Build Your Own Cleanroom

home_cleanroomSpotted on the HD Doctor blog (, he shows how easy it is to build your very own cleanroom. The doctor built a home cleanroom so that he could work on hard drives (repair, data recovery, forensics, etc) at home.

‘This is a cheap way to make a cleanroom, or rather glovebox for working on drives.  Works well and will get the small jobs done. When it is something important I usually use a cleanroom but you can use a glovebox. In addition, when the platters spin, the air bearing created will usually spin off small debris. The drive was actually designed this way. However if you touch it, game over.

It took,
18″ x 24″ piece of plexiglass
rubbermaid 44 qt. clear storage bin
(2) 4″ male pvc adapters
1/8″ thick foam tape
1/8″ drill bit and drill
razor knife
#7 x 1/2″ sheetmetal screws (zip screws)

I had planned on finding some long gloves to use with it attached with large hose clamps but had no luck finding any so far. I will try the bait store next. For now i’ll just use latex gloves with open holes.

To cut the holes in the sides i used the 1/8″ drill bit and drilled holes close together around the lines i traced around the PVC fittings and connected the dots with the razor knife. then the pvc fittings were screwed in(don’t make the holes too big!) i then saved the circles that came out and foam taped around them with notches in either side of the tape around the circle so it could be applied w/o ripples. i will use them as hole plugs to keep the box clean when not in use. i will prolly epoxy some sort of handles or knobs on these so they can be removed easily from the outside of the box.

the hole in the lid was easily cut with the razor knife. the plexiglass was scored with the knife then snaped to size. holes were drilled in the plexiglass then wottled out to be oversized so the plexi didn’t crack when i put the screws in. the lid was a softer plastic and was not drilled. plexiglass was applied with foam tape and zip screws manually with a 1/4″ nut driver. the holes have to be close, i.e. 3″, together to ensure the foam tape sealed (silicone could be substituted here for foam tape)

one of these really isn’t essential for making syringes or even grain to grain transfers, but, after trying agar a few times without one, i decided i needed one.

Be careful with flammable disinfectants and flame in a glovebox, they can (and do) explode! Sanitizer fumes are also highly toxic to mycelia.’

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  1. Tlucz-huba

    Interesting. I was actually thinking about a similar “project” for my HDD repair (heads sticktion to the platter surface). I am thinking about “improving the solution with 2 holes: Thru the 1st hole I would blow air from Cleaner air can. 2nd hole would be for a vacuum cleaner to suck out any particles airborne by the air can.

  2. John Markoeta

    possibly suggestions:

    air ventilator, 100 cfm
    type and density of filters
    distribution of the air flow

    like a pvc with holes drilled in it placed along the interior wall with the holes jetting downward as an example. the air circulation and it’s effect is also discussed in other documents. this process will prevent damage should there be a particle enter the chamber and end up in a critical location like between platters.

    i feel the gloves utilized is critical. You can’t just use those industrial rubber gloves because of the lack of dexterity in them. you must implement some kind of use of medical gloves that can be sealed upon entry of your hand. maybe something like an elastic band attached to a variable length hose so you insert your hand and the hose stays on the glove part. that way you can be clean and yet operate as a surgeon.

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