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Author: Subject: To tame a garage (aka building a lab)
Chainhit222
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To tame a garage (aka building a lab)

I have had this idea in my head to build a proper(ish) laboratory to work with for a while, and having started making one, I figured I could write up my experiences for other people, and perhaps inspire them to make or improve their own, along with getting useful feed back on safety/design issues that seem to be plaguing me.
This tale involves my single car, 210 square foot garage (or something like that).

Currently all I have is a table and a somewhat finished fume hood, I plan on updating this posts around once a week to detail any progress I make (it is difficult to work on things at home when you can only come home from university for 2 days a week).
Other information: I have been interested in chemistry and science for quite a long time. Everything presented here is the work of two people (sometimes I get help, eg I hold something while someone cuts something, or screws it down). I imagine it would be quite difficult to make some of this stuff by yourself, unless you are very crafty with things like clamps and figuring out ways to support heavy objects in order to screw them down. Cutting materials and what not becomes infinitely (ok not really, maybe an order of magnitude) easier if you have someone to help you. For me starting this project was quite difficult, I felt like giving up every time I looked into my garage that was completely full of crap and looked like crap. But this proves that if you persevere, you can do almost anything! Keep in mind, the first part of this document probably sounds like it came from a home improvement forum or something)

So far I have only been working on this project on and off for like 1.5 months.
I would appreciate any feedback on how to improve things, or answer any questions people have.

A humble Beginning :
Here is the garage before I did anything to it (well, actually last year I "evened out" the walls with thin-set cement, and painted them with dry-lock (brand name) paint, and I cleared out about 1/2 the stuff that was in here already)
http://www.ugl.com/drylokMasonry/masonryWaterproofer/latex.p...
Be warned though, that dry-lock paint chipped off in some places, probably because of hydrostatic pressure on the wall.
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2904/1ahumblebegining.jpg

As you can see, its pretty messy, with loads of crap in it. I am not new to the hobby of amateur chemistry and of course I read a lot about making your own lab. However, it always seemed like a very difficult thing to get started, especially for a person that has little/no skills in construction. But after reading for years, I finally decided to hit the ground running. It wont be perfect or pretty, but everyone needs to start somewhere, instead of contemplating how to do something untill the end of time. The main problems with the garage were that it is :
1) Full of crap that is difficult to put in another place
2) Damp from moisture seeping in through concrete
3) Dark, with no lights, slightly smelly, and generally not considered to be a nice working environment, just a place to stow away the car in order to protect it from the elements.

My first goal was to lay down a nice chemical resistant floor coating. I did not want chemical stains and nasty stuff soaking up into the floor. Not to mention it is depressing to work in such a run down environment. After some research I decided to put down a epoxy floor coating.
The only suggests I have is to not over research this topic. After reading bout epoxy floor coatings for a long time, it seemed more and more difficult to get it just right. Eventually I said fuck it, and went with the 70 dollar home depot stuff that seems to be working quite well, though only time will tell.
http://www.behr.com/dsm-ext/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=849a536658...

Making the floor look somewhat respectful :
In order to put down a epoxy floor coating, the floor must be very clean and dry. There are two types of epoxy floor coating, either water based or non water based. I chose to go with the non water based stuff, as I read it is tougher and has a greater chemical resistance, the only drawback being the extensive floor preparation required. I washed the floor several times with a concrete cleaner made by Behr and scrubbed it, my goal being to remove the oil stains, dirt and the mess I made when I was painting the walls last year (It was only a pipe dream to do something with it last year). However, the oil and paint stains were seriously ingrained in the cement, and they would disappear no matter what I tried. I think it might have been tar that was spilled on the concrete, but god knows (the garage is over 50 years old). Another problem that I had with my garage was that the floor was often damp, and there seemed to be water bleeding through it after a heavy rain, so another goal was to waterproof the floor using the epoxy two part paint. As for the oil/tar/whatever the hell it is stains, I tried everything I could think of:
-cat litter mixed with acetone and stuck that on top for hours
-paint thinner
-hydrochloric acid
-sulfuric acid
-HNO3
-engine degreaser
-petroleum ether
-starting fluid
-break cleaner,
-oven cleaner.
-sulfamic acid etcher
-blow torching it
-other solvents
-like 523523 other things I tried and failed with.

Some of them came off slightly, but after all my efforts there was still stains like this all over.
http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/944/oilstain.jpg
I don't know if they would effect the epoxy, but I was not about to waste 70 dollars on an experiment like this.

The most effective method I found was to use an angle grinder to remove the top layer of cement, but this got old pretty fast, and I had to figure out a different way to approach the situation.
http://img132.imageshack.us/i/clearedoutsomefloorclea.jpg/

What I decided to do is put a new layer of concrete over the old concrete, just a thin one to cover the oil stains and maybe offer some waterproofing. I got either 1 or 2 bags of this "floor sealant" cement at home depot and put down a thin layer over the course of a few days (first time laying cement, it was actually quite a pain in the ass) to do. The layer I put down was probably 1/8-1/4 inch thick on average.
http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/4590/applyingthecement2.j...

Here it is finished:
http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/8972/drycement.jpg
I also angle grinded the shit out of it, getting rid of bumps caused by my shit cement job)

After I did this I used the sulfamic acid etching powder to make the floor nice and rough for the epoxy, (basically you spread it on through a flower can, and scrub it for 20 minutes, and wash it off).
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/6916/wetfloorafteretching.j...

Once the cement dried up and a nice sunny hot day left the garage floor nice and dry I put down a layer of 2 part Behr epoxy floor paint from home depot (which cost around 70$). This looked quite nice, considering the garages previous state. http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/1901/firstcoatofepoxy2.jp... *if you are curious as to why the wall is messed up, it is because I wanted to see if I could fill the cinder blocks that was letting water leak through with cement, but it turned out that they were the cinder blocks that were divided into 3 sections, not too, and filling them would prove to be very difficult and not worth the effort I also put a few pieces of concrete board in the back wall of the garage where the table would be because the cinder blocks under "ground level" were always damp, and this stuff claimed to be water proof. I attached this using some tile cement and concrete screws (in case the tile cement failed). http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/5741/attachingconcreteboard... http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1623/moreconcreteboard.jpg http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/9288/doneconcreteboard.jp... (had to wash the floor after every board, because of rogue cement that splattered all over the place) The garage floor looked decent now, but certain sections of the floor stood out because of my shitty cement job and the previously crappy floor showed, so I gave bought another can of Behr paint and gave it a another coating. I also painted the concrete board tiles I have previously attached, which gave it a nice look and more waterproofing. The floor looks really good at this point (considering what it was). *In short, putting down an epoxy floor coating is a ton of work. You should defiantly read up on it if you decide to do it somewhere. However, in the end I felt it was worth the effort (it would make any garage look nice, regardless if its a lab or not). Actual Lab Stuff begins, kinda: From here I began to work on my main work bench for the lab. I got some 2by4's (including some that are treated with sulfur or something to be used outdoors) and painted them up with polyurethane floor coating for waterproofing. I then attached them to the back wall of my garage (which is made out of cinder blocks) using concrete screws. The object of them was to act as a support for my lab table. *Here is a picture of the underside off the table, show casing my "mad engineering skillz" The actual table was made from concrete board. (as you can see, I really love this stuff). I was trying to think of what surface to use, my initial thought was to use plywood covered in epoxy paint, but I then figured that since the garage might get damp, I would use concrete board again (this stuff is pretty cheap and claims to be water resistant). *a note on concrete board : I think this is the sheet rock that they use in bathrooms so it does not get destroyed by water. I found it in home depot for like 1 dollar/square foot, and it seems like a decent material to use as a work surface. I bought 3 pieces of concrete board (3 by 5 feet for around 12$ a sheet), and painted them with 2 layers of 1 part white acrylic epoxy
* A note on acrylic 1 part epoxy : I do not think this is real epoxy, as it is only 1 part. it costs around 30 dollars for a 1 gallon paint can, and you simply coat a surface with it and it dries pretty fast. I will explain its chemical resistance later in this document.
I put the epoxy on both sides, and attached the pieces of concrete board to the wood supports using screws. I then coated the screw heads with 2 part "glue" epoxy from home depot (it costs like 15 dollars for.. 190 ml of this stuff)

Here is the table when the pieces are being aligned correctly prior to being screwed in:
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/7509/table1i.jpg
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/4194/table2go.jpg

(from a distance)
http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/7554/table3.jpg

At this point I had a 14 by 3 foot table in the back of my garage, along with a spiffy floor.
The nice thing about the 45 degree table leg is that I can still park a car in the garage if its gets too dicey outside. It will just bearly fit, but I did not ruin the garages potential to be a garage by installing that table. Its a VERY tight fit though.

The Fume Hood (in progress) - As you know, the most essential part of any laboratory is the fume hood
I put my fume hood on the corner of my table. The dimensions of this fume hood are about 46 inches across and 5 feet high.

How I designed and built the fume hood:
-First of all, I had to buy a fan. I found a fan made for hydroponics on eBay for around 80 dollars, with a 750 CFM rating. It is not ideal as the motor is inside the housing of the fan, and it is not sparkless. However, at this point my budget was running out (I had bought some glassware). If it fails on me, I can always replace it later on. I did some calculations based on posts I had found on this forum, and decided that it should be enough for my fume hood, and what I plan on doing with it.
The Fan: http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4539/daytonafan.jpg

-The frame of the fume hood is made of 2by4's attached to both the table and the ceiling beams of the garage.
(as you can see in this picture).
http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/3181/frameandside.jpg
-the wood was painted with polyurethane.

-The bottom of the fume hood was made out of this stuff that I revived, referred to as "synthetic rock" by the person who gave it to me. I am not sure of what this material is actually called, or where to get more of it. I think it is used in bathrooms as waterproof Sheetrock, similar to concrete board.. It seems to cut like a plastic (makes plastic like "residue" after you cut it with a saw, along with some powder). This material was tested for acid resistance and it held up very well. I tried 70% HNO3, 98%H2SO4, home depot hydrochloric acid, acetone, and a multitude of other solvents and chemicals, and it seemed very resistant to all of them.

-The left side of the fume hood is made out of a piece of concrete board that has a formica coating on it. I would prefer to use the synthetic rock, but I was unsure of where to find more of this material, and I did not went to spend more money.
http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6439/closeuptohood.jpg (you can see the formica on the left)

*Chemical resistance of formica seemed pretty decent aswell. Solvents and acids seemed to effect it only slightly (the texture got weird after it had a few cc of concentrated acids on it for several minutes).
-However, since it is being used as a side surface, it should not be exposed to anything but slight amounts of vapors/gases from reactions.
*For those who don't know, formica is the same stuff that they put on cheap particle board desks/furniture or kitchen counters.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formica_%28plastic%29
Its actually pretty expensive at home depot, but I had a rather large sheet of it handy so I made out quite well on this.

-The back and right wall just consist of the garage walls, which are cinder blocks covered in dry-lock waterproof acrylic based paint (not the epoxy). If I notice any problems with this I will simply place formica coated concrete board along the back and right side to cover up the cinder blocks.
-I attached the formica to the concrete board by using rubber cement I found next to formica sheets in home depot
-The ceiling of the fume hood consists of a piece of concrete board with a 4 inch hole cut in it for the fume hood.
-It is currently unpainted but I plan on painting it with the white 1 part acrylic epoxy paint. If it ends up being attacked by vapors, I will replace or coat it with something more resistant.

** 1 Part Acrylic White Epoxy Chemical Resistance
-The 1 part acrylic epoxy does not have too big of a chemical resistance, but it is cheap and easy to reapply (just sand it off and reapply), so I thought it would be adequate for this job. It seems to be fairly resistant to 70% HNO3 (turning slightly yellow), and it turns black upon contact with 98% H2SO4. However, it seems fairly resistant to Acetone and other solvents I have tried on it. I have not tested its resistance against bases like NaOH solution. The main function of the paint is to prevent stuff from soaking up into the concrete board (eg, we don't want a bunch of carcinogens or nitroglycerin building up in a concrete table), though, I doubt I will be dealing with anything that hazardous on it, or spraying sulfuric acid through it with a fire hose. I do not plan on spilling chemicals on my table, and whenever I am working I will do so on a large glass plate. The only reason it is there is incase a catastrophic failure occurs (eg I drop a bottle of methyl-ethyl bad-stuff and it sprays all over the table).

The ventilator from the fume hood:
-The ventilator for the fume hood is mounted 1 foot above the ceiling, attached to a beam. It is pushing air strait out behind the garage through a hole in the back of the garage. There is very little ducting, and all the ducting is strait, with no bends, ensuring a laminar air flow (I'm not sure if you can even apply this term to gasses though). It is a Dayton fan.
Picture of intake (close up): http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/3664/fumehoodintake.jpg

Here is a picture of in the ceiling (not screwed in yet though) : (will get picture later)

*as you can see from these 2 pictures, there is some work that needs to be done. All the edges of the fume hood must be caulked or epoxied (based on gap thickness), and the perimeter of the intake duct needs to be caulked to make a better seal with the concrete board, however, I am not sure on my baffle design yet, so I am not going to use any glue near the ceiling at this point
**The gap between the wall and ceiling concrete board must also be patched. I will probably stuff rocks into the hole and then cover it with a thin (maybe 1/2 inch) layer of cement, and then paint over the cement with epoxy based paint.

Lighting for fume hood:
I also installed a light (two four foot long fluorescent bulbs in a home depot 8 dollar hosing) outside the fume hood. It aims down into the top of the fume hood at 45 degrees, coming in through the front window.. This ensures the light bulbs are out of the way for any corrosive vapors or whatnot.
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/8986/fumeside.jpg (you can see the light attached to the beam)

Control Systems:
-The garage has 1 outlet in it. The switches and lighting were all connected from the previous electrical system that was in the garage (I recommend you get someone that knows what they are doing to help you with installing electrical wiring, someone helped me out with this somewhat).
As you can see, there is currently 2 switches (one for the fan, 1 for the fume hood light), and an outlet (I plan on drilling a hole in the left side wall so I can run a wire for any electrical things I need to run in the fume hood, like a hot plate or pump.
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/1205/morefumehoodelectrical... (two switches for lighting + fan, and outlet)
Here is a picture from further away: http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/533/fumehoodelectrical.jpg
trained laboratory technician : http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/5123/myownlabtech.jpg

Water:
Currently there is no running water in the garage, so I plan on running any equipment like aspirators or sinks through a garden hose connected to the outside of the house.
-I was also thinking that I could maybe hook up a jacuzzi pump to a container filled with a water/CaCl2 solution (to prevent freezing in the winter, as a saturated solution of CaCl2 freezes at negative 55 degrees C) in order to power aspirators should they be required. If I install a sink, making a drainage system might prove to be complicated. Depending if anything is done with the driveway, it is possible that I might run a piece of PEX tubing from the house underground to act as a water source.
-A pump will be used to cycle water through any condensers that are used inside of the fume hood (I have a bucket with a pump mounted on top that provides adequate flow for a condenser). I can simply fill the bucket with some ice and it will be fine.
*pictures of bucket unit coming*

Fume Hood Window:
-So far the major flaw with the fume hood is that the face is made out of Plexiglas. The reason is that I happened to have a rather large piece of Plexiglas standing around doing nothing, and right now the financial situation I have is a bit unstable (paying for college, mother diagnosed with cancer (though she is fighting it quite well)). I'm sure I can gather up the cash to get a nice piece of glass cut, but I will use Plexiglas until I find it to be a nuisance in some way. The main concerns I have about it are
-fogging up due to solvent fumes
-it kind of looks like crap and has some scratches in it, I would prefer the clearness of a big glass plate.
However, I setup a mock distillation in the fume hood, and I was able to see everything fine (eg reading the thermometer, seeing how many drops / per unit time are dripping into the collection flask). So long I can see whats going on in there it will be fine.

More details about the fume hood window:
-The top piece of the window is attached to the frame with screws, and it is unable to move. The fume hood is around 5.6 feet high and 46 inches wide, and the top face is about 3 feet by 46 inches.
-This leaves about 2 feet exposed on the bottom, and as of right now I am undecided on what system to use
-A possibility which I would like to consider involves a pulley system, but that is fairly difficult to make work right.

-With only the top face, there is a hole that is about 30 inches by 46 inches. This is obviously too large an opening for any reasonable vacuum to emerge in the fume hood, but, it is convenient to setup your equipment with a large opening.
In order to solve this problem, I just cut a smaller piece of Plexiglas (which is roughly 20 inches by 46 inches) and drilled 2 holes into it (near the top left and top right side). I also drilled holes with regular intervals around 2 inches apart on the frame of the fume hood.
In order to attach this secondary window I simply align the holes in the Plexiglas with the holes in the frame and insert 2 pins (screws) to hold it in place.
This way there is always a 10 by 46 inch opening for air to be sucked through at a constant velocity.

Effectiveness:
I have not conducted extensive tests on how much the fan is actually sucking in, besides the KNO3/sugar smoke test.
Here are pictures of a KNO3/Sugar smoke mixture being ignited in the hood
(before)
http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/3682/fumetest2.jpg
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/2461/fumetest3.jpg
(few seconds later after test)
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5540/fumetest4.jpg

The pictures are not great because my camera has a rather bad auto focus and I had it set in the wrong mode. I could not smell the caramel smell of this reaction with the secondary plate attached. However, if I ignited the mixture with the 30 inch opening, I could smell it when it rolled down the sides of the hood due to convection. The fan was not sucking it up fast enough with the large opening.

I plan on seeing how it handles dry ice + water (to see if it has enough suction to remove heavy gases from the bottom of the hood). While hot, light gases that rise from a combustion reaction, are easily picked up by the hood, I am uncertain of its effectiveness against heavier gases (like bromine).
From what I have read, the "fog" created by dry ice and water is fairly heavy, so it should realistically test for heavier gases/vapors.

Another Test I plan on running is the ammonia test
Apparently your nose is sensitive to extremely small concentrations of ammonia in the air, so the idea is to open a bottle of ammonia in a running hood and see if you smell it or not. If ammonia is not smelled, chances are your hood is doing a good job because not even tiny concentrations of whatever gas is inside are leaving.

If I discover problems after running these tests, I will add baffles to the fume hood to direct suction a little better, like so
http://img268.imageshack.us/i/baggles.jpg/

Alternatively, one could just attach a piece of flexible aluminum ducting to the suction duct on top and direct it right over the reaction, but this is not as cool as having a real fume hood, it is just a ceiling mounted vacuum cleaner

Most Recent picture of fume hood:
http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/8577/fumesidemoreprogress...

Now, I bet you are asking. Chainhit, why didn't you just buy a god damn table and save yourself hours of effort?
Well, that's because I have a thing for tables which are mounted into the wall. They are tough as nails, and I like how stable they are (I can jump on top of it and it wont even budge)

Other stuff in the future that will be made and documented:
-Shelves
-Chemical Storage Compartments
-Stuff I cannot think of right now

Hopefully you found reading this mildly amusing/informative/etc. In retrospect I have to wonder, what the hell motivated me to write this long ass thing. Please give me comments

[Edited on 27-9-2009 by Chainhit222]
stateofhack
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Thanks for this, well worth the read!
User
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A very nice post

They contain a lot of info pro's con's etc.

*Also plexiglass will get dull after eating enough organic solvents.

*As for pumping water one can best use a big tank (mine is 65 litres )
I found out that after distilling for a couple of hours tanks of about 25 litres do get warm and bring down efficiency.
Myself I use a 'pond' pump.

[Edited on 27-9-2009 by User]

What a fine day for chemistry this is.
1281371269
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For condenser cooling consider using a system designed for computers. Second hand ones are easy to get hold of and pretty cheap. That way the water is cooled down by a number of fans, plus one can add various fluids to improve efficiency and inhibit corrosion like antifreeze. The water does get a little warm after a while but not to the extent that things will not condense.

It may be a little less effective than a 65litre barrel but it takes up far less space!
watson.fawkes
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Good work. Excellent start. Here are some suggestions.
 Quote: Originally posted by Chainhit222 Everything presented here is the work of two people (sometimes I get help, eg I hold something while someone cuts something, or screws it down). I imagine it would be quite difficult to make some of this stuff by yourself, unless you are very crafty with things like clamps and figuring out ways to support heavy objects in order to screw them down.
There's a wonderful book called Working Alone on this very subject. Link is to the publisher's page.
 Quote: Be warned though, that dry-lock paint chipped off in some places, probably because of hydrostatic pressure on the wall.
This will be an ongoing problem for you unless you correct the water flow. If I read the picture right, this garage is cut into a slope. Most infiltration into such spaces is from surface run off. While it's a fair bit of manual labor, a french drain solves such problems completely. That's a trench with drain pipe in the bottom, back-filled with gravel, and nowadays surrounded by a geotextile to extend the life of the drain by keeping fines from infiltrating. Frequently this is enough. Now if you've got a persistent water table problem, you'll need far more extensive drainage. Transient water table rises can be handled readily with a sump pump. Given the looks of things, I'd suggest allocating a couple of square feet in the corner for a sump now, even if you don't dig it out right away.
 Quote: I also put a few pieces of concrete board in the back wall of the garage where the table would be because the cinder blocks under "ground level" were always damp, and this stuff claimed to be water proof. I attached this using some tile cement and concrete screws (in case the tile cement failed).
"Waterproof", in the case of cement backer board, means that you can leave it under water and it will retain its structural integrity. It does not prevent infiltration. The short version is that there's only a limited amount you can do to prevent infiltration from the inside of a structure.
 Quote: The gap between the wall and ceiling concrete board must also be patched. I will probably stuff rocks into the hole and then cover it with a thin (maybe 1/2 inch) layer of cement, and then paint over the cement with epoxy based paint.
It might be easier to support your ceiling around its edges with stringer boards, dropping it a few inches in the process. It will certainly make it easier to seal. If you need support in the middle (it doesn't look like you do), you could use furring strips between the joists and the ceiling surface.
 Quote: Currently there is no running water in the garage, so I plan on running any equipment like aspirators or sinks through a garden hose connected to the outside of the house.
You might be able to simplify your life by running a nipple (a short pipe section, threaded on both ends) straight through the wall. Put a hose bib on the inside and an appropriate connector on the outside. By doing this you'll split the water supply from the water usage. Drill a hole through the concrete with a (rented) drill and then glue the pipe in. Add fittings afterward.
 Quote: Alternatively, one could just attach a piece of flexible aluminum ducting to the suction duct on top and direct it right over the reaction, but this is not as cool as having a real fume hood, it is just a ceiling mounted vacuum cleaner
Source extraction is a good way to reduce the load on the rest of the fume hood. Don't consider this just a hack. It's effective and useful, but you don't want this to be your only ventilation. If you want to do this, but in a Y or angle-T junction in the inlet pipe to your blower. Route the other duct to a separate opening with duct gate, allowing optional use of the source extractor. Then use a piece of flexible conduit.
watson.fawkes
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One more suggestion. Since you've already got a tank for shielding gas, set up a location now for wall storage of tanks, plural. The easiest way is a pair of rails at appropriate heights, the kinds of rail that accept captive nuts. Then eye-bolts, quick-links, and chain get you the rest of what you need. If you have this, you won't feel bad about mounting a gas manifold on the wall above it.
User
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Another idea popped up in my mind.

*One could use a pump for pumping de water back into the drain.
So imagine:
One garden hose line towards the garage.
One garden hose back to the hose or a nearby drain ( actively pumped)

Only downside I can imagine is that most pumps tend to die when running dry.

You could if course incorporate a (drain) basin which can be emptied when full by using a pump.

The real downside on my 65 liter pumping units is that it is less effective in the summer.
In the winter I have absolutely ice cold water.
Even thought of placing it underground.

[Edited on 28-9-2009 by User]

What a fine day for chemistry this is.
Klute
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Very nice post! Thanks for putting so much effort into sharing this!

Not much I can comment on, I'm still working on my fume hood plans and am far from getting started.. I will be very interested in further updates, and especially how you built the mobile window of the fume hood, ei couter-weights, poulies, etc

Oh, and that is NOT a cat, is it?

\"You can battle with a demon, you can embrace a demon; what the hell can you do with a fucking spiritual computer?\"

-Alice Parr
Magpie
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I assume one of the walls of your lab is shared by your house. If you have a sink or other plumbing in the house against that wall you are all set. By opening up that wall you will have access to hot/cold water and a drain. That is what I did for my garage sink.

I like the trained technician. Looks laid back, but also somewhat skeptical.

The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
watson.fawkes
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 Quote: Originally posted by Magpie I like the trained technician. Looks laid back, but also somewhat skeptical.
Needs a caption, though.
friendlyterry
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bravo. nice and detailed write up

[Edited on 6-10-2009 by friendlyterry]
merrlin
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Do you have any specific provision (e.g., filtered port) for makeup air to compensate for the draw of the fume hood, or are you relying on the inherent leakage into the garage?
Chainhit222
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Well, updating this once a week was a pipe dream, I have not managed to do much at all (because im too lazy and play too much warcraft 3) but....

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/6138/labwear.jpg

http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/9310/vaccumepump1.jpg
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/1600/vacpump2.jpg

At least im doing something productive
User
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Nice to see some progress , i was already waiting to see some updates

Man i really have trouble finding such a manometer, looking on the internet there all so darn expensive.
Any tips anyone?

What a fine day for chemistry this is.
Chainhit222
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I do not know how accurate mine is, but I got it on ebay for 12\$ or so. Reads in inches of mercury though.

And for some god damn reason, the pump that earlier drew 26 inches of mercury, only draws 23 now. I do not know why this is. The seals are better now, and its not its horizontal placement (ive tilted the thing about 60 degrees) and im not getting any more vacuum.

Its driving me nuts.

[Edited on 8-11-2009 by Chainhit222]
kclo4
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Did you add the tube on it? The resistance from it would cause problems.
Chainhit222
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With or without the tube, it remains at 23. Currently accepted theory is that the pump is just not performing as it was.

I took the bends out, aimed the aspirator "strait" and tilted the pump maybe 60-70 degrees, and pressure did not increase at all. Next week I can try to shorter then tubing that connects aspirator to pump (from 5 inches to maybe 2 inches), but I seriously doubt its causing the loss.

Maybe it is water temperature too, because IIRC last time I tried it, it was much colder outside. Maybe ill chuck in ice to try and get it to 4 degrees C, and record results after that.

My friend said to try and let it suck in some air with the water, why this would help im not exactly sure (something about the rotor in the pump spinning faster) but I will give it a shot, it cant really hurt much. Too bad I need to wait till next friday to try this stuff out

[Edited on 9-11-2009 by Chainhit222]
starman
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"My friend said to try and let it suck in some air with the water, why this would help im not exactly sure (something about the rotor in the pump spinning faster)"

Don"t know what orifice your friend pulled that one out of.

Chemistry- The journey from the end of physics to the beginning of life.(starman)
Chainhit222
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Eh, not to bump my own thread with useless stuff, but just some pictures of it in use.

a) ether distillations
(i know the aluminum foil should not be where it is, but I was just playing around to see how I can affect the drip rate)
(and the vigruex is misused i know, but given the low ambient air temperature, I wanted to see if it would improve the condensation of some starting fluid ether, I know its actual use, don't flame me plz)
(finally, i know the thermometer is inserted too deep. Fun tip - don't do this with nitric acid, or it will eat the markings off your thermometer)
http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/1328/muahahhahahaha.jpg
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/1374/dsc0406s.jpg

b) my coolant pump.. which happens to be way too loud/powerful for its purpose, it makes way too much noise.
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/2201/coolantpump.jpg

Upon usage, I found several things out.
1) Weigh down your outlet tube for the condenser... I had it "crawl" out of the bucket and end up spilling 3 gallons of water on a cold ass floor, making a hellish ice field.
2) Put hooks into the back wall to "hang" the condenser coolant/vacuum tubing from, as not to put stress on the glassware from springy tubing.

I really wanna get some laboratory jacks too, but cribbing your flask with plywood and two by fours seems to work, but its so not classy
watson.fawkes
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 Quote: Originally posted by Chainhit222 b) my coolant pump.. which happens to be way too loud/powerful for its purpose, it makes way too much noise.
Hell, you've got it mounted on a sound-amplifying diaphragm. Put it in its own heavy box to dampen the sound (say, 3/4" plywood). Mount it on resilient material so that the sound-transfer medium from pump to case is air rather than metal fasteners. Those two means should quiet it down.
Chainhit222
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just thought someone might find this cost saving feature inspiring...

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/4235/anboil.jpg

I made two home made ringstands, one is made of a metal plate I found in my yard and some metal rod, i used a tap and die kit to thread it. Cleaned it off with an angle grinder too, and spray painted it. I used a hand drill, not a drill press.

The other one I made out of a stone (which was left over from a retaining wall construction). I drilled a 1 inch hole in it with a hammer drill and then poured epoxy in there, then drilled a hole a tiny bit smaller then the diameter of the metal rod once the epoxy set, and hammered the rod in there using a 10lb dumbbell.
*the stone was cut into a square using a rock saw
**this construction material was used due to lack of metal plates

They make fine stands.

And the thing in the back is a so i can run hoses in the back (right now only the vacuum hose, but I figure I could have a gas hoses or whatever) without them getting in the way of things.

I made it out of an angled piece of steel and bent thick steel wire, welded together.

[Edited on 16-5-2010 by Chainhit222]

The practice of storing bottles of milk or beer in laboratory refrigerators is to be strongly condemned encouraged
-Vogels Textbook of Practical Organic Chemistry
Skyjumper
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That fume hood needs a lot of work. Look online for some pointers. But other than that, I love your set up. How about storage? Especially for acid or base storage. Make sure its all stored to code.
Chainhit222
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what do you advise for my fume hood?
It seems to work fine for every type of fumes I put through it. I thought there would be a problem because of a lack of baffles but this is not the case.
I have not tested it with bromine yet, but it seems to handle the relatively heavy ether vapors just fine.

It passed the good old "spill a buncha ammonia inside and see if you can smell it" test too. The face velocity was calculated to be the same as magpie's fumehood (forgot the number)

[Edited on 19-5-2010 by Chainhit222]

The practice of storing bottles of milk or beer in laboratory refrigerators is to be strongly condemned encouraged
-Vogels Textbook of Practical Organic Chemistry

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