Friday, May 27, 2011

More Books

I have picked up a couple of interesting books, a couple of older 1960's books and one a little newer late 1990's:

1) Junior Science Projects - 1967 by the Editors of Science Experimenter:

This book has many experiments you can do and many pieces of equipment that you can build. Such as a milli-microampere detector, ion-exchange fuel cell, diffraction grating-type spectrscope, thermistor thermometer, make your own plastic lab equipment (see picture above) and more. Some of the electronic projects require specific tubes, but I am sure with internet searches you can find other ways to make them. A real interesting read.

2) Exploring Science in your Home Laboratory - 1963 by Richard Harbeck:

This book discusses how to build a home science laboratory for chemistry, biology, physics and geology. It walks you through choosing where to locate the lab, which one you would like to build first. Then helps you set it up, from building a work bench with shelves and then a way to remove the air if you don't have a window in your area. From here it helps you build different lab equipment for your lab, such as a simple electric heater, alcohol lamp, drying and sterilizing oven, test tube racks, stands, beam balance and more. This book must have been a real gem back in it's day.

3) A Low Cost Approach to PCR - 1998 by Eva Harris:

This is a good book for the DIYBIO groups. The low cost approach outlined in this book can be useful for the DIYBIO group. It provides a description of the theoretical basis of the technique and practical details of the method. There is a section on materials and chemicals needed in your lab. A section on building your own equipment ie. electohoresis chamber, micro centrifuge, etc. A section on preparing your reagents. I believe a very useful book for the DIYBIO person.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Over Head Solution Mixer

Over Head Solution Mixer

I have been away for awhile. Other things came up and I was unable get back to doing any science and or experimenting. Here is something I did put together this weekend.

Using an old single head mixer, a cocktail swivel stick (it has a propeller at the end of it), lab stand and clamp I am able to make a solution mixer (see second picture). This mixer or stirrer works over head of the solution. Solution container can be a beaker, jar, glass or anything else.

It is very simple to make. I had to heat the end of the swivel stick (the portion that goes into the mixer) and then take a pair of pliers to some what flatten the end to fit it into the notches of the mixer. This holds the stick in and allows for the mixer to spin it.

Other items can be used instead of the mixer, such as, electric screwdriver(very inexpensive to buy or can be found. Most people through them away when the batteries stop holding their charge.), electric motors(such as found in dollar store fans and electric toothbrushes), etc.