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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 24-7-2013 at 09:43
Building the Periodic Table


I'm sure some here may appreciate the new project I have undertaken. I am building a periodic table to collect as many elements as is possible. Each individual element cubby is 2"x2"x2" (I should have made them 2.5" cubes, but hindsight is always 20/20...). The wood itself was purchased from a local old-time lumber mill, this place was literally right out of the 1800's with the exception of a 1950's table-saw and planer. If you have such a place locally, I highly recommend going there if you decide to replicate this project. Its such an awesome experience, and the wood itself is much less expensive than from places like the big box stores.





I went with some beautiful 2"x.5" red oak and assisted in planing and rip cutting it at the mill. Local lumber mill prices are astonishingly low too for incredible quality. Lowes has been ripping me off!



Now to cut each piece of wood to the correct length. Remember: measure twice, cut once!



Finally all the parts are joined together using butt-joints with dowel inserts for added strength. I'm not done the project yet, but you can get the idea of where its at. Length is just under 4 feet, and it stands about 18 inches tall.



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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 24-7-2013 at 10:55


Looking great! That's neat that you have such a historic place nearby; that adds another dimension to the display. Do you plan on labeling each element, and if so how? How many samples do you have already? I definitely look forward to seeing the finished product! Periodic table displays are one of my favorite things.


===============


And now, time to shamelessly plug my own display :D I finished mine about 6 months ago, after about a year and a half of designing and building. I was lucky enough to have a talented electrical engineer friend that helped me add fancy LED lighting to mine.

http://youtu.be/LSY_DKQv4g0

That video is the general overview of the whole project - I've got much more detail on my blog. The first post in the series is here: http://thehomescientist.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-element-dis...


[Edited on 7-24-2013 by MrHomeScientist]
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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 24-7-2013 at 12:03


MrHomeScientist, it was your display that inspired to finally make one of my own! I saw yours on YouTube (I'm one of your subscribers), and knew I needed to make one.
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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 24-7-2013 at 12:43


That's awesome :D It really warms the heart to hear that my hobby has influenced and/or educated other people. Stories like yours really keep me going. I look forward to seeing your finished product!

If you haven't seen it already, Theodore Gray's Wooden Periodic Table Table was in turn what inspired me to build my display, and actually got me interested in hobby chemistry in the first place.
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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 24-7-2013 at 13:04


Yeah Theo Gray was always a huge influence on me as well, I have always read his column in popsci, and I have long admired his 'periodic table' table lol. His site is also a great resource on how to find certain elements, since he shows so many different samples of each element and explains where/when/why that certain element was used.
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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 29-7-2013 at 12:41
Finshed the frame


Well I just finished the frame of the periodic table. Ill soon have to add a thin wood backing, and then insert the individual element square cutouts, but it already looks pretty darned good!

I forgot to include this is my original post, but here is the solidworks mockup of the period table I made before beginning the project.



And here are few more pictures of the build and final frame.



All sanded and looking pretty:



And just a a reference the ruler you see in the below picture is a foot long and 1" wide



[Edited on 29-7-2013 by BobD1001]
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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 29-7-2013 at 12:48


Coming together nicely! What is your plan for the lanthanides and actinides?
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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 29-7-2013 at 12:54


Quote: Originally posted by MrHomeScientist  
Coming together nicely! What is your plan for the lanthanides and actinides?


I'm going to build another display of the same proportions for the lanthanides and actinides. I should still have enough left over wood to make it without heading back to the sawmill, but I am kind of looking for an excuse to go back there... it was quite a cool experience!
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12AX7
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[*] posted on 29-7-2013 at 19:37


Very nice!



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DubaiAmateurRocketry
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[*] posted on 30-7-2013 at 12:47


nice, will you have a sample of each element ;) ?

or at least a compound containing the element ? :p




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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 30-7-2013 at 19:10


Quote: Originally posted by DubaiAmateurRocketry  
nice, will you have a sample of each element ;) ?

or at least a compound containing the element ? :p


Absolutely! I plan to collect as many of them in relatively pure form as I can. Some of them will end up having to end up being compounds (such as Fluorine). Tonight I actually acquired some beautiful Mercury metal!
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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 3-8-2013 at 23:32


Well I just finished the final steps to make the periodic table look pretty. A nice coat of Miniwax red oak stain and some polyurethane clear gloss varnish. Really looks quite presentable now!



After staining:



And finally with the clear gloss varnish, looking glossy and beautiful!

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[*] posted on 4-8-2013 at 06:53


Beautiful work! Please keep us updated with your addition of element samples. (Do you want/need a large chunk of PTFE?) I have just one suggestion for future reference; I've found that it's often easier to stain intricate woodworking projects before the final assembly. Keep up the good work! :)



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[*] posted on 4-8-2013 at 14:45


That's very pretty! I like everything about it. Choice of material, neat construction, dimensions. When I finally find the time to build something to display my element collection in, I am definately going to use your design as 'inspiration'. Thanks for sharing!



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[*] posted on 5-8-2013 at 02:40


That's a very neat display. It would be perfect for schools, behind a glass panel.



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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 5-8-2013 at 06:15


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
Beautiful work! Please keep us updated with your addition of element samples. (Do you want/need a large chunk of PTFE?) I have just one suggestion for future reference; I've found that it's often easier to stain intricate woodworking projects before the final assembly. Keep up the good work! :)


Thank you very much Bfesser! I will surely keep the thread updated with sample additions! After putting the whole thing together then staining, I was kicking myself for not staining it beforehand!Truly some good advice there. I would greatly appreciate a piece of PTFE if you are willing to part with it, just PM me whatever costs need to be covered. I really do appreciate that offer, and I will certainly note your donation on my website.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2013 at 10:32


One reason I try to stain before assembly, is that any wood with wood glue in/on it won't take stain (learned this the hard way).

I have three solid PTFE plugs from Ace Glass (<a href="http://www.aceglass.com/html/detail/5846-52.php" target="_blank">5846-52</a> <img src="../scipics/_ext.png" />;) and two corresponding glass columns. I was thinking that maybe I could part with one of the plugs, but I'm not sure now (after seeing the price!). I had planned on machining the Teflon into a more useful item (perhaps a stirrer bearing) when I found a lathe, but it's been years and still no lathe. And now that I have it in front of me, I realize that it wouldn't even fit in your table without being cut&mdash;these things are huge (5 cm height, 7.8 cm max. OD)! If it's alright with you, I think I'd like to keep them after all, but I'll see if I can scrounge up any other PTFE chunks from my storage totes.




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[*] posted on 5-8-2013 at 11:13


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
One reason I try to stain before assembly, is that any wood with wood glue in/on it won't take stain (learned this the hard way).


If this does happen, sanding is your best friend! Sand, reapply stain, sand again, etc.




The Home Chemist Book web page and PDF. Help if you want to make Home Chemist history! http://www.bromicacid.com/bookprogress.htm
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[*] posted on 5-8-2013 at 11:22


It's not as good as mine.
http://www.theodoregray.com/periodictable/Images/DePauw1.jpg
:D
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[*] posted on 5-8-2013 at 11:34


Quote: Originally posted by sargent1015  
If this does happen, sanding is your best friend! Sand, reapply stain, sand again, etc.
Doesn't help if the glue has soaked deeply into the end grain on a joint.
Quote: Originally posted by sonogashira  
http://www.theodoregray.com/periodictable/Images/DePauw1.jpg
We have one of these installed in the main entry of <a href="http://blog.lib.umn.edu/admit/blogs/2010/09/i-studied-biochemistry-as-an.html" target="_blank">Kolthoff Hall</a> <img src="../scipics/_ext.png" /> (University of Minnesota). For anyone in the Twin Cities, it's worth seeing (it also has a huge poster-like display on the backside).



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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 8-9-2013 at 13:01


Well here's a quick update on the periodic table collection. Its beginning to fill in a bit!

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[*] posted on 8-9-2013 at 14:46


Are you going to do make the f-block as well?

edit: apologies, upon re-reading the thread I found you already answered this (yes, from the remaining wood).

Thanks for the update, it is very pretty!

[Edited on 8-9-2013 by phlogiston]




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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 21-9-2013 at 17:00


Well here are some of the most recent additions to my element collection:

Here we have bromine, prepared using NaBr, MnO2, and HCl in a very crude distillation setup. The result looks to be fairly pure bromine, although it certainly has some water content in it.



Here we have a small amount of Gallium metal which I purchased online. Very fun stuff, although quite sticky!



Next up is a large chunk of very pure Chromium purchased from a seller on eBay. I made the wooden base it sits in out of some scrap wood I had laying around. Just tossed it in my milling machine and a few minutes later I had a nice display base.



Here is a piece of Tungsten from a rod which I cut using a diamond cutting disk. I had originally taken a hacksaw to it, only to find the saw blades immediately dulled, and not a scratch on the Tungsten.



And finally a large cylinder of Iron. Made by cutting a large iron bolt with a hacksaw and the turning it on my lathe. I coated it in a clear lacquer to prevent oxidation. I realize its not pure iron, but it looks nice, is close enough to pure for me, and was what I had lying around.



Hope you enjoyed!
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elementcollector1
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[*] posted on 21-9-2013 at 17:05


Very nice sample of chromium! What elements do you plan to go for next?



Elements Collected:52/87
Latest Acquired: Cl
Next in Line: Nd
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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 21-9-2013 at 17:35


The next ones I'm leaning towards synthesizing are Iodine and Chlorine. Both are pretty quick and easy to make, and Ill just make a small ampoule of each. I would love to be able to make a sample of Liquid Chlorine, but dont have any ampoules with a thick enough wall to be able to contain that kind of pressure.
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