Retort stand

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A retort stand (also called clamp stand) is a simple item used in labs to hold clamps or other pieces of equipment.


Retort stands consist of a heavy metal base frame and a sole support metal rod placed vertically, most often welded to the base. They are commonly used as stands for holding retort clamps and bossheads. The heavy base frame can be either a flat piece of metal, an A-shaped frame, H-shaped frame, L-shaped frame, T-shaped frame or a tripod.

More complex retort stands have a metal (or wood) frame with a metal rod grid.


Retort stands can be bought online from lab suppliers.

DIY retort stand

A simple retort stand can be made by drilling a hole in a heavy metal plate and inserting a metal rod in the hole. Welding is optional.

Upright paper towel holders can be used as lab stands. Generally they are made from either wood, plastic or stainless steel. These stands tend to have better performance than the common lab stands and the stainless steel ones are less prone to rusting than their plain carbon steel counterparts. Their main disadvantage is the short length of the metal rod (~30 cm), which limits their use in large and complex installations. Their base is also not always very wide, which makes them prone to toppling.

To increase the stability of the stand, you can place lead weights at the base of the stand.


Retort stands are prone to rusting, so take good care of them.


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