Dendroboard banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all.
I've been a lurker on the forum for a few months, thought it was time to give back. I do realize that a lot of people will think this is a waste of time considering FF containers can be bought very cheap, but I had some extra stuff sitting around and thought I would just make my own and reuse them. So here's what I did...

Supplies -
Mason jars - I suppose the size doesnt really matter, just use whatever works for you. Mine already has my media in it.


Mason jar metal lids - really just the rim of the lid



Plastic cross stitching canvas - bought at hobby lobby in the sewing/knitting section. Use common sense here, it comes in a couple different types. Obviously don't get the type that the holes are big enough for FFs to get through. (~$3 for 2 sheets)



Hot glue gun - everyone should own one

Stove

Heat resistant working surface - I used a spare ceramic tile

Ok lets get to it

Step 1: I hate cutting circles free hand, they always come out wrong, and a good fit is crucial when dealing with FFs, so what I did was put a spare mason jar lid rim on the stove burner and got it nice and hot.


Yes this can be dangerous, use your head here. Have a fire extinguisher nearby, use a vented hood, and use tongs to handle anything hot.

Step 2: Using tongs I picked up the hot lid rim, and placed it on the plastic canvas which was on the ceramic tile. Be careful of fumes, remember be smart. Also note that when you put the rim back on the stove to reheat, the plastic that melted to the rim will smoke and probably flame up a bit. Don't panic, just be safe.


Step 3: I held down the hot lid rim with tongs and pulled the plastic up so it melted through the canvas. Kinda like cutting cookie dough, just doesn't smell as good. The melted canvas can get kind of stringy here, but we will trim that up shortly.


I was able to get 5 of these from one sheet, and the package came with 2, so this is plenty for me.


Step 4: At this point I used some kitchen sheers to cut some of the stringy mess on the edges of the plastic canvas disks. I just cut a very thin section off all the way around. This made for a better fit anyway.

Step 5: Make sure it fits snug inside the metal rim.


Step 6: Fire up the hot glue gun. Take the canvas back out of the rim. Squirt some inside the rim and put the canvas disk back in. I used a screw driver to push it into the glue all the way around.


Step 7: Ok now that the canvas disk is glued inside the rim, I went back and did another layer of glue on top of that just in case. Be careful not to use too much or the lid wont shut completely.


Now we have vented screw on lids


Into the freezer they go for when its time to make new cultures


Once again its probably cheaper to buy the disposable FF containers from places like Josh's frogs, but I just happened to have mason jars and lids to spare, so in the end all I had to buy was the plastic canvas. Hope this helps someone! Friendly criticisms are welcome. Thanks for reading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
This is a great idea. My only concern is volume. Are the jars as large as the deli cups that black jungle and josh's frogs sell?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're correct, volume might be an issue for those needing large cultures. Assuming those larger cultures are 32 oz then no my mason jars aren't as large.
Here's a comparison
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,415 Posts
The quart sized jars are essentially the same size.
Those are going to let mites in and out of your cultures. May I suggest using a coffee filter instead of the mesh. I have used coffee filters with mason jars before. You may be able to use the coffee filter in addition to the mesh.
No need to cut the coffee filter. Just lay it on top and screw down the lid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good idea, the plastic canvas will provide structural support so I don't accidentally poke a hole though the coffee filter. Thank ya!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,415 Posts
You'll have to watch the first ones. The plastic mesh might block just enough ventilation that the coffee filter gets wet. If it gets wet, it will tear through and collapse, allowing the mites free entry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
GENIUS!!

Where can you get mason jars? I really prefer the fruit fly company jars over the deli cups because the wide opening allows the FFs to go EVERYWHERE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,415 Posts
During the summer and fall you can get them at Lowe's, Home Depot, WallMart, Safeway, King Soopers.... They are very hard to find in the winter as nobody is doing any home canning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
My only concern with this idea is it seems like it would be a little harder to screw off/on the top rather than slapping the lid on the deli cup. Probably get used to it though.

My wife does some canning, I guess I'll give it a try and find out for myself...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
My only concern with this idea is it seems like it would be a little harder to screw off/on the top rather than slapping the lid on the deli cup.
You are correct on this. It is more trouble, but I have 2 curious cats, one of which is a hyper kitten who loves to knock stuff over, so a screw on top is actually good for me. However those without this problem would probably hate to screw the cap on and off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
I personally disagree on this. I'm usually manipulating three things at once when I'm feeding my frogs: the FF jar, the lid, and the ziplock bag where I dust my flies. For me, its faster to twist a lid closed than to snap the deli cup lid , and again, I think it might be due to the size of the lid, as I usually snap one side shut, and have to snap the opposite side separately. Maybe I just don't have the "deli cup skills" haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hypo, since you have used the fruit fly company cultures, Do you know what that metal screen material they use on their lids is? That stuff is perfect I just wasn't able to find it locally, so the plastic stuff I used was the best I could find.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,938 Posts
The quart sized jars are essentially the same size.
Those are going to let mites in and out of your cultures. May I suggest using a coffee filter instead of the mesh. I have used coffee filters with mason jars before. You may be able to use the coffee filter in addition to the mesh.
No need to cut the coffee filter. Just lay it on top and screw down the lid.
that's how I always worked it
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,938 Posts
During the summer and fall you can get them at Lowe's, Home Depot, WallMart, Safeway, King Soopers.... They are very hard to find in the winter as nobody is doing any home canning.
Ace's hardware will allow you to special order them, and you won't need to cover shipping.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top