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Old 10-17-2011, 05:42 PM
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inugie inugie is offline
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Homemade Aquatint Box

I recently finished a little project that I have been planning for a good while - I built my own aquatint box (rosin box). My first attempt was in a pampers nappy box, sealed with duct tape... it worked OK but leaked quite a bit which is not so good in a home studio. I've been looking for plans or diagrams but found very little online, so I just designed it myself. Having used a large Polymetaal box in the studio where I did a few courses, I had a good idea how it worked and drew a 3D design in sketchup.



I then made it using 9mm exterior plywood, some dowels, hardboard and brushes (door draught seals), sealed all the joints with silicon, sealed the door edges with silicon bath seals and made a crank from wood. All the materials cost me less than €60/$80 and it took about 2 days including varnishing.



It works perfectly. I'm busy doing the first test prints and will upload these when done. Here is the finished product.





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Old 10-18-2011, 10:05 AM
Red Dot Red Dot is offline
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

I'm so impressed! It must give you a real sense of satisfaction to have both designed and manufactured the box - well done! Looking forward to seeing the results of your labours.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:11 PM
Heft Heft is offline
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

Sweet!
I'm curious - do you think a plexi viewport would be a helpful addition?

JDH
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:34 PM
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

brilliant! you should up production and market these
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:26 AM
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inugie inugie is offline
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heft
Sweet!
I'm curious - do you think a plexi viewport would be a helpful addition?

JDH

I'm not sure if a viewport will be worth much as the rosin kind of sticks to the sides and will block the view. I had left a viewport in my first cardboard attempt and it completely clogged up. It's dark inside as well so you wont see much. I suppose you could replace one entire panel with plexi... I think its easier to just open the door a little if you want to check the dust levels, and after a few tries you will know how long to wait anyway. That is what I'm doing now - test plates ...
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:07 AM
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inugie inugie is offline
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by bridog
brilliant! you should up production and market these

All orders welcome...
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:03 PM
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

I don't want to rain on the party -- that looks like an excellent box -- but I find I usually have to stick a palette knife into the rosin powder at the bottom of the box to "lump it up", so the paddles actually bite into the powder when I crank the paddle handle.

What I see here is a very nice grate of bars -- good for laying an etching plate on, but tricky for tending to the rosin itself, below.

My own box has no such grill or grate. I fluff up the rosin with a knife, crank the paddle -- which has only two wings, not four, as in the diagrams -- settle the paddle in a horizontal position, and lay my plate directly on the paddle itself. The paddle creates the flat surface to lay my plates on as the rosin dust settles.

There's enough friction in the rotation of my paddle (I admit to bad carpentry) for the paddle not to overbalance either way when I lay a plate on it, but for expert carpenters a simple dowel plug pushed into position could keep the paddle level. Is there a need for the grill that outweighs the ease of getting to the rosin powder itself?
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Last edited by jerryglover : 11-30-2011 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:57 PM
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inugie inugie is offline
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

Gerry, Thanks for the comments. I dont really have that problem as the brushes at the end of the paddles really pick up all the rosin on the bottom - they extend almost right into the corner too so only a little rosin is left at the bottom. I do however have a long handled 'radiator' paint brush that has a crank at the brush head and this makes it really easy to just brush the rosin off the sides of the box and off the little ledges on the sides and also off the paddles itself. I agree that there is probably no real need for the grill other than that it keeps the plate off the paddle that is probably covered in rosin and will stick to the plate at the bottom.

I am also under the impression that you should place the plate as close to the centre of the box to get the most even rosin settlement, but this is probably more theoretical than practical. I have seen boxes that have a removable grill and if I build another box I will seriously consider this, not for general use but for occasional maintenance or simply to get to the paddle if anything goes wrong.

Any other suggestions will be welcome - as I said this is a first attempt and I am sure there are many possible improvements.

Annamie
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:34 PM
joannetepper joannetepper is offline
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

This is brilliant. How did you get the plywood to bend into an arc? Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:53 PM
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winking cat press winking cat press is offline
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Re: Homemade Aquatint Box

That is GREAT! It reminds me of the boxes shown in E G Lutz's book "Practical Engraving and Etching" c1933.

I'm a big fan of handmade / homemade equipment, and this piece looks great. I also noticed the print drying rack over the box in some of the pics. That's what I need in my shop.
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