Friday, July 8, 2011

Plans for a histology lab

Ok, let's pretend I wrote this post a few months ago, when I actually started working on this project; you'll see an amazing and rapid progression over the next couple of days as I post the steps of the process that have been ongoing for a while now.

The goal of this project is to turn this cluttered (really, it was about 1500% worse than this photo at one point) storage closet and former VPL unisex bathroom into most of a histo lab. Over the past few months I've been accumulating equipment and cleaning all the junk out of this 13'x8' room with the intention of cutting a doorway in the far wall where that flammable cabinet sits in the photo. My goal was to connect this room to the office on the other side of the wall, creating a 26'x8' space, effectively a "clean room" on one side and a "filthy room" on the other. This is the design evident in the 3D rendering that I created in Google's SketchUp program. Which is an amazing program, and needs its very own post expounding upon that amazingness. I'll get to it one of these days.
So, several of our graduate students have been involving histological analysis in their research, and had been doing some of that work in the thin-section lab on the main campus in the Geology Department. Due to circumstances that I'm not aware of, our access to that space was revoked, and I was asked to find a place for the materials that we had already bought, which at that point was mostly the Buehler Isomet 1000 trim saw, some resin, and a minifridge. Since I'm a firm believer in one stop shopping (convinced that I can do almost everything cheaper and more accurately myself),  coupled with the goal of having our students exposed to the widest array of tools and techniques possible, I drafted an initial design for the lab. Future posts will detail the process of getting from the above photo to the below image. It has been lotsa fun so far!

The whole proposed lab, we aren't cutting a doorway in the wall now, though
Detail of histo lab

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