Let's talk about glassware!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Matthew Cherry, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Matthew Cherry

    Matthew Cherry Member

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    Ok, I admit, not the most exciting subject, but I need to buy some and I'd like your input.

    I've always developed and printed my own B&W but sent my color work out. I'm now processing my own color (both E6 and C41) and am finding my beakers and measuring cups aren't really up to the task of making the precise and fractional measurements necessary for splitting up this chemistry for one-shot use. I'm also not sure if I need a separate set for each process, assuming I'll be developing both during one session.

    The other factor driving me to by some new beakers is that I'm turning 45 and, apparently, my eyesight is starting to decline. Far vision is still perfect, but I now need reading glasses. I find the old plastic beakers I have with raised lines and numbers (but no printing) to be very difficult to read, and they are not very clear to boot.

    I do have one beaker that someone gave me that is glass, and it is wonderful to see through and read (nice, sharp black lines and numbers) however, it is chipped and I worry about the glass beakers breaking. I started to try and do some research on the net, but I'm left a bit confused.

    What do you guys use and why? Also, do you have a set for each chemistry you use?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Any serious scientific or lab supply outfit will have a good selection. I often use LSS (Lab Safety
    Supply), and prefer polymethylpentene to glass. It's a bit pricey but doesn't break, and as opposed
    to cheaper plastics like acrylic, sticky stuff like HC110 concentrate flow out more easily.
     
  3. Matthew Cherry

    Matthew Cherry Member

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    Is polymethylpentene clear (like glass)? What do you keep on hand?
     
  4. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    It's clear, and not milky like polyethylene. Graduations can be printed, raised, whatever. Of course,
    old school glass if available too - just be careful the UPS or Fedex guy in your neighborhood isn't
    a monkey. I not only need reading glasses, but am getting a degree of arthritis in my fingers at my
    age, so worry about dropping glass.
     
  5. Matthew Cherry

    Matthew Cherry Member

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    You and me both...
     
  6. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    You could take a black marker and mark common measurements on the outside of your existing plastic beakers. it boosts visibility, and you can even measure when the beaker measurements are turned the other way.
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You need different sizes for different degrees of accuracy.
    I use the following plastic Jobo graduates:
    25ml
    50ml
    150ml
    200ml
    600ml
    1000ml
    I also use the following stainless steel graduated pitchers, these are really nice for measuring chemistry for trays:
    1000ml
    2000ml
    4000ml
     
  8. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    I use 10ml plastic syringes with their needle, bought at the chemist's. I numbered them so that I tend to always use the same syringe with the same liquid.
    I aspire the chemical from the factory flask with the syringe. I empty the syringe in the Jobo flask. I then, with the same syringe, aspire tap water from a coffee cup (without coffee, with water, that is). I empty the syringe in the Jobo flask. I normally have to do this two or three times or so. This washes the syringe inside the Jobo flask so that the small residue of chemistry in the needle goes into the bath as well, and the syringe ends up clean.

    For those couple of baths when using a 10ml syringe would be tedious I use a (numbered) plastic cylinder for photographic purposes (AP brand).

    When the factory flask becomes empty enough that I don't manage any more to "fish" chemical with the syringe I will put some chemical in a coffee cup and use the syringe from there. The needle in the syringe can "fish" quite deep anyway inside the flask.
     
  9. Matthew Cherry

    Matthew Cherry Member

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    Looking at some Polymethylpentene ones now. I greatly prefer black lines and numbers to white, though...
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I use borosilicate glass beakers and other labware exclusively. Doing so allows me to use any beaker or flask on a hotplate/magnetic stirrer when necessary. For small quantities of liquid I purchased a set of graduated plastic livestock syringes from a farm supply outlet. Great for the Rodinal/Adonal crowd.

    Ken
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Probably a bit obvious, but a taller and narrower the measuring cylinder allows greater accuracy.
     
  12. Matthew Cherry

    Matthew Cherry Member

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    Yes, I think I'm going to first get a set of graduated cylinders. For those of you working with multiple chemistries, do you use the same set and, if so, how do you clean between chemistries?
     
  13. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

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    This is a common problem but I'll share with you a trick my H.S. chemistry teacher taught us (40+ years ago). Take a small piece of black construction paper and hold it behind the cylinder at the the fluid level. View the fluid from underneath and you will see that the bottom of the meniscus, which is the actual level, goes dark against the light markings on the glass making the level readily visible. I've always liked glass for this reason, though I've never used the Poly... type so I'm sure the technique will work there too.

    Steve
     
  14. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    If you have a good scales with enough capacity, make agood measurement and weigh it..A standard production technique. I mix all my working strength chems by weight..
     
  15. heterolysis

    heterolysis Member

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    Steve has some very good advice! Advice that I have had to give countless students when I taught chem courses myself.

    And depending on what volumes you most frequently require, you could always try getting a volumetric pipette or some graduated pipettes. They're essentially like bigger, more accurate eyedroppers. Less lifting and pouring.
     
  16. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    I guess this is an ALT process thing ive taken with me, since using 1 or 2 ml of something is what i usually do; I use syringes for measuring everything, even water if its one-shot..
     
  17. Matthew Cherry

    Matthew Cherry Member

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    This is kind of brilliant, actually...
     
  18. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    And if you have time and patience there's always someone posting a bunch of cheap glassware on eBay.

    If you really like the syringe idea I use a bunch of pipettes with rubber fill valves. Watch long enough and you can get them cheap.

    I did buy the pipettes separate from the fill bulbs. I think the bulbs were from a Far East supplier, but the pipettes were from a medical lab closure. I got about 20 for a couple of bucks.