A brief collection of instructions for blowing eggs (getting hollow, empty, egg-shells), that might be useful to some Eggbot users. Please feel free to add to this page if you have useful information to contribute.
Here are several sets of instructions from various sources, on how they blow eggs:
- A collection of methods including the awesome aquarium-pump-and-silicone-tubing method
- single hole syringe method video by yorisimo on Youtube
Here are several egg-shell-related Instructables. For use with Eggbot, be careful not to make either of the holes in the egg too large!
Dedicated tools for blowing eggs:
When to blow eggs
Original Eggbot inventor Bruce Shapiro advocates plotting on whole, raw eggs. Eggs, with the shell intact, are surprisingly strong and easy to mount in the Eggbot. If you end up with a plot worth keeping, remove the contents afterwards, and you don't have to worry too much about the size of the hole. (And, If you end up with a poor plot, you can just crack the egg and use the contents normally.)
Tips and Tricks
Be very certain to clean all of the egg guts off of your egg if you are ever going to plot on it after you blow it out. If you don't, and you plot over the dried egg, it may (will) ruin your pen tip and you'll have to throw it out. This is especially frustrating with the really expensive pens.
If you can blow really hard, or if you have something to make pressure with (like a solder sucker bulb or a syringe) you can make pretty darn small holes and still get the egg guts out.
A truly hot setup for making a single hole in an egg is to use a Dremel-type tool with a cone-shaped 1/8" bit to start the hole, followed by a ball-shaped 1/8" bit. Both bits preferably diamond grit to minimimize vibration (can be had inexpensively at harbor freight). The 1/8" size, though small, works fine with the one-hole egg blower referenced above.
A good way to break up the yolk in a single-hole egg is to use something with more substance than a paper clip. A piece of 14 gauge copper wire, such as found in standard household Romex electric cable, works a treat. First cut a straight piece a few inches long. Now bend a small (maybe 1/4") offset in it part way down, and then the part below the offset bend to become parallel again with the top straight piece. To scramble the yolk, slip the wire into the egg, and twirl between your thumb and finger while moving the wire gently up and down.
If you are purchasing already-blown eggs, you may be offered the choice between soap-washed and acid-washed eggs. One site states that eggs for Pysanky (wax overlay and dye) should be purchased as soap washed - because acid wash prevents the dyes adhering well to the shell. In contrast, the site owner further states that for Sharpie markers, either of the two wash types works equally well.