Tank Dipper

The finished tank dipper for the silver bath. It will reduce the “puddling” of AgNO3 and lessen the drips occurred in regular bent design acrylic dippers.

Using Lund’s formed tank for a couple of years now, and I am quite pleased with it nonetheless, though one thing that I have been itching (a pun which will make sense later) to manifest from my sketch is a nice proper tank dipper.

Granted that most of my dippers are heated curve from acrylic off cuts, one thing I never favour much about it, is that it acted like a ladle. It scoops out my precious silver nitrate bath and does splosh abit as I pull the dipper out from the bath tank.

Another issue is that it tends to puddle, which sometimes if I don’t tilt it initially to pour it out, that puddle will start to sensitise that portion even before I dunk the plate into the bath.

It’s not like it is a big issue, but I figure I want to give my design a go while at it. It’s not anything original though, I am certain other wet platers might have their own versions for tank dippers as well.

Some would just simply screw in threaded stainless steel screws onto a flat acrylic, which is a perfect chemical resistant material as well.

This time around, I’d like to try out using some bits of acrylic rods that has been laying around for ages.

Laser Cut Acrylics, with 10mm acrylic rod cut outs

Cutting out the sheet of acrylic on the laser bed, the shape for the dipper is a simple “T” shape with five 10.1 mm holes to fit the 10 mm acrylic rods (it was measured initially which was at an average of 10.13mm). The sized holes will fit the acrylic rods snugly.

Taking the 10mm piece of acrylic rod, I cut 5 small pieces off with a coping saw measured at 12mm in length.

The ends of the acrylic rod bits were sanded down with 100 grit wet-dry sandpaper, in which I could have gone down to 600 grit to have it shinier, but I prefer to have it a bit of frost to it.

Five pieces of acrylic rod bits (± 12mm in length) wedged into the cut holes

The acrylic rod bits were bashed, or tapped into the cut out panel.

It was then fused together with the acrylic weld (see here on how to use the solvent).

The cut out rods were fused with acrylic weld

At this point it does look like a nice back scratcher. (Get it? the itch… oh whatever…)

I had realised the previous panel to hold the plate in place was too tall in height, in which I quickly cut off another smaller clear acrylic bit with the same hole profiles.

The end part of the extruding were wedged in with the clear acrylic, it was done with a slight angle to accommodate the movements of the plate being parted and placed onto the dipper.

The other panel were wedged in with slight angle to allow clearance for plates to be inserted / remove from the dipper

Give and take it will take in at most 5mm plate size, in which I believe it is a good amount of room.

The allowance where the acrylic rod will meet the plate. It should be good enough for any plates thinner than the measurements

It was then fused with the acrylic weld once the angle’s confirmed. There’s enough contact surface for the acrylic weld to fuse them together, unless it was bashed about, it is sturdy to hold the required plate.

The use of acrylic rod at the bottom of the dipper will reduce any silver nitrate from puddling or dripping out too much from the dipper.


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