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zoas23
03-02-2012, 08:19 PM
O.K.... a stupid and yet very important question:

Whilst my first experiences with Hermeticism go back to 1997, I am humbly taking my first steps into practical alchemy (and enjoying this forum a lot). Due to a lot of reasons I postponed the "practical" side a lot... and right now this forum is being VERY useful to me.

The first place that I thought for my Lab was the kitchen, because the sink is there and my kitchen is huge (the previous owner of the house decided to reform the house and the biggest room became the kitchen).

But then I read a post in this forum that gave me a great idea (can't find that post now, sorry): someone said he was using an aquarium water pump... and that such thing allowed him to stay away from the sink. I fell in love with the idea and decided to say "good bye" to the kitchen and move the lab to my bibliotheque.
I have an unusual amount of books (the shelves of the bibliotheque are 4 meters tall, 6 meters wide... can't even count the books! But they are my most precious treasure).
The bibliotheque also has a resident: a lovely Axolotl.

I thought about moving the lab to that room and my GF, who has more experience than me in the practical side of alchemy, freaked out and said:
-Do you think it is a good idea to have a lab in the same place where you have all these books? It's paper! An accident may set the whole thing on fire! Are you 100% sure that it is also safe for the Axolotl?

The lab would be in a table that is 1.5 meters away from the shelves.

I am mostly asking for advice about safety:
The kitchen is obviously the safest place, though I don't like that place for a lab.

Do you think the bibliotheque is a good idea or not? (please, remember the Axolotl too).

zoas23
03-02-2012, 08:20 PM
P.s, the source of heat I use is electric.

Susu
03-02-2012, 09:17 PM
I don't know if it was me but I told someone on here, in a thread about the soxhlet condensor, that I used an aquarium water pump as a water source. Just seems to make more sense in water conservation plus it makes lab work sightly more portable. Also, by adding ice to the water source will help a bit in the condensing. Can't do that with a water faucet. =)

As for the safety, it wouldn't be a super hazard but I'd be more aware of where you are storing your chemicals. Books and papers can burn quick but accidently catching some flamible fluids can be a nightmare. Also, is this room on a second store and if it is how sound is the foundation? I'm always wary about the place shaking in case the random chance someone with super subwoofers drives by or, randomly, a sonicboom (I live in Orlando and it is close enough to where the space shuttles reenter). These all may be due to a lot of lab work in school on lab safety or it may be because I am paranoid.

My lab is my kitchen currently but it can be a pain setting up and taking down everything. Worse case you can always rearrange your room. =)

zoas23
03-02-2012, 09:45 PM
I don't know if it was me but I told someone on here, in a thread about the soxhlet condensor, that I used an aquarium water pump as a water source. Just seems to make more sense in water conservation plus it makes lab work sightly more portable. Also, by adding ice to the water source will help a bit in the condensing. Can't do that with a water faucet. =)

Then it is you the one who gave me the idea! :)

The storing place is the kitchen because it has a HUGE closet with lots of shelves. The kitchen is big in a bizarre way (It's obvious that the previous owner loved cooking).
I live in a historical building, with "historical" I mean that it is more than 100 years old... and uses XIX methods of construction that make it extremely solid (the walls are made of bricks only and there are no concrete columns, that's why they made them extremely wide to support the weight: 50 or 60 cm wide... so the place doesn't shake at all and, honestly, the house could perfectly be used as a recording studio).

The main concern of my GF is explosions of glassware caused by heat/pressure actually.

thoth
03-02-2012, 10:42 PM
Hi Zoas23

I'm a bit the same reading for many years and just last year starting the practical side.
If I was you I would definitely use the kitchen especially if it is so large.

Books dont like dampness, and they're especially shy with fire !!

It would be well worth while getting a T-piece feed from your cold water supply in kitchen with a mini valve, maybe using qualpex - you could perenanmtly connect your condenser to cold supply, this would leave your normal kitchen tap free and reduce your inconvenience in kitchen. I did mine myself, or a very minor job for a plumber

You could buy a cheap cupboard/cabinet from the likes of IKEA, and plumb the supply in there, peremenantly strapping your condenser to wall of cabinet, and with lockable doors you could lock away your secrets. Also important if you have kids /relations you want to protect.

BTW heating mantles are so useful - get one if money not a problem......

If I may ask, what you planning on for your first practical experiments, ?

zoas23
03-02-2012, 11:37 PM
Hi Zoas23

I'm a bit the same reading for many years and just last year starting the practical side.
If I was you I would definitely use the kitchen especially if it is so large.

Books dont like dampness, and they're especially shy with fire !!

It would be well worth while getting a T-piece feed from your cold water supply in kitchen with a mini valve, maybe using qualpex - you could perenanmtly connect your condenser to cold supply, this would leave your normal kitchen tap free and reduce your inconvenience in kitchen. I did mine myself, or a very minor job for a plumber

You could buy a cheap cupboard/cabinet from the likes of IKEA, and plumb the supply in there, peremenantly strapping your condenser to wall of cabinet, and with lockable doors you could lock away your secrets. Also important if you have kids /relations you want to protect.

BTW heating mantles are so useful - get one if money not a problem......

If I may ask, what you planning on for your first practical experiments, ?

It seems the Kitchen is the safe place then.
Thanks for all the advices. Storing and "hiding" things in the kitchen won't be a problem (I would be able to open a big restaurant if I wanted to, considering the size of the kithcen and all the storing place it has).
Seeing others doing lab work is not something new for me and I have already seen a lab works in different labs face to face and such thing helps a lot, of course. This forum is helping me a lot too, since I can find a lot of practical ideas here (i.e, none of my friends had the idea of using an aquarium water pump and that's a marvelous idea, even though I may begin with the kitchen sink).

My first experiments will be the most simple and basic ones and they will be mostly a way to shake hands with the new equipment and let me "introduce myself" and let the equipment say "hello" to me in return: nothing more than wine spirits, distillations of rain water, very basic distillations of oils from different plants.
Indeed, it's very likely that the very first one can simple be distillating tap water several times just for the sake of learning (I'm not ashamed of beginning with something so simple).

My previous experiences with other areas of Hermeticism have taught me a lesson: step by step is the way to go... and that running before walking leads to crashing your face against the ground very hard! So, yeah, creating the philosopher's stone won't be my first step... and I will begin with very simple things and slowly move into spargiric practices first, before trying anything else.

I already have a heating mantle (I bought it from a the chemistry student I've mentioned. who was selling her used things, mostly trying to get rid of them than making a lot of money... It is very small and I may need another one in the future, but I paid $10 dollars for it, so I can't complain about it at all, I know the price I paid is absurd and it works very well).

zoas23
03-15-2012, 04:10 PM
O.K....instead of creating a new thread, I'll keep this one for another question that is still related:



BTW heating mantles are so useful - get one if money not a problem......


I'm taking my very first steps into practical alchemy and I had my first problem yesterday.
I didn't know that heating mantles have sizes! :p

The one I have is for a 1/4 liter flask (if you live in a country that doesn't use the metric system, then that's more or less 1 glass of water)
The smaller flask I have is 1 liter... so, yeah, it didn't fit into the mantle. I tested it anyway and saw how hot the water could get by placing it some centimeters above the mantle: only 40 Celsius.

So... here's my question:
I am currenly doing a video editing job for a friend, since it is a really expensive job and I don't like to charge friends I decided to tell him that the payment for the job was going to be something I needed for the lab. I am still charging him 1/8 of what the work actually costs, so that's fine.

I've been investigating the cost of the heating mantles and the 2 liters, 3 liters and 5 liters model cost the same.
So here's my question:

Which one should I choose?

Or the real question would be: can I use a 2 liters flask with a 5 liters mantle?
Or the flask has to perfetly fit into the mantle?

I have learnt yesterday that "bigger flask with a smaller mantle" doesn't work. What happens the other way?

My concern is that having a 2 liters mantle may limit my chance of using a 5 liters flask... even though in most cases I will be using a 2 liters flask.

My poor English made me ask a long question when it could have been a short one, sorry! :)

guthrie
03-15-2012, 05:04 PM
The mantle to flask heat transfer will be best when they are a matched pair, ie they touch all the way around. If the heater is larger than the flask, they won't, and you'll put more heat into the upper part of the flask which is a waste. Just decide on a size, depending on the volume of what you will be working with and how it connects to the other glassware. (And do you really want to carry around a 5 litre flask half full with liquid? It starts getting heavy and harder to handle)

zoas23
03-15-2012, 06:36 PM
The mantle to flask heat transfer will be best when they are a matched pair, ie they touch all the way around. If the heater is larger than the flask, they won't, and you'll put more heat into the upper part of the flask which is a waste. Just decide on a size, depending on the volume of what you will be working with and how it connects to the other glassware. (And do you really want to carry around a 5 litre flask half full with liquid? It starts getting heavy and harder to handle)

Thank you.
yes, then 2 liters seems to be the reasonable option.

I simply had the idea that I didn't want to find myself in the situation of needing to use a 5 liters flask and being unable to do it because the mantle is only for 2 liters...
But, yeah... I don't even know why I would want to use 5 liters all at once, so you are certainly right.