and any dust that settled in the bottom would be swept around, IDK, sounds like if it was sealed air tight maybe, but IDFK. 

 

 Maybe leaving the lid non-airtight would keep these "currents" away, DAMN, I'm overthinking this shit cuz I'm fuckin blazed! Lol



#8 jkdeth

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 03:20 AM

Gloveboxes have been used by many over the years. It simply been shown they aren't significantly more effective than a SAB.

Personally, I don't think I'd want an extra hole with a heat source just outside it. It would create airflow, may or may not be a problem.
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#9 WalkingCatfish

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 06:40 AM

 


 What do you think of "glove boxes"?

 

I dunno...I'd need a good reason to go to that much trouble. In the past couple of months, I've done dozens of inoculation sessions--spore prints to agar, agar to agar, agar to grain--and haven't had any contaminants, so far (at least, not from my own work: I had some trouble with trich from a dirty spore syringe). Back in the 80s, I must have done hundreds of inocs, and I don't remember wishing I had a better setup.

 

If contamination ever became an issue, I guess I'd go to laminar flow.

 

Re. the heat of the lamp outside a 3rd hole creating additional air flow, I was wondering about that myself. The lamp is a couple of inches from the box, so I suspect it creates a lot less air flow than repeatedly taking my hand out to flame the loop, but I could be wrong. I'll do an incense test, later.


Edited by WalkingCatfish, 22 November 2018 - 06:55 AM.


#10 WalkingCatfish

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 04:03 PM

I was curious about possible air currents inside the SAB, so I got nerdy about it. 

 

I lit a small cone of incense and placed it at various locations in the tub, to observe the smoke.

 

When undisturbed, the incense produced a thin, vertical stream of smoke (laminar flow). To see it clearly, I turned off the lights in the room, and shone a bright flashlight through the side of the tub. Wherever I placed the cone, the stream of smoke remained steady, vertical and narrow. So, good: the "still air box" was full of "still air." :happy:

 

Whenever I moved my hands in the immediate vicinity of the incense cone, the smoke would wobble, and the flow became turbulent. I could also cause wobbling simply by pushing my hand through the armhole, into the box. However, while it was easy to make the column of smoke tremble by putting my hands through either of the armholes, I found I had to thrust my hand in quite vigorously to get real turbulence. So, there didn't seem to be much of a "piston effect" as my hands entered or left the box. However, whenever my hand brushed against the tub as I was inserting it, the flame would wobble very suddenly. The thin material of the plastic tub flexes, so the wall of the tub itself seems to create a lot of air movement when it is jolted (I think a more rigid SAB would eliminate this effect).

 

In case you don't think I'm obsessive enough, I repeated all these tests, with the "3rd hole" filled in.  :biggrin:  Results were exactly the same.

 

Finally, placing an alcohol flame just outside the "3rd hole" had absolutely no effect on air currents, no matter where the incense or lamp were placed.

 

So, there you go. 1) The air in the SAB is pretty calm; 2) a more rigid SAB would be slightly better; and 3), putting the lamp outside a "3rd hole" doesn't introduce any weird new air currents.


Edited by WalkingCatfish, 22 November 2018 - 04:06 PM.

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#11 425nm

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 05:19 PM

That is a handy hack. I just guide my flamed instruments in through my regular arm holes :P They stay plenty hot in the time it takes me to do so.

I love that you ran a smoke test though! That's fantastic. I'm pretty sloppy in how I operate around my SAB. I so try not to walk in front of it while I'm running the clock (ideally my roommates wouldn't either but that's not always the case).

The effectiveness of a SAB should be due to a thin layer of moisture on the sides and bottom. It should capture and hold any dust particles/spores/etc. I just use 70% isopropyl (in a sealed box not all will volatilize) on mine as its less bad for your in the long haul. In theory a SAB should work just fine with a wipe down with soapy water.

#12 Billcoz

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 06:35 PM

 Lol that's awesome! The thing I read was saying that a sealed glove box might have the currents, I think if any at all, it would be negligible, JK's probably right about it not being effective enough to bother with gloves.

 

 I like gettin my tyvec suit(top half) and working in the sab, also if you gotta take something out or put something in after you start working, youd have to open the glove box anyway.

 

 I need to go take a big Thanksgiving dump.



#13 425nm

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 08:06 PM

 Lol that's awesome! The thing I read was saying that a sealed glove box might have the currents, I think if any at all, it would be negligible, JK's probably right about it not being effective enough to bother with gloves.

 

 I like gettin my tyvec suit(top half) and working in the sab, also if you gotta take something out or put something in after you start working, youd have to open the glove box anyway.

 

 I need to go take a big Thanksgiving dump.

You loose sooooo much dexterity with glovebox gloves. The extra precision you get with just nitriles through arms holes is very much worth it.


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#14 Billcoz

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:28 AM

 Yo, I'm bumping this to show you I'm using your small improvement on my SAB.

 

 I have to be able to flame the utensils without removing em from the sab because I added my own modification, tyvec sleeves(actually it's the legs), glued onto the holes.

 

 I like to tie the sleeves up and leave newly nocced-up jars in there to start colonizing in a clean environment. I tape the tiny hole when done. Check it out-

IMG_20190105_145738.jpg IMG_20190105_160809.jpg


Edited by Billcoz, 07 January 2019 - 11:29 AM.

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#15 PJammer24

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:43 AM

Forgive me if this is obvious, but in the scant 2 months I've been haunting this and other forums, I haven't seen any pics of a Still Air Box with 3 holes.

 

For reasons we all understand, it's a pretty good idea to keep fire outside the box. I think nearly everyone agrees about this. However, 35 years ago, when I was a young idiot instead of the distinguished old idiot I am today, I did not have this knowledge. I modeled my  inoculation box after a sketch I saw in the classic Oss and Oeric guide to growing mushrooms.  It clearly showed an alcohol lamp inside the box, and I reproduced this design faithfully. 

 

It worked well enough, for a few weeks. Before doing an inoculation, I would lavishly spray the interior of the box with Lysol, and then I would spray my hands and arms as well.  Sometimes, I'd spray the lids of my agar and grain jars, too, in case any loose spores were hiding there. Then I would light the alcohol lamp, and get down to business.

 

Imagine my surprise when, one day, I lit that lamp and a blue ball of fire blossomed in the air around my lighter. It was kind of beautiful, actually. The plastic covering my box melted away and a column of fire shot up into the room. Tongues of flame enveloped my arms, singing all the little brown hairs.  Foom!!!!  And then it was over.

 

I completed the rest of that agar transfer in the open air, and there were no contaminants. ;)

 

Anyway, when I took up mycology again a couple of months ago, I remembered that little incident. So, when I made my new box I made sure to cut a third hole in the back side, so that I could sterilize my loop without having to remove my hands.

 

Like so:

 

attachicon.gifSAB with hole.jpg

 

It's a really small thing, but convenient.

 

 

I don't think normal lysol kills spores but I think I remember there being another formula that does have some mold fighting mojo... I stopped using lysol a long time ago due to the chemicals... pretty much all my cleaning i done with bleach and a little water... I use a little 70% ISO now and again...

 

Chemicals and lysol are commonly identified as the cause of rosecomb... 

 

I think you may be better off spraying bleach water into your SAB than lysol, but what do I know in the grand scheme of things...


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#16 Billcoz

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:35 PM

Yeah, PJ24 is right, a chemical in lysol can cause genetic damage, resulting in mutations like rosecomb. I had one brf cake(back when I used to spray lysol a lil eccesively) that grew fruits with all inside-out caps, with gills all over the top. I still use lysol, I just try not to let it land on the sub or cakes.


Edited by Billcoz, 07 January 2019 - 12:36 PM.


#17 WalkingCatfish

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:08 PM

 

I think you may be better off spraying bleach water into your SAB than lysol, but what do I know in the grand scheme of things...

 

These days, I'm just using a big spray bottle full of isopropyl alcohol.

 

Back in the early 80s, when I was spraying Lysol all over my bare hands like a damn fool, the cans I bought contained 99% ethanol (in fact, Montreal street people used to buy the same stuff, puncture the can and drink it...saw that in a TV news item, one evening).  Anyway, I suspect the formula has changed, since then (I think they've switched to benzalkonium chloride).



#18 Billcoz

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:29 PM

 

 

 

I think you may be better off spraying bleach water into your SAB than lysol, but what do I know in the grand scheme of things...

 

These days, I'm just using a big spray bottle full of isopropyl alcohol.

 

(in fact, Montreal street people used to buy the same stuff, puncture the can and drink it...

 

That's hillarious. One thing I worry about when flaming my xacto, or a needle through this hole, is that it might catch a fume from the hole, and blow up in my face lol.

 

 The hole being on bottom should keep it safe, since fumes go up, and I let it dry, but it's still nerve racking. 


Edited by Billcoz, 07 January 2019 - 04:31 PM.


#19 pharmer

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 09:22 AM

how about a second SAB to do the flaming inside of?  It'd be clumsy and inefficient but it would solve the problem of potential fire next to the first SAB



#20 WalkingCatfish

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 10:00 AM

how about a second SAB to do the flaming inside of?  It'd be clumsy and inefficient but it would solve the problem of potential fire next to the first SAB

In my setup (see the pic in the OP), the flame is a couple of inches outside the SAB, safely removed from flammable stuff. I just poke the tip of my inoculating loop out the hole in the back, flame it, and retract it into the box. 

 

I've done at least a hundred agar plates since doing that, and have had one contaminated plate, so far (a spot of blue mould).






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