Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear

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Ubya - 5-11-2018 at 00:40

if you drill 2 holes on the side, one on top and one on the bottom, you can glue 2 pieces of tubing (or if it's borosilicate you could even try welding two glass tubes) and make a water jacketed beaker

j_sum1 - 5-11-2018 at 02:14

I think it is borosilicate. It is at least designed to handle the thermal stress of boiling water.
But I break glass easily enough without trying to modify it. I doubt I would make any useful progress with that process.

Anyway, I have seen jacketed beakers as you describe on ebay for not too much. But I think I have more use for a substitute dewar. Who knows. I might even find some applications for the strainer and the screw lid

Eisenpanzer432 - 8-11-2018 at 00:07

My new lattice support, almost finished but in working condition now. The t square for size reference is 48”.

4F93F4BE-148E-4AE1-8CE2-2BC4E3522052.jpeg - 2.4MB

DavidJR - 8-11-2018 at 04:21

Very nice! I've been thinking of building something like that. The commercial lab lattice kits with the connectors etc just seem ridiculously overpriced.

Are you planning on attaching it to the wall/work surface?

[Edited on 8-11-2018 by DavidJR]

Ubya - 29-11-2018 at 03:44

has anyone ever used this kind of quartz tubing (from oven heating elements) as a normal transparent quartz tubing?
like to hold catalysts or as a combustion tube


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FoodSaver Jar Sealer to extend shelf life of things (vacuum storage in mason jars at ~20-30mbar)

andy1988 - 11-12-2018 at 03:30

Using water aspirator:
files.php.jpg - 49kB

With mason jars and ~$9 FoodSaver Jar Sealer (perhaps other products exist, but nothing else on shelves in U.S.). Also 5mm OD vinyl tubing, I use next size up & beeswax to fit to aspirator, don't buy the FoodSaver's overpriced tubing as generic tubing fits perfectly... They market it with their $60+ machines as the vacuum source... but I'm guessing aspirator has better vacuum (vapor pressure of cold water).
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Will reduce oxidation problems like with FeSO4, and reduce moisture problems with things like potassium iodide (LOUDWOLF brand bottle pictured in mason jar with rice as desiccant) and alginate (pink powder in picture). Extends shelf life of such things!

I buy big 5lb bag of roasted coffee beans and vacuum seal in many jars, keeps the oil from oxidizing (keeps it fresh!). Also I seal many of my "nootropic" powders this way, like trimethylglycine [1][2]. Searching literature/google for "XYZ stability" would help me find if this procedure is useful for the substance in question.

Note: Gasket on mason jar lid seem to have shelf life differing between brands, I have a bunch laying around, hard and soft, the hard ones won't hold vacuum (i.e. if the gasket hardens in a number of years you'll loose vacuum, lid will pop up indicating as such).

Procedure: Put lid in device and device on jar. Blue rubber holds lid up so that air can be sucked out. Blue rubber must touch glass "flange" below threads to seal (may have to push if flange large, or remove bottom plastic ring). If jar has no flange below threads or flange too large, I think you could use wax to temporarily seal threads. Let vacuum for a minute, pull vinyl tubing from device (not device from jar), it'll "pop" as rush of incoming air pushes lid down, pull device off and verify sealed.

EDIT: I suppose you could also do a dry nitrogen purge first (or other appropriate gas if you have) to try to replace all oxygen & moisture before pulling the vacuum.

[Edited on 12-12-2018 by andy1988]

Sulaiman - 11-12-2018 at 04:00

Quote: Originally posted by CobaltChloride  
Through the hole I put a roll made out of sterile compresses.


These fibreglass wicks are excellent. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-10mm-Wick-Alcohol-Kerosene-Fibe...
If you use clean alchohol the flame is almost pure blue with virtually no yellow,
useful for doing a flame test to help identify metal ions,
and of course just as a heating source.

For heating of test tubes etc. I now use IKEA tealight candles. about 30W heat output.

P.S. These wicks are also excellent for burning boric acid in methanol for an eerie green flame.

[Edited on 11-12-2018 by Sulaiman]

arkoma - 11-12-2018 at 07:45

Quote: Originally posted by Geocachmaster  
I bought a ceramic top hotplate stirrer when I could, but it blew half of this years chem budget.





Much better


Corning PC-351. Fine piece of gear. Bought mine used two years ago for$80US on ebay.

Morgan - 11-12-2018 at 16:51

Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman  
Quote: Originally posted by CobaltChloride  
Through the hole I put a roll made out of sterile compresses.


These fibreglass wicks are excellent. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-10mm-Wick-Alcohol-Kerosene-Fibe...
If you use clean alchohol the flame is almost pure blue with virtually no yellow,
useful for doing a flame test to help identify metal ions,
and of course just as a heating source.

For heating of test tubes etc. I now use IKEA tealight candles. about 30W heat output.

P.S. These wicks are also excellent for burning boric acid in methanol for an eerie green flame.

[Edited on 11-12-2018 by Sulaiman]


I thought this ceramic material would be fun to experiment with as a wick-like capillary pump.
http://www.polywatt.com/CFB/CFB.html
https://www.wired.com/2003/11/the-curiously-strong-pump/
https://www.appliancedesign.com/articles/85600-igniters-burn...

mayko - 23-12-2018 at 13:49

inexpensive electroporation device based off piezoelectric lighters:

Quote:

ElectroPen: An ultralow-cost piezoelectric electroporator

Electroporation is a basic yet powerful method for delivering small molecules (RNA, DNA, drugs) across cell membranes by application of an electrical field. Due to its vital role, electroporation has wide applicability from genetically engineering cells, to drug- and DNA-based vaccine delivery. Despite its broad applications in biological research, the high cost of electroporators is an obstacle for many budget-conscious laboratories. To address this need, we describe a simple, inexpensive, and hand-held electroporator inspired by a common household piezoelectric gas lighter. The proposed 'ElectroPen' device costs about 20 cents, is portable (13 g), is fabricated on-demand using 3D-printing, and delivers repeatable exponentially decaying pulses of about 2000 V in 5 ms. We provide a proof-of-concept demonstration by genetically transforming plasmids into E. coli strains and show comparable transformation efficiency and cell growth with commercial devices, but at a fraction of the cost. Our results are validated by an independent team across the globe, providing a real-world example of democratizing science through frugal tools. Thus, the simplicity, accessibility, and affordability of our device holds potential for making modern synthetic biology accessible in high-school, community, and field-ecology laboratories.


https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/12/21/448977
https://doi.org/10.1101/448977

Some backstory: this was designed by motivated high schoolers!
https://twitter.com/BhamlaLab/status/1076325049966252033



Housing for Power Controller

hacker - 2-1-2019 at 03:01



regulator.jpg - 510kB

yobbo II - 5-1-2019 at 07:48

Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose  
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.





How would you know they are borosilicate?

I have cut open one today and intend to fire polish the cut end.
There is a nice alumina? tube to be had inside as well.
Other halide bulbs (longer and have clear glass) have nice thin alumina tubes that are very useful for shielding thermocouples at their ends
Others contain quite a nice looking blob of sodium (I hope to remove some today). The tube inside these bulbs is u in shape, about 10 inches long and could be used for something or other.

Yob

mayko - 18-1-2019 at 18:09

the poseidon syringe pump system:

Quote:

While open sourcing has become de rigueur in genomics dry labs, wet labs remain beholden to commercial instrument providers that rarely open source hardware or software, and impose draconian restrictions on instrument use and modification. With a view towards joining others who are working to change this state of affairs, we’ve posted a new preprint in which we describe an open source syringe pump and microscope system called poseidon [....] Together, these components can be used to build a Drop-seq rig for under $400, or they can be used piecemeal for a wide variety of tasks.


overview from one of the authors:
https://liorpachter.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/open-sourcing-b...

preprint:
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2019/01/17/521096


Yttrium2 - 19-1-2019 at 11:40

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.



I admire this. I admire that you took the time to figure out how to make one that looks good. ect

I'm an admirer of...

markx - 29-1-2019 at 10:51

Made a small power supply with varied output voltage (0,7-40V, 4A), current control function and some measurement panels for voltage, power and current:

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The power supply is made from a standard 12V SMPS coupled with a SEPIC converter. A versatile match that renders a very capable little lab unit for basically a few dollars.

The blue panel meter is truly a disaster regarding the concept of accuracy....was dirt cheap though :D :D
But on the contrary the red "high precision ampmeter" below that is truly great for the money. Perhaps I got lucky, but testing against a verified ampmeter it shows exceptional accuracy.

Coupled with a homebrew H-bridge pulsed plating unit:

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Makes for great fun in the field of small scale electrochemistry related experimentation.

C6(NO2)5CH2CH(CH3)N(NO2)2 - 29-1-2019 at 15:35

This appears to be a mild form of vacuum filtration, done using a vacuum cleaner: https://youtu.be/M8lXPlD4M3Y?t=99

I've had problems using paper filters, where the last few ml of liquid will not even drop out, presumably because the weight of the liquid is too little to overcome surface tension. Since I don't have a "real" vacuum pump, I will totally have to try this.

arkoma - 29-1-2019 at 15:37

I've used a vacuum cleaner to filter before............:cool:

Ubya - 29-1-2019 at 17:07

Quote: Originally posted by C6(NO2)5CH2CH(CH3)N(NO2)2  
This appears to be a mild form of vacuum filtration, done using a vacuum cleaner: https://youtu.be/M8lXPlD4M3Y?t=99

I've had problems using paper filters, where the last few ml of liquid will not even drop out, presumably because the weight of the liquid is too little to overcome surface tension. Since I don't have a "real" vacuum pump, I will totally have to try this.


if you are really desperate you could build this https://youtu.be/vaho7JSVS1I

pvc hand vacuum pump

markx - 10-7-2019 at 14:25

On the note of vaccuum filtration aids....I found this double membrane unit on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Parker-DC12V-D1001-23-01-Brushless-Vacuum-Pump-Diaphragm-Pump-Dual-Head-Air-Pump/263818752821?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&a mp;_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

This is a really good quality and capable gadget for the money. It actually runs on bearings and even has a counterweight attached to the crankshaft assembly. I'm very pleasantly surprised!




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Time to build this into a proper casing and add a speed control circuit:



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All done and the two stages connected in series for vaccuum operation:



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Due to the sepic converter I added it can now be operated from basically any source of DC voltage in the range of 3-35V. Rpm can be fluently regulated with the pot knob. It runs very smooth and quiet and pulls more than enough vaccuum for filtration operations even at minimum speed.

Morgan - 4-9-2019 at 17:13

Quote: Originally posted by Morgan  
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 ...





[Edited on 5-1-2018 by Morgan]


These straws
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=502689&...
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=502689&...
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=502689&...

and these fused quartz tubes
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=513305&...
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=513305&...
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=513305&...

Experimenting today with glass straws, sugar water, and some red toy rocket launcher base piece of plastic, (something laying around in the garage anyway), I was able to attract some hummingbirds. Also with one of those longer, narrow plastic drinking straws that comes with an umbrella mounted to it worked as well. I sort of cut some of the top of the umbrella straw off and put a tiny piece of pink silicone tubing on the tip and a very tiny silicone stopper in the tail end after filling the straw. But the plastic straw had some 4mm X 2mm fused quartz tubing sleeved inside it and that's what was holding the "nectar".
Anyway the blur in the umbrella photo shows a bird where you can sort of make out his beak against the pink umbrella. He fed out of it but I didn't get a shot of him with his beak in the straw. The photos were taken from inside the house because for some reason these hummingbirds are very skittish. I don't know much about them.

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[Edited on 5-9-2019 by Morgan]

Morgan - 7-9-2019 at 20:02

I found that a repurposed 1 ml syringe with a tiny bit of pink silicone tubing is enough to interest a hummingbird. They are easy to fill of course but deplete quickly and require a push to refill an air gap, after the birds can no longer reach or partake inside past the .4 ml mark or so. Also a hard plastic pink-striped straw with no other features works too. They never went for the blue straw. The very narrow fused quartz tubing 4mm X 2mm X 200mm had some takers with just a pink tip of silicone tubing at the tip as a teaser.


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Morgan - 10-9-2019 at 11:48

These are "silicone jars" that are sold on eBay, some 3 ml and the larger 5 ml. What's interesting about them is that you can use the inside diameter of the two halves for different size stoppers and the outside can be pushed into a bottle neck as well. One half has a sizable flange so that makes yet another size that it could fit into. If you think about it there are five sizes to play around with with one silicone jar.
And while I would have preferred other color schemes, a few are of a pleasing, unique design overall, not your average stoppers. And there's always the potential for imagining unique uses for the silicone containers. I really like them - just something good to have around in the parts department. The last photo a longish test tube with a narrowed neck whatever that's called or used for and one of those stoppers with a puncture in it is for this hummingbird feeder. One jar top with the flange sleeves really nicely in a kjeldahl flask and all the items pictured are a good fit, silicone having a fair amount of stretch and give and take.


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[Edited on 10-9-2019 by Morgan]

earpain - 11-9-2019 at 03:35

Hi first post. Lurking for years. You all are always the final say on all chemistry questions I ever research.
So here's my vacuum distillation set up. I read this entire thread, so just about all of my DIY hacks have been done by others(confirming I was right!) But a little detail anyway:
Stand on the left holds my multimeter set to temperature sensing via a thermocouple, I tightly wound the two types of wire at the probe, pulled off a thin 'nipple' of glass via lampworking, filled it with glycerine, and sealed the thermocouple in the glass. The base of the stand is from a fancy architect's type of lamp, with a microphone stand bolted in. One of those metal garage lamp clamps holds the multimeter.

Not thrilled about using copper tubing for my condenser, so that will be replaced soon. I made the outer jacket from vinyl reinforced super-wide plumbing hose, and two stoppers clamped on the ends.
The cooling bath is a large stainless steal pot, that i bolted a marine 24V water pump to. I use a 4 setting power supply to pump the coolant, usually at 5 volts.

In lieu of a Lab jack, I stack old CD-ROM drives. Despite how it may look, that receiving flask is super sturdy where it sits.

So I did break my Graham condenser long ago, and had no choice but to cut out the glass coil using a diamond wheel, then work it over a torch to stretch out the distance, and pull off the ends. That along with the small RBF up above is a vacuum trap.
The lab stand is again, a microphone stand, clamped into a very heavy bench vise.
And last but not least it all ends at a vacuum pump made from a window air conditioner. It reads as though I'm distilling isopropanol at 27C, but IR Thermometer contests that it's closer to ~40C, since the thermocouple ends up within the reduced pressure environment.


The other pic is a testament to my going on 3 years tobacco free, and my glass cold working skills=D Anybody that vapes knows how annoying it is to break the boro glass tank part, as every tank has slightly different dimensions. The female ground glass joint from said graham condenser happened to fit snugly, after some careful shaping and grommet fabricating. When i'm out and vaping, I'm still waiting for someone to notice the markings and figure out the backstory.

Love this thread, and this site! Thanks everyone.

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Ubya - 11-9-2019 at 09:37

@earpain
welcome to the board!
about your setup, if it works it works, who cares if it is a bit diy and rough, good job

earpain - 12-9-2019 at 15:02

Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
@earpain
welcome to the board!
about your setup, if it works it works, who cares if it is a bit diy and rough, good job


Thank you @Ubya!
Yes of course I agree there. But there's this idea of 'you don't get the powertools as a student, so that when you've learned the HARD way why the proper tools are so much better, then you've EARNED the right to use them.

For example I'm new to vacuum distillation. I've come to learn the somewhat paradoxical effect on the initial boiling flask:
On one hand, less heat is required to turn the liquid into a vapor that is light enough to float up above the ambient gas around us, and into the condenser. On the other hand, the vacuum is sucking the heat away from the boiling flask. So..I TRULY see the benefit of using a round bottom flask in a heating mantle, over that 1L erlenmeyer sitting on a flat hotplate.

And indeed, non-DIYers might never have had the chance to appreciate such nuances.

And then I mentioned the copper condenser. I know copper is desirable for moonshiners because it has a catalytic effect on some of the toxins, and I think copper does something similar to drinking water. But copper is very reactive metal! As far as I know.

Anyway, thanks for the words of encouragement=D

Morgan - 14-9-2019 at 14:31

Here's a fused quartz sphere repurposed into a feeder. It's nice in that after you tap it to get the solution all the way down it stops dripping yet continues to feed unlike most feeders that drip off and on. I have a pinhole in the top of a coke bottle and inverted it will drip constantly every few seconds. Somehow air skirts in around the tiny hole. It's curious how some shapes won't work and others with 10 times as big a hole do. The nature of surface tension, air bubbles, gravity, and partial vacuums makes for some challenging riddles on how liquids flow.
You can make reverse images with it or start a fire too, another use as a lens.


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Morgan - 21-9-2019 at 10:45

Yesterday I fiddled around in the garage and came across some magnet clamps purchased from Enco and thrift store stands bought a few years back. One stand was from a fireplace utensil set where a stoker, broom, shovel and tongs hung from. Another some lamp base or such and another mystery stand.

The other parts are an old curtain rod I had with a curl or hook at the end, some V-shaped fixture that held a light bulb, and odd little square beam clamps bought at a habitat for humanity store that accepts 1/4 20 screws in 3 places and a smaller screw in another plus some holes - maybe not all that useful here, but an afterthought.

The last parts are some fixtures or branch pole things for the magnet bases that are all iron or steel except for the knobs that sleeve over nuts underneath. In a way they are reminiscent of ring stand parts. Its curious how the outermost hole tightens first and then the inner, kind of unusual to get used to. The outermost holes are two sizes if you have rods/poles that match the diameters.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1084866-REG/platinum_...

This hodgepodge isn't all that great or ideal, but was a start cobbled together from dissimilar parts just to see what might evolve.
Now to find some fingers of some sort I guess ...

The small 3-legged stand is another object bought at the thrift store and an old ~12 inch diameter glass stoplight lens which is now a little bird bath.

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[Edited on 21-9-2019 by Morgan]

earpain - 28-9-2019 at 02:29

Quote: Originally posted by yobbo II  


How would you know they are borosilicate?

Yob


This is a question I have faced a lot in my days of DIY glasswork.
1. With tubing or bottles/flasks, if you hold the bottle up to the light above you, so that the walls of the bottle are seen along your line of sight, if you will see a green tint, it is soda-lime aka soft glass. If it still looks completely transparent with no color tint, it is likely boro.

Another test that is even more reliable:
Take two similar pieces of glass, one being the glass in question, the other being a piece that you know for sure is borosilicate. When i say similar I mean, ends are both rod with similar diameter, or ends are both tube(mouth) with similar diameter and similar thickness.

Rotate both over a propane/mapp gas or oxy/propane torch and fuse them together properly like you would normally when creating a weld.

If the mystery piece is not borosilicate, basically upon cooling EVERYTHING in or near the joint will crack, pretty dramatically.

wg48temp9 - 28-9-2019 at 03:29

Quote: Originally posted by Morgan  
Here's a fused quartz sphere repurposed into a feeder. It's nice in that after you tap it to get the solution all the way down it stops dripping yet continues to feed unlike most feeders that drip off and on. I have a pinhole in the top of a coke bottle and inverted it will drip constantly every few seconds. Somehow air skirts in around the tiny hole. It's curious how some shapes won't work and others with 10 times as big a hole do. The nature of surface tension, air bubbles, gravity, and partial vacuums makes for some challenging riddles on how liquids flow.
You can make reverse images with it or start a fire too, another use as a lens.


There should be a law about that, using a fused quartz flask as a bird feeder should be criminal especially for sm members LOL :o ;)

wg48temp9 - 28-9-2019 at 04:24

Quote: Originally posted by earpain  

This is a question I have faced a lot in my days of DIY glasswork.
1. With tubing or bottles/flasks, if you hold the bottle up to the light above you, so that the walls of the bottle are seen along your line of sight, if you will see a green tint, it is soda-lime aka soft glass. If it still looks completely transparent with no color tint, it is likely boro.


I have re-purposed bulb growing glasses and coffee beakers because they looked looked clear with no green tint. I placed one of the bulb growing glasses containing a coolish solution on a temperature controlled hot plate (~80C) and it cracked across the base. That suggests its not boro.

A few days ago I purchased some glass coffee mugs from a charity shop. The first one I examined appeared clear but the second identical one had a very distinct green tint.

Expensive bottles of clear spirits tend to not to have significant green tints and decorative glass items tend to be clear almost no green tint.
You can probably be confident (>90%) that if there is a green tint its not boro. But if its clear its very weak evidence that it is boro.


Morgan - 28-9-2019 at 15:37

My repurposed synthetic ruby rod/hummingbird perch passed the test today. The rod is supported by 2 clear fused quartz tubes with blue silicone tubing and the male ruby-throated hummingbird is sipping from a borosilicate drinking straw. Only when he ruffles his feathers or the sun hits him just right can you see his iridescent ruby throat.
The perch was fashioned after seeing a simple design such as this. I happened to have an odd single red wooden ball in the garage which was fortuitous and the ruby rod bought on eBay years ago.
https://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=SOE-SEHH...
https://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/09/the-basics-of-iridescen...

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[Edited on 28-9-2019 by Morgan]

earpain - 1-10-2019 at 10:43

Quote: Originally posted by wg48temp9  
Quote: Originally posted by earpain  

This is a question I have faced a lot in my days of DIY glasswork.
1. With tubing or bottles/flasks, if you hold the bottle up to the light above you, so that the walls of the bottle are seen along your line of sight, if you will see a green tint, it is soda-lime aka soft glass. If it still looks completely transparent with no color tint, it is likely boro.


I have re-purposed bulb growing glasses and coffee beakers because they looked looked clear with no green tint. I placed one of the bulb growing glasses containing a coolish solution on a temperature controlled hot plate (~80C) and it cracked across the base. That suggests its not boro.

A few days ago I purchased some glass coffee mugs from a charity shop. The first one I examined appeared clear but the second identical one had a very distinct green tint.

Expensive bottles of clear spirits tend to not to have significant green tints and decorative glass items tend to be clear almost no green tint.
You can probably be confident (>90%) that if there is a green tint its not boro. But if its clear its very weak evidence that it is boro.



Hmm, you may be indeed be correct, and I'll have to revise my system.
An example that neither contradicts nor supports your claim(or mine):
Candy thermometers. $3-$5 at the food store. There's no kitchen thermometer sold that has such a wide range of temps. I have bought them before, removed the metallic element fused to the glass on the bottom, along with the capillary tube that shows the temperature, and then worked the remaining wide, but very very thin walled tube.

If it is borosilicate, once I'm both flame working and turning it into various devices, or auxillary glassblowing devices(temporary handle, extension tube, etc.) - it is the WORST I've ever worked with. I have flameworked soft/flint glass more reliably than these thermometers.

I suppose there is an application in mind when a glassware is designed. All glass that is not quartz has something added to it mostly just to lower its working temperature, not everyone has Oxy-Acetylene or mega-kilns handy.

Perhaps the non-green tinted glass that cracked on you, cracked for reasons unrelated to what metals or salts were added to the glass 'stew'? Like with candy thermometers. Surely they must technically be borosilicate. Not sure why they are so finicky.
3 general types of clear glass(in terms of material):
soda-lime
borosilicate
quartz(aka SiO2, no additives)

And then there's a plethora of structural factors, and considerations for the items application. In general I would discourage chemists to repurpose or DIY glassware unless they also have some proper training in glasswork. Scientific glass is definitely the most versatile and robust.

wg48temp9 - 1-10-2019 at 14:50

Here is a pic of the two coffee glasses side by side. The green tint of the right hand one is distinct. Of cause although they looked identical and come with identical metal housings (removed for the pic) I am not certain they are. I also swapped the position of the glasses incase the green tint was from a nearby object.

This is weak evidence as I am assuming they are identical as they were purchased together. Apparently the the green color comes from iron impurities in the material used to make the glass. So these must have been made from different batches of material.

This particular green tint seems more emerald green than the dull green tint I usually see in bottle glass.

gglass.jpg - 62kB

Here is a pic of two tall vases and a boro 2l measuring cylinder from Fisher Scientific (right lower). All three are about 0.8m tall. The left hand vase is dark with a hint of green, the top vase has a slight dull green tint and the boro cylinder is lighter with almost no color. I assume the vases are soda glass. All three appear clear when viewed from the side.

gglass22.jpg - 17kB

Sorry the pic is poor quality it was taken under fluorescent lighting in the bathroom having just rinsed off the dust.

PS I got lucky when I won the measuring cylinder on ebay no one else bid on it so it was very cheap. Its very impressive given it is almost a meter long. I am still trying to buy a stopper for it that does not cost more than I paid for it.

[Edited on 10/1/2019 by wg48temp9]

Yttrium2 - 10-10-2019 at 14:00

Anyone know of where to find borosilicate bulbs/tubes?

Besides HID lighting -- for a diy flask

earpain - 19-10-2019 at 11:09

Quote: Originally posted by Yttrium2  
Anyone know of where to find borosilicate bulbs/tubes?

Besides HID lighting -- for a diy flask


Do NOT buy from Chemistry Equipment vendors.
Do not buy from coffee shops with their new boro glass straw trend($5 for 8in tube)
Just buy from these guys:
https://www.mountainglass.com/boro-glass-33-coe/clear
or any supplier specializing in customers who are -glass blowers-
Seriously the link above, I challenge anyone to find a cheaper deal. Disregard everything besides the Boro tubing and the ground glass joints(no 24/40 though -/)

Eisenpanzer432 - 19-12-2019 at 11:03

DavidJR hey I forgot I posted this haha. I painted it and then reduced the size to fit in my hood I’m building. It will be able to fit into slots and clamp or pin in place, so I can remove it if I need to clean or make more room in the hood. It’ll be a while, hopefully not another year lol; I’m still deciding what to make the sash from before I build. I may use plexiglass with bending hinges at two points to give three sections that I can fold up or down to change the height of the sash; I’m limited on vertical space. I’ll have straps on the sides of the plexi to pull tight against caulk or foam to seal the sides of the plexi agains the sides of the hood when it’s folded down. I hope that makes sense; perhaps a picture will be needed when it’s complete.

SWIM - 19-12-2019 at 18:38

Quote: Originally posted by wg48temp9  


PS I got lucky when I won the measuring cylinder on ebay no one else bid on it so it was very cheap. Its very impressive given it is almost a meter long. I am still trying to buy a stopper for it that does not cost more than I paid for it.

[Edited on 10/1/2019 by wg48temp9]


Sometimes big adaptors are cheaper than big stoppers.
I've got a few items where I use like a 24/40 to 55/50 adaptor with a 24/40 stopper in the top instead of a 55/50 stopper.

Less then Ideal, but better than nothing.

What size are you after?

EDIT: On another front, I believe that testing the index of refraction might be a good easy way to find boro glass.
A solution with the same index of refraction as boro would make it easy.
Just put glass in solution and see if it disappears.



[Edited on 20-12-2019 by SWIM]

Morgan - 19-12-2019 at 18:47

Quote: Originally posted by wg48temp9  
Quote: Originally posted by earpain  

This is a question I have faced a lot in my days of DIY glasswork.
1. With tubing or bottles/flasks, if you hold the bottle up to the light above you, so that the walls of the bottle are seen along your line of sight, if you will see a green tint, it is soda-lime aka soft glass. If it still looks completely transparent with no color tint, it is likely boro.


I have re-purposed bulb growing glasses and coffee beakers because they looked looked clear with no green tint. I placed one of the bulb growing glasses containing a coolish solution on a temperature controlled hot plate (~80C) and it cracked across the base. That suggests its not boro.

A few days ago I purchased some glass coffee mugs from a charity shop. The first one I examined appeared clear but the second identical one had a very distinct green tint.

Expensive bottles of clear spirits tend to not to have significant green tints and decorative glass items tend to be clear almost no green tint.
You can probably be confident (>90%) that if there is a green tint its not boro. But if its clear its very weak evidence that it is boro.



Maybe of interest to test green tinted and clear samples using this method to see what comes about.
Index of Refraction - disappearing glassware demonstration // Homemade Science with Bruce Yeany
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Tj2KMZhfoc

"You can make Pyrex glass disappear by immersing it in glycerin or mineral oil. However, mineral oil comes in different weights, and each variety has a different index of refraction. To match the index of refraction of Pyrex glass, you’ll need a mixture of mineral oils of different weights. To create the proper mixture, place a Pyrex glass object into a large glass beaker and pour in enough heavy mineral oil to submerge it partially. Slowly add light mineral oil and stir. Watch the glass object as you pour. Most Pyrex glass will disappear when the mixture is two parts heavy mineral oil to one part light mineral oil. Notice the swirling refraction patterns as you mix the oils."
https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/disappearing-glass-rods

wg48temp9 - 19-12-2019 at 19:54

Quote: Originally posted by SWIM  
Quote: Originally posted by wg48temp9  


PS I got lucky when I won the measuring cylinder on ebay no one else bid on it so it was very cheap. Its very impressive given it is almost a meter long. I am still trying to buy a stopper for it that does not cost more than I paid for it.

[Edited on 10/1/2019 by wg48temp9]


Sometimes big adaptors are cheaper than big stoppers.
I've got a few items where I use like a 24/40 to 55/50 adaptor with a 24/40 stopper in the top instead of a 55/50 stopper.

Less then Ideal, but better than nothing.

What size are you after?

EDIT: On another front, I believe that testing the index of refraction might be a good easy way to find boro glass.
A solution with the same index of refraction as boro would make it easy.
Just put glass in solution and see if it disappears.
[Edited on 20-12-2019 by SWIM]


Its a 45/50. There are adapters on ebay that are 45/50 but they cost about £50. I have now won some blocks of PTFE so when I get round to fixing my old lathe I will turn a stopper and adaptor for for it. Not that I have a particular use for it at this time.

Yes a matched index may work for a small object but how do you test a 2l measuring cylinder and will it have the discrimination? Pyrex is 1.47 window glass is 1.52.

Perhaps a type of refractometer can be used on flat-ish area of one side
of the glass object but the cheap reflectometers are for use with liquids.

Morgan - 20-12-2019 at 08:00

That does seem difficult to submerge that large object. Maybe just an edge of the flange at the base would be enough to reveal a disappearance. And still as you say the numbers are close to window glass. I was reading quartz is close to borosilicate too,
coming in at 1.458 to boro's 1.474 refractive index.
https://glassshop.yale.edu/helpful-glass-facts

I bought an oil candle lamp and was wondering what it was made of, the copy referred to it as a crystal oil lamp. Not caring enough yet to test it with oil and having to wash it out I unconventionally heat stressed it enough to burn a spot on a violet colored silicone pad underneath it, right in the bottom center where the direct flame pushes the alcohol off to the sides. In that test it ran well over a minute. While not conclusive it was a positive outcome and you could feel the heat radiating from it after it had nearly run dry.
Having bought small new borosilicate bottles and vials, and the oil lamp for example there is a certain look to the glass, as if it has a kind of glossiness or ultra smoothness to it, maybe like a glazed appearance. Of course this might just be my subjective imagination or that other glasses could emulate the effect.

The candle oil lamp, just shaking water out of it takes some time to empty it, the hole a little over 8 mm. This was just a first test.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLgjG5b79yQ

As a safety aside, on the Princess oil lamp on an eBay offering, there was some literature or warnings that came with it.

"Use only lamp oil. Do not use gasoline, alcohol, or solvents as fuel in this or any other oil lamp. Failure to follow these instructions may cause fire or explosion which could result in property damage or serious personal injury from cuts or burns."
The lamp is a thin glass, very much like the cylindrical borosilicate food storage jars with bamboo lids sold on eBay. But maybe it's lead crystal.


[Edited on 20-12-2019 by Morgan]

Morgan - 20-12-2019 at 22:17

Tidbits on thermal expansion properties of glass - scroll down for each type of glass.

Also maybe of interest
"Thermal conductivity of glasses typically varies between 0.5 – 1.5 W/(m K), the highest being for fused silica and lowest for lead glass. The thermal conductivity measurement is complicated because heat is also transferred internally by radiation. The thermal conductivity is non-linear, increasing with temperature. And, as for any processed material, the exact compound and the processing parameters affect the thermal properties significantly, causing the literature values to vary widely."

Glass: A Group Of Familiar Materials With Varying Properties
https://www.electronics-cooling.com/2003/02/glass-a-group-of...

mayko - 11-3-2020 at 07:25


Quote:

Many scientists will go out of their way to save a few bucks, especially when it comes to improvising with makeshift lab equipment. So when Jacquelyn Gill, an associate professor of paleoecology and plant ecology at the University of Maine, asked on Twitter what everyday household items scientists use for research, she got hundreds of responses.
“When I was a student we used to use a salad strainer to centrifuge crystallization capillaries,” tweeted Tamir Gonen, a professor of biological chemistry and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Tom Rivas, a graduate student in biochemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder, could identify with that, tweeting that he uses a salad spinner to pulse down his quantitative polymerase chain reaction plates before running them.
“Nail salon lamps for photochemical reactions and cat litter buckets for base baths,” offered Lisa McElwee-White, a chemistry professor at the University of Florida. “And an aquarium pump in a styrofoam beer cooler full of ice water makes a great circulating chiller.” She points out that a chiller can cost a few thousand dollars, whereas a Styrofoam beer cooler can be purchased for as low as $1 from a convenience store.




https://cen.acs.org/people/Scientistsfavorite-DIY-lab-equipm...

j_sum1 - 11-3-2020 at 14:30

Simple burette stand...

Sorry no photo. It as not possible for me to et an angle that showed the whle thing clearly.

My lab has a rather low ceiling and my bench is high. I cut a length of wooden dowel, drilled a hole through it and attached by a nail to one of the joists above the bench. It hinges so that it can hang down or be hooked up out of the way when not in use. A simple bulldog clip is screwed onto the dowel to hold a burette. (Actually two bulldog clips for two different diameters.)

Voila, a burette stand. Except there is absolutely no chance of knocking it over. It has zero footprint n the bench top: if there is a spill or dribble then I can wipe it up without moving anything. (Ever try to fill a burette or sep funnel without closing the stopper?) Works beautifully.

mayko - 25-4-2020 at 12:26


Quote:


OK gather round kids I’m going to tell you a true chemistry lab story about how a sex toy became a key part of a nuclear disarmament program. ... you work in glove boxes behind walls of lead bricks and everything has to be cleaned out easily, like stripped out, as you don’t want to die. And part of the process they are doing is to shake the vial. Now, behind lead bricks with thick rubber gloves on shaken ain’t easy. So how do they get around this obstacle?

And one genius goes: “I KNOW! AN ANAL VIBRATOR!” It’s small, it’s wipe clean, it is cheap to replace and it vibrates. Just the ticket. ... AND THUS a young grad student ventured into town. Into the red light district. Into the sex shop. And slid that backdoor wiggler over the counter, smiled, and said: “I’m very sorry, but my anal vibrator had broken after 45 minutes of continuous use, please may I get a replacement?”


https://twitter.com/ChemistryKit/status/1253812286801747969

:o:D

arkoma - 25-4-2020 at 13:22

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  

Voila, a burette stand. Except there is absolutely no chance of knocking it over. It has zero footprint n the bench top: if there is a spill or dribble then I can wipe it up without moving anything. (Ever try to fill a burette or sep funnel without closing the stopper?) Works beautifully.


Beautiful. The swing up idea. And yes, not had the stopcock closed and/or not tightened up more than I care to admit.

Refinery - 14-5-2020 at 12:15

Storage matters.

The chemical bottles can be more expensive than what's in them, 2-liter bottle can cost 20$ apiece, so many amateurs use all kinds of containers from mason jars upto.

The problem is, their enclosure devices are usually not suitable for anything more hazardous than jello. When I was younger and more keen and less careful, I actually managed to get one jar cap simply corrode away and find that the fumes corroded everything around them in the closet.

Rubber, silicon, PVC and other soft seal materials can withstand surprisingly few chemicals and they are useable mostly for the solid, stable stuff that do not decompose, but for everything else, more robust solution is needed.

This issue was easily solved by cutting pieces from plastic membrane. Luckily, Polyethene is one of the most resistant plastics and at the same time one of the most common ones, and it can withstand pretty much all common chemicals. As it happens, most plastic bags and other films are made out of it, so just simply closing the container and cutting off excess can be enough to proof the jello can for your toxins.

For the most harsh stuff, ordering PTFE film can solve the issue. Being not as flexible, one can cut proper size seal cap to fit inside the cap, and leave it there. It seals against glass, so there will be no other surfaces for the chemical to eat.

Refinery - 21-5-2020 at 10:13

To be honest, I've been using 10 liter plastic PE buckets as beakers for a few projects. They stand up many chemicals at NTP and they do not interfere with magstirring and they can be easily tapped or drained.

Other project, making some acetates, I was discouraged by the odor, so I placed plastic wrap foil on top of a kettle, and cut and fixed two plastic bottles to the kitchen fume hood over the stove so it created suction that carried all the steam and odors out. It worked out perfectly and zero odors.

Mateo_swe - 4-6-2020 at 12:36

Im interested in building a DIY ultrasonic generator for chemical experiments.
Anybody tried to build something like that here?

I found this technical paper PDF that seem to be a good design except i probably use PWM for the power level adjustment and not a controllable DC power supply as they use in the paper.
The design continuously adjust the frequency to apply ultrasound at optimal resonant frequency.
It would be interesting if anybody has done something similar.
I include the technical paper on the ultrasonic generator if anybody is interested.

Attachment: Design of a intellectualized ultrasonic generator.pdf (1.4MB)
This file has been downloaded 17 times


Devil's in the Details - Simplicity is Essence

earpain - 8-6-2020 at 13:34

So I broke all of my 24/40 flasks , all but exactly two. I did feel a foreshadowing of some greater wisdom as I saved as many female ground glass joints as I could.

After buying a whole mountain of Pyrex brand Erlenmeyer's for $10 from some woman in my city, what I have been trying to achieve with glass blowing, silicone casting, copper-to-glass, etc. etc. I finally achieved.


20200608_002651.jpg - 351kB

This is an airtight distillation (azeotropic, caustic, ethanol), with an old Pyrex brand 500ml Erlenmeyer, with just a standard erlenmeyer neck.


20200608_002706.jpg - 176kB


20200608_171129.jpg - 133kB

So here's what I did:
Upon breaking a vessel, I use to try to salvage as much ADDITIONAL glass beyond the female ground glass joint. In this case, I used my faithfull diamond wheel to cut right along the seem where the female joint's cone is at its shortest, right before the actual flask begins.

Even before the teflon tape, I dropped it into the neck of several of my erlenmeyers, and it almost made a perfect seal as is. It's moments like these that remind me that I don't just love teflon tape, I am IN LOVE with teflon tape.

One more pic, showing a failure, the same success, and a future work in progress

20200608_171103.jpg - 467kB

Syn the Sizer - 8-6-2020 at 14:46

Great idea, I recently broke my 105o adapter with vacuum takeoff, I have been holding onto it in case I figured something out with it. I now plan on cutting the female adapter off. I have also considered keeping the male adapters to see if I can use the somewhere.

earpain - 9-6-2020 at 19:52

Quote: Originally posted by Syn the Sizer  
Great idea, I recently broke my 105o adapter with vacuum takeoff, I have been holding onto it in case I figured something out with it. I now plan on cutting the female adapter off. I have also considered keeping the male adapters to see if I can use the somewhere.


Hey thanks! =D
In all fairness, anyone has or could have had such an idea. But many don't realize how easy it is to free hand cut/grind through glass. I did it wrong for a few years in truth.

Yes , of course save the male ends, they are half the team.

Or, very long tubing with pre formed and ground tapered joints cost $1 - $3 each from a glass blower's supply company.

Mateo_swe - 11-7-2020 at 03:54

So i have this old heating crucible thing that i found somewhere long ago.
I now replaced the cord as it was falling to pieces.
I wonder what this thing was used for and how hot it can get.
Maybe i can use it, it looks usable maybe for melting some metals with low melting points.
Or turn it into a melting point measurement apparatus.
It seems to be designed to fit on a rod like a lab stand.
Anyone has any ideas what this is used for?
Here are some pics


Heating_crucible_thingy1.jpg - 125kB Heating_crucible_thingy2.jpg - 110kB Heating_crucible_thingy3.jpg - 196kB

violet sin - 11-7-2020 at 08:08

Quite likely a sulfur burner for indoor garden pest treatment, looks like to me.

Kinda like this, but just a guess.
http://www.rsghydro.ca/product/sulfur-burner/

Mateo_swe - 12-7-2020 at 11:43

Hmm, i dont think that a sulfur burner for indoor garden pest treatment would look like this.
It looks like it belongs in a lab, with the lab stand fastener.
But it´s not impossible you are right.
I would guess its purpose is to melt something, but it doesnt look like it would fit in a greenhouse environment.
Maybe used for some analytical testing for melting the sample, very long ago off cause.

violet sin - 12-7-2020 at 15:01

No on/off button, no dial adjust, no name or words other than the AC on the bottom? Do you know how much current it draws or patent number, makers marks, anything? I've searched for quite a few terms and Google gives very few returns. Switched to Alta Vista and got more pics, but still too few.

I'd be surprised if it was anything else. Mainly because it doesn't look particularly high temp suited. medium heat in that size seems a little narrow use. Small volume. I looked for assay furnace, but them are big and thick. I've a sola basic laboratory furnace and it's like a home stereo receiver size box with cables to the furnace portion about the size of a bread maker at least.

https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=383328&...

Not trying to be argumentative. Just bored so flipped through the net for a few min.

*********************************************
@OldNubbins:
No reason to add another post below yours. But this portion is in response to vvv.

That looks appropriate, thanks for the link. I searched sulfur burner, ring stand, lab stand, tripod / furnace, crucible heater, heater and gave up. Google was giving nothing, that seemed like it didn't represent something they were paid to advertise. As if 40 hits represents the entirety of images of sulfur burners, from the last 30 years ... Any how thanks

[Edited on 13-7-2020 by violet sin]

OldNubbins - 12-7-2020 at 15:36

Probably an electric bunsen burner

https://www.coleparmer.com/p/electrothermal-electric-bunsen-...

arkoma - 12-7-2020 at 17:08

Never even knew they existed.

CharlieA - 13-7-2020 at 17:08

Better living through electricity...

Mateo_swe - 14-7-2020 at 00:31

- Probably an electric bunsen burner

Well, the "Rim", or what it could be called (the metal circle) on top of the crucible might suggest something should be placed there.
But i find no gas parts on the item, i would have though it should have a pipe going into the crucible if gas was to be burned.
I guess the real purpose of this thing will be unknown.
It could very well be one of the suggested uses.
I will examine how hot this thing can be and find some use for it.
Its fun with these old unknown devices whatever they are meant to be used for.

RedDwarf - 14-7-2020 at 01:39

Calling it an electric bunsen burner is a bit of a misnomer, it an electical alternative to a bunsen burner for non contact heating. The heating mantle produces a cone of radiative heat above the mantle so you can hold your testtube etc in the "flame" above the device without touching the mantle. No gas is used.

And thankyou to Oldnubbins - I'd never come across one of these before and got all this infor from his link.

Mateo_swe - 14-7-2020 at 11:04

So a bunsen burner alternative, yes maybe it could be.
And the ring on top is a support for a flask or similar that holds that being heated.
Maybe even the crucible could be filled with sand like a small sand bath heater.

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