How to Make a Glove Box

Written by adelaide tresor
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How to Make a Glove Box
Save considerable expense by building your own glove box. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A homemade glove box can be constructed from components that are easy to locate at your local hardware store or a welding shop. You can create an inert and moisture-free atmosphere that is effective for handling both air-sensitive and hygroscopic substances. You can assemble your glove box in less than a day, giving yourself a cost-effective and space-efficient alternative to the large industrial boxes. Homemade glove boxes are excellent items to have in chemistry labs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Unassembled rigid acrylic dry box
  • ¼-inch drill saw
  • #6 screw pilot
  • Silicone adhesive
  • Two packages of 1-inch round head slotted brass wood screws
  • Two brass needle valves
  • Two 4-inch diameter PVC male adaptors
  • Two 4-inch diameter PVC female adaptors
  • 4-inch diameter PVC fitting cleanout adaptor
  • Test plug with 4-inch diameter knockout
  • Four 2¾-inch draw hasps
  • ¼-inch wide heavy duty weatherstrip
  • One package self-adhesive ¾-inch vinyl bumpers
  • Polythene gloves
  • Vacuum grease
  • Argon

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  1. 1

    Bore two glove holes with the drill saw fitted with a screw pilot on the front side of the acrylic box approximately three inches up from the base. Drill a clean-out hole on the right box panel even with the glove holes.

  2. 2

    Seal the glove holes and clean-out hole by mounting the male adaptors and clean-out adaptor on the inside of the box and pushing the connector ends out through the holes. Use silicone adhesive to secure them in place.

  3. 3

    Measure 2 inches in and 2 inches up from the back and bottom sides of the box on the left panel and mark a drill hole. Drill a gas/vacuum outlet/inlet. Insert the needle valve into the hole and secure with silicone adhesive.

  4. 4

    Glue the box walls together and bore a hole with the screw pilot at each intersection corner. Fill each hole with silicone and secure with screws.

  1. 1

    Install draw hasps on the top panel at the front and rear of the box, 3½ inches in from each edge.

  2. 2

    Attach weather stripping on top of the frame. Adhere bumpers to the bottom side of the box at each corner.

  3. 3

    Apply vacuum grease between the test plug and clean-out adaptor to seal. Screw in the test plug.

  4. 4

    Insert gloves through the PVC male adaptors. Cut them to the appropriate length and wrap the open end of the glove over the connection end of the adaptor. Screw the female adaptors into the male adaptors to hold the gloves in place.

  1. 1

    Purge the box with argon for one hour.

  2. 2

    Conduct a 72-hour chemical moisture test to be certain all water is absent.

  3. 3

    Perform an oxygen test. It should prove that polythene gloves are semipermeable, allowing oxygen to penetrate the environment.

Tips and warnings

  • Nitrogen or another inert gas can be used in place of argon to purge the box.
  • Be sure the gloves do not have any tears or holes before handling dangerous substances.

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