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Making a Dampbox Cabinet


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I am thinking about making a dampbox cabinet from PVC with a heavy plastic exterior, and I am interested in the experiences others may have had doing something similar. In particular, I'm curious what others have used for shelving. It seems like wood would mold and warp and metal would rust. Would hardibacker be a good option? Would I need to make plaster slabs to keep inside this kind of cabinet box? Should I keep the box in a closet, or will it serve its intended purpose of creating a slow consistent drying process anywhere in a studio? Thanks for the help!

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Several of the active forum members use damp boxes; no doubt you'll get several responses.

I'd seen fellow students use plastic sheeting to retard drying at the local JC ceramic lab - where I got my start. I didn't (still don't) like plastic sheeting - so turned plastic containers upside down over my pieces instead. I'm still doing same, when looking to slow down or stop drying. I have several smaller vessels, from two quarts to two gallon, and a stack of five gallon buckets as well. Anything that's too big for a five, I'll scowl a bit and drape plastic - clean plastic, clothespins and some imagination makes plastic almost tolerable...

If I have more pieces in play than containers, well, I'm workin'! It's almost always cool enough here that everything gets done without stress - many hours between throwing and trimming, even on the hottest days.

I do like having the pieces all marching in line vs. all together - in terms of state of dryness, as I work can only work on one at a time.

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I use a plastic utility cabinet that I bought for 40 dollars,  it has movable shelves.  I went to garage sales and found old refrigerator racks for each shelf.   Sitting the pots directly on plastic creates a mess on the bottom of the pot.  It depends on the amount of humidity you have in your area.   I bought mine at Home Depot ten years ago,  I was there a few weeks ago and found the same ones on sale again.   Denice

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A damp cabinet can be made with any shelving unit and some vapour barrier plastic. You put all your pots in it to set up and slow drying. It doesn’t need anything in particular, and things don’t rot/rust if you air it out once in a while. I’ve seen people use those portable greenhouses for seed starts if you don’t need anything all that big.

A damp box usually is a plastic bin with plaster in the bottom of it. It usually gets used to keep small items like handles or cups in a workable state, or can be used to rehydrate some items. The plaster in it helps keep the humidity level higher.

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For several years I used a refrigerator outside as a damp box. Code required some form of lock set up for the main area, hasp and key lock worked. I often would throw chalice stems and then the cups. Wet cabinet allowed work to be worked on the next day, or when making several teapots pieces were kept for days without problems. The freezer would keep pieces for up to a month with a little spraying.

 

best,

Pres

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