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Author: Subject: Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear
earpain
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[*] posted on 9-6-2020 at 19:52


Quote: Originally posted by Syn the Sizer  
Great idea, I recently broke my 105o adapter with vacuum takeoff, I have been holding onto it in case I figured something out with it. I now plan on cutting the female adapter off. I have also considered keeping the male adapters to see if I can use the somewhere.


Hey thanks! =D
In all fairness, anyone has or could have had such an idea. But many don't realize how easy it is to free hand cut/grind through glass. I did it wrong for a few years in truth.

Yes , of course save the male ends, they are half the team.

Or, very long tubing with pre formed and ground tapered joints cost $1 - $3 each from a glass blower's supply company.
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Mateo_swe
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[*] posted on 11-7-2020 at 03:54


So i have this old heating crucible thing that i found somewhere long ago.
I now replaced the cord as it was falling to pieces.
I wonder what this thing was used for and how hot it can get.
Maybe i can use it, it looks usable maybe for melting some metals with low melting points.
Or turn it into a melting point measurement apparatus.
It seems to be designed to fit on a rod like a lab stand.
Anyone has any ideas what this is used for?
Here are some pics


Heating_crucible_thingy1.jpg - 125kB Heating_crucible_thingy2.jpg - 110kB Heating_crucible_thingy3.jpg - 196kB
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violet sin
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[*] posted on 11-7-2020 at 08:08


Quite likely a sulfur burner for indoor garden pest treatment, looks like to me.

Kinda like this, but just a guess.
http://www.rsghydro.ca/product/sulfur-burner/
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Mateo_swe
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[*] posted on 12-7-2020 at 11:43


Hmm, i dont think that a sulfur burner for indoor garden pest treatment would look like this.
It looks like it belongs in a lab, with the lab stand fastener.
But it´s not impossible you are right.
I would guess its purpose is to melt something, but it doesnt look like it would fit in a greenhouse environment.
Maybe used for some analytical testing for melting the sample, very long ago off cause.
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violet sin
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[*] posted on 12-7-2020 at 15:01


No on/off button, no dial adjust, no name or words other than the AC on the bottom? Do you know how much current it draws or patent number, makers marks, anything? I've searched for quite a few terms and Google gives very few returns. Switched to Alta Vista and got more pics, but still too few.

I'd be surprised if it was anything else. Mainly because it doesn't look particularly high temp suited. medium heat in that size seems a little narrow use. Small volume. I looked for assay furnace, but them are big and thick. I've a sola basic laboratory furnace and it's like a home stereo receiver size box with cables to the furnace portion about the size of a bread maker at least.

https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/files.php?pid=383328&...

Not trying to be argumentative. Just bored so flipped through the net for a few min.

*********************************************
@OldNubbins:
No reason to add another post below yours. But this portion is in response to vvv.

That looks appropriate, thanks for the link. I searched sulfur burner, ring stand, lab stand, tripod / furnace, crucible heater, heater and gave up. Google was giving nothing, that seemed like it didn't represent something they were paid to advertise. As if 40 hits represents the entirety of images of sulfur burners, from the last 30 years ... Any how thanks

[Edited on 13-7-2020 by violet sin]
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OldNubbins
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[*] posted on 12-7-2020 at 15:36


Probably an electric bunsen burner

https://www.coleparmer.com/p/electrothermal-electric-bunsen-...
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[*] posted on 12-7-2020 at 17:08


Never even knew they existed.



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[*] posted on 13-7-2020 at 17:08


Better living through electricity...
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Mateo_swe
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[*] posted on 14-7-2020 at 00:31


- Probably an electric bunsen burner

Well, the "Rim", or what it could be called (the metal circle) on top of the crucible might suggest something should be placed there.
But i find no gas parts on the item, i would have though it should have a pipe going into the crucible if gas was to be burned.
I guess the real purpose of this thing will be unknown.
It could very well be one of the suggested uses.
I will examine how hot this thing can be and find some use for it.
Its fun with these old unknown devices whatever they are meant to be used for.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2020 at 01:39


Calling it an electric bunsen burner is a bit of a misnomer, it an electical alternative to a bunsen burner for non contact heating. The heating mantle produces a cone of radiative heat above the mantle so you can hold your testtube etc in the "flame" above the device without touching the mantle. No gas is used.

And thankyou to Oldnubbins - I'd never come across one of these before and got all this infor from his link.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2020 at 11:04


So a bunsen burner alternative, yes maybe it could be.
And the ring on top is a support for a flask or similar that holds that being heated.
Maybe even the crucible could be filled with sand like a small sand bath heater.
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[*] posted on 15-7-2020 at 14:11


Lamp stands can act as a decent lab stands for 5$. More stability with dumbbell plates.

stand.jpg - 97kB
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[*] posted on 15-7-2020 at 17:30


Nifty!!!:)
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[*] posted on 16-7-2020 at 14:05


And you have good light when doing the experiment.
Well, maybe not so fun if a flask with ethanol and stand falls over and bulb shatters igniting the ethanol everywhere.
But it seems like an ok lab stand if the base is heavy enough.
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earpain
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[*] posted on 24-7-2020 at 07:36


Quote: Originally posted by Mateo_swe  
So i have this old heating crucible thing that i found somewhere long ago.
I now replaced the cord as it was falling to pieces.
I wonder what this thing was used for and how hot it can get.
Maybe i can use it, it looks usable maybe for melting some metals with low melting points.
Or turn it into a melting point measurement apparatus.
It seems to be designed to fit on a rod like a lab stand.
Anyone has any ideas what this is used for?
Here are some pics




Do you by chance have a multimeter or an ohm meter? If so, could you measure the resistance across hot + neutral(across the two prongs, I know every country has a different word for them)?

If it's around 30 - 40 Ohms, that would be good evidence to support the 'bunsen burner alternative' theory.

Also, if it has absolutely no markings, it kind of HAS to be the handmade work of an artisan, hm?

If Antique shops still exist, every city usually has one with a shop owner who is obsessed with stuff like this;)

Oh right you replaced the chord. Do you still have the old one? I have lots of old lab gear and the power chords usually are wrapped in this fiberglass mush. Like a prehistoric version of todays glass sheaths you see insulating wiring for lamps, soldering irons, and of course lab gear. Also the gauge of the wire would likely be thick, the length of the chord might be short, and at some point the original chord will not be made out of copper, and will probably react to a magnet, but only a little(Nickel alloys)


[Edited on 24-7-2020 by earpain]
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earpain
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[*] posted on 24-7-2020 at 08:08


Let's talk lab stands, yeah!
I suppose there are about 5 degrees of repurposing happening here. Just about none of the items are being used for their specific purpose. Y'all wanna guess or should I name them?

:P:P

The second picture of the flask, was one of those, apple falling on the head 'AHA! - I've been torturing myself endlessly, now the problem is solved perfectly. I was too stupid to think of something so simple.

So I have a bunch of stir bars but all of them are the bar shape, made for flat surfaces. Not ONE, has ever, stirred, at least for more then 2 seconds, in ANY of my round flasks. I have owned one tiny pear shaped one for 25ml - 50ml flasks, that's why I even knew it was possible.
I kept telling myself: "Order some special stir bars, don't forget!"
and I kept forgetting.




So I held the example pear shaped tiny one in one hand, and tightly wrapped PTFE tape, over and over, around a big stir bar, until the shape matched. Dropped it in. Observed my first whirlpool in an RBF. Beautiful. Vacuum distillation - like night and say.



20200724_115133.jpg - 328kB

20200724_114912.jpg - 278kB
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[*] posted on 24-7-2020 at 09:14


Music stand..........



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earpain
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[*] posted on 24-7-2020 at 15:26


Quote: Originally posted by arkoma  
Music stand..........


Lol, I guess i'll save 'guessing games' for when the bars open up again.

It is a guitar stand, just the lower support arm has been removed. A microphone holder is screwed on to the top. I think maybe it was for a microphone at some point. Now I use it as a very simple but at times helpful 'roller' as in the glass blowing tool. When working a large heavy piece, the glassblower rotates one end, while the other end would be resting on two rolling pins that smoothly turn.

The fancy lab clamp of yesteryear holds the propane torch which is a Turbotorch brand. Bernzomatic copies all of their designs and makes wanna-be imitations. As is, I use it to blow or work glass.

Or, i tightly wrap aluminum foil around the breather holes aka venturri holes aka carburetor vent holes, and it becomes a bunsen burner(like when I tried to distill H2SO4)

Rarely, some torches will have a spring loaded push valve for this purpose. Closed it's like a bic lighter flame. Open and it's the most Oxy to Combustible gas that an ambient oxygen torch can possibly pull, thanks to the high pressure of the venturi effect, in this case on gases.

And that's just a column for chromatography being used like a sep funnel, woopty do =|

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[*] posted on 25-7-2020 at 12:45


I tried out dimroth condenser in place of liebig and it has immensely more condensing capacity. It works probably half air cooled and half water cooled and has multiple times the surface area of liebig. The condensate flows steadily and drips in a controlled manner at the tip of the coil. Someone mentioned about condensate pooling on the end, but it is probably a mL or less and can be recovered by tilting at the end. It works flawlessly with vacuum as well.

I'm gonna use dimroth for distilling now on, no questions asked.
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[*] posted on 26-7-2020 at 00:52
My fume hood racks



Two nuts brazed at right angles with threaded rods mounted to back of hood with right angle standoffs.











IMG_20200707_012646896.jpg - 1.6MBIMG_20200707_012636642.jpg - 1.1MB
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[*] posted on 26-7-2020 at 16:14


OldNubbins: very clever idea; a nice-looking setup. (When I saw this, I wondered why I didn't think of it; lots of things are obvious after you see them!):)
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[*] posted on 31-7-2020 at 01:06


Using fuel primer hand pump to vacuum filtering.
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[*] posted on 19-8-2020 at 21:50


I have decided to make a more complete heating mantle from the heating mantle sleeves i have bought.
They can be used as they are but i would like to build an enclosure so they look a bit more like a real heating mantle.
My plan is to use a stainless steel kitchen bowl, put a thick ceramic insulator blanket (25mm thick) in the bowl and then put my heating mantle sleeve inside this.
Vermiculite can be used as extra insulation if needed, i have a lot of it.
I have found a round sheet metal lamp enclosure that looks very much like a heating mantle outer cover and i will try use this one as the outer cover for the heating mantle.
Something like the picture i have drawn.

Then i could place the DIY heating mantle on top of my hotplate stirrer for the stirring function.
At least until i have figured out how to build the stirring function and the electrical driver.
A modified computer fan could be the start of a stirring function together with som high-temp magnet.
The driver could be a diy triac circuit or a cheap dimmer module from ebay.
It would be nice with a temperature regulating function, maybe a PID regulator with a SSR.
I think i will make a external driver/temp regulator unit so i can use it with different sizes of diy heating mantles.
First i must put together the heating mantle assembly then i can start figure out stirring, driver and temp functions.
Have any of you made something similar?



DIY heating mantle assembly.JPG - 269kB
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earpain
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[*] posted on 22-8-2020 at 23:57


Quote: Originally posted by Mateo_swe  
I have decided to make a more complete heating mantle from the heating mantle sleeves i have bought.
They can be used as they are but i would like to build an enclosure so they look a bit more like a real heating mantle.
My plan is to use a stainless steel kitchen bowl, put a thick ceramic insulator blanket (25mm thick) in the bowl and then put my heating mantle sleeve inside this.
Vermiculite can be used as extra insulation if needed, i have a lot of it.
I have found a round sheet metal lamp enclosure that looks very much like a heating mantle outer cover and i will try use this one as the outer cover for the heating mantle.
Something like the picture i have drawn.

Then i could place the DIY heating mantle on top of my hotplate stirrer for the stirring function.
At least until i have figured out how to build the stirring function and the electrical driver.
A modified computer fan could be the start of a stirring function together with som high-temp magnet.
The driver could be a diy triac circuit or a cheap dimmer module from ebay.
It would be nice with a temperature regulating function, maybe a PID regulator with a SSR.
I think i will make a external driver/temp regulator unit so i can use it with different sizes of diy heating mantles.
First i must put together the heating mantle assembly then i can start figure out stirring, driver and temp functions.
Have any of you made something similar?





Nice blueprints!
Remember, the only way to UTFSE for sciencemadness is to use google with special parameter at the end 'site:sciencemadness.org'
without the '

DIY mantles, hotplates and stirrers might be the MOST discussed topic in scimad library that stretches beyond eternity.
Also, lol I have!
I think you're on a good start. The issue of adding stirring whenever you'd like, I actually have a circa 1950's, lab stand clampable, swivel attached,(Edit: The picture in my very next post uses the swivel lab clamp device to hold the digital temperature readout and manage safe wiring suspension in respect to the temp and/or 3-way distillation piece) magnetic stirrer. It (was) driven by an A/C motor with well hidden speed control circuitry, which in turn could be controlled via an in line potentiometer, which was made of incredibly heat-reinforced material. Thomas brand. Anyway, ALL of it's components are currently vital pieces of other monstrosities I have built. I just wanted to re-encourage you that going back as far as the 1950's, even industrially made chem equipment was considerate of having a seperate stirring device to clamp in vicinity to a heating device
I can attest to this as my current set up allows for certain flasks/stirbars to stir very well clamped 6 ot more inches above the surface of the hotplate.stirrer.

So the PID thing: There are some certain users on here that I expect(hope) will chime in here. I agree with the final meta-conclusion made by the explorer Sulaiman:
At the end of the day, precise temperature control inside the vessel is rarely needed. Since:
During any distillation/reflux/evaporation etc. it's the BP of the solvent that determines the temperature, not your PID controller.

Sometimes, like for -serious- fractional distillation, packed column, etc. maintaining a specific temp is really nice.
Then of course there are certain reactions that proceed bellow the boiling point of the solvent. (Most of them, I wouldnt take my eyes off of regardless)
I did read up on the ingenious , outside-the-box theory and history of the PID approach. I love that I stands for Integral and D stands for Derivative, and my favorite part is the analogy of the helmsman.

All that being said, seems like most people here end up just preferring to control the voltage/current/pulse of the heating element instead. Which takes no heed of recorded past data , calculates their integrals, nor does it calculate instantaneous rate of change lol. But some people like the devices that do this via a thermocouple in the hotplate.

Love me or hate me, but I have a few hotplates that i just have an an/off switch for, if that. And I just go by feel. Like a helms man.

i even bought the proper arduino board, gutted an air conditiioners for a daughter board with several solid state relays, pieced together an old Raspberry PI model and started copying python code, but that's on the back burner.
And now for my next post:

[Edited on 23-8-2020 by earpain]
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[*] posted on 23-8-2020 at 00:20
A Monstrosity of Distillation


OK so the situation is as follows:
Often enough, I have some reaction or extraction where there's but a small amount of an organic, non-polar, water immiscible substrate or target compound.
Often there's also an aq layer during a reaction, or an extraction, or a purification etc.
Now that DCM is gone, I've been plagued by the tediousness AND the mechanical yield loss off having aq. layers 10 or more times the volume of my compound. And all the organic non-polar solvents still sold to the public either boil at WAY TOO HOT degrees celsius, or just suck in general because they hide water or they dont really dissolve stuff(naphtha).
OR I have to make them from scratch! diethyl ether, chloroform, this isn't over!

And then, the Monstrosity
So here's how it works:
take your standard stillation set up. Replace the first 3-way adapter with an ultra micro-scale Short Path distillation head, that happens to have a Vacuum Insulated Vigreux column. (there are two sets of condensation needle (theoretical) plates.

There was once a 10/X taper nice thermometer that fit right where it should in the SPD device, but that broke.
Eventually I built my own thermocouple device, and courtesy of my glass blower friend who stops by occasionally to be wowed by my chemistry, and then (hiding from his wife. etc.) does some projects for several hours with a torch in the corner. So, he brought me the perfect boro tubing to make thermocouple sheaths that end up having identical dimensions to a standard lab thermometer..
The digital display and tyke K processor was $8 courtesy of Ebay.
IT IS SO ACCURATE
Now the black 'bungs' are not rubber stoppers! no no. Go to an autoparts store, they sell 'vacuum plugs'. THey are like caps that you have to stretch on to the end of a tube, and designed for systems in vacuum in a car. Cars get waaay hot. So whatever the material is, I SWEAR H2SO4 had no effect on it. You might find a special set tjat fits many sizes. That's how I interface the thermometer into the SPD head.
You'll notice two nipples are left bare. They are intended for water coolant. I deemed this not needed in this set up. The next nipple is the SPD head's vacuum. Since the setup has two such nipples, I decided to seal that one off. THEN, there is, i'm sorry, a rubber stopper. I WILL SOON PURCHASE A 14/X to 20/40 adapter for that section.
So what's happening in the picture is I am boiling off solvent at ATMOSPHERIC pressure. Taking note of the temp. Once that is finished, i simply slide a 500ml RBF on that bottom receiver elbow piece, connect my vacuum source to the special straight vacuum adapter which is slowly rendering vacuum angled take-off's obsolete.
Then i proceed with a Vacuum Fractional Distillation
In such a way where it is most ideal to use <100ML flasks as the stillpot, but crucial to use serious BIG BOY glassware to condense and collect.


SPD_Modify.jpg - 496kB
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