Author Topic: Ordering laboratory equiptment legally..  (Read 1617 times)

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abuse

  • Guest
Ordering laboratory equiptment legally..
« on: November 22, 2003, 05:49:00 PM »
I'm a chemistry student and I'd like to set up an organic laboratory at home so I can further my research. I did some checking and found that there are no laws prohibiting laboratory/glassware in my place of residence. I also inquired with several science supply Internet distributors and they said that they would ship to my home as they do not know of any current restrictions preventing my purchase.

I just want to order the supplies I need and place everything on my credit card just like a normal person would do. But after reading some posts on this site it seems as though the distributor, by law, will report the order to the authorities, and that is fine by me, but does that mean that the police will pay me a visit a few days after my order is delivered and ask me "why" I ordered all this stuff? It seems like an invasion of privacy. I'm not doing anything, and I don't like to be bothered when I'm not doing anything ilegal.

Has anyone been visited by the authorities after ordering laboratory supplies to their home? :-)

gruns

  • Guest
Simply
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2003, 08:30:00 PM »
Why leave a paper trail when you don't have to?  Use a money order and get it shipped to the receiving office of a local university under a different name.  Remember, these digital traces last forever.  Don't think otherwise, I read all the time about the FBI and various state agencies gaining access to corporate databases, which would include the credit card activity of yourself.  "Hmm, no degree in chemistry, but he placed a $300 order at onlineglasswaresupplier.com... *Click!* Let's just flag him for later investigation.

You can also get what are called "secured" credit cards online, many of them will accept a loading payment via western union moneygram, it's all quite automated.  Of course, they usually have a $40 "processing" fee and you've still got the digital trace, even if it isn't explicitly towards your name.
 
Jimmy Boohickey?  414 Marshmallow lane?  Who lived there during that time?  Check the power company's records.


abuse

  • Guest
I really don't think that is necessary because
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2003, 09:13:00 PM »
I really don't think that is necessary because like I said I am in the chemistry business. I'm assuming that the authorities might pay me a visit anyway! :-D

DjTime

  • Guest
It doesn't matter.
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2003, 02:12:00 AM »
I think you know the answer to your own question.
You live in the USA. So I hope you know that now
under such things like the PATRIOT ACT, you now
no longer have any privacy. Credit Card orders are
just one thing the government now has greater ease
of monitoring. Uncle Sam will watch whatever he
wants and if he can't he'll just pass a law so he can.
If you are doing nothing illegal, then who gives a fuck
if they do come knock-to-talk. Your not doing anything
wrong right? Or are you? I'll bet my left foot that you.
Just by asking the question you did, to me implies
that you are. Welp just food for thought abuse, watch
what you say and how. PEACE OUT!

Unobtainium

  • Guest
why bother asking
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2003, 05:14:00 AM »

I really don't think that is necessary because like I said I am in the chemistry business. I'm assuming that the authorities might pay me a visit anyway! :-D




Why did you come here asking a question if you've already made up your mind anyway? You don't want to take extra precausions because you're lazy, end of story. You know very well what you should do. You're just looking for excuses not to do it because it involves more work to do things properly. So go ahead and order it on your credit card and ship it to your address. The worst that can happen is you'll end up in a cell being ass-raped every night for 30 years, but that's obviously not a big concern of yours, so go for it.




abuse

  • Guest
yeah, you're right. no reason in taking ...
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2003, 05:30:00 AM »
yeah, you're right. no reason in taking unecessary risks.

..and there is no reason you should bet your left foot :-)

LoRE

  • Guest
i have bought and i know lots of ppl who have...
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2003, 10:09:00 PM »
i have bought and i know lots of ppl who have bought organic chemistry kits without incedent,  i use chemicals for my work two and you have to think the lag glass suppliers are running a business and they want to sell products they tend not to dob ppl in who buy things off them especially if your buying on line

i could see a problem if you went into labglass r us and ordered a 5000ml reaction vessel a heating mantle condenser then quized them on availability of hypophosporous acid or asked stupid questions about sublimination of iodine....99.9999999% of their business is for legitimate business so why would they think your any different

i do agree with the previous post on why leave a paper trail......but also i doubt labglass r us would check everybody that bought somthing off them....


it wouldnt hurt to get somone else to get them for you  just to be sure

scram

  • Guest
More than 2 years ago I ordered everything on...
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2003, 11:34:00 PM »
More than 2 years ago I ordered everything on my own credit card, own name, own address including some small oil sizes. I the time I had the mindset that if I'm ordering this stuff on my own cc to my own home then how could some be so stupid to be actually doing anything illegal w/it. I stayed at this place for 1 year from the first ordering of oil and glassware and really benign reagent chems. Never once did I get a knock. However, today I would not do that or even think that way since the farm-cooks are destroying our future and have made this such a hot topic in LE. If you are positive you never intend on doing anything illegal in the chemistry processes, including, proper disposal of chems and storage then I can only say that if they come into your house that I hope you don't get something planted in your place. Your really fucked then. Still they will probrably  call the EPA up and cite you for some improper violation of local resident laws, endangering others along with a variety of other small fines and legal problems, ie: improper ventiallation for flammables possibly resulting in explosion risks under some stupid industrial code violation. Next thing you know is your going to court to fight a $500,000 Hazmat condemnation and cleanup for having borax and h2s04 in the same room.
Order your shit to a house being renovated which has maintenance people fixing it up once a week and you know the back door is open. I've had 1 gallon size oil done like this b4.

hey GRUNS: your a fucking genius for thinking of the ordering to the rec dept of a lab. I've wondered if this could be done but was always afraid due to some 3rd year Professer's pet punk from asking various questions about why it was sent there.

bio

  • Guest
fight a $500,000 Hazmat condemnation and cleanup
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2003, 01:09:00 AM »
The EPA hit me with a $15K USD clean up fee for a 4L bottle of 37% HCl that was properly stored in an approved chem wharehouse. Some idiot that worked for the storage company said smoke was coming out from the door, they all panicked and knocked a bunch of stuff over thinking the place was on fire. By the time I got there they were running around in space suits and the cops  ready to haul me to jail. I talked to my lawyer the next day and he said what about the 5 kilos of NaCN that wasn't declared under CERCLA. The law had just come out and I didn't do the newspaper notification. Anyway this was one of the reasons I left the USA. Before I went on my own the company I worked for was fined $50K for an illegal extension cord. Willfull violation they said. I didn't have the deep pockets in this case so never paid a dime to them. The lawyer however is a happy man. Bee carefull ..........

gruns

  • Guest
Haha... If you're worried, just wait until...
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2003, 07:18:00 AM »
Haha... If you're worried, just wait until 12:15 when the regular receptionist goes to lunch and a student takes over, they don't know shit and hope anybody who looks like they know what they're doing will leave them to their book or whatever.  Of course, different universities may have different methods of handling packages, the one I'm aware of just leaves them on a windowsill and has a sign-out sheet that they only check when something fucks up.

Different offices on the same campus usually have different policies, usually it's the prediliction of the receptionist.
Universities are great, it kinda reminds me of government, nobody wants to do any more work than they have to, or hear about anything that doesn't directly affect them.

Also, these places have the added benefit of completely ignoring all of those scary-looking stickers, all they ask is that you are prompt in picking it up :p

A little off topic, but, I've gotten things that were in flagrant violation of UPS, fedex, and postal shipping guidelines.  Nothing interesting, believe it or not some people are actually photographers AND rocket hobbyists :p
Goddamned 5lbs of sodium nitrite in a CONVENIENCE STORE SHOPPING BAG.  I am not making that up.


Flippie

  • Guest
package delivery
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2003, 10:37:00 PM »
Hey gruns,

It doesn't seem that difficult to me to send the package at a university and to collect it at the reception. The minute you look confident enough nobody will suspect you.
The only thing I wonder is, how you tackle the chemical company. Don't they expect an order delivered at the university also to be paid by the university and not from a private account? Or do researchers in the US usually have to buy their own chems? ::)  Don't tell me you manage to let the university pay your chemicals.  :)

Why leave a paper trail when you don't have to?  Use a money order and get it shipped to the receiving office of a local university under a different name.

Are money orders indeed anonymous? Or do you also need a fake bank account?


MarleyBob

  • Guest
Money Order
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2003, 10:49:00 PM »
In the US one can easily get anonymous money orders, they sell them everywhere from the post office to 7-11.

They are anonymous to the point that they could be traced to where they were bought.


methyl_ethyl

  • Guest
In other words
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2003, 11:58:00 PM »
In other words, one pays cash for a money order.  No direct tie to any of your accounts.  Unless of course you purchase the money order at your local branch, and have the funds and applicable fees taken directly out of your account.  In this case the bank will usually keep record of the money order receipt in your account files.  Some banks will not allow you to purchase money orders unless you have an account with them.  The more anonymous you can be the better, however if you are trying to purchase equipment to a University address and are paying with a 7-11 money order, I assume this may raise some flags.

methyl_ethyl


scram

  • Guest
Well, I can tell you when they asked for the...
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2003, 05:09:00 AM »
Well, I can tell you when they asked for the business name, the reply was always "student." and next question was "shipping address?"
This was on cc orders. I can't imagine them getting an
MO in the mail w/a purchase to be sent C/O Midwest Meth University.

nitrous351

  • Guest
ordering
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2003, 03:23:00 PM »
SWIN sees no problem ordering glassware with a credit card IF ALL of the following hold true:
1. You have ABSOLUTELY no criminal history.
2. You have a genuine interest in organic chemistry (i.e., you have formal university organic chemistry lab training)
3. Don't buy anything else involving chemistry using that or any of your other credit cards.
4. Follow the rest of the previously-discussed no-brainer rules (such as keeping chems at your house, etc...)
5. ALWAYS keep your glassware and work area clean of any and all residues.
6. ALWAYS have 2 or 3 chems with instructions to follow a simple, legal experiment lying around (such as the dehydration of an alcohol, or purifying benzoic acid, or something stupid like that)

When it comes time to get your chems, you're going to have to think of another way other than a cc to get them. You also might want to practice your interrogation defense just in case. Just don't be fuckin' stupid about it.


Flippie

  • Guest
business: student
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2003, 08:19:00 PM »
Well, I can tell you when they asked for the business name, the reply was always "student." and next question was "shipping address?"


I assume that while placing your first order, they made a customer number for you based on your (maybe fake) address, real name and CC (billing) information.

I doubt this would ever work in Europe. According to the law chemsuppliers cannot sell their products to individuals, unless of course you have your own business and genuine VAT number. The moment you don't have a company you are already suspicious. Of course a fake company name and business cards won't do any good without a valid VAT-number. I don't think VAT-numbers can be faked, or it will be noticed soon. I don't think that credit card orders are common practice here and hence suspicous.
Here the chemsupplier sends the bill to the companies billing address and the goods to the shipping address. The bill has usually to be paid within a 30 days period. Never heard of companies paying by credit card.

I am aware that a lot of information on this topic cannot be discussed freely in order to keep this sources available in the future. However, if there's some general but useful information some bees can share on this topic it would be very appreciated.

I know that smaller companies are mostly more flexible because they also want to make a living  ;) , but I am interested in the university delivery idea.


Vitus_Verdegast

  • Guest
depends..
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2003, 09:26:00 PM »

I doubt this would ever work in Europe. According to the law chemsuppliers cannot sell their products to individuals, unless of course you have your own business and genuine VAT number. The moment you don't have a company you are already suspicious. Of course a fake company name and business cards won't do any good without a valid VAT-number. I don't think VAT-numbers can be faked, or it will be noticed soon. I don't think that credit card orders are common practice here and hence suspicous.




Depends on where you live of course, and what kind of chemical supplier you want to order from. I agree that the big ones will, in most but certainly not all cases, not deliver to your home adress. But there are alternatives,  places that can order chems from the big ones for you to pick them up later.

Faking a VAT number would be a very stupid thing to do, but do all European countries require a VAT number?




Flippie

  • Guest
do all European countries require a VAT ...
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2003, 10:24:00 PM »
do all European countries require a VAT number?

In all European countries that I know of (quite a lot) businesses (small, medium, large) always have a VAT number that is always used in the billing information.

I just checked the Sigma-Aldrich homepage and looked at the info they require to create a user profile to access MSDS and price information and saw that there was a field
"Standard Payment Information" where you have to fill out your credit card data?! It seems to be possible after all! Even stranger is that the VAT-number is not required, there's not even a field where you can enter it! I wonder how this can be explained since every lab order I do has a customer number linked to the billing and shipping information including VAT number


Prince_Charles

  • Guest
UK VAT Registration
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2003, 12:54:00 AM »
In the UK, if your taxable turnover is £ 56 K or more, you must register for VAT (below this, it is optional).

VAT registration is by filling in a form with your company details and estimated turnover. You can buy an off the shelf company in the UK for 20 pounds or so.

Having your own VAT registered company is the easy part.


Unobtainium

  • Guest
A VAT number is completely meaningless to a US
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2003, 01:00:00 AM »
A VAT number is completely meaningless to a US company. If you order online, you're ordering through Sigma US, regardless of what country's page you're on.


scram

  • Guest
Yeah, of course if you order from EM science...
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2003, 01:29:00 AM »
If you order from EM science or some fat cat like that your going to not slip by. In america its called a "cash sale" when placed on cc. The po box states M/C or Visa. I'm talking about True name/address and ship to address. As I said the mindset that I had is that why would I order chems and glassware on my own credit card to my own apartment address in my own name if I'm doing anything illegal. I DON'T SUGGEST THIS. I wouldn't do this now. Of course it was ordered over a few months. I've even had custom blown glass ordered this way. No problem. If you are not a student I would be careful about doing anything in your own name, especially if you have a criminal background. Swim has been lucky to never have any such incidents. I think If I did the same shit today I would be in jail. However, back then I knew or just felt it wasn't hot enough yet to be scrutinized. There was a few occasions where they specifically asked what a certain article is being used for and they seemed to cast doubt on swims intentions. Swim still went through with the order and pushed those ideas out of the conversation. VxR once refused a sep funnel based on it's claimed "regulatory use." But they are stupid to order from anyway. Too big usually brings a blip on the radar screen.

Prince_Charles

  • Guest
VAT Registration not relevant
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2003, 01:48:00 AM »
Whether S Aldrich have a VAT field on their form or not, I doubt they will sell to a private individual in europe.

It is of no concern to the supplier whether you are VAT registered or not (being VAT registered just means you can offset VAT paid against VAT charged on your quarterly VAT bill). More likely is that the supplier might want your company number to verify it is bona fide. In the UK they can check electronically with Companies House - see who the directors are and what your annual turnover is.


yellium

  • Guest
scram: I'm replying to an older post of you:...
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2003, 10:27:00 PM »
scram: I'm replying to an older post of you: what  makes you believe 'they' can't look up your ordering history 2 or 5 years ago?

stratosphere

  • Guest
i can't imagine that suppliers who cater to...
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2003, 08:09:00 AM »
i can't imagine that suppliers who cater to amuteur scientists etc are quick to notify the police every time they sell something.
 while most suppliers of this type, do say that there sales records are open to law enforcement, how much effort does the fbi, dea etc really put into collecting these records and putting them into a centralized database where suspicsious patterns could be detected?
and even if they do, what would consititute them wanting further investigation?
i mean if you bought a few flasks, 100g KI, a couple liters of DCM and some other garden variety things over the last year are they really going to commit the time to further investigate you?

and say they do, id assume they need a warrant to review your financial records, unless there is some cozy "open book" deal worked out between cc companies and the gov, but that should be discussed in your cc's privacy policy.

but say they do look at your cc records, would they do it by hand or by computer, i would imagine unless your really under there scrutiny they would not have the manpower to carefully pick through al your records, and for instance lets say you bought some aromatic oil from hippy dippy farms, i would imagine the cc records would just say the date, amount and who was the purchase to, and wouldn't a computer search just overlook a $50 purchase to hippy dippy farms?

how long do banks, and cc companies have to save detailed documentation of your tranactions?
 i mean does the bank really have to save on file information about every single check written by every single customer for the last 5 years or something?

yellium

  • Guest
how long do banks, and cc companies have to...
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2003, 02:19:00 PM »

how long do banks, and cc companies have to save detailed documentation of your tranactions?


Stop being naive, and start thinking the other way round.

Take a look at dejagoogle. Do you believe those people posting in the mid-eighties had any reason to assume that their posts would still be readable in the 21'th century?
 
What makes you think that banks have an 'obligation' to throw away their records after 5 years of usage? Sure, they might not be accessible for you. But they're not 'gone'. Especially not with hard disks being as cheap as they are now. 


i mean if you bought a few flasks, 100g KI, a couple liters of DCM and some other garden variety things over the last year are they really going to commit the time to further investigate you?


If you are a DEA officer with a too-good track record on forfeitures (that is, you've put all those meth cooks in jail and taken their belongings) you can find yourself in the unfortunate situation that you're out of meth cooks. You have two options: fire some of your men, or start investigating small fish. You happen to have some logs of credit card transactions...

stratosphere

  • Guest
im not sure it is naive to think that cc coms...
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2003, 11:25:00 PM »
im not sure it is naive to think that cc coms and banks would eventually dispose of records, not that they are in any way obligated to, in fact im sure the opposite is true, that they are required to save them for a minumum period, but my reason for believing they don't save every record forever is that data storage costs money.

and as for going after little fish, your probobly right, because for the dea/fbi, any drug bust, especially a drug lab bust is treated as a huge spectacle.

although i am still curious as to the legal proticol followed to investigate a persons financial records, i would assume that they would need some sort of warrant, and don't just have open access to cc databases.

Mercury

  • Guest
Some thoughts...
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2003, 04:18:00 AM »
First of all, banks will most likely NEVER dispose of financial data simply because it is too valuable to destroy, and like someone else said in this post, digital data storage is very cheap these days.

One must wonder how the DEA/FBI analyze laboratory and chemical purchases to make the decision of whether or not to investigate the purchase further. Let's be realistic for a moment. The authorities simply do not have the resources and manpower to fully-investigate every single purchase since there are 1000's of order occuring every week. So, their computer system must automatically scan all purchases submitted to them and extract suspicious orders via predefined criteria. An order, for example, paid with a money order and not sent to an institution (university or legal laboratory) would most likely be red-flagged for further analysis as opposed to an order that was paid by credit card and send to an institution. You are living in the stone age if you think it is done any different.

gruns

  • Guest
Social Engineering 101
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2003, 07:18:00 AM »
If a company gives you shit about using a money order, if it's a small order you can just tell them that your research project doesn't have the time to wait for the dumbfucks in mgmt to authorize your order, it takes those lazy bastards WEEKS, you'd rather get to work and let them do it at their own pace. 

Although, usually it's done the other way around, but they don't know that.


Osmium

  • Guest
> although i am still curious as to the...
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2003, 09:37:00 AM »
> although i am still curious as to the legal proticol followed to investigate a
> persons financial records, i would assume that they would need some sort of
> warrant, and don't just have open access to cc databases.

Ever heard of the Patriot Act? No warrant needed anymore.


gruns

  • Guest
Not only that...
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2003, 05:44:00 PM »

Post 452089 (missing)

(Osmium: "The MATRIX is real!", The Couch)


This is why I do not suggest getting anything weird sent to a residential address.


Unless it's from another country.

"Git'm Elmer! He's tryin' ta all-ter hiyus cawnshusnuss!"


Unobtainium

  • Guest
Most financial institutions maintain records...
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2003, 06:57:00 AM »
Most financial institutions maintain records for 7 years. Whether it is a legal requirement or not, I don't know, but it is the de facto standard and probably somehow related to banckruptcy law or most financial crime statutory limits.

The reason for not leaving a paper trail is not because the the DEA just randomly goes through credit card receipts looking for suspecious purchases. It is because if you ever do anything that puts you under inverstigation, the first thing they are going to do is go through your financial records. 5 years of glassware receipts in your name isn't going to look very good compounded with whatever evidence they already had against you. All you're doing is giving them more of exactly what they need.


i would assume that they would need some sort of warrant, and don't just have open access to cc databases.




And you think that the need for a warrant will somehow impede the DEA? The DEA can and will perform illegal searches at the drop of a hat. They don't care if its in admissable in court because it will provide them with leads to much stronger evidence.




Chaos

  • Guest
Re: I doubt this would ever work in Europe.
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2004, 05:19:00 AM »

I doubt this would ever work in Europe. According to the law chemsuppliers cannot sell their products to individuals, unless of course you have your own business and genuine VAT number. The moment you don't have a company you are already suspicious. Of course a fake company name and business cards won't do any good without a valid VAT-number. I don't think VAT-numbers can be faked, or it will be noticed soon. I don't think that credit card orders are common practice here and hence suspicous.




This is not like this in all europe.

In Portugal (where i live) and Spain (and some other countries) you can buy all the glassware you need no problems, everyone will sell it
for chems, you might have a problem, since those are only sold to companies (or, if you happened to have someone that trusts you in a chem distributer) you can have anything you want (except what american call class I scheduled precursors)and all is bought legally (vat and all, if i want it, for tax reductions, etc)

My Friend told me those Class I things that can't be bought
i think there were only 5 or 6
i just remember
Lysergic acid
Safrole
Iso Safrole
Piperonal
that was all the he mentioned that raised flags (and he was not sure about the lysergic acid)

I bought 2 Kgs of anthanilic acid 1.5 years ago and still no one knocked at my door
(i used it to make some indigo, actually, but it was a test to see if it could be bought or not)

Another things around these parts is the prices
most of the reagents wich I buy come from Merck, or Acros, or Fischer, or aldritch (big companies) and they charge a bit too much, for a simple student

The word here is : make some friends in the local chem supplier ;)

It's worth it and you don't have to do MacGyverisms on OTC stuff




Bwiti

  • Guest
If You..
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2004, 12:26:00 PM »
If you can only find a fucking U.S. Co. that'll sell you chems, then thank them kindly and give 'em your credit card #, and piss off. As far as supply goes, times are fucking rough in the U.S.. It's not just the word on the street, peoples from all walks of life are telling me that it's hopeless.. What the fuck are you gonna do?! Plant false hope in these young soldiers?! If so, then you are disgusting!!


JohnGault

  • Guest
Money Orders in the US
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2004, 04:54:00 PM »
As of 10/1/03 whenever you buy a money order in the US you must provide ID. Part of the Patriot Act I guess.

JG

elfspice

  • Guest
my 2 cents
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2004, 11:58:00 AM »
seems to me like the united states SUCKS... ahem...

anyways, i think the best way to get glassware is to hook up with some 3rd year or postgrad chem students and find the local glass blowing guru and bypass all the bullshit. And make your chems from otc materials always, never buy anything special.

And really look into alternatives. sometimes pyrex isn't required, copper, stainless steel, silver, brass, pvc, hdpe, polypropylene... for your basic solvent recovery purposes, one can build something completely of off the shelf stuff. I recently found an engine gasket sealant which is rated to 150 degrees and resistant to water, steam, ethylene glycol, petrol and oil, and all the way down to -40 degrees... seemed to me a perfect way to make a cheap compounded cork stopper suitable for use in distilling xylene and toluene, and preventing it from falling apart from alcohol distillations... and soldering copper pipes is easy, just remember to clean it well and heat the pipe until the whole thing is smoking n shit, before putting the solder on... the solder is not cheap.

Also, some basic things can be substituted for certain things - for example, a reflux condenser could be replaced with glass tubing, a long glass tube will function as an air condenser just fine, so long as it's clamped to stay upright. PVC tubing (not silicone) is resistant to aromatics at room temperature... Aquarium heaters usually contain several thin pyrex tubes and are encased in a usually fairly large test tube... be careful pulling the thing apart as they use quite thin wall glass (of course)... and there's often quite a length of coiled nichrome wire in the middle of it as well, and possibly the thermostatic switch circuit could be turned into something else (the temperature sensor might be useful at least...)

All kitchenware made of glass and designed to handle boiling water being thrown into it is made of pyrex, and can be used directly on solid hotplate elements so long as you put the glass onto the element while it's cold and let it warm slowly (just to avoid the possibility of thermal stress making a mess of your lab bench... or starting a fire)

Ceramics can be used in situations where a lot of heat is involved too, and these things can even be made at home (and i'm sure you'll find other uses for the kiln)

Alcohol is an almost universally applicable extraction solvent for plant materials and can be produced with a home brewing kit and a home-made fractional still... With sulphuric acid you can turn this (plus acetic acid) into ethyl acetate as well...

...

when you start to look at the things around you, you will start to realise that so many useful things were right under your nose.

I still want a couple of metres of various different sizes of tygon tubing though, that stuff rocks, silicone and vinyl tubing just don't cut it.