4)   Find or make a mounting pin.

There are several different types of mounting pins available in the world.

For small-molecule work in this laboratory you need only consider the style described here. All other styles can (and should) be ignored. In normal small-molecule work mounting with oil you do not need elaborate loops or any kapton-based nonsense.  Those sorts of mount are useful for biocrystals, but offer no advantage for small molecules. Unless you really know what you are doing, such mounts may lead to seriously high background counts.

There are usually a few mounting pins lying around that already have a glass fibre attached, so if you find one, feel free to use it.

Otherwise (or if you break one) you'll have to attach a new glass fibre. This is not difficult but it becomes easier with practice. Some of the mounting pins have a steel collar attached. For normal small molecule crystals, you may use either type.

You will need a copper pin, a steel base and key, some glass fibres, some solder and the little blazer blowtorch.

Mounting pins
Pin in steel base + key
Butane torch

The steps are as follows:

i)  Remove pin from steel base.
ii)  Place copper pin in clamp.
iii)  Gently heat the fat end of the pin.
iv)  Push glass fibre in narrow end to ~2mm.
v)  Quench the pin under tap water.
vi)  Replace the steel base - not too tight.

Always make mounting pins the same size. This way you will have fewer adjustments to make and therefore less stuff to remember. When you always use a uniform set of tools, the manipulations become automatic and you do not have to worry about them.

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