# Magnesium

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Hello, i am having a little trouble finding magnesium. if anyone knows how to get magnesium(powder or solid form) without having to buy any ,please let me know.

Thanks!!

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You want magnesium without buying it? Then you'll have a hard time. Making it from other (household)items is very hard. Magnesium is not easy to make at all from magnesium salts and it also is not worth the effort.

Have a look at eBay. There are quite a few sellers, who sell magnesium ribbon and sometimes also larger chunks of magnesium are offered. Just search for magnesium metal. Finding powdered magnesium will be MUCH harder. Powdered metals are something which officials do not like you to have. Those can be used for making flash powders and in most countries that is regarded a socially less accepted act.

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and most of the Mg metal that Is available (scrap yards and the like) is Magnalium, you Can get lucky sometimes though.

Camping/Hunting shops used to sell it as a block for fire lighting also, and the very old metal pencil shapeners were also fairly pure Mg metal. it used in some boat yards also as Cathodic protection, but youde need a car to move one!

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t used in some boat yards also as Cathodic protection, but youde need a car to move one!

I thought these were more commonly made of zinc?

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not the puppies I used to get in Birmingham

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I didn't mean by buying it from anybody i meant any household items that were chock full of the stuff.

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Such household items do not exist. If you want Mg-metal, then you have to buy it. Now you have sufficient suggestions for where to look.

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Get a broken sixties or seventies Volkswagen buggy engine block from the wreckyard or a VW shop. They may even pay you to get rid of !

It's nearly pure Magnesium.

Actual composition is somewhere on the web, I saw it a long time ago, along with sites about the long pyrotechnics shows done using those engine blocks

Miguel

Edited: added----> Cannot find now the site that lists the precise alloys per year of VW engine blocks, but it is something very near to 97% Mg.

The burning is scrolling down to Mg here:

http://www.tb3.com/pyro/

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• 4 weeks later...

Hello! Have you yet been successful at finding some magnesium metal? You did not state what quantity you sought. Regarding engine blocks, I am in doubt of the claim stated; 97% magnesium is quite weak, and not suitable for highly stressed mechanical parts.

Powdered magnesium often reacts easily with water; therefore, it must be handled and stored properly, and cannot be readily shipped by public means without entering the "hazardous materials" domain.

Again, how much do you need, and where are you located?

Imp.

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• 1 month later...

not a whole lot, just enough to do some experiments with. im located in california if that helps

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I'm not up on recent technology, but for many years water heaters included a rod of magnesium used as an anode, which was essentially sacrificed to preserve the steel of the tank. (I assume because things that would normally corrode the steel will operate on the much more reactive magnesium instead.)

This isn't high-grade magnesium by any means; among other things, the anodes I've salvaged have always had a thin steel rod at their centre (again, my assumption is so that at advanced stages of corrosion bits at the bottom of the anode will stay on the rod rather than falling off because the magnesium above them has corroded away). I expect it's actually an alloy of some sort.

However, if you don't need 100% purity, this might be good enough. Shavings and filings from such an anode ignite nicely.

You can buy these anode rods online, or take a good-sized adjustable wrench to a junkyard or dump. The anode is usually the large hex (or four-sided) nut with no apparently purpose, located in a recessed dimple on the tank top, about half-way between the centre and the edge. You'll probably have to whack at it a bit because they commonly get somewhat corroded in place. A little penetrating oil might be good to bring along. I don't recommend cutting it loose with a torch.

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Survivalist internet shops also sell Mg blocks as fire lighting tools, might be worth a look around too?

personally I buy mine off eBay, it`s the same stuff and purity as my Chem suppliers, and a whole lot cheaper!

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• 1 month later...

thanks for all the help and ill have to go and check a junk/scrap yard for such items but if i need to ill just go with yt's idea and spend a little money, thanks,

TATER

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• 8 months later...

FWIW, I finally dug out one of my salvaged water-heater anodes and turned down a segment to show how much viable magnesium it had.

It seems to actually be fairly pure; the curls and swarf from turning it ignite very nicely.

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