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Poor man's sterile fungi grow box #1: Project overview

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Blog entry by Sodabowski posted 05-09-2011 09:23 PM 3698 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Poor man's sterile fungi grow box series Part 2: the air-ducting base plate »

In this series I will follow the making of a specially-designed box for petri dishes into which I’ll grow Chlorociboria species fungi.

I of course could have come with your average box, but as cultivating fungi on agar is quite delicate matter, because of the risk of contamination by airborne molds, I ended up with a forced-air, filtered design for the box, with pressured air provided by a fish tank air compressor, which is quite overkill for the oxygen needs of fungi.

After some serious thinking for a few weeks, I ended up with a design incorporating two compartments side by side: a filtration stage on one side, and the main culture chamber for six petri dishes on the other side, a major condition being that the whole system must fit into the Muji drawers I have in my dresser, away from light.
The culture chamber is covered with a lid with an inset glass, to allow for periodical checking of the growth status of the tiny beasts (which only grow under no light conditions!). Rubber foam on the underside of the lid helps keep everything free of any entrance paths for airborne molds, and in any case of a tiny air gap in the lid, the pressurized culture chamber remains isolated from molds anyway.

The petri dishes receive pressurized, filtered air from under the base plate. The base itself is made up of three 3mm MDF layers: a base plane, an isobare (constant pressure) air distributing plane, and an air delivery and dishes holding plane. Individual air outlets ensure that each petri dish receives an equal amount of air, and three auxiliary smaller air outlets direct the airflow towards the air exhaust layers of the filtration stage. This is blatant overkill, but I like overkill, and Chlorociboriae have revealed to seasoned pro biologists to be a bear to grow anyway. So whatever helps harness these suckers is good for me: when the time comes to grow them, I want them healthy and well fed.

In part two we will review the making of the air-ducted base of the box.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!



13 comments so far

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Sodabowski

2081 posts in 1577 days


#1 posted 05-09-2011 09:25 PM

(sorry for the messy desk :D )

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11453 posts in 1751 days


#2 posted 05-09-2011 10:22 PM

You’re growing this mold in anticipation of spalting lumber right? If so i thinks its a really cool project. Im not sure that i will ever get the science behind it but im excited to see it happen thats for sure. Good luck!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2081 posts in 1577 days


#3 posted 05-09-2011 10:25 PM

@ chrisstef

(Fungus, not mold, only fungi actually spalt wood; molds only spalt human lungs ;) )

But yep, you got it, my goal is to grow spalting fungi to make my own spalted lumber :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11453 posts in 1751 days


#4 posted 05-09-2011 10:32 PM

See i knew i wouldnt get the science behind it … lol. Regardless im willing to wait a year to see what happens.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Schwieb

1568 posts in 2206 days


#5 posted 05-09-2011 10:52 PM

Messy desk…....... busy mind!! This is really interesting Thomas, looking forward to seeing how this works out. Don’t I remember you studying physics at the university?

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5578 posts in 2330 days


#6 posted 05-09-2011 10:55 PM

Messy desk no sir you should see mine?it’s full of final demands from the Russian mafia.aka the children Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2081 posts in 1577 days


#7 posted 05-09-2011 11:19 PM

@ Chris: I’m sure as hell if we start discussing bacteria in relationship to beer you would get it straight away :p

@ Ken: yep, I study physics but I also have some remaining knowledge on biology, chemics, and many many other things. Too many actually ^^’

@ Alistair: hehehe, kids, you know ;) as long as they provide the wood and beer!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9668 posts in 1834 days


#8 posted 05-13-2011 12:25 AM

Thomas my wonderful mad sientist! It is amazing. I look so much forward to see what will come out of this.
The best of my thoughts my friend,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Sodabowski

2081 posts in 1577 days


#9 posted 05-13-2011 12:27 AM

Hey Mads, I for sure won’t come out with something as beautiful as your scraper holders =D
I’ve spent part of the day routing out MDF for part two. More to come tomorrow ;)
Cheers my friend :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1093 posts in 1870 days


#10 posted 05-13-2011 02:14 AM

Awesome idea! I can’t wait to see how this works out! I am in the process of spalting some maple, but I am going about it like a crass animal compared to this contraption of science (mine is a big red tub with dirt in the bottom) been 8 months now and I got some good color going, but I am really going for the black veins and the white of the Trametes. What woods are you going to work on. I have read that Populus, Acer, and Betula families take in the most green pigment almost as well as Quercus.
Oh BTW: al fungi are molds, not all molds are fungi.. :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2081 posts in 1577 days


#11 posted 05-13-2011 02:16 AM

Beech mainly, it works just fine :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1093 posts in 1870 days


#12 posted 05-13-2011 02:19 AM

or maybe the other way around.. isn’t yeast a fungus? hmmm.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1093 posts in 1870 days


#13 posted 05-13-2011 02:20 AM

NICE.. beech has amazing Parenchyma cells, thats gonna be HOT!

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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