Sodium Silicate

Help Please___-For years I have been using Sodium Silicate
(Water Glass) to fasten rocks to blocks for shaping into smaller
slices. About two weeks a go my grandson left the lid of my last
pint, and I now have, what is known as cement in a can.

I cannot find the dealer or supplier who caries Sodium Silicate
in pint size cans, or even bottles. If anyone out there knows a
supplier, dealer or what have you please contact me off line

Mack: Go to your nearest family drugstore, they will have
waterglass on the shelves, if not ask the pharmest. You might wat
to try adding a little water to your hardened solution and recap
it and let it set for a while. .
Charles in Austin

I can’t find it in my area either so I switched to using plain
white Elmers glue. It works great and is water soluble but that
last little slab comes off the block easier if you let it soak
in the water pail for 2-3 days instead of just overnight.

Found it. I love a little sleuthing now and then. I called my
local scientific supply store. They stock sodium silicate in
pints ($4.75), quarts (6.50), etc. . They do ship and they do
take credit cards. You might check locally first but if you can’t
find it elsewhere here’s their phone # in Springfield, OR

Cheers. Now could you explain to me how you use it? and why you
like it? Thanks, Michelle

Sumiche Handwrought Jewelry
Creating what you want in gold, platinum and silver

Check a ceramics (potters) supply house. they probably have it.
It helps when you want to find something to say where you are.

They told me to use the Elmer’s woodworkers’ glue – after 4
weeks soaking in water they are still solid!! Any ideas? (short
of dynamite!) Margaret @Margaret_Malm


Thank you for your prompt reply. I have used it to glue (if you
will) rocks to a block of 2+3 wood, then slab the block down into
any thickness slab I want. I understand it is also used to fill
cracks in finished jewelry or slabs to be worked on. I
understand it is also used in some auto. repair shops to repair
cracked motors. I have used the stuff for more than twenty years
and never had any bad luck.

thanks again

You can also find sodium silicate at a good ceramics supply
house, as I think it is used as an ingredient in some glazes.
They’ll probably charge you a whole lot less than if you buy it
at a chemical supply place.

Rene Roberts

Hi Margret,

 They told me to use the Elmer's woodworkers' glue -- after 4
weeks soaking in water they are still *solid*!!  Any ideas?
(short of dynamite!) 

You didn’t say what size the stone/rock was that you wanted to
remove or what the dop stick material was. Here’s one way that
I’ve used successfully in the past with wood dop sticks. When
using this method with unpolished material you don’t have to
worry about scratching the it. When removing polished material
more care is required & the procedure is modified slightly.

  1. Clamp the end of the dop stick in a vise.

  2. Cut off the dop stick using a saw, as close to the stone as

  3. If the stone was dopped on a polished side that must be
    preserved, cut the dop off just a little short (1/16, .5 mm or
    whatever you feel comfortable with) of the stone.

  4. Use a knife, sandpaper or grinder to remove the remainder of
    the dop stick.

Many faceters (in the U.S.) use dop wax, epoxy or krazy glue for
dopping material to metal dops. All of these materials do a
superb job of hold stones on dops & the stones are easily removed
at the appropriate time. Clean up is a breeze with any of them.

I’ve never used any of them for dopping rocks for slabbing,
there’s no reason they wouldn’t work, but may be a little
expensive. 100% silicone caulk works well as a cement for dopping
rocks to wood dop sticks. I’ve used it for rocks up to around
50#s. Never had one come off. If the dop stick needs to be
removed, a hack saw or any carpenters saw can be used.


Mack, we carry Water Glass. $5.50/16 oz. (Canadian dollars)
plus shipping & appropriate taxes. ($5.00 handling fee for orders
under $100.00.)


Jan MacLellan
Mountain Gems Ltd.
4611 Hastings Street
Burnaby BC Canada
V5C 2K6

(604) 298-5883
(604) 298-2669 fax

Open: Tuesday to Friday, 10-6; Saturday & Sunday, 11-5. Closed Mondays.

If you have a good solid rock slice, after you soak it try
gently introducing a knife blade under one edge and twist
slightly. Sometimes this friendly persuasion will work. If not,
it may introduce an area for the water to penetrate more. Rose Alene McArthur