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Required laboratory equipment
You can probably survive using kitchen ware but considering the low cost of laboratory glass ware, I really recommend investing in the following items. The primary reason is because laboratory grade glassware is specifically designed for heating, while kitchen glass ware may break if heated directly on a hot plate with potentially fatal consequences. DO NOT under any circumstances use an open flame heater. Always use an electrical heater, preferably a hot plate stirrer. A majority of accidents relating to explosives involves open flames or individuals dropping explosive materials on the floor so be careful.
Safety equipment recommended:
· Bucket of cold water: 5 ? (any kitchen store)
· Fire extinguisher: 100 ? (various stores)
· Hazmat suit: F example: Lakeland DuPont HazMat Suit Tychem: 11-50 USD (Ebay). A hazmat suit with boots and hood isn’t necessarily needed for making explosives. It is however needed for handling pure nicotine and ricin. Considering how inexpensive it is, you might as well use one while creating explosives.
· 3M 6800 full face respirator with appropriate filters (choose Organic Vapor/Organic Vapor-Acid/Organic Vapor-Acid-Gas filters) depending on the chemicals you will be working with. You can buy this facemask with filters from Ebay for as low as 100 USD.
Obviously, we are able to follow some but not all of the following guidelines due to our limited resources:
Hardware, regulators, glassware, solvents, dry chemicals, acids, etc., stored in the laboratory must be isolated from each other in separate cooling bath to prevent breakage and to avoid other undesirable interactions.
Electrical equipment including varices, stirrers, vacuum pumps, etc., must not be powered by extension cords or frayed line cords. Grounded plugs must be used without exception; existing ungrounded plugs must be changed immediately (this will be too costly to avoid, shouldn’t be a problem with good ventilation).
Carefully check glass vessels for star cracks, scratches or etching marks before each use. Cracks can increase the likelihood of breakage or may allow chemicals to leak into the vessel.
Seal glass centrifuge tubes with rubber stoppers clamped in place. Wrap the vessel with friction tape and shield with a metal screen. Alternatively, wrap with friction tape and surround the vessel with multiple layers of loose cloth, then clamp behind a safety shield.
Glass tubes with high-pressure sealers should be no more than 3/4 full.
Sealed bottles and tubes of flammable materials should be wrapped in cloth, placed behind a safety shield, then cooled slowly, first with an ice bath, then with dry ice.
Friction tape (electrical tape): The rubber based adhesive makes it an electrical insulator and provides a degree of protection from liquids and corrosion. In the past, friction tape was widely used by electricians, but PVC electrical tape has replaced it in most applications today.
When working with sensitive electrical components or volatile materials (such as papers/powders/flammable liquids) sparks and electrical discharge can cause catastrophic failure in sensitive electrical components and ignite volatile substances. Take steps to eliminate them: How to prevent static electricity: Hair, clothes and shoes are well known producers of static electricity. Ground the static by touching a grounded appliance, wiring a ground circuit, or by applying a neutralizing charge. Static accumulates in areas where the charge cannot escape.
Here are some methods to eliminate static electricity and/or buildup:
· Wire work surfaces to grounding points. Resistive "Touch Me First" grounding pads let users drain off any static charge they've accumulated without causing a spark or a shock. Wear static control wristbands, which are wired to grounding points (Do NOT wear them when working on CRT [Cathode Ray Tube] televisions or computer monitors. More than a few people have been killed when the strap touched a main capacitor).
· If nothing else is available, touch a grounded metal object once in a while to remove any charge from your body. Touching a water tap works extremely well. (as does touching a corner of a wall where there is metal stripping under the plaster) <- These moulding strips are not always grounded!
· Professional devices are available that control static electricity by use of alpha-emitting devices containing Polonium.
Sparks from electrical equipment can serve as an ignition source for flammable or explosive vapors or combustible materials. Ensure that you have acceptable ventilation to prevent “explosive fume” buildup near powered electrical equipment.
All electrical cords should have sufficient insulation to prevent direct contact with wires. In a laboratory, it is particularly important to check all cords before each use, since corrosive chemicals or solvents may erode the insulation.
Damaged cords should be repaired or taken out of service immediately, especially in wet environments such as cold rooms and near water baths.
When it is necessary to handle equipment that is plugged in, be sure hands are dry and, when possible, wear nonconductive gloves and shoes with insulated soles.
If it is safe to do so, work with only one hand, keeping the other hand at your side or in your pocket, away from all conductive material. This precaution reduces the likelihood of accidents that result in current passing through the chest cavity.
Minimize the use of electrical equipment in cold rooms or other areas where condensation is likely.
If water or a chemical is spilled onto equipment, shut off power at the main switch or circuit breaker and unplug the equipment.
Plug only equipment with three-prong plugs should be used in the laboratory. The third prong provides a path to ground for internal electrical short circuits, thereby protecting the user from a potential electrical shock.
Circuit Protection Devices
Circuit protection devices are designed to automatically limit or shut off the flow of electricity in the event of a ground-fault, overload or short circuit in the wiring system. Ground-fault circuit interrupters, circuit breakers and fuses are three well-known examples of such devices.
Fuses and circuit breakers prevent over-heating of wires and components that might otherwise create fire hazards. They disconnect the circuit when it becomes overloaded. This overload protection is very useful for equipment that is left on for extended periods of time, such as stirrers, vacuum pumps, drying ovens, Variacs and other electrical equipment.
The ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is designed to shutoff electric power if a ground fault is detected, protecting the user from a potential electrical shock. The GFCI is particularly useful near sinks and wet locations. Since GFCIs can cause equipment to shutdown unexpectedly, they may not be appropriate for certain apparatus. Portable GFCI adapters (available in most safety supply catalogs) may be used with a non-GFCI outlet.
Electrical equipment required:
· Freezer: 50-100 ? (second hand item, don’t put chemicals in your food freezer, to avoid contaminating your food, you need a separate one). Most freezers are able to go as low as -30 Celsius.
· Refrigerator: 50-100 ? (second hand item, don’t put chemicals in your food refrigerator, you need a separate one)
· Hot Plate Stirrer: 200 ? (second hand or new item). I would really recommend investing in a hot plate stirrer. It’s a magnetic stirrer with adjustable stirring speed and adjustable heating so that you may heat up certain compounds (in beakers or conical flasks) without the dreadful task of stirring for 1-2 hours straight. Check Ebay and choose a Chinese supplier. I got mine for 200 Euro, shipping included (found the supplier on Ebay). European versions cost 500-1000 ? in comparison.
Renting a lab
Many individuals make the mistake of using their urban apartment as a lab. Firstly; if anyone (neighbours, friends, family) sees you wearing a respirator face mask/hazmat suit they will notify the system protectors. If they accidentally find any of your equipment they may notify the system protectors. If anyone smells chemical odors in your block they will also notify the system protectors. Don’t be an idiot and take unnecessary risks. Rent a small cottage/farm in an isolated place. If you can’t afford to, then you shouldn’t be working with explosives anyway and should consider limiting your operation to one which only requires guns.
· Rent a cottage in the rural parts of your country for this purpose. The cottage needs to have electricity and running water. Cost: 100-500 ? per month. You probably need the place for at least 3 but up to 6 months depending on the quantity of explosives you intend to manufacture.
· Camouflaging your lab: invest in “fog stickers” to temporarily put on all windows, or use curtains. You may have to open 1-2 windows to ensure proper ventilation so make sure no one can look directly in by placing panels or something else to cover the lines of sight. Cost: 20-50 ?.
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