Chemcraft Chemistry Outfits 

  Gordon Speer - Books, 3304 Woodlawn Road, Sterling, IL 61081  
We pay the postage - - EMAIL to reserve your choices

These classic chemistry outfits were originally manufactured and sold by the Porter Chemical Company in Hagerstown, Maryland and, after 1961, by the Lionel Corporation. My first one was from about 1946, and it got me started on a long career in science education.

We sell reproductions of the following manuals that came with the early sets. They have plastic "comb" bindings so they will lie flat when open, and the covers are laminated to prevent chemical damage. All prices include postage to any US address. If you have a manual that is missing a page or two, get in touch with us by email and we'll see if we can replace the missing pages.

If you want to assemble your own set, consider using empty plastic 35mm film containers for the solid chemicals. They are unbreakable, chemically inert, and free. Ask your nearest one-hour film processor to save you some. We like to keep liquid reagents in their original containers, or in pint-sized clear-glass vinegar bottles. An ordinary wooden spring clothespin is great as a test tube holder, and even better if you glue a popsicle stick to one arm of it to make it longer. If you have lost or broken your "measure" you'll find that a flat-bladed pocket screwdriver makes a perfect substitute. One "measure" is about the volume of the head of a paper match. We also recommend using the plastic of a heavy "cable tie" as a stirring rod. It is easy to clean, and not hard enough to break out the bottom of a test tube. Instead of the old-type test tube brush, try making a giant Q-tip from a corn-dog stick and cotton. Used with Soft Scrub it works very well. Experiments that don't require heating can be done in Pringles lids or individual plastic pudding cups. Medicine droppers, calibrated up to 1.0 ml, are available at Walgreens for $2. Syringes, calibrated up to 10 ml, are included with every JetTec printer ink refilling kit, or may be purchased here for $5. Ordinary glass medicine droppers are $1 each.

A wooden 6-hole test tube rack (also usable as a desk accessory) is $10 postpaid. These 6-hole models are walnut with turned maple spindles. Six-hole orange-colored metal racks, as originally supplied with Chemcraft outfits are also priced at $10 each, postpaid.

Other supplies may be found at American Science & Surplus, or Elemental Scientific, or Southern Scientific, and at these suppliers.

If you would like to read a book that will bring back your early years in chemistry and science museums, check your local public library, or ask your local bookstore for Uncle Tungsten, or send $20 and we'll mail you a copy. It's excellent!
(Errata in the book Uncle Tungsten: p132 - thiosulfate, p205 - most, and p294 - Henry Moseley.)

The chemicals numbered from 1 through 64 were supplied with the Master Outfit, however #13 and #53 are no longer recommended, as they are known to be somewhat carcinogenic.
My Senior Outfit came with: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 29 30 31 32 36 38 39 42 43 44 48 55 58 59.
The ones used with the Junior Outfit are: 1 4 6 7 8 9 15 18 20 21 22 27 31 59.
The Student Manual (Lionel-Porter) uses: 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 12 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 27 29 31 38 39 58.
The Magic Manual calls for: 1 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 36 39 41 70.

The Number 5 Outfit came with: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 29 30 31 32 36 38 39 41 43 48 51 55 58 59 60.
The chemicals used with the Number 2 Experiment Book are: 1 3 4 6 7 9 12 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 27 29 31 32 36 59.

A complete set of 78 adhesive labels is priced at $5, postpaid. Other than the label offer, we ask for a minimum order of $10, but we always pay the postage. If you have MS Works, we can attach the label files to an e-mail, upon request, at no charge.

Below is the master list of chemicals that, over the years, were provided in the outfits. Most of these can be obtained locally, but we can sometimes supply small amounts of those which are listed in bold type. Your local chemistry teachers may be an even easier source to contact in some cases. EMAIL us if you have any questions or other needs.


NUMBER:
  1. powdered sulfur
  2. sodium borate (borax - grocery store)
  3. trisodium phosphate (hard to find - the TSP sold now in stores isn't the same stuff)
  4. sodium carbonate (washing soda - grocery store)
  5. sodium bisulfite
  6. sodium ferrocyanide (yellow prussiate of soda)
  7. sodium bisulfate (Sani-Flush)
  8. dye wafer (#8 was originally sodium tungstate)
  9. ammonium chloride (sal ammoniac - soldering flux)
  10. strontium chloride
  11. zinc metal (algae preventer from a roofing supply)
  12. aluminum sulfate (gardening supplies)
  13. nickel ammonium sulfate (NOT "aluminum" as in one published list) - carcinogen
  14. tartaric acid
  15. tannic acid
  16. sodium thiosulfate (photographer's "hypo")
  17. ferrous ammonium sulfate (Mohr's salt)
  18. litmus paper
  19. sodium silicate solution (crystal garden novelty reagent)
  20. calcium oxide (make by roasting TUMS to red heat in a porcelain crucible)
  21. ferric ammonium sulfate
  22. phenolphthalein solution (we send it to you dry, you add denatured ethyl alcohol to dissolve it)
  23. sodium iodide solution ( 1 gram dissolved in 20 ml of water )
  24. manganese sulfate
  25. sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  26. sodium salicylate
  27. cobalt chloride solution - We supply it as cobalt chloride paper
  28. chameleon paper (universal acid-base indicator - pool supplies)
  29. logwood
  30. mixed dyes
  31. sulfide test paper (lead acetate paper)
  32. congo red paper
  33. glycerine (drug or grocery store) use this to lubricate glass tubing & rubber stopper holes
  34. blueprint paper
  35. turmeric paper (sometimes misspelled "tumeric")
  36. powdered iron (Xerox machine "developer", magnetic iron oxide, works for magnetic experiments)
    otherwise use very fine steel wool "0000 or 00000"
  37. tin (plumbing solder - almost pure tin)
  38. calcium hypochlorite (bleaching powder or chlorinated lime - pool supplies)
  39. azurite (basic copper carbonate)
  40. ammonium molybdate
  41. starch (powdered corn starch)
  42. phenolphthalein paper
  43. iron sulfide (can be made by heating finest steel wool and sulfur together)
  44. iron pyrite (fool's gold)
  45. chrome alum
  46. ammonium hydroxide ("clear" household ammonia - grocery or drug store)
  47. cochineal
  48. magnesium sulfate (epsom salt - grocery)
  49. calcium sulfate (ordinary plaster of Paris)
  50. calcium carbonate ( "Tums" )
  51. copper (trimmings from a gutter installer, or electric wire)
  52. gum arabic (acacia)
  53. carbon tetrachloride (carcinogenic - no longer available)
  54. boric acid (ant and roach killer)
  55. powdered charcoal (easy to make with a hammer and charred wood)
  56. charcoal lumps (aquarium supplies)
  57. calcium chloride (deliquescent and corrodes iron - keep it in a tightly closed plastic bag) available as a white granulated "drying agent" at drug and hardware stores
  58. flame test wire (nichrome, and we also include a copper wire for the copper test)
  59. blank test paper (soft white construction paper, or filter paper)
  60. filter paper (coffee filters)
  61. stearic acid
  62. benzoic acid
  63. powdered graphite (lock lubricant)
  64. sodium ammonium hydrogen phosphate
  65. aluminum (use aluminum foil)
  66. bismuth subnitrate solution
  67. potassium carbonate
  68. dilute hydrochloric acid 5% (muriatic acid diluted 1/7, hardware store)
  69. dilute acetic acid 5% (white vinegar)
  70. dimethylglyoxime solution (a test for nickel)