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Author: Subject: The Home Chemical Experimenter
FloridaAlchemist
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[*] posted on 13-12-2004 at 21:51
The Home Chemical Experimenter


When I was a kid , practicing chemical experimentation at home was promoted by my parents and teachers. ;) It gave me the incentive to become a chemist. Now adays, if you experiment with chemicals at home , we are either a drug maker or bomb maker. I guess things certainly have changed. :mad: Even if a law enforcement agency knows you not doing anything illegal , they will call up the EPA and bury your home lab... :(
On a positive note , this board is proof that there are lots of us still interested in this facinating hobby and it will keep going just like that energizer bunny:cool:
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 13-12-2004 at 22:51


Yes, we will keep doing it. It just has an ugly new twist. That's what I used to say about the nuclear business. It's the same as the chemical business with an added twist. :D



The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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cyclonite4
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[*] posted on 14-12-2004 at 05:34


Yeah, it's harder these days for the home chemist because of every1's fears of terrorism, etc. There is always suspicion involved with admitting that you have an interest in chemistry, as well as buying chemicals which have next to no dangerous uses (until you use them to make something else :D )

I went to the pool store the other day to buy some more Ca(OCl)2 and the owner was asking questions about my intentions (probably because it has the large "oxidiser warning" label on the side), lukily because it's summer i can say something along the lines of "Maintaining the pool, no shit!". I find Ca(OCl)2 is very useful, it can be used for chlorate making, chloroform, chlorinations (in basic conditionds), and much more :).

Oops, i guess i have rambled on a bit too much :cool:

[Edited on 14-12-2004 by cyclonite4]
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Cloner
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[*] posted on 14-12-2004 at 12:34


When I compare me to my dad, I think I have better information access, but more paranoia. He almost blew himself up and no police came or something, my grandma was very pissed, that's all.

I have the internet which not only gives me info for more interesting projects thatn I could ever do, it also awesomely counters the general unavailability of chemicals by a significant grey circuit of chemical dealers.

In the end, I think nothing has really changed although I don't want my neighbours to see me doing things.
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MadHatter
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[*] posted on 14-12-2004 at 13:27
Ca(OCl2)


Cyclonite4, you must be below the equator. Winter officially arrives here in 8 days.
Unofficially, it's already here, cold and windy. It's funny that the last time I bought some
Ca(OCl)<sub>2</sub> was from a pool supply store during the winter. I got no funny looks and just
told the kid behind the counter it was for my whirlpool. If anybody asks what the problem
with the pool is - algae buildup and you need to shock it !

I felt like a kid in a candy store when I observed some other "useful" chemicals in that
pool supply store. 27% hydrogen peroxide(Baquacil brand), lithium hypochlorite,
potassium persulphate. That's a small slice of heaven for us home chemists ! :D

It's truly amazing how much a person can find locally if he/she just puts some effort
into it ! Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, pool supply shops, pottery shops, farm co-ops,
and even Sears have yielded about 90% of what I need. No paper trails as long as I
pay in cash !

P.S. I forgot to mention that I got a bucket of sodium bisulphate from that same pool
supply store.

[Edited on 15-12-2004 by MadHatter]




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If_6_was_9
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[*] posted on 24-12-2004 at 14:17


Don't wear a beard and turban and you should be OK.
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[*] posted on 24-12-2004 at 21:16


I, this last summer, bought $69 of chemicals at one visit at a local hardware store.:D Including KMnO4, acetone, toluol, denatured alcohol solvent, and xylenes.
I live in the country, but I have a severe dislike for explosives, because if I detonate some I will likely get busted.:mad: Not to mention, I don't want to die young.;)




\"In the beginning, God...\" Wait a minute, God doesn\'t exist!!!!!!!!!! \"OK, in the beginning, ummm, hydrogen...\" Wait a minute, what about the laws of thermodynamics? \"OK, in the beginning, ummm.....UMMMMM, what\'s left to choose from?
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NERV
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[*] posted on 26-12-2004 at 11:00


Sometimes I wish we where still back in the good old days when chemistry kits came with nitric acid, and other fun goodies. You never had to worry about the cops comming to your house because you had a chem set *sigh* the good old days :( . Other times I am glad to be in this era because information is so much more abundant than it was back then.

Sadly though now days you cant tell anyone about having chemistry for a hobby or eles you are automaticaly labled a drug cook, or terrorist. I am lucky to have parents who support my chemistry work. They may complain about the smells, and the sink I ruined with burning steel wool, but they still support and buy me stuff :cool: . Not even my chem teacher supports me in my work (he actuly called my parents and told them to take my lab away :mad: ! They ignored him of coarse :) ). Luckly my collage proffesor supports me to, and allows me to have access to many useful items from the chemical stock room :D .




Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur.
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thalium
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[*] posted on 26-12-2004 at 11:54


I observed that parens are a big problem. I don't understand what they have against chem (especially if they have girl(s)), they just watch too much tv.



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Hell was full so I came back..
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[*] posted on 26-12-2004 at 16:13


It was a long time ago in my case, but my parents supported me. Of course, they insisted that I clean up my messes, and that I did the dangerous stuff outside. But I recall my father and I searching together for a drug store where we could get KNO3.

One thing I know would not happen in today's world the way it did then was the support from my chemistry teacher. I got along well with her, partly because she was impressed that I had enough interest in chemistry to take it out of sequence (while my classmates were taking biology). I remember how (I swear I am not making this up) the school went through and cleaned out all the "hazardous" chemicals. I asked what would happen to them and she said they would be thrown away. I offered to take them instead. She said she couldn't just give me the things they were throwing away, but if I would make a list of chemicals I wanted she would see if if any of them were being disposed of. It was pretty funny too because a few days later when I stayed after school to help her clean out the stock room I had my list. As I would read an item she would say "Now you do realize that this chemical is pretty dangerous, and should never be mixed with so and so, right? Now what's the next thing on your list?" (and it would be "so and so";). I remember I ended up with a couple ounces of magnesium powder, several ounces of potassium perchlorate, a bit of ammonium dichromate, an almost full 8oz can of red phosphorous (this was long ago - 1979 to be exact) and - get this - a huge 5-pound tin of sodium peroxide (of which more than half is still sitting in my fathers garage to this day - saw it there last time I visited). She said she wasn't going to give me anything unless I also borrowed a pair of goggles and a lab apron, which I could return at the end of the school year.
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cyclonite4
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[*] posted on 27-12-2004 at 03:51


I sympathise with thalium here, my parents are always questioning each and every of my intentions with each and every chemical :mad:.

Yes, MadHatter, I am below the equator. I beleive to the left of my post there is a mention of my location being Australia :P.

The H2O2 i get from my pool store is only 15% and it's called 'Spa Poppit'. I can get NaBr for spa maintenance, but haven't come across Lithium Hypochlorite, I might have to look a bit harder, but staying around in the shop too long gains supsicion (I might change pools shops :D).

I source practically all my chemicals from products found at pools stores, hardware stores, and the supermarket.

[Edited on 27-12-2004 by cyclonite4]




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[*] posted on 28-6-2006 at 04:09


Quote:
Originally posted by thalium
I observed that parens are a big problem. I don't understand what they have against chem (especially if they have girl(s)), they just watch too much tv.


not on MY Watch!
My daughter will be brought up with all the chems and electronics and microscopes and telescopes etc... that she could ever wish for. I flatly refuse to turn or let her brain BE Turned into some pink homogenous blob that fits nice and uniformly into societies Spam Can.
She WILL get to see the wonders that chemistry and science provides, Questions will be actively encouraged.

She already has a full color Periodic table, moon map, earth map, solar system map and costelations chart in her bedroom, and she`s only just turned One :)




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[*] posted on 28-6-2006 at 06:59


Yes, children really ARE interested in science, but it needs to be presented to them in a way, such that it is recognizable for them.

Two weeks ago, I had a party, because my eldest daughter was 10 years old. We decided to have an experimenter's party, and really, the kids LOVED it. The children were allowed to do their own experiments with NaHCO3 and vinegar (making little volcanoes of foam), they were allowed to play around with very dilute solutions of FeCl3 and K4Fe(CN)6. Both chems are relatively non-toxic, yet, they give very strong color when mixed. They also were allowed to play with phenolphtalein as indicator, and red cabbage, making colors red, purple, blue, green, yellow. I did some demo experiments, dissolving a coin in 40% HNO3 and lighting a mix of Ba(NO3)2, S and some C.

What I found most remarkable is that children most liked the experiments with the red cabbage and the phenolphtalein. Just mixing liquids and getting unexpected colors. They did not really bother for the little pyro experiments, and that surprised me.

But altogether, having such a party really raises interest in science for the young kids.




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Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
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12AX7
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[*] posted on 28-6-2006 at 14:08


Quote:
Originally posted by woelen
They did not really bother for the little pyro experiments, and that surprised me.


Give 'em another couple years, then we'll see. :P At least if there's any boys around..

Tim




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chloric1
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[*] posted on 28-6-2006 at 14:09


Again Woelen, you impressed me again! This time not with some fancy photography but your impact you had on the children. As long as there is at least a glimmer of hope in this dumbed down and safety silly world, then maybe the thinkers and tinkerers have a rebirth someday.

Unfortuneately, before we regain our freedoms, we will probably endure major societal upheivels and restructuring. Maybe after armageden.:P




In the theater of life its nice to know where the exit doors are located.
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