Daguerreotype Sensitising Sliding Box (For 8 ½ x 15 inch Plate and smaller) 

The external box surrounding the glass container. Made of ash and birch plywood.
The external box surrounding the glass container. Made of ash and birch plywood.

I was given a glass container to work a month ago to build a sensitising box around it. As seen in the image below, it was impregnated with the iodine fume and it gave quite a smell into my workspace. However, I had left it by the window to air it and sun it, and it eventually evaporated and left very light amber tint and there was not smell emitted since. And the epoxy are unaffected and didn’t give out and the container is still intact as the first day received.

Iodine Glass Container. They were fused with silicone epoxy (marine grade).
Iodine Glass Container. They were fused with silicone epoxy (marine grade).

Initially I thought of simple sliding box much like the french sensitising box which I had built together with Brenton West before (refer to CDags’ website here under technology section), though the large plate requires a good amount of enclosure and I believe the usage of screw to push the plate firmly for good seal is needed. Refer to Takashi Arai’s, Eugene Galasso’s, and Ty Guillory’s sensiting box on the same page from the link before.

Since the plate is quite wide in landscape format, two screws would be needed for equal pressure.

Top parts of the box
Left: The Slate for pressure Top: The plank for the wooden screws Right: The sliding plate holder

As the screws width are ¾ thick, two would be needed, and it was added with elevated pyramid “X” underneath each of the screw contact to spread the pressure when clamped down.

Fitting of glass container to the main body of the box.
Fitting of glass container to the main body of the box.

Notice on the iodine embedded into the epoxy had dispersed when it was sunned and aired out, and the marine grade epoxy had held strongly and without any degradation.

All parts for the sensitising for 8 ½ x 15, and 10 x 12 alongside with smaller plate reducers (acrylic laser cuts),
All parts for the sensitising for 8 ½ x 15, and 10 x 12 alongside with smaller plate reducers (acrylic laser cuts),

The plate inserts were made with acrylic laser cuts.There’s also strip of 35mm and medium format reducers to fit into the 8 ½ x 15 insert.

All set and ready to be coated with Bonda Seal later.
All set and ready to be coated with Bonda Seal later.
It was an odd feeling when this box was finished, within minutes, the sun light came into the woodshop and shined beautifully onto the box. Religious revelation?
It was an odd feeling when this box was finished, within minutes, the sun light came into the woodshop and shined beautifully onto the box. Religious revelation? Can’t help it in my head it goes hymn mode when this happened.

Refer to the video below as well to see the fitting of this box, of course, this is not a speedy contraption as the size of the plate is large.

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