Again, you likely know that we don’t like plastic. You might not give a crap. So if you have no problem with all the plastic bottles and stuff in your life, skip this entry. It is not for you.
One of our favorite shop liquids is a 50/50 mix of tap water and ethanol. Not for drinking (we’d get nothing done). But for softening end grain to make the wood it easier to chisel or plane. The potion recipe comes from woodworker Frank Strazza, and we can confirm that it is awesome.
But how to apply it to the work? In the Before Times, we had some in a jar and ragged it on. But that was wasteful. Eventually we found this classy spray bottle with brass guts and a glass exterior. The place we bought it from no longer carries it, but similar “plant misters” litter the internet. A Google search will turn up a dozen choices.
The plant mister works great. We don’t lose any on a rag. And we can easily see when we need to mix up some more.
And yes, a plastic spray bottle will work just as well. But you likely will be ejected from the Fancy Lads & Lasses Academy for it.
— Christopher Schwarz
To read previous entries in the gift guide, click here.
25 thoughts on “2022 Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 11: Glass & Brass Plant Mister”
Is there a reason you prefer the 50/50 water/ethanol mix over mineral spirits? Less volatile?
Can’t speak for Chris, but I’ve found that Frank’s water/alcohol elixir works better than mineral spirits – and it’s safer.
I was looking for non-plastic spray bottles just a few days ago, but sadl found none. Thanks for providing the right terms to feed Google with!
Would you mixture work as a poor man’s lapping fluid in diamond plates?
IKEA sells one for $5. Sesamfron. 8 oz Glass and stainless steel.
Would water and DNA work the same? I have a bunch of that for shellac.
Denatured alcohol is ethanol, with just enough methanol added to make it toxic, and not subject to taxation as a beverage. I’d bet that is what LAP is writing about.
I’ll admit that I first read deoxyribonucleic acid….
Steve Noe, in Indianapolis
Be careful, many (most?) DNA’s have increased the percentage of Methanol and is much more unsafe than the former ratios. I assume the cost between the two alcohols has shifted. It’s a problem I struggle with, because cost and availability versus personal safety really doesn’t leave any great choices I’ve found.
Yes, but I prefer to use potable alcohol.
The last denatured alcohol I bought had a pretty low percentage of ethanol. I prefer to stay away most of the other ingredients it had.
Would water and DNA work as well? I have a bunch of that for shellac.
Which alcohol? Is rubbing alcohol OK? Denatured? Or do you use everclear? You also use it for shellac if I recall.
I can’t speak for Chris, but when I make it, I use pure grain alcohol (Clear Spring – less pricey than Everclear). That way, in case I get thirsty…
I want one for ironing! Being so done who likes properly starched an ironed ma -tailored (room in sleeve!) shirts.
So the true gem here was not the mister (pretty though) but the spare 2 dozen words about end grain and the mix to help tame it. Thanks.
why have I not heard of this before. or have I heard this and dismissed it.
Glass and metal are easily recycled – without diminishment in quality (unlike some paper and plastic products which lose something after going through the cycle).
If there is a hiccup in recycling, like in Cleveland where the TV news investigators found both trash and recycling trucks dumped in the same place – glass and metals are not harmful in the landfill, and maybe someday, a la WALL-E, they may yet be recycled.
Plastics are still trouble. Their sources, their recycling, etc. There ARE advances, like renewable sources and better recycling systems, but still much more trouble than glass and metal – and often too much trouble to be economical – and so they’re landfilled.
I applaud you, nerds. Keep up the good work. Plastic microfibers are not meant as a building block of healthy humans.
It would be great to find one with no plastic and not made in China.
I guess you never drop anything in the shop; I’d be leery of a glass one, but all metal may be the way to go.
Well hold on. What about the plastic spray bottle used in the sharpening videos?
A fair question. Between us, need a lot of water for our waterstones – a small plant mister wouldn’t do it.
Let ye who is without plastic in their lives throw the first water bottle.
Not throwing a water bottle, I promise, but Grove Collaborative has some glass spray bottle. They still have plastic mechanisms, but I bought a few and their cleaning concentrates come in small glass bottles. Might be worth a gander, I haven’t done a moral audit of the company or anything, but I too am perturbed by waste.
LOL – Certainly not me. I just thought it said that you don’t like plastic. Sure Shot – M2400 Silver Anodized Aluminum Sprayer with Adjustable Nozzle
Don’t you need to make or “upcycle” one of these from a pallet and a coffee filter for Bespokeus to approve?
I’m always happy to read through the new years gift guide. The perfect ratio of “nice to have/got to have” always creative. Thank you
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