A glove box is a piece of equipment that lets you perform work on a subject while keeping it in isolation. A glove box is most commonly used to protect operators working with hazardous materials, but it can also be used to protect sensitive materials from the outside atmosphere.
In this project, I am going to show you how to make a DIY glove box. Since different applications require different degrees of isolation, I am going to demonstrate a variety of design features and how to implement them. You can then choose which features you want to use in your glove box.
Step 1: Unsealed Glove Box
To make this, you will need a pair of gloves and a clear plastic storage tub. Try to find a tub that is at least mostly transparent. You need to be able to clearly see what you are doing when you are working in the glove box. Start by deciding where the arm ports will be located. You want them to be spaced out enough so that your arms will be in a comfortable position while working. Trace a 4 inch diameter circle for each arm port. Then cut out each circle with a knife or rotary tool.
Step 2: Seal the Arm Ports With Pipe and Sealant
Begin by inserting the PVC pipe into the cut holes. You may need to widen the holes a little if they don't fit. Position the pipes so that there is about 1/2 inch of pipe sticking out of the side of the box. Then apply the sealant all around the pipe on both sides of the wall and let it dry overnight. Then fit the gloves over the PVC pipe inside the box. Be sure to mount the right glove on the right side and the left glove on the left side with the palms down. Slide your hands into the gloves to verify that they are in a good working position. Lastly secure the gloves in place with hose clamps, zip ties or strong rubber bands.
Sealed arm ports like these are much better at keeping fine particles, dust, and powder contained within the box. This feature makes a glove box well suited for applications that involve grinding or cutting with a rotary tool since these tasks often kick up a lot of fine particles that can be hazardous to breathe.
Step 3: Seal the Base With Foam
Step 4: Create Negative Pressure in the Chamber With a Ventilation Fan
To add this feature, you will need an air hose and some kind of fan. For a low level of suction you could use a small fan such as a computer cooling fan. For greater suction, you could hook up your vacuum or shop vac. Start by cutting a hole in the back side of the glove box (opposite the gloves) that is the same size as your air hose. Then insert the hose through the hole. If you want the ventilation fan to be removable, you can apply weather stripping around the hose to help make a better temporary seal. If you want to permanently attach the air hose, you can apply sealant around the edges.
Step 5: Add a Port for Corded Power Tools
Step 6: Finished Glove Box
Step 7: Other Glove Box Designs