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Laboratory Cork Ring

Round-bottom flasks offer many advantages for chemical work that requires heating a liquid, but suffer from a major storage and handling drawback: They don’t sit flat on a work surface. The common solution is to equip the bench with one or more cork rings that the flasks can sit in,... Read more »

Making Soap

Just where and when humans first observed the chemical reaction between oil and potash is unknown. Legend says it may have occurred in ancient Rome, on Sapo Hill, in an unusual scenario where a creek flowed over a deposit of wood ash and animal fats, created through many years of... Read more »

Cable Dyeing

If you want an extension cord, power cord, or other plastic-insulated cable in an unusual color, and you can find one in white, there’s a good chance you can dye it to suit your preference using this technique. Turns out many cables are sheathed with PVC, and will take the... Read more »

Collect Oxygen Over Water

My previous tutorial shows how to construct a simple sheet metal “bridge,” which, in combination with an ice cube bucket and an olive jar, makes an effective pneumatic trough for collecting gas samples over water. This tutorial shows how to use this apparatus to generate and collect pure oxygen, and... Read more »

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