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Inspirational Reads

Lab McGuyverism

April 16, 2007

When in a pinch, an average wood screw (I believe this was about a 2 and 1/2 inch, number 8) will substitute for a glass cutter. Two or three scores down the back of your TLC plate and a soft tap with the bottom of an acetone wash bottle will leave you with a nicely halved plate, so that you can throw away the results of the column you ran last week but keep the results of the reactions you ran in parallel on the same day.

Wood screws in organic chemistry: not just for illustrating chirality anymore.


Ψ*Ψ said...

Awesome! Is it any easier to use than a glass cutter?

Chemgeek said...

Where were you with this tidbit of information about a week ago, when my students had to forgo the TLC portion of their lab because the glass cutter I was using was crap and only succeeded in making triangle shaped TLC "plates."

I will employ your method and see if it works!!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I don't know if it's easier than a glass cutter. At least not a good glass cutter. It might be easier than one of those glass cutters with the wheels.

About a week ago, I was eagerly looking forward to a four-day weekend and wrestling with the hplc in my lab.

Chemgeek said...

That's funny. I'm wrestling with my HPLC right now. stupid technology. Maybe I'll take a wood screw to it.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

That's what I'm looking at this afternoon, too. Whee, prep hplc is fun!

Right now I'm trying to convince the LC/MS that it really DOES see my masses in there. Really. That thing at the front is just an air bubble. Really.