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Woodware is a general term for all lab equipment made of wood or other plant derivative material. While not very chemically resistant, wood is commonly used in labs due to its readily availability, low cost and it's easy to work. Coating wood items in a chemically resistant paint will extend their shelf life.
- 1 General
- 2 Important woodware
- 3 Other
- 4 Safety
- 5 References
Most common wood appliances tend to be tables, drawers, chairs, but also various tube, funnel, flask holders. Common wood types used include fir, cedar, ash, oak, while special wood like cork tends to be used mostly for flask holders or pin boards.
Below there's a list of various wood lab items encountered in the chemistry lab, that are useful for the average amateur chemist. Obviously you will not need them all, but having a few items like racks or furniture can make your life easier.
Wooden cabinets are useful to store reagents. Do not store corrosive or oxidizing agents in them.
Hollow circular cork items, useful for holding round bottom flasks.
Long thing pieces of wood, with cotton pads at one or both ends. Used in biology.
Similar to the plastic rack, it can be made water and solvent proof by coating it in chemically resistant paint, unless it already was.
Wooden supports, with an open cutaway, which allows for easy manipulating of various funnels.
Used to hold pipettes. Exists as two forms: vertical and horizontal. Make sure it's coated in waterproof coating to prevent it from rotting.
Splints are long and thin strips of wood, similar to chopsticks. They are typically used for lighting Bunsen burners, or in demonstrations to indicate the flammability or oxidizing power of gasses in a flask.
Just like the rubber variety, cork stoppers can be used in many solvent bottles, though such stoppers are not compatible with many solvents.
Test tube holder
Large clothespin-like clamps, made of wood, can be used to hold hot glass tubes.
Useful to hold test tubes.
The lab workbench is made of wood or veneer, and is coated in a protective paint layer, which resists most reagents.
Wooden boxes are useful to store various lab equipment, such as tools, lab metal items, electronics, sometimes even glassware.
Shelves can be used to store or display various reagents or crystals, and can be placed either in an accessible place, or in a more discrete area.
Wooden spoons can be used to transfer soft and non-corrosive reagents, especially those that are not hygroscopic. They are good when working with energetic materials, like black powder, construction materials (cement, gypsum), insoluble granular materials (silica gel, molecular sieves, metal powders), etc. Should never be used in microbiology, as they're difficult to properly sterilize. Avoid breaking apart hardened reagent using a wooden item, as it may splinter and contaminate your reagent.
Wood is flammable and may catch fire if exposed to a flame or high temperature. Wood can be made fire resistant by treating it with borax or other flame retardant products.
As it ages, wood tends to shrink, which will cause it to deform or crack. This can be reduced by treating the wood with certain oils or acetic anhydride. However, this tends to be more of a problem for fine wood items, so treating you wood items may not always be necessary.