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Copper Wire for Wet Palettes


SparrowMarie
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I'm getting a new wet palette soon and I have been struggling to find pennies old enough to contain enough copper to help with the weirdness that my wet palette gets over time. To be clear I want to put some copper under the sponge to do this I'm just not sure what I'm looking for.

 

My big question is should I be looking for copper wire? If so, what gauge(s)? Also, would a copper mesh like the one seen below work just as well if not better?

 

image.thumb.png.9149c8a05402d4b5aa4ffe227cc441d4.png

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Copper wire will work just fine, and it won't take very much, Gauge shouldn't matter, just the thicker you have it the short it needs to be. I'll have to check but my spool is somewhere between 18 and 22 gauge (roughly 1mm to just over 0.6mm). I'd only use about 3 or 4 inches of it. I don't twist it into a loop but you can.

 

As long as the copper mesh lets the water be absorbed into the sponge, it should work. In that picture the mesh looks like a fairly tight weave. Some might prefer a looser weave. Wire vs mesh? Either should work, wire is probably easier to handle (literally just unwind and make one snip, whereas the mesh will take a bit more cutting to get a piece).

 

Either way, whatever copper you put in there should last you a while before needing to change the piece. I'd go for the best value.

 

EDIT: I checked, mine spool of wire is 18 gauge.

Edited by ManvsMini
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My man Rictur Diehn built hisself a wet palette from scratch:

 

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/90777-rictur-builds-a-wet-palette-for-63-cents/

 

He is a clever little lump O tin. He even included the specs for the wire in the first post. They sell it by the foot at the store he went to, so he wasn’t out much coin. 

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21 hours ago, Maledrakh said:

Also, Copper is quite poisonous if ingested in more than trace amounts, so don't eat glitter that isn't food grade.

(Cheap glitter often has copper in it.)

 

Family legend has it that copper was how my great uncle quit smoking. His kids hid thin copper wires inside his cigarettes. Made him so sick that he couldn't look at cigarette after that without wanting to puke. So in addition to not eating the copper in your wet palette, smoking it should also be avoided.

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On 11/10/2021 at 9:52 AM, BadgersinMeadows said:

Copper is antimicrobial so it prevents mold and whatnot from developing in a wet palette. 

 

I feel it's also worth noting/mentioning for posterity's sake that you should still change the water in your wet palette and wash the sponge regularly even with copper in it. You can still reuse the copper though.

 

Your wet palette is not a science experiment...

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2 hours ago, ManvsMini said:

 

Your wet palette is not a science experiment...

 

Maybe yours isn't. I have one that I used for a month without cleaning beyond changing it's parchment paper and has now been sitting closed with an airtight seal for roughly the past 3 months with both water and paint inside. I check it once a month. Currently there is heavy condensation on the lid, 2 colors are easily usable, a couple other could maybe be made usable, the sponge looks fine with little paint bleed through, and there is no smell of mildew or signs of mold. There are some spots on the parchment that look a bit like mildew, but might just be interesting patterns from paint spreading and separating. Since there is no smell and the sponge shows no signs of mildew I will assume the spots to be paint and continue the experiment.

Palette consists of a water proof phone case, Masterson sponge, Reynolds parchment paper, and 4 wheat pennies than has been lightly buffed with Scotch Brite at the start of the experiment.

Edited by cmorse
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I used small copper wire, and I also clean my Masterson out with a few drops of bleach and water every couple months. Also, when filling after wash, put a drop (like the tip of my finger) of bleach in with the water... not sure if this is highly recommended, but it has kept my pallet from molding.

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When I fill my wet palette I put in one or two squirts of amonia based glass cleaner on the bottom.  Then put the sponge in and fill it with water.  I also keep a 6" section of 16 gauge copper wire left over from house wiring to the side of the sponge.  Seems to work well for me.

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On 11/16/2021 at 8:12 PM, golldan said:

I used small copper wire, and I also clean my Masterson out with a few drops of bleach and water every couple months. Also, when filling after wash, put a drop (like the tip of my finger) of bleach in with the water... not sure if this is highly recommended, but it has kept my pallet from molding.

 

I don't use my wet pallet much (I just prefer wells), but when I do I have found sterilizing everything with bleach will keep it going for quite a while.  Bleaching the sponge is not recommended as it can degrade it over time, but I figure the sponge can handle it from occasionally.

 

38 minutes ago, Rignes said:

When I fill my wet palette I put in one or two squirts of amonia based glass cleaner on the bottom.  Then put the sponge in and fill it with water.  I also keep a 6" section of 16 gauge copper wire left over from house wiring to the side of the sponge.  Seems to work well for me.

 

Ammonia will kill mildew, but if it gets concentrated enough it can form compounds with copper.  If your water turns blue, you added too much.

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