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Author: Subject: Lab size
Ashendale
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 02:13
Lab size


I'm sure this hasn't been asked before, as search didn't give any answers..

I'm gonna build a lab into my basement, but I have no idea how big it should be. Obviously I'm not gonna build 10*10 square meter lab. The current room is about 4,5*8 meters and 2,2 meters high. I thought 4,5*3 would be enough?

It is not meant to be lab with best equipment and things, but a small place to test different reactions. I understand that it should be made out of unflammable material. Should it be plastered?

Also for ventilation. I'm gonna make about 30 centimeters in diameter ventilation shaft, and it leads outside

If I happen to produce deadly fumes, it is safe for others? or should the shaft go up the wall high? I don't want to poison my neighbours ^_^
Also where should the shaft be located? Anywhere in the room or above the experiment table?

And, is refrigerator really needed or is it for more serious experiments?

[Edited on 10-4-2005 by Ashendale]




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sparkgap
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 10:50


The only advice I can give you about home lab size is that you should have enough "elbow room", so to speak. You need to be able to move around freely, and that the lab should be big enough for whatever shelves/equipment you may be putting in.

If you are going to be handling volatiles, a refrigerator will be useful for storage. Otherwise, a cabinet lined with chemically resistant material should do.

sparky (^_^)

P.S. However you construct your vent, hopefully it isn't pointing towards your neighbor's property. :D




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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 11:03


I think you should put in at least 2 vents(opposite sides of room), that way, if you lab fills with some nasty fumes, you can open both to get a nice crossbreeze to blow them all out a lot quicker.



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Ashendale
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 11:06


Well, it is pointed towards neighbours, cause I'm surrounded with neighbours in 3 sides, fourth side is at the other end of house. :D
Also a rookie question, but how should floor be? Should it have drain pipe incase I spill anything? Also should chems be stored separetly from testing room or they can be in the same room?

Quick 3dsmax lab attached..

labor2.jpg - 92kB




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Thermal
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 17:19


I'd run the vent exhaust as high up as you possibly can, roof level being best. That way any noxious or poisonous gases and vapors disperse much quicker and don't linger at ground level.
Good idea for safety and keeping a low profile amoung the neighborinos.

An intake on the opposite side is an excellent idea.

I'd say a drain is a good idea, but assuming one isn't already down there I think it'd be quite a job to install.

They make Epoxy coatings for use on concrete which I would reccomend over paint for the floor; though they are rather expensive.

One could construct a fume hood rather easily and cheaply over your workspace and tie that into the vent as well as having a vent for the whole room (with a damper maybe?)

Use a squirrel cage blower on the vent preferably isolated from the rest of the room.

One can't forget a fire extingusher of course.
[Edited on 11-4-2005 by Thermal]

[Edited on 11-4-2005 by Thermal]
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 21:40


Ashendale your questions have pointed to a subject about which I have been giving a lot of attention to for some time now. So please forgive me for my rambling and probably saying more than you ever wanted to hear. ;)

I would say that your 4.5m x 3m is quite a lot of room - at least for some time until you have accumulated a lot of equipment. Remember that in school you really don't get (or need) all that much bench space. Storage space is another matter.

I have a grand design for an outbuilding lab on paper that I may or may not ever build. On this design I was going to make the building as fireproof as possible: concrete block walls, gypsum board ceiling, and concrete floor (with epoxy coating). I would have no floor drain for environmental protection reasons. How to fireproof the rafters and roof was a matter not yet resolved. I was also going to have complete utilities (fume hood, natural gas, hot/cold water, electrical, and a drain to city sewer). Building floor size was about 4m x 6m. I was even anticipating the addition of air polution control like a charcoal absorber and a water scrubber if they proved to be needed.

At this point my lab is in a corner of my garage.:( My lab "bench" is an epoxy coated piece of plywood about 1m x 1m that I place on my wood workbench when needed. I have a window but no fan. A roof gable vent and a door provide additional passive ventilation. I do have electrical. I have no water source or drain. Needless to say this is far from adequate mostly because of: 1) no active ventilation, 2) no water source, and 3) no drain. I plan to soon build a portable fume hood that will attach to a permanently installed active ventilation system (fan, ducting, through-roof stack). My ducting will likely be about 15 cm in diameter and be made of PVC sewer pipe.

Having no water/drain is a real nuisance as I must make many trips to the kitchen sink. The lack of active ventilation just makes many experiments not possible from a safety standpoint.

I agree with previous posts that your vent stack should be as high as practical to prevent offending your neighbors. But also ask yourself if it will become a source of questions if it looks unusually high or out of place. Are questions about what you are doing in your basement by neighbors a concern? (My policy is to not advertise - but if asked I answer questions directly.)

I bought some nice kitchen cabinets - about 2m long x 2m high, with counter space. This gives much needed storage space and is about 1m behind me as I work at my bench, keeping everthing handy. These cabinets have many drawers, shelves, etc. I will soon buy a tall matching closet with shelves for chemical storage. I'm really enjoying these cabinets. ;)

Edited by Magpie to clarify.

[Edited on 11-4-2005 by Magpie]




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Ashendale
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[*] posted on 17-4-2005 at 12:57


Another question came to my mind when I was reading the older forum threads.

In some threads people have got some chemical burn (like someone who breathed Cl2) and people suggested he should go to doctor, but not say how he got it. Also Magpie said not to attract neighbours attention.

What's so bad about that? Accidents happen. Or it's illegal to make that kind of experiements?




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neutrino
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[*] posted on 17-4-2005 at 13:13


In these troubled times, chemistry is frowned upon by society. If a stranger found out about your lab, they would immediately think that either 1. you're a terrorist making bombs or 2. you're a drug dealer cooking up some meth. Obviously, we don’t want either of those assumptions placed on us.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2005 at 13:20


Those types of experiments are technically not illegal, however doing those experiments and annoying the neighbors/getting poisoned and needing doctor, could possibly lead to the police getting word of your experimenting, and having them think you are making explosives/drugs/etc. This could lead them to searching your lab, and obviously if you are making drugs or explosives there you are screwed, but if you are just doing legitimate chemistry you Technically are safe. However due to the reputation home chemistry has these days, the police would try as hard as possible to "prove" you have been/intending to do something illegal, even if you are not.

[Edited on 17-4-2005 by rogue chemist]




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