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Everything posted by inuhbad

  1. Aaaaaaaaah! You should've posted that YESTERDAY so I don't look like such an april fool! Sorry, I'm just SERIOUSLY not thinking right. I've got a hardcore case of brainfry from doing calculus all day for some site engineering junk on a couple projects. I'm leaving for a vacation soon, so naturally I've got to finish all my work before I leave. It's 8:15 PM, I'm still @ work, and I've got about 2 days more work to finish by 5 PM tomorrow. I need to go home & drink some distilled potato juice with an olive in it or something! My WIFE would really love me if I could figure out a way to make Crystalline Carbon via Electrolysis!
  2. It's just a lot easier to simply BUY your nitric acid. Then you've got much more pure HNO3, and at a more consistent concentration. You can usually find a decent deal if you buy it in larger quantities like a 4 gallon HDPE container. Split it up into four 1 gallon dark glass bottles (appropriately marked for hazmat contents), and then you can even separate it out further into 100ml bottles if you need something more convenient to work with in the lab. Then you'll also have more than enough on hand to use for a lifetime of experimentation (for a home chemist). I'm almost prepared to place an order for 4 gallons, I've got to finish making a specialized storage cabinet/container, and then I'll have my local fire marshall service worker come out to inspect it to see if it's compliant with my county's local codes (which are rather strict & specific)! I know I won't have a full need for FOUR full gallons of it, so I might give some to my uncle to use at his company's medical laboratories - I'm sure he'll appreciate it considering the cost of HNO3.
  3. Thanks for posting this, Hermanntrude! I've got plenty of lead on hand and I'm always trying to find more possible reasonable uses for it! This could be a fun experiment! I might also take a peak into the Calcium Carbide experiment as well! Can you post some stuff on that if you try it??? Sounds like fun!
  4. ...The kinematics in solid-fuel rockets does vary depending upon the different fuels. We're talking about the ideally controlled release of energy that's stored chemically. This has been experimented with quite a bit many years ago. Also, I am just now getting re-associated with a high-powered rocketry group, and may soon be forking over the dough for my federal permits to start making my own rockets again (there once was a time when federal, state, and local laws didn't give a crap about model rocketry - and amateur experimentation was A-Okay). KClO3 isn't really all that great of a fuel and as mentioned, if you're not careful when making them you WILL be creating an explosive - a big federal no-no. In fact, making your own KNO3 rocket engines (with a different compound) is also illegal if your mass exceeds a certain amount. I'd suggest sticking with commercially produced rocket motors - it will help you avoid a great many SERIOUS problems! If you attempt to persue making your own solid fuel engines I'm sure eventually you'll encounter some (if not all) of these problems: - Trial & Error headaches. - Expenses to replace destroyed motor bodies, remachining or replacing custom machined nozzles. - Rebuilding your motor testing stand (because you blew it up 6 times already). - Serious injury to yourself or an innocent bystander - possible severe burns, or death. - A wonderful 5-10 years in prison for making illegal explosives without a federal license. - In the event you DO get some motors working you have to deal with inconsistent performance from a variety of contributing factors... This is seriously something I suggest avoiding if you wish to avoid any of these problems. There are waaaaaaaaay too many factors involved that are often out of the limits of control for amateur home-built solid fuel rocket engine. Mixing your Fuel & Oxidizer properly, evenly, and SAFELY. Properly bonding with a synthetic or polymer agent. Properly & Consistently compacting it into the motor body. Precise formation of the prill/grain and its center channel. Replacing your test nozzles periodically with a new custom-machined one - because even your 'successful' tests will result in heat erosion of your nozzles - increasing their diameter, and reducing their performance - creating inconsistency. Proper design & construction of an efficient motor body to withstand the pressures generated while remaining lightweight. Proper design & machining of a nozzle to produce the thrust necessary to not only make your rocket perform, but to regulate the pressures generated throughout the full course of the burn. You also have to test & launch everything with a long-distance secured frequency remote control launching devise from a VERY long distance or you'll be in a world of hurt. Seriously, avoid making your own. It takes YEARS of research, experimentation, data collection & review, TONS of time & expense fabricating new parts or repairing things you've blown up - before you even get a GOOD, SUCCESSFUL, HIGH-PERFORMANCE rocket motor! If you think commercially produced 'Estes' motors aren't powerful enough, and KNO3 based solids aren't enough - get the federal permits to buy commercially produced reloadable rocket motors. It's the only SAFE way to avoid any headaches and untold sums of money wasted on trial & error experimentation. That's likely what I'll be doing soon enough. Most consistent & safe high-power solid fuel motors these days operate with a phase stabilized ammonium nitrate based fuel/oxidizer recipe - and it has to be PROPERLY phase stabilized or you're just wasting your time with regular ammonium nitrate. There are other solid fuels that have proven to work with limited success using all sorts of chemicals, binders, and compaction techniques. Each different recipe provides dramatically varying performance based upon the varying amounts of energy stored in their chemical composition. It will even vary depending upon the different sources chosen to acquire the chemicals... It's just far too inconsistent to be worth anybody's time or effort - my own as well.
  5. Wearing a sweater while standing near the fuel tank opening (while filling) is not very smart. Saw somewhere else online a video of a woman standing beside her car while filling it, wearing a sweater. The fumes of gasoline can be retained in the sweater fibers. The moment she touched somethign metal/grounded, she had a static electricity discharge, and almost immediately her upper body ignited in flames! Also, don't wear fleece, or the older 'windbreaker' style athletic fabric when you're near an oxygen source as they, too, can spontaneously ignite with just a spark.
  6. WOW! That's a hilarious idea! As for my best moment... Well, today is just beginning. For yesterday, the best moment would have to be walking in through the door, being greeted by my incredible wife with a kiss, and by my puppy whose tail is wagging so excitedly that his whole butt shakes with it, and he jumps up to 'kiss' (lick) me, running in circles around me, and makes a kind of squeaking noise that's so cute. We'll see what happens today.
  7. That pretty much sums it up. Unless it's a self-sustaining reaction in which the energy generated is enough to power the radio wave generator, and also produce a surplus of additional energy that is sufficient to power other things... Then they might have something worthwhile... Al Gore shouldn't talk to us about becoming energy efficient & energy independent when his several inefficient mansions burn more fossil fuels in any given day than my house could consume. Talk is cheap. Show us that you're making a strong effort to do the same. In the meantime, those same democrats working in our local Planning & Zoning departments that are telling us to likewise become energy independent are the same ones telling us we can't add solar panels or small residential windmills to our homes & properties because they are not 'Aesthetically Pleasing' or because the windmills could fall on children. It's all fine & dandy in Theory, but in Practice, it's less than practical, and certainly not all that 'renewable'.
  8. Yup, if you've ever had to change out & put in a new car battery in the cold Minnesota Winters, you'd find they're pretty darn heavy. They feel like about as heavy as a 40 pound bag of water softener salt (but they're so darn SMALL it wouldn't seem so heavy at a glance). In the cold winters the electrolyte solution tends to freeze and it reduces the battery's ability to power & start the cars... I was thinking of draining the electrolyte, funneling it into a waste bottle, running a titration to perfectly neutralize the solution, and filter it to remove any metal/lead from the solution, and then dispose of it. Once I clean & neutralize any acid that might still be on the plastic & lead, then I can recycle the plastic, and smelt the lead into something useful (for my purposes). That link you included is great... Plenty of good information & statistics. One would have to be very careful doing this as Sulfuric acid is nothing to be careless with... I'm not even sure if I'm going to attempt this yet. I should also research any legalities concerned with it. Any EPA regulations or something of the sort, etc... The electrolyte, once neutralized, will probably be brought to a local waste disposal place just incase. I don't know if I can ensure I'll get all the lead particles out of the liquid waste, and don't want that going down the sewer or something.
  9. How much lead is there in a battery. I was under the impression that about 18 to 19 pounds of it was lead & lead dioxide 'wafers' or layers. Even if you could only get maybe 10 to 15 pounds of lead out of one, that'd be about ~70,000 to ~105,000 'Grains' of lead. That'd come to about ~300 to ~450 of my 230 grain lead round nose bullets for my Colt 45. It doesn't seem like too much work - especially if the sulfur will mostly cook off in the 1500 degree crucible. If my math is right, there should be closer to 18 or 19 pounds, which works out to a bit over 500 bullets. So, I could potentially have over 1000 free bullets sitting in my shed right now.
  10. Yup, I was afraid of that... I'll have to find a better source for free lead that's more usable... Anybody else have any suggestions for a decent source of lead?
  11. I WANT TO GET THE LEAD OUT! I've been thinking about this for quite a long time now... I think I'm going to do it this summer, but I wanted to run it by the brainy chemists here before I try it... Lead Acid Car Batteries, the older style, non-sealed electrolytic batteries. They basically consist of a polymer body/shell with a number of internal 'chambers' or cells within. Typically 6 cells in series which produce ~2.1 volts each. These cells contain stacks of lead (Pb for the Anode) and lead dioxide (PbO2 for the Cathode) in an alternating form. These 'wafers' of lead and lead dioxide do not touch directly, but have a 'Separator' between them, which usually consists of an extremely thin layer of Rubber or PVC / Polyethylene in modern lead-acid batteries. The battery cells are then filled with the electrolyte solution which is Sulfuric Acid & Distilled Water. As the battery discharges, the electrolyte solution becomes less & less concentrated as the sulfur is taken up with the Lead & Lead Dioxide. According to Wiki, the reactions are thus: Anode Reaction: Cathode Reaction: So, basically, once the battery is old & dead, you're left with a plastic container filled with Lead Sulfate, H3O, and H2O. I want the Pb. I'm a competition shooter, and due to the 'War On Terror' (might as well call it a 'War On The American Taxpayer!'), the supplies of surplus ammunition has dried up. Ammunition costs 3x to 4x what it did in 2002 (and over 5x what it cost in 2000)!!! I can no longer afford to shoot the quantities of ammunition I once could! Copper costs have skyrocketed, and ammunition companies that tried keeping up with demand actually LOST a lot of money because the materials prices went up faster than they could adjust their prices! SO, now that copper & metals prices have dropped back down, the AMMUNITION manufacturers are REFUSING to drop their prices back to where they used to be --> SO THEY CAN MAKE UP FOR THEIR LOSSES when the metal prices were soaring too fast to keep up! I was told by a friend who works for a major ammo manufacturer that all manufacturers WILL NOT drop their prices for another year or so (at the earliest), and if they ever DO get around to dropping their prices, they're only going to drop them about 15% Total!!! Even though the metals prices have DROPPED BACK DOWN approximately 200% within the past year or so! In other words, they're DELIBERATELY trying to rape their customers to make up for their losses during the past 7 years of increased production demand! SO, since about 2003, I've been making my own ammunition to save on costs! I'd buy my ammunition components in bulk (before the prices got TOO crazy), and used that to load & reload my own ammunition. I saved approximately 70% off the cost of factory loaded ammunition for my handgun rounds, and about 45% off my rifle ammunition costs! However, due to the manufacturers having raised their prices, and NOT lowering them now that metal prices are lower again, I'm finding it tough to find even the components to load my own ammunition! Before you could buy either CAST LEAD bullets for about $0.03 to $0.04 each, and copper jacketed bullets were closer to $0.10 to $0.12 each. NOW, bullet casting companies are charging around $0.12 to $0.14 each for LEAD bullets, and over $0.20+ each for jacketed bullets --> Even though their materials costs have gone down! SO, I've taken to smelting/casting my own lead bullets. A small 'portable' smelting furnace/foundary kept in the shed has served well for smelting scavenged/salvaged lead down, adding the necessary amount of Antimony & Tin for hardness, and then pouring Ingots that I can later melt & cast into bullets! This is done with a full 40mm NBC gas mask, apron, gloves, and I have lead decontamination soaps to wash off any residual lead, and many people cast their own bullets as a hobby. One of the problems with making your own bullets is finding the source material! Before you could go to a gas station, repair shop, or especially a tire shop, and ask them if they have any old lead wheel weights you could take off their hands! Usually they have to pay to get rid of the lead, so they're plenty happy to give them to you! They can be smelted, add some antimony & tin, and then cast into bullets just fine! However, due to EPA regulations (or some such nonsense), wheel weights are no longer being made out of lead! So you need to find another source of metal. SO, one logical method is to bring a shovel, a couple buckets, and a sifting screen. Dig shovels of dirt outof the backstop, sift out the old fired bullets, and then put the dirt back on the backstop & pack it down! The problem is you have to get the lead cores out of the copper jackets, and you have to separate the lead & copper. This can be done with a foundry furnace, or a casting heater/burner machine, but there's a problem. The lead cores of some bullets are alloys and vary in their hardness. This means you won't know how much antimony/tin to add for the proper hardness of your new bullets. You need a better, more consistent source of lead than this! Since I happen to have two old dead lead-acid batteries from the 1980's in my shed, I've been thinking... These old lead-acid batteries contain approximately 19 POUNDS OF LEAD EACH!!! How can I get the lead out of those batteries? Could I open & drain the electrolyte solution out of the car batteries into a glass chemical jug (a waste-storage jug - it can be brought to a local hazardous waste disposal place), then rinse out the inside of the battery with a neutralizing solution. Then cut open the plastic battery casing to get the PbSO4 out of there? I could then clean up the plastic so it can be recycled or thrown away safely once I cut out the lead PBSO4 wafer stacks & separators. Here's my MAIN QUESTION... If I then throw these PbSO4 & Separator stacks into a crucible, melt them down at ~1500 degrees F, and scrape off the 'slag' on top, would that give me ingots of Pb, or would there be a significant amount of Sulfur still in the metal? I know for sure the super-thin separators will cook off quickly, but will the sulfur get cooked off as well, leaving me with mostly just lead & slag? What do your expert minds think? Bad Idea? Not worth it to get 38 pounds of lead for making bullets? What are your thoughts?
  12. I'd have to say the most dangerous stuff I've used personally is high concentration nitric acid, and a variety of Chlorine-based chemicals at a factory where I used to work in high school.
  13. UC, this subject interests me quite a bit. Do you know of any links or information sources I could read on the composition of these additites which will help the metal adhere and get the potential below hydrogen? Thanks for the info/help!
  14. Certainly interesting... I heard something along the lines of what Visceral stated... These ingredients also react with the HCl in the stomach to further aid in the production of dopamine, etc.
  15. Anyway, you should have your lawyer read over the above linked page regarding Chapter 541, and its sub sections to determine what, PRECISELY, is legal as the actual enforcement of such laws is often up to the interpretation of the officers doing the enforcing. That's how they base their decisions, and then it is left up to a judge to sort out the mess after a person is arrested & charged. With a grey area, I'd be a little leery about the legalities if I were to attempt such an undertaking. You also might want to search the Connecticut General Assembly website for more information regarding laws on pyrotechnics, proper storage, etc... You might also want to search Drug/Methamphetamine lab related laws to see if your state bans certain lab-related equipment/items/chemicals for use/possession in your home. Some states do have such laws (California being the most draconian/controlling), and some states do not. Just trying to look out for your safety & make sure you... Kind of sad that my state now just blanket-bans many nitrated things, and you used to be able to buy sheets of dampened nitrocellulose at a magic shop just down the road 8 years ago... These days you can't find it anywhere. You also might want to note that the law talks about it possibly being legal to possess nitrocellulose, but I'm not sure whether or not it's legal to manufacture your own. I'm just saying with a grey area, I'd be hesitant, and it's also rather dangerous if you screw something up. Making Nitric Acid isn't something I'd do indoors, but playing with concentrated sulfuric acid outdoors is also something I'd rather not do as well. Lots of safety concerns involved in the process. I've found two local suppliers of nitric acid, so, after I get approval from the Sheriff & Fire Marshall, I'll probably buy some for my own purposes (experimenting with corrosion resistant finishes for steel alloys). Until then, I'm rather limited in what I can experiment with in my home due to some rather broad-stretching blanket-legislation in my state.
  16. First of all, you should be cautioned about using 'Over The Counter' chemicals & cleaners for the purposes of chemistry experimentation. Over-the-counter chemicals, cleaners, and prep chemicals often STATE they have "X" for an active ingredient, at such a concentration, etc... Doesn't mean that's what ONLY in them. If you need to use a chemical inorganic acid reagent, either buy LAB quality pure chemicals, or buy a decreased concentraion of a 'pure' chemical. Using some sort of 'Cleaner' or 'Draino' like substance or a 'Prep & Etch' surface treatment chemicals will screw up your results --> Sometimes BADLY. They include, as you mentioned, buffers, and some other OTC chemicals include solvents, soaps, and other 'Impurities' which can cause problems for you... For my sulfuric acid needs, I can buy Sulfuric Acid from a Lab Supply place locally, or you could buy it at most Auto Parts Stores in 1 Liter Bottles. Auto Parts store acid is usually only 30% to 40% concentration, but it's PURE nitric acid, without additives, chemicals, cleaners/solvents added. You just need to boil out the water with a hot-plate & pyrex beaker (you'll need MORE stuff to do this safely, and follow a certain procedure, as it can be VERY dangerous - I don't recommend this indoors, nor outdoors when there's even remotely a chance of precipitation) to increase its concentration up above 90%. You will typically only get maybe 275 to 325 mL of ~96% Sulfuric Acid from a 1 Liter bottle though. That's not very much at all. That's why I'll just buy it in KNOWN 96-97% concentration, but you also have to know how to handle it as it's EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! Do a Google Image Search for "Sulfuric Acid Accident" and you'll see what I'm referring to... Its reaction with water is highly exothermic, and putting just ONE drop of water into sulfuric acid will cause it to splash, spitter, and boil, and quickly blind or disfigure you if it gets your face... That said, you have to know how to HANDLE high-concentration sulfuric acid as well. Mishandling or lack of safety precautions & safety equipment (Especially during the Acid Concentrating Process) could get you severe chemical burns on your skin, it could make you go blind, burn & scar your lung tissue, and there's the ever-lovely possibility of DEATH... So I'd recommend not playing with high concentration sulfuric acid unless you know with 200% CERTAINTY that you know EXACTLY what you're doing, how to do it SAFELY, and what equipment you'll need. That said, if you're going to use Sulfuric Acid to make Nitric Acid, I wish you the best of luck, because you're going to need a LOT of sulfuric acid, and a lot of a nitrate/salts because the Yields are absolutely PITIFUL. Contrary to what you might have read in the 'Poor Man's James Bond' or the 'Anarchist Cookbook' instructions on Nitrations, their recommended 'methods' are not only INCREDIBLY UNSAFE (and missing CRITICALLY important details), but they're also going to give you PATHETIC YIELDS for nitrations. As for the Nitric Acid --> I highly recommend you AVOID doing any nitrations --> ESPECIALLY AT HOME. Again, it's incredibly dangerous and there's a LOT more to doing nitrations (and especially the synthesis of creating Nitric Acid from Sulfuric Acid) than you may realize. And you likely won't learn what it is you're missing until you attempt a nitration without the proper knowledge/procedures/equipment, and by that point it may be too late as it's kind of hard to learn when you're dead or severely disfigured & blinded while a surgeon picks glass shards out of your body. I was lucky enough to have learned the process in a University setting, in a proper lab, with THICK ballistic safety glass surrounding the lab table, an overhead fire hood & ventilation system, as well as an acid neutralizing sprinkler system and a chemical shower not more than 10 feet away just incase something got thru the glass or the gloves! It's so dangerous, I wouldn't even THINK about trying to create nitric acid or do a nitration in my own home lab. I was nervous & scared as hell doing it in that incredibly 'safe' and 'controlled' environment, and the gasses produced in the process could blind/burn/kill you! I wouldn't DREAM of doing it in a home-lab! If you need Nitric Acid for anything, save yourself from the dangers of nearly killing yourself trying to make the acid - just buy it. Nitrations are incredibly dangerous, and not to mention, in Connecticut, where you state you are from --> CAN BE ILLEGAL! Not only do you have to abide by FEDERAL laws, but you should check your STATE, COUNTY, and MUNICIPAL/LOCAL laws to see what is or is not allowed for use in a home laboratory! You also have to check, because many 'modern' laws to combat Methamphetamine Production could limit not only what CHEMICALS you can legally possess (in conjunction with a specific number of other chemicals), but you have to see what LAB EQUIPMENT is legal in your area as well! Some states limit what kind of heating elements can be used in an in-home lab, and some limit what (and how much) chemicals you can have in the home as well. For example, in my state, you have to fill out a form with the local County Sheriff just to be in POSSESSION of concentrated Sulfuric Acid, or Nitric Acid, and also the local Fire Marshall needs to be notified in writing of the presence of any such chemicals which might be in the house. That's state law that I have to abide by... Not to mention you can't have certain powdered metals or metal salts on hand unless you get an approved license for Pyrotechnics Manufacture on hand --> EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT DOING PYROTECHNICS --> You need it to possess the powders/salts! You have to do more research on the legalities and SAFETY of what you're wanting to do. You could inadvertantly win yourself a new boyfriend named Tyrell or Bubba along with a lovely new 'pad' in ClubFed. There are obviously a number of LEGAL uses for Sulfuric & Nitric Acids, but they're relatively limited, and certain Nitrations are a HUGE Federal No-No, and will get you more than just a simple slap on the wrist --> More like a new, violent, and unpleasant means to enflame some hemorrhoids for at least the next Decade. So, after my 'warning' about how crazy this attempt is... I have to ask you two questions: 1.) What nitration are you hoping to try? 2.) Were you planning on doing anything regarding Azeotropic change?
  17. inuhbad

    Zombie Plan

    I had to LoL @ that video! I'm goin' to Alaska... Corpsicles!?!? LoL!
  18. Sunlight would be far too difficult to make it a feasible process with moderate production abilities. However, one could help solve your problems with Oxygen inputs, by using a more modern, mechanical means of pumping and evenly distributing the air around the furnace more evenly. It can also be designed so that it is still 'human powered', but more portable, and easier to operate than a hand-operated bellows system... Perhaps a bicycle style setup, stationary, that uses its gearing, and rim to drive a belt system that will spin up 2 or 3 autmobile turbo blowers you can find in a scrap yard? That, attached to a circular air distributor in the furnace itself could blow lots of air inside there with good results.
  19. inuhbad

    Zombie Plan

    I suggest you get your gun(s) ahead of time... BEFORE there's a problem with Zombies. It'll be tough to get them when those who already have them are likely going to be busy USING them. Don't forget to stock up on some ammo too since most Gun shops will likely be closed in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, so you'll have to make due with what you already have on hand! I recommend an intermediate caliber 'Assault Rifle'. Shotguns are nice, but their ammunition is bulky & heavy, so you cannot carry as much. Shotguns are also slower to reload, and typically only reasonably effective at close range (within ~100 yards, 200 tops although there are some acceptions to that). An AR-15 or AK-47 would be your best bet as they're reliable, sufficiently accurate, and have a decent range as well as the ability to go thru LOTS of ammunition in a short time without much reloading needed! If you can get your hands on something fully-automatic, and plenty of ammo, go for it! Got 50-Caliber? Otherwise, you'll have to wait around for your friendly neighborhood STEN truck to come around and deliver an automatic weapon or two to your doorstep. That 50 did a great job on my oldsmobile, so I think it'll do quite a number on a hoarde of Zombies... They see me rollin'... They Hatin'. The only problem is, how do you stay properly hydrated during the Zombie Apocalypse??? No matter how many gunshops I go to, I can't seem to find a single one that has a "Tactical Beverage Holder" in stock so I can keep my beer ready at a moment's notice!
  20. I can't believe I missed this cool little thread... I've got plenty of the spare junk laying around to make one of these! Gonna have to do it sometime soon!
  21. Hello Everyone... One of the main reasons why I've joined up here is to contribute to the Physics (particularly mechanical physics / kinematics studies) forums, and hopefully spur some people's creative minds, and also to get some answers in the areas of chemistry that I'm not too well educated in... You see, I'm certified armorer and I'm currently designing some parts/accessories for various firearms on the market. I've been working on a few prototype parts designs lately, but I've also been hoping to do more research & testing in the areas of Metal / Steel Alloy Finishes & Corrosion Protection. I'm using my years of physics, MechE, and other knowledge that I learned in college to hopefully create a product to someday fulfill a niche in which certain current designs are lacking. One of the problems I'd like to overcome is the issues of corrosion & rust protection. Since most of my projects to date were dealing with existing firearm designs, I wanted to stick with their existing steel finishes. In most firearms these finishes are a blued steel finish, or a 'parkerized' phosphating finish. There is abundant information in these chemical processes, but I feel there is much room for improvement in some areas of metal corrosion protective finishes and I would like to experiment more in this area, on my own time in my own laboratory at home. (Edited to add Emphasis to this Sentance) The problem I'm concerned with is the issue of legalities involved with having a chemistry lab in your own home or in your back yard. I know when I'm refinishing steel in my back yard (for ventilation purposes), I tend to get some odd looks and stares from the neighbors. Unfortunately, with the current trends of American Society, anything that is not understood by 'everyday people' of somewhat lacking intellect levels, is something that they are being taught to fear. As such, when refinishing metal parts in my yard, I often get some strange stares, and odd looks from neighbors, and passers-by. They slooooow down, look, and then keep going while scratching their heads. In a time when anything not understood is feared by the general populace, I find our current national mentality to be quite disturbing! A good case in point is this: http://io9.com/5119166/teen-with-home-chemistry-lab-arrested-for-meth-bombs I find it truly sad that our society's "Education" system is actually becoming much more of an "INDOCTRINATION" system. They appear to be ACTIVELY DISCOURAGING INTEREST IN THE SCIENCES under the guise of 'protecting' the children from 'dangerous' information... If you look into many of your local laws & legislation written to combat 'Drug Labs' or 'Meth Labs' you'll find they were deliberately written in an incredibly vague manner. This is obviously so they can use nearly anything to make their drug charges stick in court. If you read my state's drug laws, they ban the use of Filter Funnels, Pyrex Beakers, and Heating Elements! I'm not sure if our legislators were looking around, but that Mr Coffee percolator machine sitting in the corner of their office is a piece of BANNED chemistry equipment... If someone else nearby might have a household chemical that could be used as a reagent, and one of their co-workers happens to have some Actifed/Sudafed in their purse, while someone else has a bottle of Caffiene pills in his desk, I'm sure a Drug Raid could turn up the same charges! It's RIDICULOUS! As such, since I'm interested in working with metal finishing at home, I'm somewhat afraid that my ignorant-minded 'Sheeple' neighbors will call the police on me for having a 'Drug Lab' or for 'making explosives' when the reality is that's FAR from what I'm doing... I mean, to create a blued steel finish, that involves the use of Nitric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid, and Metal Salts. Some metal finishes require Sulfuric Acid to create other chemicals (with retorts/condensers) needed in the finishing processes... I'm sure that any common street cop that doesn't know any better will look at a little 'Explosives/Drug Lab ID CARD' to see what 'items' are in my possession that could otherwise be used for 'Nefarious Intent', see if I have Nitric, Sufluric, and other Acids, as well as a variety of household cleaners under the sink upstairs in the cleaning cabinet, and powdered substances (metals/salts) they cannot identify, they'll drag me into the county lockup and charge me with having an 'Explosives' lab or some such non-sense! Granted, I'm sure in a trial by jury I'd be exonerated once the evidence & truth comes to light, but that's a hassle and interruption in life that I don't want to deal with, not to mention it's likely around $20,000 in legal defense fees I don't want to pay either. I kind of wish this nation wasn’t such a ‘Nanny State’ that is SO UNTRUSTING of its populace that it actively discourages curiosity in the studies of Science, Physics, and Chemistry! I wonder when burning free-thinking people at the stake will come back into style? “How dare he want to learn science! Anybody interested in science must have nefarious intentions!” Give it a couple more years, it’ll be the trendy thing to do again someday! I find it somewhat pathetic if you ask me the way society is getting turned into ignorant Sheeple living in such a ‘bigger government will take care of all my problems’ society. Nobody is taking personal responsibility for their actions, nor taking financial responsibility for their poor decisions. Can you even find a ‘Chemistry Set’ anymore for children to play with??? Not in any stores these days as far as I've seen. No, that’d be Dangerous, and Irresponsible to teach kids to be interested in Science & Physics. Remember they used to even come with a little Alcohol burner to do your experiments & stuff (oh but that could burn your house down). Where are all the kids’ brain-toys? Where are the ‘Electronic Experiment’ kits where kids can make an AM radio from a spool of copper wire, a razor blade, and a safety pin!?!? Oh, no, they can’t do that! They might cut someone with the razor or stab someone with the safety pin! Anyway, Are there state-wide licenses that people could get for creating their own in-home chemistry labs??? Something that would help them legally keep such ignorant 'enforcement' of incredibly vague laws from being a concern??? I will soon have my first-born child, and due to the nature of the local public school system, if we cannot afford private school for our children, we're going to be homeschooling them for at least the first few years. If they remain homeschooled throughout their high-school years, I want to ensure they have an incredibly in-depth understanding of Math (Calc & Trig) and the various sciences (particularly Physics & Chemistry) so they will score well on their college placement tests. So, how do the rest of you home chemistry lab owners do your experiments within the ever constricting legalities imposed upon us science-minded free-thinking intelligent individuals??? IS there a state-license I could get before buying more lab equipment to create a more 'formal' home laboratory to help reduce the likelihood of over-zealous scrutinizing Law Enforcement Officers, or ignorant fearful sheep from creating problems in our lives??? I mean, a license 'allowing' us to have an in-home chemistry lab??? Does such a thing exist? What are some other laws regarding in-home chemistry labs that I should know before I drop a lot more coin on a dedicated in-home lab??? I certainly miss the good old days in college where I could just schedule time to use a University Lab, I could fork over cash for the materials, reagents, and chemicals I wanted, and then I could do whatever I needed to within the time constraints of my scheduled lab time! No questions asked, nobody to bother you, unless someone else saw & found your experiments interesting & wanted to watch... These days if I need to use any lab equipment I go to a friend's place (he was a Materials Science Major, now working for 3M), and I just use his home-lab since he doesn't have close neighbors to look at him funny. Any suggestions? Ideas? Concerns? Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedAfter a sizable bit of online reading & research, I found the answers to my questions on local legalities... It would appear there are a few state laws I have to work within, and I'll need to fill out some paperwork with my County Sheriff, and notify the local Fire Marshall prior to ordering certain things.
  22. Hermanntrude, you're totally right about the extinguishers... The thing with Thermite is that, I seriously doubt that ANY extinguisher can put it out... DrP mentioned the use of a bucket of sand, but, in my opinion, that's not going to be enough. Once burning, there really is no way to put it out that I know of, you have to simply wait for the whole batch to burn itself out completely... When I witnessed thermite back around 1995, the instructor did this outside by the metalworking (machining, foundary/casting, & welding) shops outside a good 30+ yards away from anything else. It was setup on top of a steel plate sitting on a large sand pile ~6' high and 40 feet in diameter. The welding shop uses the sand pile to allow some larger structural welds to properly cool slowly by burying the welds in sand and leaving them sit overnight. THus there was always a large sand pile back there pretty far from anything else (on the far end of the parking lot outside the shops). Once the burning reaction was completed, and you had nothing but a large pile of red-hot burning metal/slag, and various burning sparks/bits of metal that showered around nearby, the teacher and two of us used shovels to shovel sand on top of all the burning red-hot particles/chunks. That took care of the 'little' burning bits carefully around the MAIN molten metal area. Then we (from a distance) threw more & more sand on top of the molten chunk of slag that had melted clean thru the steel plate! We buried it in the sand, and the next day it had rained pretty good, so then 2 days after we lit the thermite, the teacher went back with a shovel, thick insulated welding gloves, & bucket of water. He dug up the larger chunks of molten metal, and just as a precaution, he put them all in the 5-gallon bucket of water (really filled only ~2-3 gallons). Surprisingly he said some of the chunks were still pretty warm! I asked my teacher if I could take a chunk home, and although that was a number of years ago, I probably still have it somewhere in a cardboard box in my parents' garage back home. There WAS a fire extinguisher nearby when I saw it lit, but that was mostly to hopefully stop any secondary fires from lighting up or spreading (if for some reason a molten bit of metal flew far enough to ignite the grass a good ~40 yards away. It wasn't likely to happen, but just incase.
  23. Hermanntrude & INOW's concern is very well grounded in reality... That said, DrP is right in that many teachers in the past have not always been so 'Reserved' in what they taught to their students! They were very truthful in their teachings to their students, and if a certain student showed great aptitude in Chemistry they would often pull them aside & tutor them further in more 'risque' areas of chemistry. At least that was what happened to myself and two of my friends when we were in school in the early/mid 90's... I was the president of an adolescent 'Model Rocketry Club' that we created, and the things we learned from our teacher will forever be remembered with fondness, and unrestrained appreciation. In the 1980's and early 1990's, in the days before 'Zero Tolerance' (also known as ZERO THOUGHT) policies being adopted across America's public school system, the teachers were given infinitely more freedom in their lesson plans. Some took advantage of that freedom in order to draw students' attention by presenting more FUN, and EXCITING aspects of their courses at the beginning of the school year at time of registration. I still to this day remember the day of registration, my Chemistry teacher was putting on a display to boost people's interest in chemistry (to get more people to sign up for his class), he had a few of his students from the previous year displaying a giant 2'x4' tubular balloon filled with Acetylene, and 'Gold Pennies' laid out on his registration sign-up table... They lit the balloon which quickly burned up in the gymnasium, and he laughed as every student that walked up to his sign-up table was hopping, skipping, and bouncing around while the floor made loud *POP*POP*POP* noises and little puffs of smoke! Later when in his course he taught us how to produce Acetylene-filled balloons, Turn copper pennies & Nails into Brass (not 'Gold' as was the common misconception), and he showed us how to make the ever wonderful, popping, Ammonium Triiodide Crystals which he had strewn about on the floor in front of his table during the sign-up! (The Janitor didn't think the purple stains on the floor were too cool though!) Thermite, on the other hand is incredibly dangerous! And although there was a 'Zero Tolerance' policy prohibiting the instruction of 'Dangerous' things, we were also taught how to make it. We, ourselves, were not allowed to do so, but the instructor gave a demonstration of it, nonetheless. It was certainly impressive to see it burn through steel... IIRC, it was a small amount, probably ~50grams, but still cool. We all stood about 50' away as he lit a magnesium strip and we watched it burn with welding goggles (the little Acetylene gas welding goggles, not the full face shields which are much darker)... Later the next year, the teacher had to change his lesson plans to a 'Tame' one because a student of his later tried to make some himself to burn a hole through the principal's car, and in his frustrations with getting it to light, he got closer, it lit, and fried nearly half his face off and he also lost an eye. Luckily the school didn't get sued. I had already learned what I needed to since I had already finished my AP Chem course, and being one of the top-3 in class he also taught me many other, more 'dangerous' things which involve my model rocketry club, but that's a bit off-topic. Let's just say we stopped buying model rocket engines, and our rockets' performance went waaaaaaay up! I'll have to agree with INow & Hermanntrude though. I'd avoid this, and if your teacher IS working on this in-class, continue to learn from him/her, but make sure you talk with your teacher after class. Stay after class to discuss things, or even after school. If your chemistry knowledge is a bit lacking, it is important that you learn these things, and learn them well. There is nothing more dangerous in chemistry than only having a little bit of knowledge as that 'Little Bit' of knowledge is usually more than enough to get yourself into a WORLD OF HURT. That little bit of knowledge can get people into a lot of trouble as they don't yet realize just how much they don't understand about chemistry. I know enough to humbly know that I don't know enough to do certain things I'd like to do so back to the books I go... I'll ask questions on here, but I suggest you ask your Chemistry Teacher to take some spare time after school or during a lunch or study hall period to tutor you more, and you'll be surprised at the things you may learn!
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