Thursday, July 1, 2010

Failed glass

Well, after a second try with the same stuff, the antimony glass failed. Just kept vitrifying back into antimony rather than form the glass. I believe I didn't spend enough time roasting it, as a lot of sulfur smoke was coming off, which I think interfered with making the glass. This only reinforces the importance of spending a lot of time roasting, which I don't think I did. So I know what I did wrong, and I know what to do, just sucks that I spent all that time and now have to start over with it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Antimony glass prep

Almost done roasting the stibnite. When the weather is good (it's raining right now), and I have enough time away from work, I'll make the glass. This time, I'm going to use laboratory grade acetic acid with distilled water instead of my own distilled vinegar - I think I may have better results that way.
Once that roasting is done, I'm going to do some work on roasting galena, then Kermes mineral. So lots to do.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Glassblowing and stuff

I know I haven't posted in a while; that's cuz I've been busy with a few other things. But I try to do what I can in the lab when I can. I've been keeping up with my acetate path projects and the fire stone, also continuing to roast stibnite to make some antimony oil. Not much has really been worth mentioning.
I got all my equipment for glassblowing, and I started getting my hands dirty with it outside. (I don't want to do it inside for safety reasons.) I managed to singe the hairs on my arm, as well as ruin a whole glass tube and several test tubes. I realize I'm just starting out, but man do I suck! :P I guess I need a lot of practice.... a LOT.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Collecting tartar oil; Fire Stone work

My work on the 7 planetary elixirs is done, they're in incubation right now and will be for three months. Right now I'm working on collecting enough oil of tartar for my work on the Acetate Path using galena. In the meantime I'm continuing my work on the Fire Stone; I've finished extracting the acetate from the Kermes I made and am evaporating that down until I get crystals. I'll post a picture of what I get when that's done.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A curious anomaly regarding calcining

I used horsetail for one of my planetary elixirs, and working with this proved to be most interesting. As you can see from the first image, it is still very dark. This is after days of calcining at around 300C, and despite this the ashes remain quite dark. The literature says we must calcine until the ashes are a very light gray to white, but this proved extremely difficult with horsetail. Other plants are quite easy to calcine to white. So, I decided to try leaching anyhow. What happened was quite remarkable: After mixing with distilled water, the ashes settled within a half hour (normally it takes a few hours for this to happen with most other herbs). After continuing with the rest of the ashes, the Salt it yielded was whiter than snow - the last picture doesn't do it justice, as it is a lot whiter than this. So, from my experience, if you cannot get your ashes to light gray or white, try leaching anyhow, as it may very well turn out well anyhow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New thimble

Went to the local glassblowing store (after I finally found it), bought a length of pyrex glass tubing, had it cut to length, and now my work on the Fire Stone is back in action. Might take a while though, lots to get through.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Busted Glass Tube

About a month ago I had ordered a 28mm glass tube from eBay so that I could make myself a thimble for the soxhlet (the plastic one I was using dissolved in the acetic acid I was using). However, this particular seller was two weeks late in mailing it, and when it did finally arrive, the packaging was so horrible (was merely a cardboard tube, no padding) that the tube had shattered into a million pieces long ago. I was going to use this for my work on the Fire Stone, however it looks like that's even further delayed because of this.
There is a bright side: I recently found a glassblowing shop right in my neighbourhood (it wasn't there earlier, just seemed to pop out of nowhere). So tomorrow, having the day off, I will pay them a visit and see if they have what I need.