Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear

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Texium - 4-5-2016 at 15:45

Figured that this thread was worthy of being topped.

Making filters out of everyday materials

RogueRose - 5-5-2016 at 22:15

Was wondering if anyone has come up with some commonly available materials that can be used as filter material other than coffee filters. I have noticed that some coffee filters that are shaped and stamped into a pocket form instead of the round "waffle" like shape, seem to have a more densely packed fibre pattern. If a flat disc is needed, these could be cur from the filters.


I have used a number of different paper towels folded to make a funnel shape and either glued or stapled the sides closed. I found there are wide range of paper towel types. Some of the cheap towels at gas stations that are almost like non-absorbent paper, work really well for fine filtration once they become saturated. It also helps to use something like a strainer instead of a funnel as the contact of the paper on the funnel blocks the flow, the open strainer allows for MUCH quicker flow through the paper & strainer.


I've found the local thrift store/charity shop/good will often has fabric remnants which can be a great source for cloth filters be they cotton, silk or synthetic.



Cotton square swabs/pads. I've found the quilted squares about 45mm x 45mm work really well for fine filtration by laying out an over-laping layer with each additional square offset about 25% width and continue until a line of them is ready to be rolled up. Once they are stacked, roll them VERY tightly (for very fine filtration, maybe with a long thin nail or screw driver to wrap in the center) from one side of the layed out squares until the diameter is reached. These rolls can be put inside pipe, plastic bottle mouths, prescription bottles, etc. If using something like a milk of soda bottle, pushing the rolled cotton from the inside allows the bottle to funnel the roll into place.

The same thing as the above paragraph can be done with cuttings of cloth and rolled into a tight form.

Filter papers could be constructed from things like paper shopping bags (brown bags) which I would suspect have a much denser fiber ct than coffee filters.

Artistic paper for drawing, painting, sketching, etc. Some of this stuff has cotton in it. There are various qualities of construction paper where thickness and fiber size varies greatly. This could be a very good source for sub micron filtering.

I've used old T-shirts with the bottom tied very tight with fishing line. It is best to wrap many times and then fold back up and tie again as wrapping around a single place can lead to slippage and the dumping of the filtered material all at once.

Socks work as well and are a good shape for filtering.

Anyone have any other ideas for things that can be used to filter?

j_sum1 - 5-5-2016 at 23:18

Circular cotton make-up removal pads might be worth a shot.
Actually they would probably match well with a piece of a stovetop espresso maker I have for a buchner funnel.
417o27nr4mL._SY300_.jpg - 10kB

RogueRose - 6-5-2016 at 07:20

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Circular cotton make-up removal pads might be worth a shot.
Actually they would probably match well with a piece of a stovetop espresso maker I have for a buchner funnel.



The square swabs that I wrote of are pretty similar to the round pads you speak of - if I hadn't explained them correctly. The round pads seem to be a little different texture.

The Volatile Chemist - 6-5-2016 at 08:21

I recently used the below idea to use a vacuum flask for which I had no stopper/seal. The red bulb is the bulb for a large glass pipette which had broken.

image.jpeg - 2.6MB

mayko - 6-5-2016 at 08:34

An aquarium air pump can be useful for pseudo-vacuum filtration. If I am filtering a slow-moving mixture, though a bit of cotton in a pipette for example, the gently pressurized air can speed things up a great deal. (I am told they can also be used for flash chromatography)

CharlieA - 6-5-2016 at 15:31

Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
I recently used the below idea to use a vacuum flask for which I had no stopper/seal. The red bulb is the bulb for a large glass pipette which had broken.


Excellent!!!

JJay - 7-5-2016 at 14:50

Repurposed.

DSCF0013.JPG - 316kB

Air bubbler or tiny compressor to help filtration

RogueRose - 7-5-2016 at 22:40

I've read that some people use air bubblers to help with their gravity filtration. I'm kind of confused as to how they use these for that purpose. Do they use a vacuum flask with the vacuum port connected to the input of the bubbler or do they use a sealed holding container (for the liquid to be filtered) and pump air into the sealed container (positive pressure filtration)?



I'm considering a positive pressure setup as it can be made with what I have at hand plus a bubbler or small compressor.

I currently use gravity filtration with the assist of a long 10ft length of 3/8" tubing. The hose connects to a barb through the lid of an old gallon juice jug lid & the jug has a hole cut in the bottom to allow for filling as well as rope through the side (sealed for liquid) to hang the container. A filter is placed above the receiving container and connected to the hose. The juice jug is filled and raised as high as possible to allow for greater pressure.

The above method works pretty well but there are times it could be faster. To do this I picture a second barb on the lid to allow for air to be pumped in. A sealed jug would be used for the positive pressure obviously.

I was considering one of those 12vdc auto air compressors with a modified hose fitting. I suspect it will pump air too quickly and I don't need 100psi (can the pressure be set on these?) so I was thinking of running the motor with something like 3.3 or 5v (from a computer PSU) which I suspect will make the motor run much more slowly but IDK if it will just draw more current.

If a bubbler is used, does it have to be submerged in anything or can it hang outside the jug and just pump the air into the jug?

symboom - 15-5-2016 at 22:09

This a great thread often its cheaper to improvise many time for reasons such as cost or availability being a DIY kind of person. This thread is very helpful and interesting what others come up with
Definitely deserved to be topped

[Edited on 16-5-2016 by symboom]

drying rack

CharlieA - 16-5-2016 at 17:33

My wife found this baby bottle drying rack at a rummage sale for $1. Now it's a lab glass drying rack (some might say it is MY baby bottle drying rack.:D

DryRack.jpg - 70kB

Home made pestle

RogueRose - 17-5-2016 at 07:07

I needed something to crush large crystals and charcoal and things such as this. So I came up with this:



pestle1.jpg - 100kB pestle2.jpg - 87kB pestle3.jpg - 179kB

IDK how thick the rebar is but the measuring cup is 3/4 cup and filled with lead. I added screws & nuts on the inside to lock everything in place. I would guess this all weighs close to 5-6 lbs and works great for breaking up whatever is needed

Firmware21 - 17-5-2016 at 13:13

Homemade magnetic stirrer with a 4 positions speed selector. It's working pretty well, although the stirbar has a bad habit of "not staying where it should" when the solution is difficult to stir (Thick precipitates, cellulose in schweizer reagent).

I had almost everything except the magnets (Very strong neodymium magnets) and the selector. It was quite of a hassle to center them to get the desired effect :P

DSC_0111.JPG - 2.8MB

I tried to use a potentiometer but they all burned.


[Edited on 17-5-2016 by Firmware21]

The Volatile Chemist - 17-5-2016 at 15:16

Does anyone have a source for a home-made iron-piping style DIY Bunsen burner like what Doug's lab has? I really like the design, but he's never posted here or on YouTube with regards to how it was made.

re Rogue Rose's pestle

CharlieA - 19-5-2016 at 12:23

Great idea! Now I have another use for my 6-lb sledge. I tried to crush some sea shells with a regular mortar and pestle, but I won't live long enough to crush a significant amount. Now where did I put that sledge...

Safety shield

CharlieA - 19-5-2016 at 12:29

I just finished making a safety shield from a piece of 0.1 inch thick, 18 "x24" poly-carbonate. The blue strips are masking tape so you can tell where the plastic is. I'm already thinking of making another one so I can put 2 side by side, either horizontally or vertically (or even 1 each way, I suppose).

SafetyShieldHor.jpg - 71kB safetyShieldVert.jpg - 61kB

aga - 19-5-2016 at 12:50

Cor ! You can hardly see it's there.

I wish i could get my Glass that clean !

Firmware21

Sulaiman - 19-5-2016 at 21:47

very nice,
but unless you are a lot more careful than me,
liquids will get to the potentiometer.

A small piece of acrylic glued diagonally across the corner where the pot is would help,
I'd consider as large diameter as fits ring around the top to form a shallow well,
or glue flat strips of acrylic into a square well.
It will not look as pretty,
but spilled liquids and electronics is not usually a good combination :D

I just had a thought, (it happens occasionally)
you could add some baffles to direct the air from the fan around the front top edge,
this would gently encourage nasty fumes (HCl etc.) to move away from you instead of biting your nose.

Another thought ...
a ceramic tile (the type used on walls) placed in the middle,
a stand, clamp & something like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRAVEL-HEATER-ELEMENT-WATER-COFFEE...
would allow heating with stirring ... very useful.

CharlieA - 20-5-2016 at 05:12

There isn't a window in my house as clear and clean as this sheet of plastic!:D:D:D

Firmware21 - 4-6-2016 at 15:32

I thought about the potentiometer problem, i think I'll just use some kind of plastic container instead of modifying the stirrer. I'm more concerned about me getting fried by the stirrer than just breaking it. I therefore avoid manipulating liquids when it's plugged in and cover the beaker with something.

For the heat insulation, a tile seems to be a better alternative to the old corkboard I planned to use.
Concerning the heating element, corrosives/redox will mess with it quickly and break it.


Orenousername - 4-6-2016 at 21:51

Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Does anyone have a source for a home-made iron-piping style DIY Bunsen burner like what Doug's lab has? I really like the design, but he's never posted here or on YouTube with regards to how it was made.


Doug actually posted about the design of his burner in:

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=36062 :)

BobD1001 - 4-6-2016 at 22:17

Quote: Originally posted by battoussai114  
I have a cheap magnetic stirrer too. Mine uses a 12v power supply from my old home phone, a 12v PC fan and 2 savaged neodymium magnets.
I'm currently working on a hotplate. Got a stainless steel plate from a local metal shop, some nichrome wire and a potentiometer. The only problem is that my only available power supply output a max 6W. I'm not sure if I'll bother trying to add temperature control (even though I have some spare MCUs laying around), probably I'll just estimate the temperature based on the voltage drop across different positions of the potentiometer wiper.


If your building a homemade hotplate/stirrer check out the one I built here. Used a cheap PID controller from aliexpress and some heating cartridges from ebay (two 400W, totaling 800W). The PID control is excellent and it heats up very fast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6mOZeyTi84

Magnetic Stirrer

Harristotle - 5-6-2016 at 01:08


Well, I used a great design and laser cut it at my local maker space.
The little pwm speed controller is excellent, and so I have included its build designs.
I bought the acryllic by paying a sign maker a $2 gold coin donation to go dumpster diving - got enough for 30.

You can see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7rLZ33ps2I
. In reality, it works better than discribed, as the epoxy the magnets rubbed against is drier and rubbed down now - I didn't let it set properly before I tried it out.

The laser cutter files are here: https://github.com/BioHackAcademy/BHA_Stirrer - The biohack academy is well worth a look.

I have attached a schematic, and the reference I thieved it from -in Eagle format, a pdf of my pcb layout, and a component overlay file.

It was a very useful device, and I recommend it.

Sorry that my Eagling is not pretty, but it does the job.

Cheers,
H.

Attachment: motor controller.sch (203kB)
This file has been downloaded 773 times

Attachment: motor controller -components.pdf (11kB)
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Attachment: motor controller.pdf (9kB)
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ficolas - 5-6-2016 at 01:38

Quote: Originally posted by Firmware21  
I thought about the potentiometer problem, i think I'll just use some kind of plastic container instead of modifying the stirrer. I'm more concerned about me getting fried by the stirrer than just breaking it. I therefore avoid manipulating liquids when it's plugged in and cover the beaker with something.
For the heat insulation, a tile seems to be a better alternative to the old corkboard I planned to use.
Concerning the heating element, corrosives/redox will mess with it quickly and break it.

You need to use a voltage regulator, or your potentiometers will eventually fry.
A 12V (300mA maybe?) DC Power source wont really cause much harm, it may shock you if you touch both ends with wet hands, but nothing really bad should happen (Acording to my knowledge, and a electrical engineer friend I asked because I was scared of using things wired to the wall, even if working with low current and low voltage)
I'll be using an waterproof project box (Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Estone-Waterproof-Plastic-Electronic-... ) And cover all the holes I make in the box for the pot, etc as good as I can.
Here is the schematic i'll follow, where they also use a voltage regulator so that pots dont fry over time.

Firmware21 - 5-6-2016 at 03:10

Quote: Originally posted by ficolas  

You need to use a voltage regulator, or your potentiometers will eventually fry.
A 12V (300mA maybe?) DC Power source wont really cause much harm, it may shock you if you touch both ends with wet hands, but nothing really bad should happen (Acording to my knowledge, and a electrical engineer friend I asked because I was scared of using things wired to the wall, even if working with low current and low voltage)
I'll be using an waterproof project box (Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Estone-Waterproof-Plastic-Electronic-... ) And cover all the holes I make in the box for the pot, etc as good as I can.
Here is the schematic i'll follow, where they also use a voltage regulator so that pots dont fry over time.


I already use a 12 V adapter, it would have fried otherwise. I was just scared about getting shocked :)

And actually, it's not a potentiometer but a 4 position interuptor. I regulate the speed using a couple of resistors. I tried to use potentiometers, but they burned...

SIMPLE Distillation setup with parts on-hand

RogueRose - 7-6-2016 at 12:13

All that was available was a 1L Erlynmyer flask and a 12" Liebig condenser. An aquarium pump was aquired to cool the condenser and used an old metal stand (like a music stand) to hold up the apparatus.

So, how to get a distillation unit out of this? Take the outer case of a 35ml syringe (the hard plastic case that the syringe comes in). The wide part of the neck, near the end of the plunger fit PERFECTLY inside the neck of the flask!!!

1/2" OD, 3/8" ID vinyl tubing (food grade) was used to connect the syringe case to the condenser. To ensure it stuck together RTV silicone was added as a "bung/stopper" at the flare of the syringe case to make a seal and keep it from falling down if it could even happen.

A hole was drilled in the needle end (no needle here though) of the syringe case to put the tubing through. A bulb of RTV silicone was applied to the end of the 1/2" tubing (heated with hot air gun to speed sealing outer layer) then pulled up through the syringe case from the inside and then filled the rest with RTV to keep it from moving. Used long screwdriver to ensure tubing was clear of silicone.

On the outside of the syringe case, 3 layers of RTV to stick/glue the tubing to the syringe casing ensuing there is no leaking from the vapors.

After each use of RTV a 1500 watt heat gun was used to seal the outer layer so it wasn't sticky. This takes about 30 seconds. Be careful to continually rotate/move so it doesn't melt the syringe case.

The vinyl tubing terminated inside the condenser with a perfect fit and used double wide electrical tape first wrapped around the tubing and then around the condenser (2 wraps) and then back to the tubing for a number of wraps. This has held for a LONG time with NO leaks of failure.

Normal vinyl tubing was used to cool the condenser - no big thing here. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE CONNECTION often as they can slide off, especially when the water gets warmer. small pipe clamps will be very helpful.

a 15" lenght of vinyl tubing finished the run from the end of the condenser. Many benefits to this as it can provide extra cooling and can be moved to different containers when possible.

Total expenditure: $2.62 for the tubing & RTV usage - all else was on hand.

Hypothetically. This is able to take alcohol wash of 5% to about 40-50% after one run and after a second run 92-93% was measured!!!



Pleas no rude comments about the adapter to the erlynmyere flask. I know it looks like one of those "male enhancement" vacuum attachments that is leaking from the end:D:o

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]

still.jpg - 439kB

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]

Firmware21 - 7-6-2016 at 13:40

Well at least you've got a condenser :P. My first "distillation apparatus" was roughly the same, except there was no condenser or stative to hold the whole thing.

I hope there is good ventilation where you work with it, as it looks like a big fire hazard to me. Honestly, I'd be afraid to work with it in my lab.
I might just be a scaredy cat though...

You might want to get the adapter someday, they make your life easier IMO :cool: .

RogueRose - 7-6-2016 at 14:16

Quote: Originally posted by Firmware21  
Well at least you've got a condenser :P. My first "distillation apparatus" was roughly the same, except there was no condenser or stative to hold the whole thing.

I hope there is good ventilation where you work with it, as it looks like a big fire hazard to me. Honestly, I'd be afraid to work with it in my lab.
I might just be a scaredy cat though...

You might want to get the adapter someday, they make your life easier IMO :cool: .


Well a lit flame next to the erlynmyer junction and at the end of the condenser hose posed no fire risk. Keeping the condenser at 55F or so and running slow, so very little vapor this way.


What I coulnd't get over was the fact that I could get almost 95% with this cheap setup while my $500 essential oil still can't get past about 50% This is what makes me so mad when people say that they have the best b/c it is most expensive.

Kind of like a $2,000 space pen (writes in zero G) vs a pencil, lol:mad::(:(;):P

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]

The Volatile Chemist - 23-6-2016 at 10:52

I was just using a still apparatus with a 500mL sep funnel replacing the thermometer through the top rubber stopper, to make Acetic acid from sodium acetate and sulfuric acid. Didn't work too well, lots of fumes and very little condinsation in my tiny 100mm liebig...

mayko - 8-7-2016 at 18:50

I built this little DIY centrifuge out of an empty spool, some microfuge tubes, nuts and bolts, hot glue, and a rubber band. It's powered by an electric drill - my cordless didn't quite have the muscle to do what I wanted in a timely manner, but my neighbor lent me a higher power drill, which worked :cool:

centrifuge1.jpg - 241kBcentrifuge2.jpg - 200kB

Making filters from PVC pipe & removable lids on pipes

RogueRose - 14-7-2016 at 03:15


I needed a way to change the material in my filters made of PVC pipe and the PVC screw-on end pieces were really expensive (comparatively for what I needed), were a little awkward in size and needed Teflon or plumbers tape to ensure seal each time it was opened.

What I did was find some plastic jars and gallon juice containers that had the size mouths (large/wide mouths) that would allow the pipe to fit inside. I then cut the plastic containers threaded neck off and then used an epoxy/resin to glue it to the PVC. I then put whatever attachment/barb onto the container lid & glue/epoxy/JB weld it to the lid. Now I have a water tight removable lid and it can be made if your local hardware store doesn't have the size PVC threaded cap you need (at my store, one 3" cap costs almost as much as 10' of SCH40 pipe!)


As for filters, I like using square cotton swabs over-layed out one on top of the next and so on. Then roll it up in a tight bundle (very tight if you want high filtration) and squish it into the PVC pipe. If you try this you MUST "charge" the cotton with water (or some liquid) before attaching to the holding vessel with the solution to be filtered. It may not be possible to have the liquid penetrate the cotton if you pack it tight enough, but if you soak the cotton (once in the PVC) on both sides of the filter it will help IMMENSELY!

Also, I have needed to attach small diameter tubing to garden hose and it was difficult to find anything that would allow this. This can be great for running a condenser.

Also, if you need an inexpensive ball valve for vinyl tubing I found using one of the garden hose shut-off valves works great all you need to do is get the hose ball valve (the yellow ones below) and either buy the garden hose cap or a 3/4" pvc pipe cap and cut it to fir the valve - then attach the proper hose barb.


*Note all the threaded "necks" are glued with an epoxy and have one on both sides of the pipe
**the picture of the grey PVC filter, it is open-ended and that is fine if you just hang it over the receiving container. If you do this the cotton needs to packed tightly enough to not allow the pressure to push it out (I hang the holding tank 5-12' above receiving vessel. Placing a drywall screw at the bottom - near outlet - works well to keep them all in there.
PVCscrewcap1.jpg - 104kB PVCscrewcap2.jpg - 80kB filtermaterial1.jpg - 45kB filtermaterial2.jpg - 100kB PVCfilter1.jpg - 248kB

pipe end cap1.jpg - 164kB pipe end cap2.jpg - 173kB Hose Attachments.jpg - 154kB

arkoma - 14-7-2016 at 16:26

Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose  
All that was available was a 1L Erlynmyer flask and a 12" Liebig condenser. An aquarium pump was aquired to cool the condenser and used an old metal stand (like a music stand) to hold up the apparatus.

So, how to get a distillation unit out of this? Take the outer case of a 35ml syringe (the hard plastic case that the syringe comes in). The wide part of the neck, near the end of the plunger fit PERFECTLY inside the neck of the flask!!!

1/2" OD, 3/8" ID vinyl tubing (food grade) was used to connect the syringe case to the condenser. To ensure it stuck together RTV silicone was added as a "bung/stopper" at the flare of the syringe case to make a seal and keep it from falling down if it could even happen.

A hole was drilled in the needle end (no needle here though) of the syringe case to put the tubing through. A bulb of RTV silicone was applied to the end of the 1/2" tubing (heated with hot air gun to speed sealing outer layer) then pulled up through the syringe case from the inside and then filled the rest with RTV to keep it from moving. Used long screwdriver to ensure tubing was clear of silicone.

On the outside of the syringe case, 3 layers of RTV to stick/glue the tubing to the syringe casing ensuing there is no leaking from the vapors.

After each use of RTV a 1500 watt heat gun was used to seal the outer layer so it wasn't sticky. This takes about 30 seconds. Be careful to continually rotate/move so it doesn't melt the syringe case.

The vinyl tubing terminated inside the condenser with a perfect fit and used double wide electrical tape first wrapped around the tubing and then around the condenser (2 wraps) and then back to the tubing for a number of wraps. This has held for a LONG time with NO leaks of failure.

Normal vinyl tubing was used to cool the condenser - no big thing here. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE CONNECTION often as they can slide off, especially when the water gets warmer. small pipe clamps will be very helpful.

a 15" lenght of vinyl tubing finished the run from the end of the condenser. Many benefits to this as it can provide extra cooling and can be moved to different containers when possible.

Total expenditure: $2.62 for the tubing & RTV usage - all else was on hand.

Hypothetically. This is able to take alcohol wash of 5% to about 40-50% after one run and after a second run 92-93% was measured!!!



Pleas no rude comments about the adapter to the erlynmyere flask. I know it looks like one of those "male enhancement" vacuum attachments that is leaking from the end:D:o

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]



[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]



Good Job!!

CharlieA - 3-8-2016 at 16:27

My woodworking skills fall somewhere below "carpenter's apprentice", but I managed to finish and mount the shelves shown in the attached pictures. The short shelf on the left is 42 inches wide, and the one on the right is 48 inches wide. The shelves and ends are made from "1x4" pine.

Now to stock them with chemicals!:D


IMG_20160712_123952.jpg - 52kBIMG_20160801_143547.jpg - 41kBIMG_20160801_143706.jpg - 59kB

The Volatile Chemist - 15-8-2016 at 13:56

Look nice! Especially with all the bottles on them.

Filter funnel from a 2L bottle

RogueRose - 15-8-2016 at 21:52

I used to use the spout of a cut off 2L bottle for holding filter paper (coffee filters) but found that the surface contact of the paper on the plastic restricted the flow significantly basically only allowing the small bottom opening as the sole area which liquid could flow out of.

So, I made some cuts to open up the sides and was going to cut the "vents" off when I realized that they could be used to hold the filter over the receiving vessel.



filterholder1.jpg - 149kB filterholder2.jpg - 88kB

CharlieA - 16-8-2016 at 16:09

Isn't serendipity wonderful!:D

I forgot to add, that's clever, but I'm not sure the contact of filter paper with the "funnel" slows things down, at least for solvents that "wet" the "funnel". I need to try this.


[Edited on 8-17-2016 by CharlieA]

Corrosive Joeseph - 17-1-2017 at 12:26

Fractional distillation under (slowly fluctuating) vacuum with 2 pieces of glass. Homemade aspirator station next on the list.

Works a treat though...................



DSCN0013.JPG - 2.6MB

Comments and criticisms welcome.

If anyone wants a list of parts l will gladly post it.................

/CJ

[Edited on 17-1-2017 by Corrosive Joeseph]

NeonPulse - 18-1-2017 at 01:41

All I did was take a bit of 24 glass, it was a thermometer adapter I got far a couple of dollars but I took a file around the join and snapped it off. Next I put a Büchner funnel down the hole full of clear epoxy and there. No more need for a rubber gooch. Just a little vacuum grease and it works great. Kind of re- purposed I guess.

IMG_1109.JPG - 1.2MBIMG_1108.JPG - 1.4MB

Sulaiman - 18-1-2017 at 02:23

That IS a neat idea that I may copy,
have you tried hot water etc. yet?
I would be a little concerrned about differential thermal expansion
(borosilicate 3.3, Alumina 7.5)

violet sin - 18-1-2017 at 11:30

Might have gotten away with silicone caulking to seal the two together. Allow expansion/contraction and be chemically resistant while still being replacable. Lexell, it comes with no bubbles in the mix. But good lord hope you dont have to pull the sword from the stone as it were. Stuff has a good bite as far as adhesive.

https://www.google.com/search?q=lexell+caulk&num=100&...
-------
I cut the glass envelope off of a HPS grow light, to epoxy into PVC threaded fitting. It worked great untill the epoxy fully set, cracking the glass. A real bummer as I had not counted on that much shrinkage. It was in an effort to make a clear container for scrubbing gasses, moisture or just plain see what ever you had going on inside.

Personally I wanted to scrub NO2 into sillica jell beads, from a low % feed off electric discharge. And perhaps with a metal collar, have the electric discharge in a similar fixed globe in upright configuration instead of hanging low.

IMAG8691.jpg - 1.1MB

Fun will be had eventually, think I will follow my own advice and set it wil the tube of Lexell already purchased. I had a hard time trying to flame polish the glass edge, and there was some epoxy that curled over that chipped edge. Most likely cause of failure.

[Edited on 18-1-2017 by violet sin]

Maroboduus - 18-1-2017 at 15:35

Those bulbs are wicked tough. I've broken beer bottles against those things.
In fact I've wondered if they're just borosilicate, or something else.

Did you have any trouble cutting it?

violet sin - 18-1-2017 at 15:57

Nope, cut off about a dozzen with a really thin rock saw for opal, 4" dia. It shows a little wear, but I haven't exactly been nice to it. The blade is centered by hand so there is a little knock when first starting the cut. The whole edge has little chips but they stray less than 1/8" inward, usually 1/16". I'll be cutting one a second time at the gem and mineral society monday. See if their saws are better, or at least grind it smooth before flame polishing.

Joel - 28-1-2017 at 02:44

This is my first post on this site, so hello everyone!

For my lab I have manufactured (mostly using scrap steel and a welder):

2 retort stands - a metal rod welded to a steel plate base
6 ring supports - a large steel washer or cut-off section of pipe welded to a bolt
6 right angle clamps - two pieces of box section welded at right angles, with a hole cut out in one side and a nut welded on. A piece of rod welded across the top of the bolt completes the clamp, and it screws in diagonally through the box section.
4 thermometer clamps - simply a wooden peg glued to a length of wood
2 wooden test tube stands - 15 holes @ 19 mm, and 12 holes @ 32 mm
3 wash bottle - a piece of tubing through a hole drilled in the top of a 500ml soap bottle
Boiling chips - I use chips off a piece of porous rock found lying in the paddock.

If anyone is interested I can try to post photos.

Total savings: over $170 for about 20 hours work

Joel - 28-1-2017 at 02:48

This is one of my right angle clamps.

Right angle clamp - small size.JPG - 1.9MB

Geocachmaster - 28-1-2017 at 10:23

Having very little money after buying all my ground glass labware, I decided to build my own lab stands. I got two metal plates from an old railroad (just laying on the ground) and used some extra threaded rod that was leftover from something. Holes were drilled and tapped in the middle of the plate and a nut was added. Total cost: $0 and minimal work

IMG_0430.JPG - 916kB IMG_0431.JPG - 1.4MB

Sulaiman - 28-1-2017 at 12:05

they look sturdy and stable, nice (if not pretty :P

(I almost lost a 2l flask today using the typical eBay retort stands with light bases.)

Geocachmaster - 28-1-2017 at 12:17

The bases are around 6 Kg so they are very sturdy and not prone to falling over. How about putting some weights on your stands for more stability?

image.jpg - 1MB

Not winning any art competitions ;)

Edit: added "s" to stand

[Edited on 1/28/2017 by Geocachmaster]

Geocachmaster - 6-2-2017 at 12:01

No lab oven, but I do have a cheap Walmart hotplate and a stainless steel pot.:D:P

It can even tell the temperature!

image.jpg - 1.1MB image.jpg - 1.2MB

I really need to buy a toaster oven:(

Chlorine - 6-2-2017 at 14:21

Glass vitamin jars make up 80% of my chemical storage. My parents go through about 10-12 jars a month, they also have a water tight seal.

tsathoggua1 - 7-2-2017 at 05:51

Heh I recently repurpose my grandmother's (she is dead now) spice rack, threw out the old spices, all save for the turmeric, for the potential uses of curcumin when I get back to working on ergot, some szechuan pepper extract (EtOAc/hydroalcoholic in concentrated iPA) and the very fresh that I use often such as cubeb, pink peppercorns, which I myself bought, my homemade fly agaric/peppery boletus-based steak spice in ready-ground form, a small amount at a time so it keeps better, and dried peppery bolete caps divested of the pores and dried in slices and chunks,plus a few other more unusual spices that are either not cheap, not readily bought, or quite simply (such as Amanita muscaria, and peppery boletus, Chalciporus piperatus) are not to be purchased in any food market, although fly agaric can be bought from head shops, the quality is unreliable, and I prefer to know that it has been cured properly to detoxify it)

The rest of the glass jars, not boro, they have rubberized seals, the material type I don't know, so theres a fair few things I don't put in them. But they do just fine for projects in partial-gestation, much of the time, or after having been given birth and blinking at the sudden light and squawling for the first time as it draws its first breath:) Repurpose the amber glass bottles with chemically resistant plastic (to solvolysis especially) of some kind that my chlormethiazole script comes in

Geocachmaster

Sulaiman - 7-2-2017 at 08:46

I have a similar hotplate,
the temperature controller needed multiple re-adjustments :mad:so I used one of the cheap controllers http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161843931556?_trksid=p2060353.m274...
In use with a2l flask covered in Al foil
HotplateMod5.jpg - 1MB
Top view after modification
HotplateMod3.jpg - 679kB
The controller in the bottom part of an old plastic box
HotplateMod2.jpg - 623kB
Modified hotplate internals
HotplateMod1.jpg - 1MB

The hotplate now has better control all the way to maximum, which is higher than before..

[Edited on 7-2-2017 by Sulaiman]

Sulaiman

Geocachmaster - 7-2-2017 at 08:54

That's a super good idea! I actually just bought a 2000w (I think) ac voltage control for use with my heating mantle (:() and other projects. I think I'll put it to good use now!

The heating control on that hotplate is definitely crap, either too hot or too cold.

[Edited on 2/7/2017 by Geocachmaster]

Sulaiman - 7-2-2017 at 09:07

the controller in the photo's was ordered at the same time as a 500ml heating mantle element,
the hotplate died more recently, :P

there is another controller in the post somewhere between China and me
(and a 'spare' heating element, even though construction not started yet :o

P.S. for good performance a batch fractionating column needs very slowly changing temperatures, boil-up rates etc.
I have considered
. a mini-mercury-manometer to control heating based on column differential pressure
. a rex-c100 pid controller
. a £1.24 incl. p&p triac 'dimmer' ... perfect ! for fixed boil-up rates :)

[Edited on 7-2-2017 by Sulaiman]

tsathoggua1 - 7-2-2017 at 11:13

At least as they come, those hotplates have to bee THE worst I've ever had the displeasure of using.

Had one, and ended up tossing it just recently. If its what it looks like (I can't remember the brand, its been around a while and any lettering had long since been eaten off by various corrosives:P)

But the temperature was thermostatic, and either on or off, cycling in pulses to attempt to regulate the temperature. A real piece of shite and with a tendency to trip the circuit breakers unless very carefully adjusted. Got dumped in the bin the moment another became available again. And the one of those I had was worse than unpredictable. It was the damn devil, and has been responsible for a volcanic unpleasant reaction sudden superheating which resulted in a phosphorus volcano shooting up and out of the condenser, as well as three other times. Once the result was a huge, expensive, if rather pretty, although pretty noxious as well, sodding great gout of subliming iodine vapor, looked as though iodine had been substituted for Cl2 in a damn WWII trench, and the other one ended up starting diethylene glycol smoking and fuming at a roiling boil in a heating bath, which whilst rather, well..not exactly penetrating, and didn't have that sheer carrying or persistency of say, some of the foul-smelling haloalkyl sulfur heterocyclic monstrosities spawned by overheating 1-chloro or 1-bromothiazol-2-ethanes which were just brutal, the diethylene glycol heating bath, which happened to contain salts, CaCl2 and NaCl, due to a former life as a coolant bath with ice and MeOH/EtOH, good god the smell. It was subtle, but odious, a really nasty sickly sweet 'ripe' stench. Not like rot, exactly, but like fruit going rotten without the fruity ester components, and putrid. Stagnant and sickly. Not terribly strong as such, but even faint sensation of that was enough to nearly make one vomit.

The plate eventually grew to be so despised that it went into the trash. The death knell sounded for it the time dipropionyl and dibenzoylmorphine sulfate both almost ended up burnt to a crisp during a sudden temperature spike. Luckily most of the esters were able to be saved, but from 70-something 'C to over 250 'C in no time flat. Luckily the reaction involving the esters was being watched like a hawk due to the preciousness and temporary irreplacability of the substrate and the vessels were snatched, hot as they were, off the place before the substrate was deep-fried in acyl halide. Bugger the hands. The yield had to be saved in that case. Not easy to keep hold of and it had a good go at shrink-wrapping a pair of hands in shrunken gloves. A good deal of swearing followed to say the least, although at least, given the specific activity of the compounds produced, at least the actual pain from grabbing the bloody well hot flask necks stood little chance of standing up to 3,6-dipropionylmorphine. Little yield left afterwards, due to its being needed to sooth the hands that rescued it, but some is better than none. dipropionyl and dibenzoylmorphine turning to carbon..now that would be a sight to make any chemist weep. After that, it went to another hot place. This one with lots of fire and brimstone, from whence it came and where it deserves to be.

Geocachmaster - 7-2-2017 at 11:34

These hotplates are definitely horrible for temperature control with the included thermostat. I find it useful for dehydrating stuff that can't decompose/burn. For example if I'm out of anhydrous magnesium sulfate and don't have a lot of time I just throw a bit in a beaker and turn it on full. Also the heating surface is covered with some kind of paint which can stick to glass; it's awful to clean off. I bought a ceramic top hotplate stirrer when I could, but it blew half of this years chem budget.



image.jpg - 867kB

Much better

JJay - 7-2-2017 at 13:30

They aren't bad at temperature control if you use a heating bath, but it's easy to burn stuff placed directly on the hotplate's surface. I used a table salt heating bath with mine last week, and it worked great.

Sulaiman - 8-2-2017 at 01:03

I had a lot of use out of my cheap hotplate before I modified it,
as above, I had two major problems;

the on/off/on/off.. temperature control has a large hysteresis,
so distillations would surge, then die down, then surge, then die down....
OK for a simple distillation but terrible for fractionating.

Possibly due to micro-welding of the switch contacts, the hotplate would occasionally 'stick' on too long and massively overheat for a while.


Converting to a 'dimmer' has transformed the hotplate !
I now feel confident to leave distillations running with very little monitoring,
nice steady boil-up rates.
I recommend this modification to anyone with a little electrical wiring expertise,
even if you think your hotplate is ok ... try a modified hotplate

JJay - 8-2-2017 at 03:08

I think I'll definitely pick up some of those dimmers... while I've been trying to cut back on brushed motors, I still have plenty of resistive heating. Why use a $150 variac for your heating mantle....

tsathoggua1 - 8-2-2017 at 14:48

My current mag stirplate that needed a repair (he's no electrician generally, not with his math) is now thankfully repaired, again with a modification like that, converting the snap-switch (preset levels, without intermediacy, at first) to a dimmer. Still getting used to the hack of the controls. But MUCH better.

The other one had to go though. Was going to rip the resistance wire out of it, but one night, found it had just been thrown out. Fucker was too dangerous to plug back in and once his old man repaired the other one and did that little hack on the controllers, it went before he had chance. Not that he misses it, and not like a bit of nichrome resistance wire is going to break the bank of ever needing to buy any.

First time he knew of that sudden massive overheating. Elemental phosphorus was one of the reagents. doing an RP-I2 reduction of the substrates he was working on at the time, and lets just say, the cleanup wasn't much fun. PI3, I2, burning phosphorus that thankfully, didn't QUITE hit the ceiling. Not far off though, using a long, thin necked flask at the time, a side-arm distillation flask another time was even less pretty (one with an inbuilt long glass side-arm coming off the neck about an inch or two down from the top of the neck. If the top end had been sealed, that would have been...well glad not to be standing too close due to the resulting sideways direction of the jet of reactants:D



[Edited on 8-2-2017 by tsathoggua1]

mayko - 18-2-2017 at 14:58

I had been doing camera work, including a bunch of chemistry videography & photography, using a clamp, stand, and (ugh) selfie stick to hold my camera as a makeshift tripod. It was ok, but still pretty wobbly and inconvenient. I picked up a tripod not too long ago at the local Really Free Market, and decided to retrofit the selfie stick to the tripod so that it could hold my camera phone. Here it is, after sanding down rough edges and epoxying an appropriately-threaded nut onto the phone holder:

IMG_20170214_DIYTripod.jpg - 290kB

Geocachmaster - 3-3-2017 at 12:44

My first attempts as making glass pipettes. The top two are made from glass droppers (right) and the bottom two are made from glass tube. The bottom ones are blackened because I pressed the hot glass on a piece of wood to flare the edges, got a nice deposit of soot. Would metal cause cracking?

I heated the last 1.5cm of the tube while rotating until the hole closed and the glass softened enough for it to droop when rotation stopped. Then using a pair of tweezers I grabbed the end and carefully pulled it out. The faster pulled the thinner the tip will be.

image.jpg - 1.6MB



image.jpg - 956kB

My favorite one

j_sum1 - 8-3-2017 at 05:12

Ok. This is worth thinking about.
https://youtu.be/ispolAHB4jA?t=1m56s

Clonejeffie - 4-4-2017 at 22:07

Homemade magnetic stirrer 9v bat and computer fan

IMG_20170405_245932954.jpg - 1.2MBIMG_20170405_010043908.jpg - 1.5MBIMG_20170405_245938686.jpg - 1.4MBIMG_20170405_245949082.jpg - 1.3MBIMG_20170405_010038990.jpg - 1.5MB

Clonejeffie - 4-4-2017 at 22:09

Homemade magnetic stirrer 9v bat and computer fan

IMG_20170405_245932954.jpg - 1.2MB IMG_20170405_010043908.jpg - 1.5MB IMG_20170405_245938686.jpg - 1.4MB IMG_20170405_010043908.jpg - 1.5MB IMG_20170405_245938686.jpg - 1.4MB IMG_20170405_245949082.jpg - 1.3MB IMG_20170405_010038990.jpg - 1.5MB

JJay - 29-4-2017 at 18:15

I made a flexible stir shaft by twisting a length of electrical tape into a core and wrapping several layers of electrical tape around it. It is super ghetto, but it works.

DIY lab equipment

haita - 13-9-2017 at 23:39

How many of you have DIY centrifuges/thermocyclers/shakers/etc.? This is a thread to post pictures of them and share instructions for building equipment. I don't personally have any self-made tools, as I have access to a pretty good lab, but here's a link to a dremelfuge and a couple of PCR ideas.

Plunkett - 26-9-2017 at 08:15

I tried to make a ball mill from a peanut butter jar, the bearings out of a dishwasher, and a severely under powered motor. It lasted for a good 20 seconds.
IMAG0479.jpg - 33kB


Next I made an HHO generator from several plastic containers hot glued together. I used nails as the electrodes and baking soda for the electrolyte so it did not last long either.
IMAG0518.jpg - 38kB


When I first got into element collecting I made a box so I could safely electrolyze NaOH. I did not know that NaOH was deliquescent at the time so when I was done I just put it at the back of my workbench and left it for a few days. When I came back it was a fizzing swollen caustic mess. Good times.
IMAG1254.jpg - 31kB


Best of all though is my homemade liebig condenser. I cut the ends off of disposable test tubes with a diamond cutoff wheel and butt jointed them together with my blowtorch. I made a cooling jacket out of PVC and an adapter for my Erlenmeyer from a rubber stopper. It worked, but it leaked horribly, it was difficult to position without breaking the joints between the tubes, and never got above a 10% yield with it. Some things are worth paying for.
IMAG1821.jpg - 31kB IMAG1822.jpg - 28kB IMAG1823.jpg - 38kB IMAG1826.jpg - 39kB IMAG1827.jpg - 26kB

[Edited on 26-9-2017 by Plunkett]

alexzxz - 17-12-2017 at 23:14

Quote: Originally posted by Plunkett  
I tried to make a ball mill from a peanut butter jar, the bearings out of a dishwasher, and a severely under powered motor. It lasted for a good 20 seconds.


Yeah, ball mills seem so easy. But after fiddling with jars, rubber belts, caster wheels, and a few motors for months, it's still unreliable and cost way more just buying one from harbor freight.

I eventually caved and just bought the single drum with the 20% coupon for about $30. Then bought a dual drum a year later since they're so useful.

Small ball mills aren't worth the effort, but very large ball mills (much more efficient, much finer grind) are absolutely worth it if you have the space and time


[Edited on 18-12-2017 by alexzxz]

Morgan - 5-1-2018 at 07:15

I got some borosilicate drinking straws as a gift and figure they could be repurposed for something. And the little cleaning brushes reminiscent of test tube brushes ...



DSC_0011 (1).JPG - 288kB DSC_0008 (1).JPG - 325kB DSC_0012 (1).JPG - 304kB

[Edited on 5-1-2018 by Morgan]

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RogueRose - 21-1-2018 at 16:36

I finally tried out what I thought might be a really good airator which is simply part of a borosillcate glass tube a friend was throwing away, he has tons of these as waste from normal working with glass tube. It has a 1/4" OD glass tube barb at the top and fits perfectly inside any 1/4" tubing - these can be made to any side basically (smaller than the tube that is).

The tube is filled with some cotton swabs rolled up and pushed into the bottom.

I tried it against an aquarium air stone and the bubbles were about 1/40th the size of the air stone (more like a mist of bubbles, instead of actual bubbles, the water gets cloudy with air towards the top of the water!) and gives a ton more surface area for the gas to absorb into the water. I thought this would be good for trying to absorb NH3 into water. Will the bubbles being so fine be an issue?

If anyone is interested I could probably get a bunch of these (if anyone is interested) and even some larger ones from 3/4" to 3" ID and thick walled.

Airator.jpg - 147kB

[Edited on 1-22-2018 by RogueRose]

LearnedAmateur - 21-1-2018 at 22:29

Quote: Originally posted by Geocachmaster  
My first attempts as making glass pipettes. The top two are made from glass droppers (right) and the bottom two are made from glass tube. The bottom ones are blackened because I pressed the hot glass on a piece of wood to flare the edges, got a nice deposit of soot. Would metal cause cracking?


They’re nice, I do a bit of glass work myself, usually making odd bits out of tubes. I find the best way to get the soot off is to heat it in a strong oxidising flame - once it starts glowing red then it’ll sublime off and leave perfectly clean glass. Metal won’t cause it to crack if it’s still pliable, but make sure that the metal is insulated or long length of metal since it can burn fingers in a matter of seconds - I have more scarred burns from hot metal/glass on my body than I do from chemistry, which says something considering I rarely wear PPE. If I need flares, I use an old metal thumb drive in the shape of a bullet and just press it into the opening.

NeonPulse - 22-1-2018 at 17:07

Making a gas powered Bunsen burner into a portable unit:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&...

It was quite easy to do and the parts are cheap too.

Homemade Distillation Setup

PrussianBlue - 24-1-2018 at 05:20

It's nothing too fancy, but I figured I would share my homemade (janky) distillation setup from awhile back. It's certainly not an aesthetic piece, but it successfully distilled over 50mL of concentrated nitric acid on its first use. It's surprising what one can do with a wine bottle, glass tubing, and a propane torch.

IMG_5391 2.JPG - 2.3MB 2IMG_1771.JPG - 633kB

Morgan - 26-1-2018 at 10:57

I was looking at some various small diameter tubing on eBay and it's kind of expensive for just a simple aluminum tube but found some thrift store knitting needles in various sizes for very little - maybe of use for some projects.

DSC_0005 (3).JPG - 439kB

[Edited on 26-1-2018 by Morgan]

yobbo II - 26-1-2018 at 17:38

Al tubing can be had from fridges. Yards of it.

Morgan - 26-1-2018 at 20:11

You can get several different diameters from one of these telescopic golf ball retrievers. Or those pool cleaning extendable poles with the net at the end.
https://www.carlsgolfland.com/jp-lann-15-round-ball-retrieve...

I've cannibalized several small tripods from bargain stores as well to repurpose the legs for experiments. There are those aluminum crutches with the nice frosted finish that can be had for peanuts at thrift stores too where you can cut sections of tubing from the crutch. And even the height adjustable segments at the bottom of the crutch seem like something that might come in handy.

I've also eyed the Harbor Freight flag poles for larger sizes.
https://www.harborfreight.com/20-ft-telescoping-flag-pole-62...
And I've bought some coiled aluminum tubing from an auto speed shop. So yea, lots of sources out there. Even some aluminum arrows I happened to have ...

On the small sizes for about 15 dollars you can buy a copper pipe tubing expander that you can adjust the end diameters of your tubing.
Pipe diameter range: 6-22mm (6,8,10,12,16,19,22)
1/4 "-7/8"(1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 5/8" 3/4" 7/8")
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Best-Seller-Hand-Refrigerati...

Sometimes even old wind chimes can come in handy for a piece of aluminum tubing or once a child's xylophone that happened to have colorful aluminum tubes instead the more common flat bars was another source for me.


[Edited on 27-1-2018 by Morgan]

Stainless Steel trash cans for boiling pots

RogueRose - 23-2-2018 at 23:58

I've found that some places sell some pretty nice stainless steel trash cans, often for bathroom use. I found one that is about 1.75 gallons and is probably 304 SS and I picked it up at a flea market surplus store for $3.50. It's round and about 9" diameter on the bottom and 12" at the top and is about 15" tall.

I've used this for a number of things, holding liquids of various types that don't eat SS. I decided to try it on my stove and it works SO much better than most of my pots b/c it is so tall, which makes boiling solutions a very easy task as there is no splatter surrounding the burner. It was great for boiling down various solutions where a larger pot would have had splatter around the edges and I can put all the liquid in at once (most of the time).

I've seen about 20 different trash cans that would work for this and I've seem them very often at flea markets, farmers markets, thrift stores, as well as stores like Big Lots, Ollies, Marshals, TJ Maxx, etc.

Using these also allows you to keep any cookware seperate from the chemistry fun so the significant other doesn't get upset in case you get pickeling on the metal (yeah, that is fun to explain - "But it wasn't supposed to do that, this pot isn't made of what it says it is made of!! Don't blame me, blame they lying cookware manufacturer!!)



trash can.jpg - 213kB trash can 2.jpg - 245kB

[Edited on 2-24-2018 by RogueRose]

Boiling flask from old metal halide bulbs - 1.5L per bulb and thicker than RBF'S!

RogueRose - 24-2-2018 at 04:12

SO I had some old 400w sodium or metal halide bulbs and I cut them open with a diamond wheel on the dremel. They cut very nicely on the far end (where it screws in) and is just under 2" diameter making it perfect for a 2" bung/plug.

These might be great boiling flasks/distillation flasks where there may be remains in the bottom that are difficult to impossible to break up. These are borosillicate glass and they are thicker than both beakers and round bottom flasks that I have checked (broken) by about 20-40%. The setup is self explanitory and I'm going to test it down the road and see what the results are. I plan to use glass tubing coming out of the bung leading to a condenser. IDK if there is anything I need to think of before this, but it seems a plausible idea.

The 400w bulbs (Phillips brand & most brands are same size) are 1,4L to 1.5L which is a very nice size and smaller 250w, 175w, 120w, 100w, etc are all freely available from electricians and gives sizes from 220ml up to the 1.5L.

I used a simple hose clamp around the neck with some tape to give it something to hold onto.



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HammerOfLight - 22-3-2018 at 09:14

Dialysis membrane can be found on amazon cheap along with the plastic clips to secure it. If for some reason you cannot obtain it through AMAZON, sporting good stores (ACADEMY, CABELLAS, BASS PRO SHOP) sell pig and sheep intestine casing for sausage making, you can use this for dialysis (that how the first dialysis machines were made) just be sure to wash all the salt out first, and they won't last long after you do that.

For separation you can use a centrifuge of course, baring the ability to get a centrifuge, you can modify an old multi speed bicycle's rear tire and turn it on it's side as a make shift centrifuge. For mass separation you can get an all plastic cream separator that's hand crank.

For a sterile chamber, glove box. check out resale shop, church donation resales, and good will/salvation army for plastic aquarium on the 20 gallon size for cheap, use a rotozip to cut a couple of holes in the front and bolt a plastic toilet flange (4") into the front, and seal heavy rubber gloves to it, you can get plastic panel cheap from home improvement stores or salvage from local trash to cover the top of the aquarium. You can get a cheap computer fan and a HEPA filter for a shop vac to create a positive pressure input to the box.

NeonPulse - 29-3-2018 at 20:52

Testing out my heating mantle today. Last year I bought a replacement mantle for a 500 ml heater off eBay for 10$ I placed this into an old paint can for the base and packed the surrounding space with Kaowool. It was powered with a PID/SSR combo which was also from EBay for under 25$ last year. The leads are some old sections of oven wiring harness. I understand the 400c PID devices are cheaper still which would suit this application just fine. I’m using it to distill Glacial Acetic Acid and it works very well. So that’s a home made heating mantle for under 50$. I did run it at max power for a short while and it can get to about 330c. I wouldn’t run it like that most of the time due to the possibility of the nichrome burning out but these mantles are cheap enough so that’s no problem if it did. I bought 3 of them.

934BC68E-7FD1-4899-ABB3-0C3B02807246.jpeg - 1.8MB

violet sin - 29-3-2018 at 21:12

If you are referring to the rex-c100 eBay PID controller... It can be easily reprogrammed to open the sense range to the limit of included K thermocouple probe.

http://www.instructables.com/topics/Rex-C100-temperature-con...

First thing that popped up.

RogueRose - 30-3-2018 at 05:40

MAybe you can help with this as I've searched for years. What is the material between the ceramic blanket and the glass flask. It looks like a braided material, kind of like a rope wrapped around in circles (starting in center bottom and wrapping around and out up to the top where we see it).

I've also seen heating mantles that use I have seen mantles that use "alkali-free glass fiber insulation material, the resistance of nickel-chromium wire insulation in the insulation layer, woven into a semi-heat within the heater."

So to me it seems that it might be a quartz based fiber (much like fiberoptic which is mostly SiO2 and VERY high melting point compared to even borosillicate glass).

Here is a good article that describes the heating mantle repairs, modifications and builds, but the list of parts (heat resistant fabric??) seem to be limited
http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=15844

[file]66675[/file] [file]66677[/file] [file]66679[/file]

mantle - fiber basket 2- 500ML-250W-Fiber-White-Adjustable-Temperature-Electric-Sets-_57.jpg - 118kBmantle - fiber basket - 500ML-250W-Fiber-White-Adjustable-Temperature-Electric-Sets-_57.jpg - 96kB

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DavidJR - 4-4-2018 at 14:56

The stem of my polypropylene buchner funnel fits perfectly into this adapter:

buchner-adapter.jpg - 76kB

mayko - 14-4-2018 at 09:10

I came across a wine bottle that had its bottom cut off; apparently this is a thing fancy people do to have nice things and isn't difficult to DIY:
https://crafts.stackexchange.com/questions/544/how-do-i-cut-...

This solves an annoyance I've had, which is with the standard inverted-funnel suckback trap and gas bubbler. Putting tubing off and on the stem risks breakage and injury; dedicating a suckback trap by putting tube on and leaving it takes a funnel out of commission. With this top half of a wine bottle, a stopper, and some glass tube, I can have a dedicated trap; I just tried it out successfully with a nitric acid distillation. One potential problem is the large headspace.

I suspect with a little more engineering, you could also use one of these to make a jacketed funnel, for doing hot filtration.

CobaltChloride - 14-4-2018 at 13:39

I made a spirit lamp out of a jar. I pierced a hole in its lid with a knife. Through the hole I put a roll made out of sterile compresses. The exposed part of the roll was covered in aluminium foil so that only its tip is exposed to the air. The foil was glued to the lid using a hot glue gun.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I use a stainless steel cup as a snuffer. I found one which happens to fit tightly over the jar.


spirtiera.jpeg - 101kB

[Edited on 14-4-2018 by CobaltChloride]

aga - 14-4-2018 at 13:48

Use a piece of cotton from a mop-head.

Works great.

CobaltChloride - 14-4-2018 at 13:51

Great idea! I'll try that.

Vacuum pump and vacuum filter

TheMrbunGee - 15-4-2018 at 01:26

Here Is my gem, vacuum pump made from 12V compressor.

It has a nice high power motor
IMAG1753.jpg - 2.5MB

It takes air from every hole in the motor and parts, so they are sealed with super glue.
IMAG1748.jpg - 2.3MB

Made a hole in the part where piston is and added a nozzle for hose.
IMAG1749.jpg - 2.4MB

Vacuum pump and vacuum filter

TheMrbunGee - 15-4-2018 at 01:33



Active cooling and some heat sinks (it was getting hot quite fast)
IMAG1750.jpg - 2.4MB

Power supply from a transformer and bridge rectifier. it eats 6-7A, and about 12, when maximum vacuum is reached. Rectifier is sandwiched between aluminum to dissipate heat.
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And the filter - just a jar with a funel.
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I was able to boil water in 54 Celsius. If I am not wrong its about 120 torr?


violet sin - 30-5-2018 at 16:11


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1- Small horizontal/vertical combo Lab clamp.
2- Clamp detail.
3- steel block ring stand, pretty disappointing.

The lab clamp was more of a necessity and I think it came out nicely. I was planning on going a different route with the build but, available materials and store prices precipitated this form. Apparently wing-nuts are spendy...over 1.30$ each at ACE. They did have some affordable threaded grommets you knock in a hole and all kinds of cheap bolts.. ~$1.70 for both pairs on the free scrap wood clamp is affordable... If you already know how to build it step wise, quick... If your learning as you go, it's a BIT TIME CONSUMING.

The pinch plates slide to allow capture without disassembling. I admit wingnuts would be faster or more convenient at least. Probably just spot weld a handle on there. I would definitely change a few things, maybe use the tablesaw to do the cuts. As was this was finished like 4:30 am in the basement so all hand tools except drill press.

The cheap Chinese ones off eBay looked terrible, are narrow opening and would take a while to get here. Would love aluminum version, but who has time to ground up build a foundry for that for no reason. I was tempted.

The lab stand was a slab of scrap steel from the local welding shop, and a 3/8" rod from the store that was for something else but was super convenient. My harbor freight tap and die set did NOT match up well. So after all the effort of building it, the shaft won't stay in until about 10-12 wraps of PTFE tape to attempt to hold it still. But it falls out after moving some more. I will attempt to tap the other side of the block.

Brake fluid as paint stripper, not too shabby.
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4- overnight after one brushed on coat
5- second application after a quick wire brushing

It isn't super fantastic, but I didn't have to go buy anything. No fumes and soap/water cleanup, not bad. I got a scroll saw from a family member who didn't have time to fix it, missing cord and one side of blade holder is shot. This would have been pretty friggn useful on the clamp project, but I digress. Fresh enamel coating to come and then pressed into service.

Maybe some inspiration for someone - vs

Plunkett - 17-7-2018 at 12:04

I got tired of using a soup can filled with sand as a test tube holder so I made a proper one from a piece of firewood I had laying around.

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happyfooddance - 17-7-2018 at 12:25

Quote: Originally posted by Plunkett  
I got tired of using a soup can filled with sand as a test tube holder so I made a proper one from a piece of firewood I had laying around.



Very nice, Plunkett!

Abromination - 17-7-2018 at 13:35

I am very proud of my magnetic stirrer. Its made from a fetta cheese container, some pieces of scrap plastic a toy motor and some magnets. It is conected to a AAA battery case i made from a AA case and a knut.

Abromination - 17-7-2018 at 13:41

Sorry, pictures didn't send

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RogueRose - 17-7-2018 at 14:24

If anyone needs a good lab stand and you can't get scrap metal from a local welding shop or recycling yard (many places won't allow you to buy items because of "liability...") you can probably find old barbell plates or the weights from a stack on a universal gym (the kind with pulleys). I've seen these given away for free in the paper at times or for next to nothing - one ad had 280lbs (28 plates) on the machine for $50 for the whole thing! Just drill a hole and put a rod in and it set. IDK if threading the hole is necessary, I think in most cases it shouldn't need it if the hole is deep.

macckone - 23-9-2018 at 16:00

Just made a vacuum pump from an aquarium pump.
I bought one that has two hose attachments.
I converted one to vacuum using instructions found on instructable.

This was a Aqua Culture 60 gallon pump from walmart.
I unscrewed the four screws on the outer housing.
One screw that holds in the pump assembly.
Then on one side I removed the pump rubber oscillator.
I removed the valve assembly one screw in the center.
There is a rubber gasket under that.
The rubber gasket is removed.
There is a direction pin for the gasket.
I clipped it with a pair of diagonal cutters.
Then put the gasket and valve assembly back in 180 degrees rotated.
Put it all back together and voila.

Don't let it suck liquid into the pump.
There is a 120v electromagnet in there.
Mine is giving at least 10 feet of lift and is currently drying out.
See comment about liquid sucking into the pump above.

I now have a vacuum source that doesn't depend on my water pump.

It is also useful for parts pickup for electronics and desoldering when combined with an inkpen housing.

Last minute stopper

Σldritch - 23-10-2018 at 07:49



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(I'd love wimsy asked access if one of you two sees this).

[Edited on 23-10-2018 by Σldritch]

Elrik - 2-11-2018 at 14:31

Began with a capacitor clip from scrap soviet era electronics, a broken aluminum restraining clip found in a truck yard, and a metal rod extracted from a broken printer.
Cut the aluminum to a rectangle, drilled and counter-bored, and sawed in two notches. Drilled and tapped the metal rod. Used a screw and wire to firmly assemble.
Free liebig condenser support arm :)

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CharlieA - 2-11-2018 at 16:22

Clever!;)

j_sum1 - 4-11-2018 at 17:10

Tea strainer
Also known as 600mL tall-form jacketed beaker.

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When I get to playing with dry ice and acetone cold baths, I'll be able to see what I am doing.

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