Sciencemadness Discussion Board

thoughts on laboratory lattice

CouchHatter - 11-8-2018 at 16:29

I have some space allotted in my new shop for a lattice. I've spent a lot on lab stands, and finally realized its money wasted - for more complex setups, something more supportive is required. I'm looking for the input of those who have worked with or built a lattice. I remember one in someone's fume hood, but I'm having trouble finding the photo.

S-clamps can be had for $3-$10 (Rotocon, Amazon) or $30-$70 (Sigma) -- is this mostly Millipore Sigma price inflation, or is there something more to that price gap? I'm looking at spending nearly $300 for the cheap kind, but am loathe to entrust that kind of responsibility to cheap clamps.

At the same time, I'd prefer not to spend ANY on some silly clamp, if I can just weld some sucker rods together. Any reason NOT to do it this way? They mention rust in this post but I can't see how that would be an issue unless your setup is outside.

Loptr - 11-8-2018 at 17:15

I have been eyeing the products from Engineering by Lee.

[Edited on 12-8-2018 by Loptr]

j_sum1 - 11-8-2018 at 18:01

Hmm. I used 12.5mm nickel-plated drawer handles fixed to the wall with timber. It was cheap and I have had no reason to doubt the decision. (I do need more clamps and boss heads.)

Check my lab videos (sum_lab) if you want to see what it looks like.

XeonTheMGPony - 11-8-2018 at 18:32

look at the tour my lab thread, I made one out of type L copper, and it been working great.

S.C. Wack - 11-8-2018 at 20:02

Used Fisher Castaloy has the secret sauce for anything threaded especially thumbscrews, and not rusting. The price and availability compared to everything else reflects demand. The actual frame part of their Flexaframe is ridiculously expensive and rarely put up for auction. Fisher sells 4'x1/2" Al rod for $38, Home Depot for $10. BTW I bought a $40 frame once oh it came with a bonus very heavy well made 2'x4'-ish basic lab table on wheels with a sink, shelves in a locking cabinet, and 4 plug outlet.

cyanureeves - 11-8-2018 at 20:50

CouchHatter that was me 4 years ago.yes i worked outside but at that time i did most distilling using hydrochloric acid inside an old tool shed.rust was everywhere and last time i distilled anything i just drove a couple of rods into the ground and tied my clamps to them.i made more nitric acid using homemade stands,clamps,even glassware than after i bought real lab was so much fun using homemade stuff.

Dr.Bob - 13-8-2018 at 09:36

I still have some used 1/2" Al lattice rod and connectors. I have sold most for 1/2 to 1/4 than the new price, and the rod looks like new if you just give it a quick cleanig with 400 grit SiC sand paper, and the connectors vary from brand new to very used for prices from 1/2 to a fraction of new.

For example, I have like new 1/2" connectors for around $5, and sell most rod for $1/foot, if you want an entire setup, I can go better. Just let me know if you are interested, I have been out of town a lot lately, but should be home now for a while, so I can catch up on shipping soon. I have cheaper used connectors for less as well. I have done a whole 3 x 36" by 3 x 48" grid for $70 plus shipping, but I can create whatever you want, but over 48" gets more expensive to ship.

RogueRose - 14-8-2018 at 15:11

Dr Bob's comment made me take a look at the Al rod I have which is 3/4" x 36" and about 1mm thick wall. I'm guessing a rod weighs about 100grams or so.

I was trying to figure out a way to connect these as vertical and horizontal shafts. A 3/4" dowel rod could be used as a vertical anchor post, drill a hole in a sheet of wood and insert it vertically, but first sand it down so it fits inside the 3/4" opening. That would hold vertical posts and you could have holes in different locations and be able to move the dowel post.

As far as holding the pieces together, I've used hose clamps, the kind that are a stiff metal with a screw that allows you to tighten the clamp. If you put two together One looped inside of the other) you can get a vertical and horizontal clamp very easily and I've used this type of setup on a few things and they hold at least 50lbs from what I've done. I've found 12 packs (of the small ones) for $5-6 at Lowes. IDK if they are stainless, but they are somewhat corrosion resistant. This would be fairly easy to adjust. You might be able to find thumb screws that are the same thread as the screw in the clamp, or you can use the phillips screwdriver or best yet, a hex driver which will make adjustment very easy.

If you have any interest in the metal tube, I have maybe a little over 100 of them, and shipping shouldn't be much at all. I found something similar on this site and the stuff is $28-38 for 36"!!! talk about insane!

If you have any interest in this, I'll sell it for a very good price, basically about what bob quoted $1-2/ft.

Here is a place that sells the clamps 10/$5 and they are stainless! WwGl-Ajc1Ap4Qqp9ZWHKP8RDzLjp_mshoCEdgQAvD_BwE

streety - 14-8-2018 at 17:17

A 3' length is $10.50 at

The wall is thicker than you describe

[edit]A square tube is $4.95:

[Edited on 15-8-2018 by streety]

RogueRose - 15-8-2018 at 00:18

Quote: Originally posted by streety  
A 3' length is $10.50 at

The wall is thicker than you describe

[edit]A square tube is $4.95:

[Edited on 15-8-2018 by streety]

Wow, those are some insane differences in pricing, the stuff you listed looks like 1" OD vs the 3/4" I listed and the stuff you listed was MUCH thicker. The odd thing is that it is about 1/6-1/8 the price for heavier pipe/tube! It is 6063 instead of 6061, IDK how much diff that makes, and a different vendor..

This stuff is basically identical to what I have, a little thinner than mine, but it's $28 for 3ft!! Now I don't think mine is 6061, but it might very well be it was special structural tubing. I wonder how I can test what kind of alloy it is.

[Edited on 8-15-2018 by RogueRose]

streety - 15-8-2018 at 03:59

Good spot on the OD. I missed that. It seems the difference is due to the item I posted being pipe rather than tube. Apparently pipe is listed as nominal size which is I.D. rather than O.D.

Here is a more similar item:

Price is $17.42 so less of a difference.

DraconicAcid - 15-8-2018 at 08:40

I have nothing to add to this conversation, but it has brought back fond memories of using the stuff to cage my PhD supervisor in his office......