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Author: Subject: Maker Shed Science Room Grand Opening Sale
RBT
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[*] posted on 2-10-2009 at 07:13
Maker Shed Science Room Grand Opening Sale


Some of you may remember me as the author of _Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments_ from O'Reilly/MAKE. Since that book was published in May 2008, I've finished the next book in the series, the not-yet-published _Illustrated Guide to Forensics Investigations_, which is also an all-lab book that features everything from fiber and soil analysis to forensic drug testing and toxicology to impression analysis and DNA analysis by gel electrophoresis.

In April 2009, I joined the Make team as the "curator" of the Make: Science Room, a new project devoted to putting hands-on science content on the web. There are only a couple of dozen lab sessions posted so far (mostly chemistry and forensics), but we'll be posting batches of lab sessions every week until we have 125+ articles posted that cover the chemistry and forensics lab books. After that, I'll be doing a continuing series of hands-on lab session articles in biology, earth science, physics, and the other sciences.

As part of this project, I was tasked with building out the science section of Maker Shed (the Make on-line store). Originally, the science section included only a couple of dozen packaged kits from Thames & Kosmos and similar vendors, all targeted at kids. We've now expanded that to include a range of microscopes, lab equipment (150+ different items), and chemicals (150+ different chemicals), as well as various serious science kits (with more to come).

Most of the stuff is targeted at beginners, home-schoolers, and so on, but there is a lot of stuff that might be of interest to the much more advanced folks who hang out around here. (For example, Engler flasks, a ground-grass distillation setup, an inexpensive hotplate/stirrer, etc.)

The regular prices at Maker Shed are competitive with mainstream home science gear vendors like Home Science Tooks, HMS Beagle, and so on, but my boss just approved a grand opening sale to get things off to a good start. The sale runs the whole month of October and is basically a Crazy Eddie sale. For example, 250 mL beakers ordinarily priced at $2.70 are on sale for $1.69.

The catch is that the sale prices are limited to stock on hand and items that are received and added to inventory during October. Inventory quantity on many of these items is relatively limited (~10 to 40 units), so I wanted to give you folks a heads up in case you want to grab some stuff.

If an item status is listed as "on order", that means it's not in stock, so you can't add it to your basket. In that case, you can instead click the link to have Maker Shed notify you by email when the item arrives. There are crates showing up on the loading dock regularly, so something that shows out of stock today may be back in stock tomorrow.

My apologies in advance to anyone who considers this message spammish. I hesitated about posting it for that reason, but in all honesty this really is a chance to grab a lot of good stuff at really excellent prices.




Robert Bruce Thompson
thompson (at) homechemlab (dawt) com
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[*] posted on 2-10-2009 at 15:04


Hi Robert. What I'd really like to see is a good source for a wide assortment of "fanged" chemicals. This source would give the home chemist some assurance that his name would not go on a list, and that he should not be waiting for a knock on the door. Also, this source would do what it could to minimize hazmat and shipping costs.



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Sedit
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[*] posted on 2-10-2009 at 21:25


I have to admit buying in 25 gram lots your prices are more then a little step but thank you for the offer for amature chemists. Its always good to have a supplier on our side so we can feel safe when ordering chemicals. Its a sad fact of life for us that we have to feel this fear in the first place but it is what it is...

[Edited on 3-10-2009 by Sedit]





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entropy51
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[*] posted on 3-10-2009 at 08:28


Quote: Originally posted by Sedit  
Its always good to have a supplier on our side so we can feel safe when ordering chemicals.


I agree completely. I'll gladly pay the markup in order not to get my name on The List. Hopefully the variety of equipment and chemicals will increase over time.
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[*] posted on 3-10-2009 at 09:14


Hello Robert!

I am glad to hear that you have finished your forensic manual! Can't wait to see it in stores. I periodically check your homechemlab forum but have not seen much activity as of late.

As far as Maker shed is concerned, if not for the chemcials, I sure would buy the apparatus. I have other suppliers with similar prices but they may have limited selection. I get the impression that Makers shed will offer a better selection so I can order from one source and pay shipping only once. And heck, if I am ordering $50 worth of glassware, clamps, and test tubes, I might throw in a 25 gram bottle of ACS sodium ferrocyanide or Barium hydroxide for good measure;) Just to make titration solutions, standards and such.




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[*] posted on 3-10-2009 at 09:43


I have received a report about this thread. Unlike the occasional drive-by advertiser who promotes products with his first post, RBT has been here for close to 3 years. He has also done quite a bit of good for amateur science with his publications. I think that the products he is offering here may be of interest to members, and I do not consider this thread undesirable.



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entropy51
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[*] posted on 3-10-2009 at 10:32


Considering the lack of amateur-friendly suppliers, I think this thread will be welcome to more than two or three of us. I have to agree that Mr. Thompson's books have done our hobby a lot of good.

Thank you, Polverone.:D
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[*] posted on 3-10-2009 at 18:31


For anyone who might be a subscriber to O'Reilly online book safari (mostly IT people I guess), Thompson's book is also available there. I presently have it on my online bookshelf.

Hodges
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[*] posted on 4-10-2009 at 07:30


Placed an order on Friday, glad to see a supplier that encourages amateur chemistry :)
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[*] posted on 4-10-2009 at 11:01


I placed an order on Weds, paid for FedEx 3 day shipping, it shipped Weds, and it got to me on Friday. Awesome service!
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 4-10-2009 at 17:17


FedEx? You were lucky that the goods were not stolen in transit by their truck drivers. That courier firm has a huge problem with thefts of goods by drivers, although mostly of expensive electronic items and those containing precious metals, probably due to the lousy pay the drivers receive.

P.S. At least, this is what friends in the U$A who have used their service there have told me; I personally have never used them for anything. I suppose it would help against theft if you labeled the parcel as containing something less valuable or desirable or saleable than its real contents, e.g. "machined metal", "ornaments", "merchandise samples", "wine glasses", etc.

[Edited on 6-10-09 by JohnWW]
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entropy51
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[*] posted on 5-10-2009 at 14:44


Quote: Originally posted by JohnWW  
FedEx? You were lucky that the goods were not stolen in transit by their truck drivers. That courier firm has a huge problem with thefts of goods by drivers, although mostly of expensive electronic items and those containing precious metals, probably due to the lousy pay the drivers receive.

I receive a FedEx package at least once a week, some worth several thousand dollars, for about 20 years. Nothing has ever been lost, let alone stolen.

Maybe FedEx is less trustworthy in New Zealand? Maybe there's something in the water? That would explain a couple of things.

[Edited on 5-10-2009 by entropy51]
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[*] posted on 5-10-2009 at 19:50


I just placed an order with them. The prices for some of the items, especially the lab equipment, were really good. Unfortunately, the best deals had already been sold out. Anyway, I'll see how the stuff looks when it gets here.



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[*] posted on 9-10-2009 at 20:50


Sorry about the double post but it's too late to edit.

Stuff arrived today, I ordered 3-day shipping (which happened to be the cheapest option), meaning that they shipped the stuff out the day after I ordered (at like 10:30 at night). Everything appears to be good quality. Reagents came in thick glass bottles, very nice and very unexpected. Can't wait to try out my new vacuum filtration set-up. The only problem with any of the glassware was that the ground glass stopper for the volumetric flask was chipped, although it shouldn't be a problem because it's on the upper part of the stopper (above where it makes the seal with the flask).

Overall a great supplier IMHO. Big problem I had was that alot of the best stuff was already sold out!




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[*] posted on 10-10-2009 at 16:04


I hate the expensive international shipping, otherwise I might already ordered some gear.

[Edited on 11-10-2009 by iHME]




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[*] posted on 16-10-2009 at 11:29


Quote: Originally posted by GoatRider  
I placed an order on Weds, paid for FedEx 3 day shipping, it shipped Weds, and it got to me on Friday. Awesome service!

Followup:

The hot-plate stirrer I received had a broken part (the bracket for the ring-stand rod). I emailed them, they answered promptly, and within a day said they could get a part from the distributor for me. Today I just got that part, so now I'm happy.

I didn't want to mention this until they had a chance to resolve it. Any business can have problems. What distinguishes the best ones is how they handle the problems. I'll definitely be doing business with them again!
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