Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  
Author: Subject: Starting out - glassware in Australia
manbot
Harmless
*




Posts: 5
Registered: 20-10-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 24-10-2009 at 15:51
Starting out - glassware in Australia


Hi all,

I am a semi-retired software professional in Australia looking for a new hobby. I'm interested in chemistry and planning on doing some undergraduate level study next year.

I'd also like to start mucking around with some stuff at home but I have no idea if it is possible to acquire basic glassware for organic chem in this country. It seems like I might attract attention as a potential drug manufacturer.

Can anyone give me any advice? Is it possible to get a basic setup (like a heater, reaction vessel, condenser, etc) at home and, if so, how do I go about it?

Thanks for any help!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Magpie
lab constructor
*****




Posts: 5939
Registered: 1-11-2003
Location: USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Chemistry: the subtle science.

[*] posted on 24-10-2009 at 16:16


Hello manbot - welcome to the forum.
Quote:

I am a semi-retired software professional in Australia looking for a new hobby. I'm interested in chemistry and planning on doing some undergraduate level study next year.


I can't comment on the difficulties and hazards you may encounter in Aus but there are plenty of others here who can.

Retirement is a great time to do what you are planning. That's exactly what I did. ;)




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
View user's profile View All Posts By User
entropy51
Gone, but not forgotten
*****




Posts: 1612
Registered: 30-5-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fissile

[*] posted on 25-10-2009 at 09:58


Another potential recruit for the AOOOF? Der Alte is president and founder. I think Magpie is running for Vice President.
For those without access to Whimsy: Ancient Order of Old Farts

[Edited on 25-10-2009 by entropy51]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Ramiel
Vicious like a ferret
****




Posts: 484
Registered: 19-8-2002
Location: Room at the Back, Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-demented

[*] posted on 25-10-2009 at 13:36


I'm obliged to chime in here, as I've had an interest in chemistry since I was very young and spent some fruitful hours acquiring glassware. I was living in a semi-rural WA city for the record, and now research org. chem. at uni.

It seems that our interests are a little different however, for me when I was a kid, part of the joy was improvising solutions: melting my own glass tubes into complicated distillation apparati, etc.

I did, however, find a supplier who would sell to the public, in this case a little tike... only after I built up a bit of a rapport with the boss. I don't know if you'll have more or less trouble getting these companies to sell to you. I was fairly easily able to convince them that I wasn't a drug cook, thanks mostly to my low age - I think, ironically, that you'll have more trouble establishing yourself as respectable.

Their second concern is profit: all you have to do is buy in such a scale that it doesn't waste them money to get the coffee-boy to run down and grab the items from their warehouse!

try e.g. Rowe Scientific www.rowe.com.au
their website is kind of dumb, but if you know what you want you might just try e-mailing them.




Caveat Orator
View user's profile View All Posts By User This user has MSN Messenger
Panache
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1281
Registered: 18-10-2007
Member Is Offline

Mood: Instead of being my deliverance, she had a resemblance to a Kat named Frankenstein

[*] posted on 25-10-2009 at 14:51


May i ask what state you are in Manbot? I have some solutions for your dilemma however they are confined to Metro Melbourne and i can't see you crossing the nulabor (how is this spelt?, god how unaustralian) for the sake of a few rb's.



View user's profile View All Posts By User
manbot
Harmless
*




Posts: 5
Registered: 20-10-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 25-10-2009 at 23:50


Quote: Originally posted by Ramiel  
I'm obliged to chime in here, as I've had an interest in chemistry since I was very young and spent some fruitful hours acquiring glassware. I was living in a semi-rural WA city for the record, and now research org. chem. at uni.

It seems that our interests are a little different however, for me when I was a kid, part of the joy was improvising solutions: melting my own glass tubes into complicated distillation apparati, etc.

I did, however, find a supplier who would sell to the public, in this case a little tike... only after I built up a bit of a rapport with the boss. I don't know if you'll have more or less trouble getting these companies to sell to you. I was fairly easily able to convince them that I wasn't a drug cook, thanks mostly to my low age - I think, ironically, that you'll have more trouble establishing yourself as respectable.

Their second concern is profit: all you have to do is buy in such a scale that it doesn't waste them money to get the coffee-boy to run down and grab the items from their warehouse!

try e.g. Rowe Scientific www.rowe.com.au
their website is kind of dumb, but if you know what you want you might just try e-mailing them.


Thanks Ramiel. I've spent the last 15 years working on software; everything virtual instead of real hardware. I think making my own glassware is probably a bit beyond my skill set right now :-)

But it's good advice to try to build a relationship with a supplier. I will check out Rowe Scientific and see what their response is.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
manbot
Harmless
*




Posts: 5
Registered: 20-10-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 25-10-2009 at 23:52


Quote: Originally posted by Panache  
May i ask what state you are in Manbot? I have some solutions for your dilemma however they are confined to Metro Melbourne and i can't see you crossing the nulabor (how is this spelt?, god how unaustralian) for the sake of a few rb's.


Hi Panache - I'm in Canberra, so Melbourne is very accessible and no need to cross any deserts to get there. Appreciate any thoughts you might have!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
starman
National Hazard
****




Posts: 318
Registered: 5-7-2008
Location: Western Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 26-10-2009 at 02:35


Welcome to SM manbot.Fortunately for you,your not located in WA or QLD where legislation has made the innocent possession of many common laboratiory items an offence.In WA for example possession of a condenser,stillhead,splashead etc can cost you up to $25 000 and/or 5 years in jail.No evidence of wrongdoing,real or imagined is required.The offence is having ownership of thes items.Furthermore any vendor you purchase these items from is under no obligation to inform you of the possible illegality of your purchase.
Be sure you check local legislation before you quest into sourcing.Relevant items can usually be found in "misuse of drugs act" in your state or territory.Typically under an equipment schedule or the like.
Having cautioned the preceeding,I hope it hasn't blunted your enthusiasm for home research.It just pays to make sure you do your homework before embarking in amatuer chemistry in Australia




Chemistry- The journey from the end of physics to the beginning of life.(starman)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
JohnWW
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 2849
Registered: 27-7-2004
Location: New Zealand
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 26-10-2009 at 03:13


What is the law regarding possession of glassware in Queensland, then? BTW, Queensland has one of the world's most corrupt and brutal Pig forces, a legacy of the years of the corrupt Bjelke-Petersen régime.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
starman
National Hazard
****




Posts: 318
Registered: 5-7-2008
Location: Western Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 26-10-2009 at 17:26


Quote: Originally posted by JohnWW  
What is the law regarding possession of glassware in Queensland, then? BTW, Queensland has one of the world's most corrupt and brutal Pig forces, a legacy of the years of the corrupt Bjelke-Petersen régime.


Well I just checked on that.2007 amendments "controlled things" schedule 8B.Basically similar items to the WA list.
Maximum penalty 15 years jail . My god what is this country coming to?




Chemistry- The journey from the end of physics to the beginning of life.(starman)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
entropy51
Gone, but not forgotten
*****




Posts: 1612
Registered: 30-5-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fissile

[*] posted on 26-10-2009 at 17:37


Quote:
Basically similar items to the WA list.
Maximum penalty 15 years jail . My god what is this country coming to?


I'm sure I don't have to tell you how bad this is. Guys, find another hobby. It's just not worth it if it's as draconian as it sounds. Worse than Texas, if that's possible.

Is it really just possession of glassware without any intent to make anything controlled?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Ramiel
Vicious like a ferret
****




Posts: 484
Registered: 19-8-2002
Location: Room at the Back, Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-demented

[*] posted on 27-10-2009 at 01:37


WA law says that the items must have a significant or reasonable likelihood that the item should be used in the manufacture of a prohibited drug. I'm not aware of any case law regarding this section, so I'd assume that no-one has been prosecuted with it since 1981.

I would be very interested to hear otherwise though... A long long time ago in my dark past I processed a drug using nothing but some copper tubing, so that kind of sets the bar in terms of "reasonable likelihood".




Caveat Orator
View user's profile View All Posts By User This user has MSN Messenger
starman
National Hazard
****




Posts: 318
Registered: 5-7-2008
Location: Western Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 27-10-2009 at 18:12


Quote: Originally posted by Ramiel  
WA law says that the items must have a significant or reasonable likelihood that the item should be used in the manufacture of a prohibited drug. I'm not aware of any case law regarding this section, so I'd assume that no-one has been prosecuted with it since 1981.

I would be very interested to hear otherwise though... A long long time ago in my dark past I processed a drug using nothing but some copper tubing, so that kind of sets the bar in terms of "reasonable likelihood".



The 2004 amendments to the 1981 act completely removed any question of "reasonable likelihood" of wrongdoing with the equipment.Like so much of recent WA legislation the presumption of innocence has been removed and the burden of proof reversed- even in cases where it conflicts with federal law,with all sorts of crap about "the soverignity of state parliment"
The most recent assault on citizens rights here grants police the right to conduct random full body searches on whomever they choose,wherever they choose,without warrant or even "reasonable suspiscion".
It is an outrageous state of affairs that requires commited opposition rather than apathetic submission.I've no intention of quitting my lab which has taken me over 20 years to slowly accumulate.




Chemistry- The journey from the end of physics to the beginning of life.(starman)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
NMR-400
Harmless
*




Posts: 2
Registered: 28-10-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 28-10-2009 at 04:33


Well forget about doing anything in Queensland.

I was recently raided (2 weeks) ago by first the local police and then some federal mob called "ILET" or something similar.

What happened was that I was out of the house and the police stopped by to talk to me about an unrelated issue. The officer was then invited inside and saw a flask refluxing away (4-methoxyphenol). He instantly thought "ZOMG DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS 11!!!!1" and moved in and starting going thru the laptop that was there, etc, etc. Detectives were called in, etc and I was to talk on the phone to a forensic chemist about what I was doing. He cleared me and the officers apologised for mishandling the case but then informed me that the feds also were insisting that they take a look.

Long story short they were flown up the next day and confiscated all of my gear bar a thermometer and vacuum oil. The hilarious thing was that the 'lead chemist' didn't know what "MeOH" was and refused to touch a flask with it written on it like it was explosive or something.

Ended up being charged with possessing instructions or something or other as I had Uncle Fester's book among the literally 1000s of e-books on my laptop. Have been advised that it will be a small fine, only problem is the conviction being recorded by the uber-conservative magistrate.

Nothing has been returned as of yet and I expect to have to wait a year or more and never receive an apology.

Apparently I was trying to make P2P from the 4-MeO-Ph from what I could gather as I heard the lead chemist say "prope dope" on the phone. What really scared me was that they already had a very large file on me consisting of myspace pictures, user accounts used, etc, etc. Why have all this information but not raid until tipped off by local cops? Not cost effective?

What really gives me the shits is that I was actually doing something legitimate for a university application and now I have lost all hope for applying for that particular degree.

Did not get charged with any of the offenses for owning large glassware, etc though which seems to be a plus. It looks like they would only be used when the police want to add more years to a convicted cook's sentence. In my possession I had various flasks and even a 5L 3 neck.

It really irks me that your are treated as guilty until proven innocent and your future is in the hands of a chemist who does not even know the nomenclature for the simplest alcohol!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
mr.crow
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 884
Registered: 9-9-2009
Location: Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: 0xFF

[*] posted on 28-10-2009 at 08:16


Wow I am really sorry to hear that :( I hope everything works out. So you can't apply to the university because of the conviction? Maybe you can study abroad or in a different province.

The number one lesson is to never let cops into your house unless they have a warrant, and don't have a reflux setup going. If I was an officer I would have called a swat team. So it still sucks but it looks like they didn't make too big a deal out of it like some other cases.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
entropy51
Gone, but not forgotten
*****




Posts: 1612
Registered: 30-5-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fissile

[*] posted on 28-10-2009 at 08:50


Sorry to hear about your misfortune, but it sounds like you've fared better than I would expect had this happened to one of us in the U.S.

I am intrigued by the "already" part:
Quote:
What really scared me was that they already had a very large file on me consisting of myspace pictures, user accounts used, etc, etc. Why have all this information but not raid until tipped off by local cops?
I am wondering if you have any idea why they were "already" interested in you. They seem to have gone to some trouble to gather all this information.

[Edited on 28-10-2009 by entropy51]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
hissingnoise
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3939
Registered: 26-12-2002
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pulverulescent!

[*] posted on 28-10-2009 at 09:04


I too, hope you've gotten over what was obviously a very depressing episode, but do you have any idea why they'd gone to the trouble of preparing that large file?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Magpie
lab constructor
*****




Posts: 5939
Registered: 1-11-2003
Location: USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Chemistry: the subtle science.

[*] posted on 28-10-2009 at 15:53


Quote: Originally posted by mr.crow  

The number one lesson is to never let cops into your house unless they have a warrant, ....


I think that the number one lesson is to never give the cops a reason to want to get into your house. If you tell them they need a warrant they'll probably just quickly go get one.

I'm wondering if we all don't have "files" on us. LE likely looks at it this way: why else would you be interested in doing chemistry at home unless you are up to no good?




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
View user's profile View All Posts By User
entropy51
Gone, but not forgotten
*****




Posts: 1612
Registered: 30-5-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fissile

[*] posted on 28-10-2009 at 16:11


Quote:
I'm wondering if we all don't have "files" on us. LE likely looks at it this way: why else would you be interested in doing chemistry at home unless you are up to no good?
I'm as paranoid as the next guy, but I think LE has better things to do. I think the purchases most of us make are way down in the background noise. Some people undoubtedly get on the lists by buying 22 liter flasks, but that's not amateur chemistry, is it? Neither is a gallon of certain essential oils or 500 g of LiAlH4.

Quote:
the police stopped by to talk to me about an unrelated issue. The officer was then invited inside and saw a flask refluxing away (4-methoxyphenol).
Cops don't stop by my house on issues unrelated or not. Who invited them in? Without a warrant? Does not compute. If a cop came in my front door he sure wouldn't see a reflux set up in plain view. Does not compute.
Quote:
In my possession I had various flasks and even a 5L 3 neck.
Well shit, if he was trying to get in trouble he hit the jackpot. Kinda big for amateur chemistry.
Quote:
I was actually doing something legitimate for a university application
I've filled out my share of university applications and none of them ever required me to reflux something at home. Does not compute. Memory overflow...
I suppose this could be persecution of an amateur chemist, but there are lots of red flags in this account.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
starman
National Hazard
****




Posts: 318
Registered: 5-7-2008
Location: Western Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 29-10-2009 at 00:31


@NMR 400. Go buy a lottery ticket! Fester + 5L 3 neck= "reasonable likelihood."



Chemistry- The journey from the end of physics to the beginning of life.(starman)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Ramiel
Vicious like a ferret
****




Posts: 484
Registered: 19-8-2002
Location: Room at the Back, Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-demented

mad.gif posted on 29-10-2009 at 03:18


Just to clarify in WA, s20 was introduced to the act in 2004.

I know that I'm on some kind of database: I had my licence copied when I bought a 2L 3-neck. Thankfully this was before 2004, and I hope the police are not interested in testing the law. I rang a lawyer today, and she said it was extremely unlikely to be charged in my case. If you have bought an n-necked flask or mantle etc after 2004, I would be concerned though.

So it would seem that you might be improvising most of your glassware anyway, manbot.




Caveat Orator
View user's profile View All Posts By User This user has MSN Messenger
NMR-400
Harmless
*




Posts: 2
Registered: 28-10-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 29-10-2009 at 13:16


Quote:

I'm as paranoid as the next guy, but I think LE has better things to do. I think the purchases most of us make are way down in the background noise. Some people undoubtedly get on the lists by buying 22 liter flasks, but that's not amateur chemistry, is it? Neither is a gallon of certain essential oils or 500 g of LiAlH4.


I think they only made the file up after investigating me about the unrelated issue. All information they had was easily available from Google.
Quote:

Cops don't stop by my house on issues unrelated or not. Who invited them in? Without a warrant? Does not compute. If a cop came in my front door he sure wouldn't see a reflux set up in plain view. Does not compute.

Father did. Where I come from everyone knows each other and my father has several friends in the police service so naturally he thought they had come around for a chat about a noisy neighbour, or for a coffee, etc. The lab area is visible once you enter the house as the room is like around 1m from the door.

Quote:

Well shit, if he was trying to get in trouble he hit the jackpot. Kinda big for amateur chemistry.

Agreed, I only purchased it because it was AMAZINGLY cheap at the time (bought from that second hand charity auction posted on here). Never used it once which is a shame.
Quote:

I've filled out my share of university applications and none of them ever required me to reflux something at home. Does not compute. Memory overflow...
I suppose this could be persecution of an amateur chemist, but there are lots of red flags in this account.

I am applying for a degree (name I would rather not mention) which takes on about 15 people in the whole of Australia each year. You must submit an application which shows your love, etc for science. As my OP score (a ranking used for tertiary entrance) might not make the cut off, I was trying to show "significant academic achievement" by writing up published articles on organic synthesis, complete with NMR and TLC analysis. Naturally the synthesis is not required of the application, but you know you're going to get in when the 60 year old professors reading it see the lab set up and see that I remind them of their youthful experimentation!



[Edited on 29-10-2009 by NMR-400]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
entropy51
Gone, but not forgotten
*****




Posts: 1612
Registered: 30-5-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fissile

[*] posted on 29-10-2009 at 13:30


Quote:
they already had a very large file on me consisting of myspace pictures, user accounts used, etc, etc.
Quote:
All information they had was easily available from Google.
I guess I don't see how they obtained your user accounts from Google, but it certainly is a stroke of luck that you avoided arrest. I hope your good luck continues. If you get your equipment back, you might want to find a less obvious place to set up your lab.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
manbot
Harmless
*




Posts: 5
Registered: 20-10-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 29-10-2009 at 14:47


I'm starting to think I should find another hobby.... maybe stamp collecting or something.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
starman
National Hazard
****




Posts: 318
Registered: 5-7-2008
Location: Western Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 29-10-2009 at 16:55


Quote: Originally posted by manbot  
I'm starting to think I should find another hobby.... maybe stamp collecting or something.


I was afraid all the warnings might discourage you.Dont give up just yet manbot.AFAIK legislation in VIC, NSW or the ACT is nowhere near as draconian or misguided. We need people as yourself entering the hobby.As a hobby it is as fascinating and rewarding as it gets.One can spend a lifetime adsorbed and not exhaust endless possibilities.Best of all is the possibility of discovering a novel compound or reaction,retired persons at home have done it before.
What our legislators have to get through their heads is amatuer chemistry does not necessarily mean drug lab.Provided due saftey considerations are respected WE HAVE A RIGHT TO AMATEUR RESEARCH!




Chemistry- The journey from the end of physics to the beginning of life.(starman)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
 Pages:  1  

  Go To Top