Making your own replate forks
Replate forks may be quickly and easily made from "dead soft" nickel wire. The wire can be purchased from:
Rio Grande jewelry supply: www.riogrande.com or 1-800-545-6566
You will want to purchase the "dead soft nickel alloy round wire, which comes in 16 gauge (0.051"), 14 gauge (0.064"), and 12 gauge (0.081"). There are 125',
77', and 50' on a spool, respectively. At $14.88 for a single spool, you can make replate forks inexpensively and quickly.
Nickel wire is cut to the correct length, and then the ends are hammered flat on a hard, smooth surface. They may then be autoclaved repeatedly (nickel has excellent high-temperature
properties, being able to be worked far above the temperature at which your autoclave functions). Plus, the wire remains somewhat flexible, and may be bent if necessary to reach difficult areas.
Other growers, such as G&B Orchid Labs, have suggested that welding rod may be used in a similar manner.
Replate forks may also be purchased from Sigma Chemical as microspatulas for about $3.50 each, but must be purchased by the dozen.