Instructables
Picture of Set Up Your Home Chemistry Lab
goldenchemistry.jpg

A concise introduction to home chemistry and methods/utensils for an improvised chem lab setup - for those interested in setting up their very own home chemistry laboratory.  

Tired of watching a nurdrage video and not having the means to try it at home? Make a lab.  We will be using various methods shown in The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, online videos, other instructables,  and some methods I've conceived on my own. We will try to minimize cost wherever possible and thus use the most readily available materials. However, I will present a more costly albeit better quality option for some of these. Read with an open and resourceful mind and be able to expand on these ideas. 

Note: No experiments are involved.
Link to source of inspiration: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21654883/The-Golden-Book-of-Chemistry-Experiments

This site has basically anything you'd need in a home lab: http://www.hometrainingtools.com/chemistry/c/3/

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: About The Home Chemistry Lab


On Chemistry: Chemistry is a fascinating and beautiful subject. It is also very complex and the source of many headaches. The fact that you are reading this demonstrates you harbor a certain curiosity for it already. Or maybe you've randomly stumbled into this instructable by fate... In any case, the first step to starting your lab at home is planting the seed of curiosity for the subject. Get to know the subject at the level you want by visiting your library or through online research. Curiosity is like a fire- it will die if not sustained. In order to keep that desire for knowledge kindled, you must constantly ask yourself questions, such as "what is an acid?" or "what happens when bread rises?".  More rigorous questions in the area of chemistry are of the form : "Can I make X compound from household items? Will X react with Y to form Z? Can I purify this compound? Can I find if this household product contains X compound?" and so on. 

If you want a great foundation for the science, there are a variety of resources out there. Did you know you can take a course at MIT for free? Check out MIT OCW for a more studious introduction to chemistry! 

Setting Your Goals:I hope that people of all backgrounds will read this instructable. With people from all levels of knowledge on the subject, it is up to you to decide where you want to take this.Some examples of great goals are as follows:

- I want to teach myself chemistry and I will take up home chemistry as a supplemental learning tool.
 - I will create a semblance of a lab in the summer so that I can take up chemistry as a hobby. 
- I will create a lab environment for homeschooling. 
- I will create a temporary lab for the upcoming science fair in order to work comfortably in a home environment. 
- I want to augment my own home lab by extracting some ideas from this instructable. 

Once you come up with your own goal, it's time to start on a scientific journey. 

AlanCain8 months ago

Gloves - nitrile are good for most substances (except nitric acid); plastic apron or lab coat keeps your pants (and tummy) from having stains or burns; goggles and face shield help you keep your vision, and a respirator - better than a dust mask - keeps those huge bursts of gases from chasing you out of the house. These are essential unless your experiments are limited to baking soda and vinegar. Harbor Freight will get you all that, except a respirator, for under ten dollars. Your eyes, and your lungs will be glad. Another ten gets you the respirator. Be careful anyway. Chlorine, phosgene, bromine, ammonia, NO2, NO, and such can cause you some discomfort (or death), so study before mixing things randomly; dispose of your experiments in a safe manner - some chemicals can set your trash on fire.

Be safe, be curious, and have fun. Chemistry can be wildly dangerous, and wildly not dangerous. Learn as you do, research your chemicals, and have fun.

Light_Lab1 year ago
It was amazing to see that book here in Instructables, I got mine when I was ~10. I wanted to be a chemist from ~5, I made it by my 20's. I am now finishing a 40 year career as a research scientist and I still have that book on my bookshelf. Your Instructable is timely, we are facing a future deficit of chemists, universities around the world are reporting less and less students signing up for chemistry courses.
Please instructabilians encourage your kids if they show an interest in chemistry, it remains a fundamental science for everything from medicine to rocket fuel, from food science to solar cells etc etc. It is never to early to start much chemistry occurs safely within the house, cooking, cleaning, decorating etc.
hkortus1 year ago
That is Great
ostomesto1 year ago
Awesome instructable! Great for someone who is ready for the chemistry lab but doesn't want those chemistry sets where everything is done and laid out for you. No freedom in those. Very nice instructable!
What did you do about the fumehood? I know one can be made and works pretty effectively but everyone has their own ways, whats your set-up?
Pyrophoric (author)  ostomesto1 year ago
I no longer have a setup, since I use the lab at my university! But I used to use the kitchen vent for the less harmful experiments and took the more dangerous ones outdoors.
Excellent instructable! If my parents were only less opposed to me doing chemistry experiments in the house...
evilpuppy1 year ago
Your awesome
techno guy3 years ago
I went on the Michael's website and I couldn't find the little flasks that you were talking about. Can you give me the link or item number or something?
You can find the glassware at hobby lobby.
This is brilliant! I created this account for the same ideas presented here, just for Alchemy rather than Chemistry. If I use any of these ideas I will definitely credit you. Thank you!
beehard442 years ago
Any tips on how to stop law enforcement from mistaking it as a drug lab?
I'm thinking of starting a home lab and i'm really worried about this, especially in a country where there is confusion in who-raids-who, public paranoia with chemicals, lack of test equipment and a faulty judiciary system.
Any tips?
Pyrophoric (author)  beehard442 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Haha, sorry, but illegal erlenmeyer flasks? That must be the most ridiculous thing I have heard in the last weeks. Really?
Sovereignty2 years ago
I was really looking for something fr this exact type ible. Thank yu.

Also, thought i'd mention that I like t use the empty Yankee Candle jars that have lids, or any similar candle jar for chemical storage, etc. My wife goes through 3 or 4 of those candles a month.
deth2all3 years ago
Ok kids, lets make some meff
Or perhaps some GITD brownies?....
spawnos37172 years ago
A couple of other sources to consider for free or low cost items...freecycle.org and craigslist.
looks like the makings for a clandestine meth lab. nah jk, good job.
thx for posting this after the recust of me and some others ^^

also nice instructable ^^
Pyrophoric (author)  angellicktrooper3 years ago
No Problem! Glad You liked it.
This is a totally cool Instructable! When I was a kid, I hada series to Gilbert Chemistry sets and "flasks" were usually those bulb shaped shampoo bottles. My condenser was plastic tubing in a larger tube. Thanks for reminding me how much fun it all was!
Great instructable!

For the reader's reference, here is a link to a pdf of the Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments:

I'm looking forward to the next installment.
The site doesn't appear to allow direct linking to the file, but here is the page that links to it: http://chemistry.about.com/b/2010/11/30/download-the-golden-book-of-chemistry-experiments.htm
Pyrophoric (author)  TheOlMaestro3 years ago
Well thanks! The link didn't take me to the pdf, but it's still relevant.
Dang. You're right. Sorry - that link worked this morning, really. Try this one.
Pyrophoric (author)  TheOlMaestro3 years ago
This one works. Thanks for the reference.