Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Homemade cloning machine

I'm still not feeling well, but I got most of this assembled last night before the fever came on. I'll go through my steps to make it without a lot of commentary.

Materials:

Plastic tub
aquarium air pump (20 gallon or larger)
2 bubble wands
airline tubing
aquarium heater
drill
drill bits
black spray paint
silicone caulk for bath/kitchen

1. Paint the outside of the tub with a good spray paint. Krylon makes a brand called Fushion that is made for plastic. I had some Plasti-Dip, so I used that. You just need to keep light out of the rooting zone.

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2. When dry, drill hole(s) for airline tubing. Attach bubble wands with silicone. Seal holes after inserting tubing.

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3. After 12 hours, I turned the container on its side to glue the suction cup for the heater using the same silicone. 12 more hours for that to dry. Then I filled it with water and turned it all on.

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4. In the meantime, I used a 3/4" hole saw bit from my doorknob installation kit to drill 77 holes on 1-1/2" centers in the top.

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5. Once the temperature of the water reaches 78 degrees, you can stick your cuttings. I'm using a vinyl placemat cut into 1" squares right now. I'm not happy with the method so I'll try to find a better solution.

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I also covered the top with another clear container. They allows me to let light in while providing a 100% humidity environment.

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Now all we do is wait.

I plan to let it run a couple days before sticking any cuttings. I want the water temperature to be correct. I also need to find a better method of holding the cuttings in place. I'm considering communion cups. They're 3/4" in diameter at the bottom.

UPDATE: After all this, I decided to use a smaller tote. The lid fits a 7" tall tote I had laying around, so I painted it black, glued all the parts in place, and it's running now. Still waiting for the water to warm up. Anyone want to help move a tote full of water outside?

7 comments:

Fun House said...

Looks like you are making a nice foot bath! Will Laura manicure my feet now?

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I am from Albemarle!

Cameron

Tom said...

Hey Cameron. I've read your posts on GardenWeb. You don't live here now, do you?

Kris said...

Hi Tom, that cloning machine looks like a winner. Question: since you are rooting in water, do the cuttings develop 'water roots' that seem to be different than 'soil roots'? I sometimes have probs rooting houseplants in water and then putting them into pots... Great blog! :-) Kris

Tom said...

Kris, There's probably going to be a small window of adjustment like with any cutting. Once the roots are 1/2", I'll move them to soil. The key here is that roots form really quick and they're not submerged in the water. They do dry out a little between the water sprays.

Homemade Clone Machine said...

Nice system. I have also built a few systems and find that I personally like the aeroponic cloners more. Seem to create a root system a little bit faster...

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Ah- there is the answer to my question. I was wondering if the roots are submerged in the water- which would make them a little weak and thus harder to put into soil. Very nice. I only wish you could show us a little better picture of where your drilling the holes for all the tubes and such- would be really great!