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InvisibleRatThing
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The Varieties of Shoebox Experience * 10
    #24726257 - 10/21/17 07:11 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

The shoebox tek is designed around the humble Sterilite 1642 6 Quart Storage Box. These boxes have a picture of a shoe on the label, providing the name shoebox.


They have an opaque white lid. They are readily available from your favorite local store. They are constructed of polypropylene plastic (making them freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe). And they are cheap: they can typically be purchased for about 1 dollar each.  Sometimes less.


You might ask yourself, why do we care? The answer is that shoeboxes also have a very special feature that makes them ideal for cultivating mushrooms.  Shoeboxes are self-ventilating.  They are designed in such a way that the lids do not fit tightly -- there is a small gap between the lid and the box allowing a controlled amount of air to flow in and out of the box at all times. This self-ventilation feature was presumably engineered to allow damp shoes to dry when stored inside these boxes.  Self-ventilation is what makes shoeboxes ideal for cultivating mushrooms.  In addition to self-ventilation, shoeboxes also have a flat top edge.  This allows a second box to be placed upside down on top (also known as 'dubtub'ing) when mushrooms require more room and more ventilation. There are many plastic containers (such as the monotub) that work very well for cultivating mushrooms.  Unlike most other plastic storage containers, shoeboxes can be used as-is.  No cutting holes, no stuffing polyfill, no messing with tape. No muss, no fuss.  Shoeboxes make an excellent container for the complete novice, the lazy, as well as the expert.

While the Sterilite 1642 is the primary item of interest, shoeboxes can be purchased in various styles from various vendors. Some people report finding generic brand 6 quart shoeboxes at their local dollar store. Some styles will perform poorly, others will work very nicely for cultivating mushrooms. Before you buy a stack of such boxes, make certain they have the same loosely fitting lids, and the same flat top edge, as is seen with the 6 Quart Sterilite 1642.  Everything about cultivating with shoeboxes depends on the controlled amount of air flowing in and out of the box when the lid is closed.

Allow me to share a couple of examples.  At my local w*mart, they sell Sterilite shoeboxes in sets of both 1 and 10.

Careful inspection of the w*mart model shows they sell unique models of the Sterilite shoeboxes: the Sterilite 1851 (for the singles), and the Model 1862 (as a set of 10).  These seem at first like a good deal.  They do provide the self-ventilation feature we need.  But these boxes have a beveled (rounded) top edge (unlike our preferred 1642 model), suggesting it would be difficult to dubtub them.  When I attempted it at the store, they slid right off and would not remain in place, suggesting they are likely to prove troublesome for dubtubbing.

An example of an excellent alternative to the Sterilite I found is the HDX 6 quart clear premium shoebox, which I found for sale at my local h*me *epot store.


Compared with the Sterilite model, the HDX shoeboxes have essentially the same dimensions (13 5/8" L x 8 1/4" W x 4 7/8" H for the Sterilite 1642 vs 13" L x 7.5" W x 4.25" H for the HDX shoebox).  They both use the same type of plastic (polypropylene).  They both have flat top edges.  And they both have the required self-ventilation feature.  But the HDX model also has a transparent lid, allowing you to more easily watch what is happening inside your box.  The only downside is the price -- the HDX model costs twice as much as the Sterilite: $2 for the HDX vs $1 for the Sterilite.  Not likely to break the bank either way, but the difference could add up should you choose to buy many boxes.

Recently, some people have been reporting success using the larger Sterilite 1644 16 Quart Storage Box. These boxes have a picture of a shirt or sweater on the label, thus some have called them a 'sweater box'.  Noting that these boxes are very similar to the shoebox, only larger, we choose to call them bootbox.


Like the Sterilite 1642 shoebox, the Sterilite 1644 bootbox is made of the same type of plastic (polypropylene), has the same flat top edges, and has the exact same self-ventilation feature.  Compared with the shoebox, bootboxes are considerably larger (16 3/4" L x 11 7/8" W x 7 H for the Sterilite 1644 bootbox vs 13 5/8" L x 8 1/4" W x 4 7/8" H for the Sterilite 1642 shoebox).  The bootbox is typically around $3 per box, making the bootbox about 3 times the price of the shoebox.  However the additional length and width nearly doubles the usable growing area of the bootbox (198.9 inch^2) compared with the shoebox (112.4 inch^2).  Also, the additional height of the box may allow the box to the used without the need for dub-tubbing.


Shoeboxes and bootboxes are small, easily manageable, and make cultivation of mushrooms a breeze.  Many people are reporting having excellent success with using them.  You might want to give them a try.


[Edited 19 January 2018 to mention bootboxes.]


Edited by RatThing (01/19/18 06:46 PM)


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OfflineKrombopulosM
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: RatThing]
    #24726260 - 10/21/17 07:16 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Some of my most aesthetically pleasing grows came from shoe boxes. Nice write up


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InvisibleMad Season
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: KrombopulosM]
    #24726268 - 10/21/17 07:26 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

I love how when I first started, barely anybody used shoeboxes, now it's such a trend :lol: I remember having to explain the good points to people because nobody understood why I was even using shoeboxes when I had tubs. Love the change!
Quote:

There are many plastic containers (such as the monotub) that work very well for cultivating mushrooms.  Unlike most other plastic storage containers, shoeboxes can be used as-is.  No cutting holes, no stuffing polyfill, no messing with tape. No muss, no fuss.  Shoeboxes make an excellent container for the complete novice, the lazy, as well as the expert.




monotubs can be done with no modifications as well. Just throwing that out there.

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InvisibleMunchauzen
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: Mad Season] * 2
    #24726305 - 10/21/17 07:56 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

interesting about the different models of shoeboxes. clips seem like a novel idea.

#sterilitenation


Edited by Munchauzen (10/21/17 07:56 AM)


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InvisibleRatThing
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: Munchauzen]
    #24726316 - 10/21/17 08:12 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Munchauzen said:
clips seem like a novel idea.



A couple of 1 1/4" inch binder clips (easy found at your local store) work very nicely to keep shoeboxes in place, so things remain dubtubed and the air gap between shoeboxes remains exactly as intended.


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InvisibleRatThing
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: Mad Season]
    #24726325 - 10/21/17 08:26 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Mad Season said:
I remember having to explain the good points to people because nobody understood why I was even using shoeboxes when I had tubs. Love the change!




Agreed.

Quote:

monotubs can be done with no modifications as well. Just throwing that out there.




I was aware, and yes that is indeed worth noting.  Yet monotubs (modified or not) to me seem quite large and awkward, more suitable for an industrial operation.  Shoeboxes in comparison are small, lightweight, portable, discreet, cute, and in my opinion rather more suitable for a hobbyist.


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Edited by RatThing (10/21/17 08:39 AM)


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InvisibleRatThing
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: KrombopulosM]
    #24726327 - 10/21/17 08:27 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

KrombopulosM said:
Some of my most aesthetically pleasing grows came from shoe boxes. Nice write up




Thanks!


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OfflineGurdjieff
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: RatThing]
    #24726329 - 10/21/17 08:28 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Nice write up. Have a good weekend man.


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OfflinemushboyM
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: Gurdjieff]
    #24726400 - 10/21/17 09:36 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

:thaaannks:
shoeboxes for the win.


20quart 'shoeboxes' work the same. just use more spawning/bulk. basically mini monos. just no holes. ratios never change.
i personally like the square sterlites with the white lids. the ones with the curved lids do not rest nicely when flipped.

cool write up. mind if i link it in making shoeboxes??

PS. my target sells them. 78cents w/lid.


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InvisibleGerms
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: mushboy]
    #24726566 - 10/21/17 11:26 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

I love this thread. I have tried both the sterilite’s from walmart and have also done the ones with the clamp handles from Target. The 1642 is my favorite. I may have a regular tub going like once a month but for the most part it’s exclusively shoeboxes.

Will have to give those HDX a shot


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OfflineDrayce
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: Germs]
    #24726720 - 10/21/17 12:33 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

To verify the easy-factor of 'shoeboxes';  this is my first time w/them 2nd flush.


Small, but good.


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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: Drayce]
    #24726966 - 10/21/17 02:27 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

wow that was a very informative write up about why those tubs work so well.. i had no idea about the built in air flow, thank you.


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InvisiblebodhisattaM
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: icetech] * 1
    #24726982 - 10/21/17 02:38 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)


You can also use them for fucking around. Ratios, casing, layering, etc..


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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: bodhisatta] * 1
    #24727015 - 10/21/17 02:59 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

I like these trays


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Offlinewaxbrain
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: bodhisatta]
    #24727090 - 10/21/17 03:49 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

My only current project:



Most even ever for me lol. 1qt Alacabenzie to 3 qts 50/50. Wish I had another quart of spawn but it was the only clean one that made it


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InvisibleRatThing
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: mushboy]
    #24727106 - 10/21/17 03:55 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

mushboy said:
cool write up. mind if i link it in making shoeboxes??



That would be great.


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OfflinemushboyM
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: RatThing]
    #24727109 - 10/21/17 03:56 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

:awegroove:


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InvisibleRatThing
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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: mushboy]
    #24727119 - 10/21/17 04:02 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

mushboy said:
:awegroove:




Also feel free to take whatever you like and incorporate into your tek, should you feel so inclined.


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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: RatThing]
    #24727121 - 10/21/17 04:03 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

its like, the shroomery's tek, man. its all of ours tek..:heart:

:bongload:

thanks though. one day ill revise making shoeboxes w/better pics and shit. but for now?...meh. do it later.


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Re: The Varieties of Shoebox Experience [Re: mushboy]
    #24727147 - 10/21/17 04:22 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

yo mush, you can add my trays to your tek if you want too.


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