[Sca-cooks] A Warning Was Cleaning metal

Saint Phlip phlip at 99main.com
Wed Sep 17 19:07:00 PDT 2008

And yet another reason I play very carefully with chemicals ;-) Here's
an explanation of some of the possible results of mixing chlorine
bleach and ammonia.


Guys, please understand. I keep in my posession some right interesting
reagents, for what they can do to metals. However, these things stay
at home when I go to an event and teach smithing because in untrained
hands they can be pretty dangerous. If they stay home, I don't have to
worry about some well-meaning idiot getting into them. By the same
token, when I discuss methods of cleaning up metal, I discuss only
those methods that can be used safely by a reasonably intelligent
person, which is why I stay away from discussing naval jelly and
phosphoric acid (neither of which I'd have even here at home, btw-
just too dangerous) even though they'd do a bang-up job of cleaning
your metal.

Basicly, if you need an acid, you can use vimegar. Vinegar and time
will do anything my little stashes of hydrochloric acid and sulphuric
acid will, and do it safely. The worst hazard with using vinegar is
that you'll smell like a salad. Hydrochloric and/or suphuric can blind
you or poison you or permanently disfigure you, if used improperly.

Even a battery charger won't hurt you badly unless you're outstandingly stupid.

Just make it a rule not to mix household chemicals unless you know
EXACTLY what you're doing, and pay attention to standard precautions
when you're using electricity or generating smoke.

And, fer Heaven's sake, never use the same wastebasket or grinding
wheel if you're grinding two different metals.

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 10:26 PM, Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps
<dephelps at embarqmail.com> wrote:
> Was written:
>> A friend suggested putting the item in a black plastic bag, covering it
>> with ammonia, and putting it in the sun to heat up for a couple of hours.
>> Ammonia is not as toxic as oven cleaner, just don't mix it with vinegar or
>> another acid.  I haven't tried this myself.
> Do we have a chemist on the list?
> While I am not a chemist... please... please... under no cercumstances mix
> ammonia with chlorine bleach either.  It is my understanding that the gas
> generated in the reaction of those two substances is quite toxic.
> Daniel

Saint Phlip

Heat it up
Hit it hard
Repent as necessary.


It's the smith who makes the tools, not the tools which make the smith.

.I never wanted to see anybody die, but there are a few obituary
notices I have read with pleasure. -Clarence Darrow

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