Studio chemicals list

There are a number of chemical suppliers on line…the only problem is
the cost of posting many items to - anywhere - due to hazardous
materials fees added to post costs at about 21 US dollars avg.
charge, is prohibitive. Sometimes vendors will try to charge you per
item (though with an escalated conversation you can often make them
aware that several small items can be packed together in one
box)…the actual chemicals are fairly cheap. The most economical way
to buy small quantities of chemicals is locally. This list is of
most of the basic studio chemicals I keep in stock all the time. Most
are far cheaper locally than from a jewelry supply vendor. Pure
crystalline borax is the single most important item to consider
buying in bulk from a chemical supply house, (other than true
investment if you are casting often- in which case it is often
cheaper from on-line dental suppliers) - most often there is no
’haz-mat" charge attached to it. If you have any questions feel free
to contact me off list… rer :

Home stores and "X "-marts you can get

  • denatured alcohol
  • copper sulfate (garden section)
  • copper nitrate (garden section)
  • sodium bisulfite(pH down)
  • gun bluing (patina)
  • distilled water
  • powdered charcoal (garden section)
  • lye (for water torches)
  • pumice
  • boric acid
  • sulfuric acid
  • asphalt

At hardware stores and locally you can purchase:

  • citric acid (alternative pickle/patina- sold as sour salt in some
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • ammonia
  • blue stone (in the simples section in druggist’s stores)
  • activated charcoal
  • salt petre (potassium nitrate)
  • sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride -added to pwd. charcoal to make a
  • clarifying flux for melting scrap. widely available at stained
  • suppliers for tinning soldering irons)
  • nitric acid
  • boxwood shavings
  • sodium chloride
  • talc (pounce)
  • glacial acetic acid (high strength vinegar- non-food: also
    available from pickle works or paint stores)
  • powdered zinc
  • zinc oxide paste (sold as sunscreen- for making soldering pastes)
  • beeswax
  • cotton wool
  • cosmoline
  • detergents
  • carnauba wax
  • plaster of paris (for making setters cement or stronger -than-
    sealing- wax bars)
  • de-soldering braid (radio shack)- though there are easier methods
  • Ferric chloride - for etching (radio shack as PCB etchant) pitch
    compounds (bobbing, tripoli, rouge, crocus- though not as refined as
    say, dialux brand)
  • TSP - for adding to boric acid and alcohol for making fire coat
  • borax (though not as refined as borax cones : avg-94% borax in 20
    mule team brand)
  • flux remover (also at stained glass making suppliers)
  • baking soda (sodium carbonate)
  • light machine oil
  • solid sulphur
  • liver of sulphur
  • Oil of wintergreen
  • chlorine bleach
  • anhydrous peroxide (oxy-clean type products: dry peroxides must be
    activated in hot water first)
  • graphite powder (car section or hardware)
  • yellow ochre
  • white-out liquids
  • titanium dioxide
  • sand
  • china white (titanium based water colour block for transferring
    design, etc.)
  • india ink
  • grain alcohol (Everclear brand- liquor supply)
  • hydrochloric acid
  • white rosin (music stores or in bulk from turpentine works)
  • dry shellac crystals (mixed into denatured alcohol to make amount
    and consistency desired)
  • gentian violet (druggists stores)
  • petrolatum (for stop out varnishes, etching, roller/tool storage)
  • Kodak KOP developing solution