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Author Topic: Lab Decorating Tips  (Read 1882 times)
AFGNCAAP
Snr. Officer
****
Antarctica Antarctica

Professor's phlegmatic lackey


« on: October 29, 2007, 05:03:02 am »

If it isn't too much trouble, what is an object one might find in a young steampunk chemist's workplace, or simply a trait the room might have? I am revising a scene that, well, takes place in one, and there is no such thing as too much atmosphere.
No professional design skill is required, good organization is discouraged, safety can be questionable, and, in fact, the room in my writing is in shambles.
Thank you oh so much!
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"An eruption!" I said. "We're in the chimney of an active volcano?"
"I think so," said the professor smiling, "and that's the best thing that could happen to us!"
-Journey to the Center of the Earth

"The way to my heart is through my chest, with a scalpel and a bone saw."
-Lady Anne
Leonard Lightning
Officer
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United States United States


« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 08:57:00 am »

Think of what noises you hear.  Multitudes of hisses and burbles strange clanking noises and ratcheting.  Noise is always the first thing I think of when I think of mad scientists.  I guess it sort of reflects the noise inside their heads, always awhirl with crazy ideas that should just not work.  From there figure out what makes these noises.  I'd be more help but sleep is knocking ever so gently on my door with a giant mallet and a bag of sand you could hide an engine inside.
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Flynn MacCallister
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Australia Australia


Mad SCIENTIST!


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2007, 10:59:11 am »

Distillation or refluxing apparatus, and burettes, held in place with rather tortured-looking retort stands and clamps. No open flames. A roaring steam-bath or two, (they do roar, albeit not deafeningly,) crusted with verdigris and fed from a boiler in another room. Racks of mismatched bottles and vials, some transparent, many dark brown glass, containing an interesting variety of powders, solutions, metal shavings, etc. A couple of larger ones containing solvents -- these bottles have stoppers in them with two glass tubes poking out of each. One is connected via a length of rubber tubing to a pump (rubber, bulb-shaped, valve at each end), used to increase the pressure above the solvent, and the other to a burette for the solvent to flow into when the pressure is increased. Beakers and flasks, few of them clean. If it is a young chemist, his glassware is likely to be chipped and somewhat worn-looking. Some of it may be etched by interesting acids/bases/fluoride solutions/whatever else. He may only have one of the burrette and pump setups I described, that he has to clean and use for all his large solvent bottles. The air should be humid (steam bath) and smelling of organic solvents and ammonia. To someone not accustomed to it, this would probably be quite overpowering. There shouldn't be a fireplace, but if there is there should be no sign that it has ever been lit, and it certainly should not be lit now.

Well, you asked.
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zircher
Officer
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United States United States

Have gun, will travel.


« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 08:41:31 pm »

Depending on the line of research, you can include a number of lab animals and insects in cages.
--
TAZ
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Prof. Brockworth
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Choppy Warburton rides again!


« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 09:22:55 pm »

Extraction hoods Smiley  And if he's of a more metallurgical bent, a crucible or two...
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Recovering from pennyfarthing bruises...
Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 09:24:19 pm »

Dripping from distillators.
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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
AFGNCAAP
Snr. Officer
****
Antarctica Antarctica

Professor's phlegmatic lackey


« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 02:02:53 am »

Thank you for the wonderful ideas (of course, more are always welcome)! Who knows; you might see some of this in a book one day.  Wink
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anno
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 04:03:38 am »

Things like this! (Massive image here.)



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Anaesthesius
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United States United States


« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 04:13:41 am »

No open flames.
But that would imply sanity

So much depends on how young and how well-funded.  I would add that a young fellow working in his parents' basement wouldn't have proper black slate countertops.  Instead, his heavy wooden workbench(es) would sport some alarming scorch marks or garishly-coloured stains, along with corresponding marks on the ceiling.  He might not have a hood, either - certainly not the modern type with a safety-glass sash.  He'd rely on his goggles, a handkerchief, a caged canary, leather gauntlets and instincts gained the hard way.
Perhaps also a light microscope to examine the forms of crystals, a chemical battery setup (copper wire galore and big glass bottles of caustic fluids), a fine jeweler's balance, and of course battered, stained lab notebooks and reference volumes.  If possible, discrete instruments should be contained in elegant wooden boxes.
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"...by all means, let's plant poles all across the country, festoon the ------ with wires to hurry the sorry word, and blinker our judgments and motive...  Ain't the state of things cloudy enough?  Don't we face enough ------ imponderables?" - Al Swearingen on information technology, Deadwood 2x13
Flynn MacCallister
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Australia Australia


Mad SCIENTIST!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 04:17:00 am »

No open flames.
But that would imply sanity

Well, he's still alive, isn't he?
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AFGNCAAP
Snr. Officer
****
Antarctica Antarctica

Professor's phlegmatic lackey


« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2007, 04:36:42 am »

Er...he is a bit saner than you think, yet very frustrated, and that can nicely tone the sanity down a bit sometimes. Funding? Maybe once, but now it's definitely all gone.

Oh, but there is usually something on fire in there, though--the price of being dangerously hurried!  Shocked
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 06:45:50 am by AFGNCAAP » Logged
AFGNCAAP
Snr. Officer
****
Antarctica Antarctica

Professor's phlegmatic lackey


« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2007, 07:03:25 am »

There, 100% more awesomeness in the scene; I think it has just come to life for the first time. Still, more ideas are welcome--there will be others! Thank you again, everyone! Grin
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