Hi Don, I encountered a similar problem locating ferric nitrate. And
if you do find someone locally or regionally, they may want to sell
you a 55 gallon drum of the stuff! My suggestion is “let your fingers
do the walking” in the phone book, and when told they can’t help you,
ask if they can think of anyone who can.
Also be prepared for some skepticism and interrogation about the
intended use. I usually got a warmer reception when I explained that I
am an artist looking to etch some metal for a new line of pieces. I
guess there is lingering concern about terrorism or other
inappropriate use of the chemicals.
As a side note, if you’re going to be etching silver, consider using
ferric nitrate. It may be easier to find in the quantities you need,
and my understanding is it’s not nearly as nasty as nitric. Karen
Christians of Metalwerx in Boston clued me in on this one! Thanks,
All the best,