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My New $40 Homemade Fountain


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#1 nerologic

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:32 PM

Not being able to justify a few hundred bucks for a sexy absinthe fountain, I was set on making one. It's more my style, anyway. After trolling around on WS for a while, I saw a few folks buying the Aftosa spigots. They're $15-20 a pop now, though, and I don't have glass drilling bits either. That's still pushing $100 for a 4 spigot fountain (and I gotta go for 4 to feel like a social drinker, ya know?)

Being a proper lab nerd, I started thinking about glassware I could use to carefully drip ice water with. I mean, without good drip control, you might as well just use a carafe. Burets are an obvious choice for precision dripping, but they don't hold much volume-wise. They also have no room for ice, and they're way too expensive, even for schiessy ones. I've been meaning to get separatory funnels for kitchen projects anyway, and I thought they'd be a good candidate as well. They have a large reservoir and can hold a lot of ice. They're also generally too expensive, easily $40+ a pop for a large enough one.

Then I stumbled across this bastahd on Ebay:
http://stores.ebay.com/oldinstruments
They seem to have a whole palate of the things that they're trying to get rid of. You have the option to buy 24 at a time, haha. Shipping took forever, but for that price, it's worth it.

I picked up 4 for less than $10 apiece!! I already had some homemade ringstands (hardwood oak boards and dowels from the local hardware store), so I now have a $40, 4 spigot fountain (only 2 shown below) that kicks some booty and is certainly has some personal character. Plus I can still use the sep funnels for bizarro kitchen projects. The drip control is to die for (though it does get a drip every few seconds from the condensation in this godawful humid place). Note that only tiny ice cubes will fit into the top 24/40 ground glass joint. Any that are intended to fit in PET beverage bottles will do the trick.

And nothing says Belle Epoque like teflon stopcocks.

Posted Image


Edit: They hold 500+ mL each. Enough even for an Absomphesized glass, I reckon.

Edited by nerologic, 03 August 2011 - 08:38 PM.


#2 Pierre

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:35 PM

Great job! Very nicely done. :cheers:

#3 Oscar

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:38 PM

Well done! :cheers:
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#4 Hedonmonkey

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:48 PM

:thumbup: :cheers:

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#5 buddhasynth

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:13 PM

nicey niceington! :clap:
What part of Klaatu Barada Nikto don't you understand?


...because shoddy absinthes will be flavored with the lubricator of take the lead anise.

#6 DesertWolf

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:59 PM

+1 for geek e ness :thumbup:
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#7 baubel

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:23 PM

Not bad at all. :cheers:
It reminds me of one of my old jobs. The pay sucked but the work itself was pretty awesome.

A little technological fix to a spiritual problem.


#8 LadyCarmilla

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 01:39 AM

Oh dear! My husband is going to love that! Both of us have used those utensils in real lab work, but I can not think of a better way to to use them than yours. Great job! :clap:
"Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green Fairy who lives in the absinthe wants your soul. But you are safe with me" - Gary Oldman as Dracula

#9 nerologic

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 04:23 AM

They're also great for separating the solids from clarified butter or getting the last few fine bits from a stock.

At work, I can't help but think about how I might be able to use something for a home project. My only fear is that folks think I'm swiping stuff, especially since Ebay doesn't keep records for more than a few months! All I'm swiping is ideas. I mean, you gotta work with what you know.

#10 LadyCarmilla

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 05:23 AM

Re eBay, you mean regarding the links to the listings? Just save them to your Watch list. No matter that the listings end, you will always have the seller link handy. Or save as favorite seller ;)
"Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green Fairy who lives in the absinthe wants your soul. But you are safe with me" - Gary Oldman as Dracula

#11 Absomphe

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 05:51 AM

Sweet improvisation! :thumbup:

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#12 nerologic

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:50 AM

As in, I don't always get receipts with the order, so I can't prove that I bought it if I forget to print them out before the Ebay records are gone.. Friends keep assuming that I'm stealing from my lab. Granted, I think they're more worried about contamination than morality, haha.

#13 Derrick

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:51 AM

Love that mad scientist look! :thumbup:
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#14 Scott M.

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 07:32 AM

Very mad scientist!
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#15 buddhasynth

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:21 AM

I think they're more worried about contamination than morality, haha.


psychopharmacologist??? :twitchsmile:
What part of Klaatu Barada Nikto don't you understand?


...because shoddy absinthes will be flavored with the lubricator of take the lead anise.

#16 Père Ubu

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 09:44 AM

Cool thinking!! You should meet Ted, he does the lab thing too.

#17 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 03:50 PM

I need me some separatory funnels. Those look huge for 500ml, or is it just the angle of the photo?

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#18 Ron

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:53 PM

I believe that's just the angle of the dangle.
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#19 baubel

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:44 PM

That's what John Holmes said.

A little technological fix to a spiritual problem.


#20 Evan Camomile

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:44 PM

Sweet! Well done! :cheers:

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#21 Cletus

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:39 AM

Great job. My friends and I where discussing the need for some type of fountain last night. The bike bottle method we use could use some improvement. That looks to be in my price range :)

#22 Père Ubu

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:19 AM

My vodka infusion jar was $37 ish shipped. An appropriate dremel tool and a few extra spigots will upgrade it for social occasions. Mine only has the one spigot, but it allows me to stash it in my fridge door.

#23 Cletus

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:12 AM

My vodka infusion jar was $37 ish shipped. An appropriate dremel tool and a few extra spigots will upgrade it for social occasions. Mine only has the one spigot, but it allows me to stash it in my fridge door.



great tip thanks

#24 techdiver

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 05:19 AM

That's what John Holmes said.

And Ron Jeremy. But he wasn't talking at the time, given the brunette that was climbing all over him at the time. Fun times at Tales. :dev-cheers:

#25 Absomphe

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:23 AM

actually, I don't recall either of those two having much "angle".

Butt, then again, I might be wrong, since I only pay attention to the women in those videos.

Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket! :paperbag3: :pirate:

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#26 Harry

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:00 AM

...i like the setup.... delightfully ghettolicious..... :thumbup:

#27 nerologic

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:10 PM

Actually, to class things up a bit I'm planning to make a chandelier-like fountain out of the four bulbs and some copper jewelers wire I have around. It'll probably be a while before I get around to it, though. The side-project backlog is already too long.

#28 optional

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 08:37 AM

Very cool but potentially dangerous. Purchasing used chemical glassware is extremely risky when used for food items in general. I used to work in a chemistry lab, and the idea of washing out glassware (no matter how many times) and then even drinking out of it is insane to me. Soap and water does NOT remove every chemical that the funnel could have been used for. You could easily poison yourself.

If you really want to do something like this, I would buy it brand new and wash it thoroughly before use. Also, pro tip, when draining water out of the funnel, do not leave the cap on. Also, be careful, cause those things break really easily.

I might have to buy one eventually. It's a cool thing to have.

Edited by optional, 11 August 2011 - 08:38 AM.


#29 Ambear

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:12 AM

The ebay listing for the glass that I saw said that it was unused and still in the packaging. :police:
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#30 nerologic

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:39 AM

Yup. I only buy new. They were a bit dusty from sitting in inventory, but pretty clearly unused. Still gave them a thorough wash in Alconox, then oxyclean, then "bleached the rabies" out of them (to borrow a term from Dave Arnold) for good measure. They're definitely fragile, especially at the spout tips. It's easy to ding them when washing in the sink since they're just large enough to be clumsy. It is Bomex brand glassware, after all, so you can't expect too much in the durability department since they're rarely well-annealed. I still can't get over how dirt cheap they are, though, and they get the job done.

Also, I checked and though they're marked for 500 mL, they fit slightly greater than 750 mL when filled to just below the stopper. That's a pretty convenient number here in the States.


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