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Author: Subject: Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear
Loptr
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[*] posted on 26-3-2015 at 16:42


Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Interesting. Modern textbooks describe it as death incarnate. Vogel appears to have used it a lot. I'm pretty sure he lasted a long time.


I am also sure he wasn't ripping it from the ceilings and getting it all over him. :)
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[*] posted on 26-3-2015 at 23:51


exactly, there is a big difference between being the end user of an asbestos product and being involved in the manufacture or abatement of said product. breathing small particles of asbestos is not really a worry when using a pair of gloves for instance. they are wonderful for hot sugar work
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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 01:44


My shed/lab has an asbestos roof/ceiling and it does not worry me at all
Provided that I do not drill or saw it I consider it safe
Orders of magnitude safe compared to what happens beneath the roof !

I think that it is safe to say, if you don't inhale the dust, then asbestos is relatively safe to use

[Edited on 27-3-2015 by Sulaiman]
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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 08:13


My point is that it isn't a risk to be taken lightly, and something to be cognizant of, since it is a real risk. Not just one of the potential risks you hear about nowadays, but one that has actually wrecked MANY peoples lives.

There is a difference.

I am not saying remove all asbestos, but don't mess with it, and if you do have to mess with it, you might as well go ahead and remove it.

:)
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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 08:40


Quote: Originally posted by Loptr  
Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Interesting. Modern textbooks describe it as death incarnate. Vogel appears to have used it a lot. I'm pretty sure he lasted a long time.


I am also sure he wasn't ripping it from the ceilings and getting it all over him. :)

I cracked up thinking of old man Vogel replacing the asbestos in his ceiling in his lab :)
But I get your point. It isn't too bad.




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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 08:54


I had linoleum containing asbestos in my front entry way and in my kitchen that I had to remove so that I could put down new floor coverings. I found this out by submitting samples to a professional lab where I believe they identify it by microscopy and crystal shape. Although I received a lot of advice saying "oh, you can remove it yourself, just keep it sprayed down" after making a couple cuts with my skil saw I hired professionals to do it. It wasn't that expensive. I sleep good knowing I didn't take an unnecessary risk with my family's health and mine.

But I would have no problem with using an asbestos covered wire screen or an insulation board in the lab. I would be more careful using an asbestos fiber mat in a Gooch crucible, however. I remember doing that in my analytical chemistry class in 1964.




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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 09:42


Sheesh, that's the year after my father was born...
Does cutting of asbestos cause problematic splintering?




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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 09:48


Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Sheesh, that's the year after my father was born...
Does cutting of asbestos cause problematic splintering?


It's a pleasure we have such a wealth of collective knowledge, wisdom, and experience available on this forum!

:)

[Edited on 27-3-2015 by Loptr]
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[*] posted on 27-3-2015 at 11:51


Quote: Originally posted by Loptr  
Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Sheesh, that's the year after my father was born...
Does cutting of asbestos cause problematic splintering?


It's a pleasure we have such a wealth of collective knowledge, wisdom, and experience available on this forum!

:)

[Edited on 27-3-2015 by Loptr]

LOL, I just said that because I wanted to portray my old man better, but had no good reason to post here :)




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[*] posted on 28-3-2015 at 02:25


My cite is my sister who is a doctor.

The problem with asbestos is that the fibres are a lung irritant that is effective at inducing cancer. Unlike a toxin there is no safe dose. It only takes one fibre, orientated in a particular way to cause the damage. The effects of course are long term and any damage caused may not be evident for decades. So, really, handling of asbestos is a probability game. The risk is inhalation. There are steps that you can take to minimise the risk. The probability of any particular exposure causing harm is relatively low.

My advice is to leave asbestos where it is if you can. Avoid chipping or breaking and, especially dust, if you do have to handle it. Dampen down surfaces and wear a mask. And don't make it a habit.
Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
But I would have no problem with using an asbestos covered wire screen or an insulation board in the lab. I would be more careful using an asbestos fiber mat in a Gooch crucible, however. I remember doing that in my analytical chemistry class in 1964.

Actually, I would be more concerned about a flexible wire gauze covered in asbestos and that I was handling regularly than any asbestos floor tile or wall sheeting. Still, I would consider that less risk than drilling or cutting the stuff (which I have done) and far less risk than regular occupational exposure such as in demolition or in an asbestos mine.
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[*] posted on 28-3-2015 at 08:19


Quote: Originally posted by gdflp  

Most wire gauzes still use asbestos, as I believe that it has rather superior properties and is cheap.


I would be surprised if any wire gauze covering made in the last 20 years has any asbestos content.

As a related anecdote, the city of Duluth, MN draws (or did draw) its drinking water from Lake Superior, the same lake into which a taconite processor discharged its waste water. Duluth tried for years to sue said company for contaminating the lake as the wastes contained asbestos-like fibers. This was in the '70s. I don't know who won as I moved out of state before the end of the litigation.

Here's a pretty good synopsis:
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/09/29_he...




[Edited on 29-3-2015 by Magpie]




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[*] posted on 2-4-2015 at 11:25


As a demonstration, a captain once drank a glass of water from a nuclear reactor on his ship. ...And I've completely derailed this thread...



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[*] posted on 11-4-2015 at 21:05


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
Quote: Originally posted by gdflp  

Most wire gauzes still use asbestos, as I believe that it has rather superior properties and is cheap.


I would be surprised if any wire gauze covering made in the last 20 years has any asbestos content.

As a related anecdote, the city of Duluth, MN draws (or did draw) its drinking water from Lake Superior, the same lake into which a taconite processor discharged its waste water. Duluth tried for years to sue said company for contaminating the lake as the wastes contained asbestos-like fibers. This was in the '70s. I don't know who won as I moved out of state before the end of the litigation.

Here's a pretty good synopsis:
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/09/29_he...




[Edited on 29-3-2015 by Magpie]


Jeez, this seems pretty silly. Asbestos is insoluble in water, so it's easily filtered out with a decent particulate filter. I'd be much more worried about other things dissolved in the water, including the chloramines they use to treat it, than I would about asbestos dumped in the lake.

Of course, maybe someone could sue the company on behalf of all the fish who got asbestosis of their gills ;)
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[*] posted on 11-4-2015 at 21:10


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
Quote: Originally posted by gdflp  

Most wire gauzes still use asbestos, as I believe that it has rather superior properties and is cheap.

I would be surprised if any wire gauze covering made in the last 20 years has any asbestos content.

Now that I looked into further, you're absolutely right. The funny thing is that the particular wire gauze that I bought was marketed as an "asbestos wire gauze", but when it arrived, the label specifically notes "Contains no asbestos". Not sure what happened there.
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[*] posted on 11-4-2015 at 21:10


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
Quote: Originally posted by gdflp  

Most wire gauzes still use asbestos, as I believe that it has rather superior properties and is cheap.


I would be surprised if any wire gauze covering made in the last 20 years has any asbestos content.

As a related anecdote, the city of Duluth, MN draws (or did draw) its drinking water from Lake Superior, the same lake into which a taconite processor discharged its waste water. Duluth tried for years to sue said company for contaminating the lake as the wastes contained asbestos-like fibers. This was in the '70s. I don't know who won as I moved out of state before the end of the litigation.

Here's a pretty good synopsis:
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/09/29_he...




[Edited on 29-3-2015 by Magpie]


Jeez, this seems pretty silly. Asbestos is insoluble in water, so it's easily filtered out with a decent particulate filter. I'd be much more worried about other things dissolved in the water, including the chloramines they use to treat it, than I would about asbestos dumped in the lake.

Of course, maybe someone could sue the company on behalf of all the fish who got asbestosis of their gills ;)
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[*] posted on 12-4-2015 at 10:05


Back to re-purposing...

I have a novel idea for a stir plate. The plan is to router out a section under my bench top, and build in a stirrer. This way I don't lose any space due to a separate stirrer, and a silicone mat will work to hold glassware in place.

The re-purposing aspect comes in, in the motor, and controller... A GoodWill store record player.
I cruise the junk shops for the odd treasure, and occasional idea.
Yesterday I found a 3 speed, direct drive, turn table (KLH) for 5 bucks. The moment I plugged it in to test it I saw a stir plate motor, and controller in my minds eye.

Today I took it all apart, and built a housing to mount under the bench. I simply cut the platter into a 3" diameter, and spring mounted the motor, and platter into a housing from a computer power supply.

Six hardware store springs for under four bucks, a five dollar record player, three feet of wire from an old vacuum cleaner (to relocate the controller), and a free case from a power supply yielded a 9 dollar / below the bench surface stir plate.

I don't have the bench top yet but will be getting that this week. Eventually I'll buy a cheap phone so I can post Picts.

[Edited on 4-12-2015 by Zombie]




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[*] posted on 14-4-2015 at 11:50


Sounds like a good plan! Be sure to post pictures!



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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 02:27


so I finished a few projects lately and figured I'd share some of the gained experience.

I set out to finish making DIY buchner funnel cheaply. in the process I made some additional tools to accomplish this.

- first off, since I was using PVC and other plastics for quick projects it was necessary to be able to cut it easily with good control. so my soldering iron's tip was loosened and I found a suitable size of copper ground wire to take it's place. this iron had 2 set screws and a hollow center, so the snug fitting Cu wire slid right in waiting to be secured. the length was such that it filled the entire cavity and extended the normal distance out. this wire was put in between two strips of wood( with a small 1/2 channel cut in each) then in a vise to secure it. I hack sawed in ~3/4" on one end. a piece of copper flashing was cut in a scalpel shape and set in, then wired in place with some smaller copper wire. viola a heated plastic cutter :D ( pic 1)

(1) pic1.jpg - 66kB (2) pic2.jpg - 140kB

in pic two you can see the heart of the project. the white cap in the upper left hand is a 4" drain pipe cover with built in handle from ace. I LOVE these things, cheap, light, useful. the brown plastic strip I cut from is a venting material used in eaves of a house to vent the attic. free to me from a job site. obviously the two semicircles were cut from it after tracing over the cap. I didnt get a profile of the vent material, but edges used to fasten it normally are sittin above the vent surface by about 3/8" inch, creating a nice little stand off working in my favor. the pieces were trimmed carefully within 1/16" of the edge or less and caulked in place (pic 3) you can see the stand off here. the solid edge was opened for airflow below the filter surface. (pic 4) shows both sides in, caulked and smoothed out. I later used a pin to open and clean some of the holes prior to drying.

(3) pic3.jpg - 118kB (4) pic4.jpg - 125kB

originally I wanted to use one of my larger stoppers already on hand, but no, it was too small, only had one hole and was too nice to cut up or tape the crap out of for a snug fit... I was gettn mad cause so close but so far away and I didn't want to order one. but as luck would have it, the first caulking tube I grabbed was silicone and went off in the tube on my shelf. so one big cylinder of set silicone to play with(pic 5), I began marking and cutting (pic 6)

(5) pic5.jpg - 88kB (6) pic10.jpg - 85kB

this was trimmed 2x to fit the right cone shape, as the first cut was insuficient and doing it all at once would have made it easy for errors. I will say it wasn't easy to make sure the razor blade was lined up with both marks and perpendicular to center axis( pic 7). a nice snug fit was achieved :) now the ever fun task of finding a way to drill an even hole into a very reluctant material... I had the idea of using some copper tube, with a rough or sharpened edge. I tried this with some small diameter first as a pilot hole if nothing else. it worked nice ( pic 8). you can see a little "worm" of silicone coming out of the tube after it was through

(7) pic7.jpg - 63kB (8) pic6.jpg - 68kB

so I made some more "drills" from larger copper tube, cut, straightened, put in the drill press and reamed with a standard drill bit( pic 9). then it was polished and re-chucked in the drill press, lubricated with a bit of oil, and away we go making holes( pic 10). the next part was a bit harder, I took a length of copper tube, and cut a "V" out of the side such that it almost went all the way through the tubing, but when bent together, it made a nice 90' angle. soldered it, took a couple tries to get all sealed, and I had to use some flux( home made zinc chloride from penny's) as the solder wasn't sticking. few pics of that part, as the frustration got to me.

(9) pic9.jpg - 113kB (10) pic8.jpg - 114kB

cant add any more pics here so I will continue in a second post, sorry for doubble posting but it had to be done.
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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 02:41


here is the soldered tube and the finished product. also included is the HV rectifier I made from PVC and 4 microwave oven diodes( attached to the big capacitor on a working machine)

april and prior 068.jpg - 99kB april and prior 070.jpg - 106kB
april and prior 073.jpg - 58kB april and prior 026.jpg - 59kB april and prior 028.jpg - 52kB

fun couple of days
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and ya, I totally could have bought these things, but way more to gain from doing it the hard way
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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 02:47


Quote: Originally posted by violet sin  
here is the soldered tube and the finished product. also included is the HV rectifier I made from PVC and 4 microwave oven diodes( attached to the big capacitor on a working machine)




fun couple of days
-Violet Sin-

and ya, I totally could have bought these things, but way more to gain from doing it the hard way


Careful using a normal flask for vacuum filtration, there is a chance it could implode from the vacuum. Still, don't let that discourage you from using it because I too believe making one is far more rewarding than buying one. Might want to wrap 2 lines of duct tape around the flask for the 1 in 1000 chance it does implode.

[Edited on 15-4-2015 by Deathunter88]
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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 02:54


its a weak rotary vacuum pump, that was tested the glass in a plastic over container while wearing a full face shield and leather apron. I can put the vac tube to my skin and it doesn't even make a purple mark... but it was free.

I have already tested it on an aluminum hydroxide suspension which was a horrible choice, but it was what I was doing at the time it was finished. it worked very nicely, just not on that :P I was working on a precursor to refractory experiments to come.

though I tested it safely, you are correct, I didn't include a warning for those that did not do the research I had.. should think of that next time

[Edited on 15-4-2015 by violet sin]
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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 03:47


The rectifier bridge is cool, ny particular reason you made it?



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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 07:44


Very cool stuff Violet sin. I love the hollow "drill bit" idea.



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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 10:45


@The Volatile Chemist: yes, I made it so I could use a voltage tripler scavenged from an old tv, with my oil burner transformer. The OBT is centertapped secondary providing AC, the trippler was working @ 1/2 effency at best. Seemed like less. The neg side feeding *into the tripled is also the neg side return of the higher voltage it produces. BIG angry constant arc now instead of a repeating arc from AC as it was. All used for learning and notes on NO2 production. The OBT was More than capable of making an orange cloud in a mason jar in a few sec with platinum electrodes. Tantalum, though high temp resistant, wasn't doing near the same work. Magnets were used to make a disc arc finally. Way down the road I wanted to have it all run on a small solar pannel in my back yard for free. Just have to build the frame and start soldering there. Maybe the +100'F summers will be providing HNO3 if I get some more time to work it. Controller, tabbing, 12v batts etc. On hand, time not so much.

@Zombie: thanks, it was a rewarding project.
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[*] posted on 16-4-2015 at 07:55
blanket!


I went ahead and made the first blanket using the instructions of Magpie and ordenblitz. However, I did put silicone on both sides of the blanket. The silicone was a mess to work with. I think you need to be able to clamp the fiberglass blanket down somehow, because it slides, and then you try and correct it and end up with it on your glove. It then starts to make its way around the rest of the blanket.

My next blanket will use fiberglass tape and maybe some silicone under the tape to help bind the fibers together better. I tend to be a perfectionist, to the extreme. It's something I am working on--just being able to do something with the understanding it won't be perfect. I talk it to death for a year before actually attempting it. This is actually a big step for me, as those smudges are bugging the living day lights out of me.

:)

(Notice the anhydrous nitric acid ring under the blanket? That was worrisome, but I neutralized it and sanded down the charred area. I made several tables, and have put a hardener and epoxy coating on them now.)

image1 - Copy.JPG - 1.9MB image2 - Copy.JPG - 1.8MB

[Edited on 16-4-2015 by Loptr]
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