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(1)  Portable Aquatint Box (2) Stationary Aquatint Box

Stationary Aquatint Box

This box is designed to meet the needs of traditional etchers who do workshops, classes, or demonstrations where a small aquatint box would be useful, or those who are space conscious and work on small plates. See pictures below. (Pls. note; I was selling these, but currently am not. Am leaving the page here for anyone who is interested in the basic design possibly for building their own, possibly with modifications. They're simple to build.)   Cut-List and Materials for all wood box                     Cut-List and Materials for box with metal handles

It consists of a box made of 3/4 in. MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) with two snugly fitting lids that lift out, and a tray with a long handle which holds the plate/s and fits down into the box. The seams joining the sides and bottom of the box need to be airtight, but the lids don't, though the lids do need to be in place during use.  Powdered rosin is placed on the floor of the box.  A plate is placed on the tray and the tray is slowly lowered into the box.  The lids are set in place. (Notches are provided for the handle to pass through.) The handle is then lifted (briskly) until the tray holding the plate is near the top of the box.  This causes air to be sucked around the sides of the tray creating a turbulence which stirs up the rosin powder and simultaneously creates an air chamber for the particles to be suspended in.  (This size box has a 1/8 in. gap between the edge of the tray and the inside wall of the box. i.e. the tray is 1/4 in smaller in both dimensions than the inside floor of the box. Larger versions of it may use a 3/16 or 1/4 inch gap.) Then the tray is lowered, and this causes the air below the tray with particles suspended in it to pass back up around the sides of the tray and fill the chamber created by the lowering of the tray with the plate on it, after which the particles settle out on to the plate.  If you lift the tray quickly, you suspend more particles.  If you lower the tray immediately you get coarser particles on the plate.  If you wait 5 or 10 seconds after lifting the tray before you lower it, you get finer particles.  If you find that there's not enough dust on your plate, you can simply repeat the cycle and add more dust to the plate without disturbing the dust that's already settled on it.  There's very little mess, since everything takes place in an enclosed space and the only time you open it is after the dust has settled. It only requires about a tablespoon of rosin powder to operate.  When not in use, the handle can be detached from the tray and both handle and tray fit inside the box.  The lids can be reversed so that the notches which form the holes for the handle are on the outside edge, and you have a very sturdy closed box with a flat top that can be used to set things on.  (detailed operating instructions)

Capacity plate size: 15 X 20 inches
Overall box dimensions: 24.5 in. high, 23 1/4 in. long, 19 1/4 in. wide (not including protruding handle)
Total weight: 60 lbs.

* Small, portable
* Uses very little rosin, very efficient
* Virtually no mess
* Easy to control fine/coarse/heavy/light coating of dust on plate
* Requires little effort to operate
* Easy to clean out if necessary
* Can add dust easily if you don't get enough on plate the first time.
* When not being used, makes a sturdy base to set stuff on.


The box.
Box and lids
The tray & handle.
Tray with a plate on it.
Tray in position in box, ready for lifting and lowering cycle.
Box with tray and handles inside, notches turned to outside edge, ready for storage.