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"Chemistry... offers one of the most powerful means towards the attainment of a higher mental cultivation... because it furnishes us with insight into those wonders of creation which immediately surround us." Justus von Liebig.

While chemistry is not my major field of study I am no less interested in the subject.  In fact, my undergraduate research position is with the chemistry department. One day I had the idea to start an element collection. I realize, of course, that I will probably never complete the collection (for the obvious reason that some elements will just be impossible to acquire) but I have already procured several and I figured I needed a nice way to display them as my collection grew. A periodic table shaped display seemed the most appropriate, so I ran with the idea.

I wanted a display that wouldn't be too big, but not too small either. I settled at about three feet in length and about a foot tall. I used popular boards I picked up at Lowes and miter saw (definitely not the ideal tool for the job, but I worked with what I had). The pieces of wood were notched and then inserted into each other and glued. I think this weekend project turned out great and I'm extremely happy with the results. Now just to get all the elements on the appropriate shelf!  
<p>great idea! does anyone know the whole dimensions and the dimensions of each square</p>
Brilliant! I wish I would have had something like this to use as a visual reference when I was still in school. :)
I like it very much (even as a shelf for just random stuff not related to the PT) but a small idea would be to add a backplate (thin wood/cardboard) and put the text of the PT in the background of each square - this will both protect things from falling out the back, and also (imho) look pretty neat.
Thanks! I'm glad you like it! I had toyed with the idea putting something on the back but I decided that if I did I would get to it later. Though I do agree having the symbols for elements in the background would look nice. Perhaps if I get some time in the future I'll consider it.
indeed, it should be fairly straightforward to add it at any point in the future - after breaking a few vials of elements falling out the back ;-) <br> <br>I also had the idea of putting a small led in (or &quot;behind&quot;, if using a backwall) each square - but that is a little more involved, esp. if they need to be individually turned on/off. could however make for some nice fading light or randomly lighting up one square every x minutes. (Yes, I can complicate _any_ project, that is why i never get anything done myself :-) <br>

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Bio: A materials scientist gone electrical engineer my hobbies include experimenting with electronics and making fun and interesting things. I rarely know what I'm doing ... More »
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