How to Dry Pressed Plants?
monique at bio.tamu.edu
Wed Sep 16 08:40:23 EST 1998
Ooh! Oooh! I know this one! If the cabinet is intact and it's just the
heating unit that is kaput, go to the nearest Walmart and purchase a small
space heater. Just put it on the floor of the cabinet and fiddle with the
controls until you get a steady 100-110 (max120F) in the cabinet. You may
need to put a hole through the wall or back of the cabinet for the cord, but
that is much cheaper than buying a new cabinet. The space heaters last only a
year or so when run nearly continuously, but they are cheap (~$30) and
reliable. We have ours rigged with a thermostat that will shut the cupboard
off if the temperature goes over a certain point, so we are not likely to be
starting any fires.
Hope this helps,
>We have an ancient herbarium drying cabinet from Lane Science Equipment
>that breaks down roughly once a week during use and is clearly nearing
>(past?) the end of its useful life. A replacement that appears to be
>identical would cost about $1,600. We run two courses that require
>herbarium collections, one aquatic and one terrestrial, so the cabinet is
>in use roughly one semester out of two, however when it is in use it is
>usually nearly full.
>How do your students dry pressed specimens? There's an illustration in one
>of the Carolina catalogs of a press set upright on a couple of bricks with
>two light bulbs underneath -- anybody try that? I'm open to any and all
>suggestions for an inexpensive space-efficient scheme.
>William E. Williams
>Biology Department, St. Mary's College of Maryland
>St. Mary's City, MD 20686 USA
>WEWilliams at osprey.smcm.edu
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