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Miscellaneous: Building a laboratory stand

Laboratory stands are a part of standard laboratory equipment which most people take for granted. They are very useful, but they are also often overpriced, especially when one takes into account the simplicity of making one at home.

building a lab stand

The most important things needed for building a lab stand are lead and a steel rod (if possible, with a diameter between 10 and 12 mm). Also, a metal cutting saw can be useful for sawing off a piece of the steel rod which will become a part of the lab stand.

building a lab stand

After the basic equipment has been gathered, it was necessary to make a mould for the base of the lab stand. There are many options when it comes to choosing the form and dimensions of the base. The base can be completely based on lead, or combined with some other item, i.e. material.

In this case, a conical item with a hole in the middle has been used. Thereby, that item also became a part of the lab stand. The main purpose of the lead here was to fasten the steel rod in a vertical position. The rod can be placed in a vertical position with the help of a spirit level or other similar tools.

building a lab stand

After everything has been prepared, the heat source was turned on. A gas burner or an electrical hot plate can easily reach the melting point of lead (327.5 °C). When enough lead has melted, it was poured in the mould, by using special gloves which are resistant to high temperatures.

building a lab stand

After the lead has been poured, the newly made laboratory stand was left in place to cool down. After the lead base has cooled to room temperature, the lab stand was ready to be used.

A small disadvantage of this particular laboratory stand is the central position of the rod, which doesn't allow burners or hot plates to be placed close to the rod. On the other hand, the relatively large mass of the base is an advantage, because it allows longer clamps to be used, without reducing the stability of the whole apparatus.

All in all, the cost of building a laboratory stand is negligible, especially when compared with prices at which such lab stands are sold at certain places.

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