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.


Plastic tub
aquarium air pump (20 gallon or larger)
2 bubble wands
airline tubing
aquarium heater
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.



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



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.


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.


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.


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



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?


Fun House said...

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

F Cameron said...

I am from Albemarle!


Tom - 7th Street Cottage 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 - 7th Street Cottage 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...

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!