AgNO3 Box Repair

Damaged silver nitrate container

While on an outing for field work, I had accidentally dropped my 5″x7″ silver nitrate container from a good height, hit the edge of the curb, and it bounced its way on a grass patch, in which saved the structure of the box being obliterated away from the concrete surface. Lucky my silver nitrate solution wasn’t in it, else that would be a mess and a big hit to the pocket.

It is a custom made workhorse container which John Brewer, a wet plate collodion instructor and also a supplier (check out his website here: had made it for me last year. I really grind this box and it really lived to serve, and I have to say, John really built this well.

The drop had punched a hole through, and I don’t want to replace this as I am attached to my gears that I use most, and if I could patch this up, I would give this a shot.

Headed back to my woodshop, I sanded the chipped part and cut out acrylic sheet, enough to cover the hole. Using silicone epoxy, I patched on both side, vacuumed the bits and dusts, and parked it in the sun lit area for it to be properly dried.

The punched hole on the box was sanded, cleaned, and patched on the outer side and internally. Using silicone epoxy, the box then left out in the sun to dry and later the patched portion was sanded down to fit into a new outer later wooden box.

The I began to think on an outer shell for this container, and I saw bits of carbonised bamboo which I had cut into small bits days ago when I built a smaller box for my landscape lens. 

Brass Landscape lens with its Waterhouse stops, with it’s recently made carbonised bamboo container.

With wood glue and nothing to do in the late part of the morning, I had spent few hours assembling those bits, clamping them down every few layers to make sure the pieces packed well.

Layers of carbonised bamboo being glued and dried.

Construction of the layers encase the patched box.

Measuring the layers of bamboos and lining for the cut and sanding.


After assembly and gluing the bamboos, the wooden box was sanded, dusted, and applied with tung oil and wax to bring out the pattern and tones of the wood.

Finished box




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