Friday, November 8, 2013

Sample Rotator


Front View

Side View

With very simple items I had laying around I was able to build this sample rotator. It rotates very slowly. This will allow samples to be mixed. I hope to place it in my incubator to attempt to use as a shaker for the media broth for cultures (continual mixing).

Parts: the motor came from an old hand-held vacuum, I bolted a disk from the bottom of a cd holder on to it. The frame is from an old computer power supply box (the top half). I use 1 inch PVC conduit clamps to hold the motor in place. I use broom handle wall clips to hold my culture tubes. They had to be adjusted to fit both 15 ml and 50 ml tubes. They are mounted on the plastic disk with nuts and bolts. It runs using a power supply that ranges from 1.5v - 12 v.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Older Incubator
I picked this old incubator up very inexpensively. It was not working. I took it apart and the wiring was removed. I rewired it and tested it out. The heating panel works and so does the thermostat.

It is an old metal box. I intend to add some insulation, either Styrofoam or corrugated cardboard or plastic to keep the temperature more stable. At first I thought maybe I would mount it on the outside of the incubator but as I think more about it I believe it might work better on the inside as this might be easier to clean than metal walls.

I will revisit this when it is finished.

I now have 2 incubators the earlier one I built which goes up to about 30 degrees C and this one which goes up to at least 40 degrees.

I found this link to the pdf file for The Amateur Scientist by C. L. Stong. This is a classic with experiments in archaeology, biology, physics, electronics, etc. These are projects from Scientific American's The Amateur Scientist column.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sterile Chamber

Baby Incubator Cover

I found this item, a baby incubator cover that was very inexpensive. I am using it to build a sterile chamber to do culturing in. It has plenty of room inside it and plenty of arm maneuverability to be comfortable to do projects in it.

I will mount it on a vinyl covered piece of plywood or press board. Add a fan that blows the air out and in through a Hepa filter. I will sterilize it with a Lysol/alcohol solution. This will keep the work area in a fairly stable environment, I won't be breathing over the work area or as I move sending dust and particles into the chamber. This should work better than the aquarium that was put together earlier.

I will keep post further as I finish it up.

Update Link

The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

DremelFuge - centrifuge

Warning - be careful when using or building a centrifuge, they are very dangerous. If at all possible try and buy a professional one.

Here is a centrifuge created by Cathal Garvey called DremelFuge. It can be found here:

It uses standard 1.5ml/2ml Eppendorf/Microcentrifuge tubes. Works with both a drill or Dremel.


I was trying to get it printed out but I was having trouble with it. So I decided I would try to make my own from parts laying around. It consists of a 3.5 inch PVC plumbing cap and a bolt, nut and washer. As seen below I have it running on a drill press. I did try it on a dremel, it worked, but I would not use it that way unless a closed off compartent is built for it (later project).

Homemade dremelfuge

Working in drill press