There was another one we made (it was used during the Civil War for torpedoes) that was a combination of HCl and table sugar.


Now that I think about it, its a wonder I lived through several stages of my life.
I worked my way through college working for Atlas Powder making Amonia Nitrate, Nitroglycerin, Nitrocellulose, Dynamite and a variety of other explosives for the mining industry and then went to work for specialty carrier Tri-State Transit. It was at the time, the largest hauler of munitions and explosives in the country.


Seems like an awful waste of silver :grimacing: I did a lot of silver etching for jewelry with nitric acid and then added saltwater to get out the silver, though calcium chloride might have worked as well.

This is an html thing, it’s how your browser handles spaces normally. It doesn’t strip them out so much as say “if you have multiple spaces in a row, I’m only going to show one.” It allows you to have extra white space in your html code without impacting how it appears on the page.

You can fix it a few ways, but only a couple work in discourse (Discourse is the platform that this forum is built on. It modifies your some of your HTML for consistency… like you can’t change text colors etc)

Method #1: Use pre tags.
<pre> | | </pre>

 |   | 

Method 2 use the HTML entity for non-breaking space:
|   |

So if you’re not familiar with HTML stuff you probably see these two ways and think
“why do they look different if they’re both 3 spaces?”

Well, PRE tags do a bit more than just “show the text literally”. for more info:

You can also play within Discourse’s own formatting rules and do it in markdown:
`| |` (a code block, a lot like a pre tag)
| |

(More info on markdown: Post format reference documentation - #2 by codinghorror - faq - Discourse Meta)

Anyway! Good times messing about with Discourse.


i’ve seen plenty of acrylic fires (not just GF) that have nothing to do with the masking. if you use bad settings, especially on thicker acrylic, you are running serious fire risk. burn acrylic too hot and watch the flame point. it’s a lot harder for the air assist to keep up with.

most masking burns out fairly quickly, unless maybe you applied by hand poorly. there’s no oxygen underneath it if it’s applied properly, so only the part “sticking up” will really flame out.

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agreement high five!


I wonder if you spray acrylic with fire retardant (as liquid masking) or some clear coat that would help – I have no background in this, I’m just pondering

That’s fair, but I have seen issues with the masking. Not on here, but on FB. I know that fine cuts and poor settings on acrylic are an issue, but that doesn’t change the fact that masking peeling up (and, yes, not typically PG) can and does cause fires.

two things. i wouldn’t blame poor settings on masking causing fires, i’d blame poor settings. and if not typically PG, i’m presuming also not typically other professionally masked acrylic? i’ve caught small fires about to ignite before on thick acrylic that had professionally applied brown masking on them. the masking just burns around the fire area, but it doesn’t actually light or peel away.

now, if someone does a crappy job of applying masking, it could be a small fire risk on any material. but it’s still unlikely to ignite anything big unless a huge swath lights up or, again, if the settings are bad and that masking flame tips the material fire over.

i think a lot of people want to “blame masking” instead of accepting responsibility for poor setting choices or some other mistake. and of all places, the people i see bitching on FB about it generally get even less benefit of the doubt from me (considering the crap i read there before finally bailing on those groups).

I used to save all of my developer from my darkroom and recovered the silver from it. Wasn’t very cost effective but it was fun and interesting to do.

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I think the volume of silver from engraving was a lot more. I did try taking a pile of silver chloride into the sun and watch it “develop”.

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If I wasn’t careful I would end up with big black blotches all over my hands and arms

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Add yellow from from the nitric acid. I am trying to remember the dye I was making not realizing “cool the reaction mixture” meant ice and not just water so there was an orange precursor red that was the desired dye, and green that was an “over-reaction” plus the nitric acid for yellow.

So when the vial started to shake I stupidly grabbed for it as it erupted, and had a yellow, orange, red, and green splotched hand for many months.

Sounds like you and I were both geeks that could be identified by stains and ringing ears :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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