How To Make A Still Air Box (SAB).
This is what we are going to be making:
Why Make A Still Air Box?
A still air box is the most convenient way of upping your game when it comes to making sure you are working in a clean environment. There has been many different ideas about what makes a good SAB over the years. Fortunately the simplest option is probably the best. The main idea is that you create an environment where, because the air is still, you don’t have contaminants floating around landing on your mycology work. This is why it is best to undertake mycology work in a draft free environment.
There are a few ways of making a SAB but the below method is the easiest. Some people may use a saw but in my experience it is likely you will crack the plastic and have to start again with a new container.
Time To Make Your Still Air Box
To make a still air box you will need the following:
- A large storage container. I like my one which is 83 Litres/ 88 Quarts. You can go as big as you like.
- A metal tin that is between 5 and 6 inches in diameter
- A hob, either electric or gas, to put your tin on.
- Some oven gloves.
First of all you need to mark where you want your holes to go for your arms. You need to allow enough space between the holes that it is comfortable to put both your arms in at the same time. This will obviously be different for everybody but unless you are particularly big or petite I would leave about 9 inches between the holes from inside edge to inside edge. I would leave about 5 inches from the the bottom of the container to the bottom edge of your arm hole as well. To make life easier when you come to make your holes, draw around the tin with a marker pen so that you know exactly where you are putting the holes. As the tin will be hot, you don’t want to be messing around.
Make sure your tin is stripped back to the metal. You don’t want anything flammable on there. Before putting your tin on your hob, you need to make sure that all your windows are open and that you have plenty of fresh air flow. As you are going to be melting plastic you want to make sure you are NOT going to be breathing in dangerous fumes.
Other considerations before you begin heating up your tin are:
- Make sure you know where you will be putting the tin down once you have made the holes.I think the sink is a good option.
- Get your storage box in position so that you can burn the holes without moving it around.
- Make sure you turn the heat source off before removing the tin. You don’t want to forget about it when you will be otherwise preoccupied.
Once you have everything in place get your tin on your cooking stove top rim side down and get the heat on. You will need to leave it for a bit (NOT UNATTENDED) so it gets nice and hot. Once your confident its really hot turn your heat source off, get your oven gloves on, and carefully remove the tin taking it from the base which should be furthest away from the heat. Place the rim of the tin gently on the first premarked hole and gently push down. The tin should pop through the storage box easily. Remove the tin to your safe place. The plastic will probably have created a seal on the tin. To get it out you will have to use a sharp tool like a screw driver to poke through and prize it out. You may want to wait a bit for the tin to cool down.
Once the plastic is out of the tin, check the tin to make sure there is no plastic melted on to it. As we are going to be repeating the process, you don’t want plastic on there that can re-melt on to your stove! Once your confident the tin is clean it is time to repeat the process for the second hole.
And voila, you are now the proud owner of your very own still air box.