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Author: Subject: Custom milled heating blocks
numos
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Custom milled heating blocks

Something that's always annoyed me about the aluminum heating blocks by IKA and various other suppliers is that each block has only one size of holes, requiring multiple $70-300 blocks if you ever want to heat a different vial. For a home chemist, running only one-two reactions at a time, having a 16 well plate is very silly. As they seem pretty simple I made one out of scrap aluminum (~$3).

This one took about 3 hours to make from start to finish and I'm really happy about how it came out. It holds on to 15mm test tubes, 4ml, and 6ml vials very snuggly and also has two holes for the standard IKA temperature probe. I've also left some space for the 8ml vial holes I want to add at some point later. I've found that 12 thousandths tolerance greater than the vial diameter can safely fit all irregularities in the vials while still providing a tight fit.

Although the naked aluminum is incredibly sexy looking, I will probably paint/anodize it to protect from corrosion. Next challenge is to make ones custom fit for RBFs. I think that will be significantly more challenging from a machining standpoint...

[Edited on 3-17-2020 by numos]
Dr.Bob
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I have a few random blocks like this for or from various heating blocks, hotplates, and other places. Most are aluminum, I also have a few in plastic, which are likely for centrifuges, but can be used as racks. The challenge I have is that many are one offs or odd sizes, like for 12 or 16 ml vials or such. But if anyone wants one for a certain use, they would be a lot cheaper than IKA or such, but I don't have a list of them so far.
Twospoons
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