A Simple Retort
Threaded end of
¼ inch pipe
4 – 6 inch dia. pipe
Clamp or vice
Figure 3: Pipe bending using a clamp or vice
- Bend the pipe 4 inches from the threaded end into a smooth curve, with an angle of
about 60-70 degrees. If possible, use a pipe bending machine to have a smooth curve.
Alternatively, clamp the ¼-inch diameter pipe (2a) to a larger diameter pipe (4 to 6-inch)
and then manually bend it around the bigger pipe (Figure 3).
- Heat the pipe and fittings until red hot, before assembly, to burn off the zinc coating
(zinc reacts with mercury).
- Allow the retort to cool, then wash it.
Figure 4: Components of the assembled mercury retort
Figure 5: Separate components of the mercury retort