Thursday, November 17, 2011


I was shy of one ingredient last weekend to make my holiday feathers.  That compound was Sparex a dry granular acid.  And even though I know I have the chemical in my storage unit, it cost me far less to order it from a local jewelry supply store than to try to locate it in my storage shed or to get my mixture from the basement on Paul Drive.  It is in an unlabeled baby food jar as it was given to me by the metalsmith instructor at the arsenal when I ran out several years ago.  There are many potentially dangerous chemicals involved in making jewelry.  This one is an acid that has to be washed off after pickling is complete.  It also works best heated.  I regret that I had to leave my acid pot (crock pot) in the basement on Paul Drive as the day I was returning for it, people had already moved in.  It had about an inch of liquid acid in the pot with a lid on it when I left it to come back for it.  I am hopeful that my previous landlord has a little sense and told the unsuspecting people to not bother anything left in the basement.  There were at least 2 acids I didn't get back to as they are difficult to transport in a moving vehicle.  This chemical was in a crock pot so that I could heat it up when I needed it.  I always used tongs and and ventilation.  Sparex burns holes in clothing and skin, and would probably blind a person if they were to get it in their eyes.  It is not supposed to be breathed and can cause serious health issues in spite of it being safer than the alternative sulfuric acid.  Hopefully they won't just throw it away in the trash...and hopefully not get any of it on them in the process, or caught doing it as it would be a health hazard to the whole neighborhood and against the law to dispose of it down the sink.  I pray for the unsuspecting Garbage men that may have to handle it, although the landlord didn't pay for trash and the new people probably haven't figured out they will have a huge water, sewage, and trash bill 3 months from now in addition to $200 electric and gas bills.

  I recycled and hauled my trash, but didn't get back in time to take care of that task before the new people moved in.  These substances are not permitted in storage sheds, so I really needed to move them to the next studio space or dispose of them.  Eviction is a bitch. but there are worse things like removing hazardous wastes between tenants that is far worse.  God help them if they pour both acids down the drain after one another or add water to them to dilute them.  The antidote for sparex is baking soda, but the antidote for Ferric Chloride is ammonia.  It would be disastrous to mix any and all these together in any form or simultaneously without knowing which order.  They strengthen with use and by adding water of course.  Unfortunately my landlord doesn't give a damn about her tenants safety, so I am going to write to the unsuspecting folks and let them know to get some latex gloves for compounds in their basement and maybe call about how to dispose of the two acids.  She could be sued big time if someone gets hurt in her hastiness and greed.  I sure wish I had both of the acids last weekend as I would have a whole new set of feathers to sell this week.  Ferric Chloride is technically not an acid but is used much like Nitric acid for etching.  I kept it safe in a glass container with a lid, and kept people away from it. I didn't need to label either container as I knew what was in them, and I kept them under lock and key.  I even changed the locks when it looked like the landlords workmen where in there helping themselves to my stuff.  It is unfortunate that I couldn't get them before someone else comes across them.  Thats what getting in too much of a hurry jeopardizes others.
SPAREX ®  is a granular dry acid compound manufactured by Krohn Technical Products for pickling, cleaning and removing surface oxidation, scale, and incrustation from metals.

SPAREX ®  is an easy to use, longer lasting, safe replacement for dangerous sulfuric acid in effective cleaning and pickling of metals.  SPAREX ®  also minimizes the risk of over-pickling, pitting, burning, and wire brushing.

 SPAREX ®  produces smooth, clean, bright surfaces quickly and economically, without destroying fine detail or tolerances.  The prepared solution has 1 ½ times the available acid content of a 5% sulfuric acid solution.

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