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Author: Subject: Son getting in to chemistry.. glassware or apparatus suggestions?
binaryclock
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 16:23
Son getting in to chemistry.. glassware or apparatus suggestions?


Hello my son has taken a keen interest in chemistry lately and we've done some pretty neat stuff so far with limited equipment and chemicals. We've grown crystals, HCl reactions, synthesized chemicals from compounds, distilled many things, evaporation and purification, etc. He seems to be taking a keen interest more and more everyday in it.

So far we have dollar store stuff but am looking at getting some quality glassware and apparatus as his interest seems to be growing instead of fading.

Do you have any suggestions of what to get and where to start? Are any of those deluxe chemistry sets like this http://www.hometrainingtools.com/deluxe-chemistry-glassware-... any good? Or should we be looking at picking up Pyrex glassware one by one as we need it?

Also, what would you suggest we purchase first? My budget is a couple hundred dollars to start a simple lab.

PS - In the Radio Control hobby world China sells LiPo batteries for 1/10th the price of USA companies. And here's the kicker, they are better than the USA purchased ones believe it or not. Does China sell any good glassware in the chemistry world, or is it all junk?





[Edited on 10-4-2013 by binaryclock]
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Pyro
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 16:30


I try to stay away from that type of kits, they are usually overpriced. the best thing is to look for a supplier who sells stuff separately as you will definitely break something and have to replace it. Ebay is good, so is amazon.

Go for beakers, flasks, A hotplate is good to have, and a distillation set is also very useful. try to go for one with ground glass joints, it is more expensive than one without ground glass, but you have a lot more choice of what to distill.

some Chinese glassware is good, laboyglass is excellent. but just be careful with stuff bought in China.

Also stick around here, often people will put up some of their stuff for sale for excellent prices to buy some beer or clear out an old lab (lambda eye!) Dr Bob had a large amount of glassware i'm not sure if he still has it. he sold me a 200$ addition funnel for 40$

and finally: UTFSE (use the forum search engine), there have been quite a few topics on this

[Edited on 10-4-2013 by Pyro]




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binaryclock
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 16:38


Thank you so much for your prompt reply. That all sounds good. So basically find a local supplier and purchase pyrex quality type stuff as I need it? I noticed you mentioned ebay, but what about used stuff on ebay as long as it's pyrex quality type stuff?

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plante1999
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 16:40


I would not buy chemistry set else than the two HMS-beagle master set.

The glassware one
The chemical ones
Or Both in wath is called the master set




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Pyro
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 16:43


used should be fine, just check it for cracks when it arrives.
here is a picture of my addition funnel that I bought used, it has scratches on it but you can hardly see them.

you don't need to buy it locally, shipping usually isn't so bad.
think about the experiments you wish to perform in the future and draw up a list of what you would need for them. Also, buy LOTS of beakers, you go through them so fast.

add funnel.jpg - 171kB

[Edited on 10-4-2013 by Pyro]




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anotheronebitesthedust
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 18:12


Laboy has those funnels for $70 or so.

http://www.laboyglass.com/funnel/pressure-equalizing-funnel/...

I'd recommend Laboy over any domestic suppliers because prices are almost always more than 50% less.
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Pyro
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 18:20


that one was chemglass though. I bought a 50cm allihn condenser from them and it's very good. including 29/32-29/42 and 29/42-29/32 adapters made to order

[Edited on 10-4-2013 by Pyro]




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Oscilllator
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 19:06


I would recommend making an initial big purchase from laboy, since they have good quality cheap glassware but are located in china so the postage is usually a decent fraction of the total cost.
I would also recommend getting a basic distillation setup and a whole bunch of beakers and test tubes. addition funnels are useful as well, but it depends on what type of chemistry you do. Oh, and grab 2 mercury thermometers, the ones that go up to 330C.
I live in Australia, and haines educational and sciencesupply.com.au areboth good australia-based companies to buy from. haines in particular is very cheap.

Also, well done on letting your son mess around with chemicals! to many people these days are infected with chemophobia.




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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 19:50


I agree with others the price is too high buying this way. Use the list for a guide and search ebay for deals, assembling a few pieces at a time until you have a good start (as in the set in your link). As mentioned check for cracks. I also think Woelens idea (from another thread) of a salt water boil to test each piece ahead of time is an excellent idea. You never know you just might avoid a future disaster that way. He was talking about doing a distillation in say a retort for a safety test, no reason you cannot do a similar boiling test with everything including the test tubes. I would only buy Pyrex whenever possible.

By the way read the glass very carefully making sure it says 'Pyrex' not 'Pyrox'. Just a thought.





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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 19:52


First of all, what an awesome dad you are for doing this. :)

Look for a laboratory flameworker in your area. It's almost always a convenient way of getting cheap quality glassware, and you don't have to rely on the availability of products. If you need something, you ask the guy and he makes it.
Companies that sell glassware will charge more because they have to make money, too. This way you get glassware from its source. In some places it seems to be a more expensive choice, so be sure to check it out.
I wouldn't trust extremely cheap Chinese glassware. Those things aren't very reliable.
Take a look at basic organic chemistry laboratory glassware set. Choose your main ground glass joint size carefully. Tiny joints are best for analysis, large ones for synthetic preparations. 19mm is a good starting point.
Buy a cheap water circulation pump to avoid wasting water.

Don't forget a digital scale and pipettes. Laboratory work isn't just pouring stuff and looking at colours. Measurements are a must, and most amateur chemists have been ignoring it simply because measuring devices were too expensive. Nowdays, those things are widely available. When I was starting as a kid, I couldn't possibly afford them and it was a bottleneck factor, limiting the amount of experiments I could perform.




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binaryclock
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 21:49


Wow these are all great replies and suggestions! I have read over everyone's comments more than I want to admit, trying to take everything in.

I found a local company that seems to have a good selection of Pyrex glassware and equipment: https://prolabscientific.com/

However their distillation equipment is rather pricey. So I'm thinking of purchasing a distillation setup from laboy. What do you think of this one? http://www.laboyglass.com/lab-kit/chemistry-distilling-set-2... The first things we want to try out is making a pure nitric acid solution from potassium nitrate and sulfuric acid in the distillation equipment; as nitric acid is almost impossible to find in our area! My son wants to be able to melt down copper and from what I've read, nitric is our only hope :)

Thanks again.. this is so helpful and we're really excited!







[Edited on 10-4-2013 by binaryclock]

[Edited on 10-4-2013 by binaryclock]
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Pyro
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 22:29


Aah, you are the crazy type like me :)
you need an ALL GLASS set up for making nitric acid.
If you are serious you should go for this: http://www.laboyglass.com/lab-kit/advanced-chemistry-lab-gla...
because that has addition funnels, claisen adapters and more efficient condensers in case you want to distill something very volatile such as ether.

and be sure to post pictures of you lab!




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confused
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[*] posted on 9-4-2013 at 23:54


just a thought, make sure you have a few glass bottles for storing any acids that you synthesize preferably with a PTFE cap/liner
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[*] posted on 10-4-2013 at 00:37


10 test-tubes, 10 rubber bungs, 1 roll of PTFE tape, 10 pipettes, 1 metre of tygon tubing.

[Edited on 10-4-2013 by sonogashira]
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[*] posted on 10-4-2013 at 02:03


I'll throw my two cents in, I suppose.

For distilling nitric acid, the 200 mm Liebig is probably too short, unless you can pump ice cold water through it at a fairly good pace. I use a 300 mm Liebig and just about everything condenses. A good Canadian glassware place is Alchemy Lab Supply. They've got some good stuff, and it's fairly inexpensive, to boot. All of the glassware I bought from there holds up fine in a distillation; the one thing I broke was my fault entirely.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2013 at 04:42


Hi I live in quebec and I see you too are some where in Canada.
I have bought a few things from prolab scientific in Montreal and the price of delivery is way too high.
I buy most of my stuff on Ebay and I will be ordering in the next two weeks the set from Laboy on ebay. I have a friend from china who says the brand that Laboy sells is good quality.
One thing I would like to sugest is to buy a good quality electronic balance so that you can scale down your experiments and use less chemicals because they are expensive also easier to dispose of the waste not to mention safer.
I don't know how close to the American border you are but I am close and have a place down there where I pick up my stuff. the delivery is way cheaper and I only pay the sales tax there is no duties so you save even more because you pay less tax. Another realy good place to buy glassware from is in kitchner ontario.
http://www.indigo.com/

Also Elemental Scientific in the US has glassware and lots of chemicals sold in quantities from 4 OZ to pounds. and there is no big penalty on buying the smaller quantities a little more per gram but not a lot.
they will deliver into Canada but you need to email or phone them and make arrangements. They are very nice people and good to deal with.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2013 at 08:37


Another vote here for the Distillation kit from Laboyglass, I just received my kit, along with a few other odds and ends purchased and its very high quality glassware. The price was very reasonable as well. Just make sure you order from their online store, and not their ebay store since they sell their glassware on ebay for higher prices.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2013 at 08:45


My most recent purchase from Laboy revealed something interesting- maybe some of you already knew. I bought a condenser and behind the laboy logo i noticed what appeared to be a scuff, almost like a sticker was there. When held up to the light I can see a very faint Synthware logo, which is very good glass. It appears that laboy rebrands Synthware!

http://synthware.en.gongchang.com/
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[*] posted on 10-4-2013 at 18:20


I third or ... whatever. Laboy is great, I ordered and told them I would spread the word if their customer service was as good as I heard. I got my package in 4 days from order and all of the glass is very high quality. It could definitely hold its own against the major American and German brands.

(I live in a port city so that helped delivery time.)




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[*] posted on 10-4-2013 at 18:45


If you don't want to order from China, someone's selling a brand domestically (Synthware) on ebay that's pretty much the same quality as Laboy for exactly the same prices. (http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Organic-Chemistry-Lab-Glassware-...). In fact, the kits are so similar, it wouldn't surprise me if Laboy and Synthware were coming out of the same factory.
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[*] posted on 11-4-2013 at 02:13


I like to find an ebay seller who is selling a variety of American/European glass, and bidding on a bunch of it. Usually you can ask them to hold things you've won while bidding on more. Shipping is expensive piecemeal, but reasonably cheap for bigger lots. Sellers tend to be nice about combining shipping.

This is especially true for fancier glass, like 24/40 jointed. Decide on a joint size, and build up a collection.
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[*] posted on 11-4-2013 at 18:39


Quote: Originally posted by hafnium  
If you don't want to order from China, someone's selling a brand domestically (Synthware) on ebay that's pretty much the same quality as Laboy for exactly the same prices. (http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Organic-Chemistry-Lab-Glassware-...). In fact, the kits are so similar, it wouldn't surprise me if Laboy and Synthware were coming out of the same factory.


Laboy is Synthware! I realized a lot of my Laboy glass has an extremely faint shadow of a synthware logo beneath it. I never noticed until close inspection recently.
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[*] posted on 12-4-2013 at 00:42


Just wanted to complement you on being a great dad!

My parents were always a bit apprehensive about chemistry experiments. Worried I'd get injured/poisoned. I wanted real glassware so badly at that age but could never afford it or find out where to get it. Only when I finally went on to go to university and study chemistry properly, I got access to all the instruments and chemicals I dreamed of. Heaven.

Good luck and enjoy your adventures in chemistry together!




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[*] posted on 12-4-2013 at 07:07


Hmm you're a cool dad! My father encourages me.... To cook him drugs (I don't, calm down).

Anyways, the laboy 80$ distillation kit looks good. I am considering buying extra glass (non-kit'ed') from a seller on eBay named 'deschem'. Maybe 600mm of condenser? :P
I suggest you check him/her/them out too.




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[*] posted on 12-4-2013 at 08:04


Hey thanks for all the great comments guys. I try to get in to what interests my son has. Anything these days to keep them from playing 24/7 video games is a win in my books.

Being a parent I do understand where your parents came from when you were growing up. But I think in general people these days are so apprehensive about kids doing anything that isn't sitting on a computer or playing sports. You can't even let your kid make a tree fort in a forest now because people will call the city on them and the city will remove it because it may be 'unsafe and someone could get hurt.'

I say let the kids experiment and be kids.. it's no wonder kids are addicted to computers and consoles.


Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston  
Just wanted to complement you on being a great dad!

My parents were always a bit apprehensive about chemistry experiments. Worried I'd get injured/poisoned. I wanted real glassware so badly at that age but could never afford it or find out where to get it. Only when I finally went on to go to university and study chemistry properly, I got access to all the instruments and chemicals I dreamed of. Heaven.

Good luck and enjoy your adventures in chemistry together!
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