I am always interested in building/modifying equipment and glassware, and the following C and E News article led me to an interesting website, also linked, where details on building homemade rotators and stir plates are in place. Both models can be constructed with materials for less than $30. As I'm always looking to keep costs down for equipment like this, I thought I would share it. If anyone knows of other links, please let me know.
A student would gain a working knoweldge of constructing homebuilt devices (very useful for graduate school).
If I have a small enough lab class in the future, I definitely might try to do a lab that centers on constructing a useful device, like a freezing point depression setup, etc. I think giving upper division students appreciation for device and equipment construction is a plus, especially if they have plans of moving on to graduate school.
A lab on equipment construction would be based primarily on the ability of the student's to construct a device and demonstrate its operation.