Ammonia


Does anybody have a source for the high strength ammonia (26%)used in fuming? I've called around & checked online but nothing so far.
Thanks
Chris
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Maybe the term "strong ammonia water" will be a helpful one to look for. Back in "the day", I'd tell you to find your local blueprint printer, but...
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Dave Hinz wrote:

Don't need a blueprint printer, just find someone that does offset printing and develops there own metal plates for pictures.
Course the op could just use liquid NH3, 100 percent. See an agriculture dealer.
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On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 23:46:29 GMT, George E. Cawthon


Ah, good to know.

Nasty stuff, that. As in "hazmat" handling. And, given the illegal other uses of anhydrous ammonia (meth lab), coops are understandably unlikely to sell it to random walk-ins. Don't feel bad, though, it's too strong to be around let alone try to control for wood finishing.
Dave Hinz
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Find someone who sells blueline equipment and supplies - any large drafting place will have it.
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Just out of curiosity, I recently fummed some small piecex of white oak in a sealed tub using household ammonia. Removed samples at 12, 24,48, 72 and 96 hours. The oak continued to darken the longer it stayed in. The 12 hour sample was a dark tan and by 24 hours it began to really darken.By the 96 hour mark it was very dark and when I broke the 1/2 inch thick 96 hour sample in two, I found that the darkening had penitrated completely through the wood except for a very small area in the center. So with patience, you can fume using regular household ammonia. At least small pieces in a well sealed small area.
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wrote:

What was the size of the pieces?
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My experience with household ammonia and white oak was that most od the darkening took place in 12-24 hours and penetration was way more than you could sand through 1/8 - 1/4" IIRC.
Grocery store stuff can work.
-Steve

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On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 17:20:46 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,

Check your local surveyor supply shop. I got some for $7.50 a gallon in Medford, 29.4%
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Got mine from Post Apple Scientific. Their URL is http://shop2.chemassociates.com/shopsite/Chemassoc2/index.html
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Thanks this seems like the place, doesn't say what strenght it is, did you get Ammonium Hydroxide, Lab, or Ammonium Hydroxide, ACS?

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Chris wrote:

I can't recall offhand, but get whichever is cheapest at the right concentration. The additional price is for additional purity, which isn't really relevant to wood fuming.
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wrote:

This isn't high strength. 25%/26% ammonia is just "strong household cleaning ammonia" and you can buy it in a decent hardware store. I buy mine for a buck a bottle, by walking a couple of hundred yards out of my front door. The old standard for ammonia was ".880" (pronounced "eight-eighty") of nominally 100% concentration and even that used to be available from high-street ironmongers.
I know of no source from graphic arts suppliers. No-one I've spoken to has used that process in years, outside an arts college.
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Andy,
I would have to disagree with you here. As I recall, you're from the UK; correct me if I'm wrong. Don't know what the standards are there, but I can assure you that, here in the States, 26% is pretty much weapons-grade. For it to be 100% ammonia, it would have to be stored under pressure, because that's a gas at room temperature.
Here, household strength is 3% to 5%, and "janitor's strength" is 10%.
A couple of strong wiffs of 26% has the potential to actually take your life. The burns it can cause your skins are horrific.
And don't even bother with an OV respirator while using the stuff...it will go right through. You need an ammonia cartridge instead.
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On 20 Oct 2005 06:51:18 -0700, wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Presumably weapons for the war on drugs ? I'm surprised if 26% is unavailable in the USA, but sadly I'm not _that_ surprised.

Yes, but a saturated solution of it (my nominal 100%) has a specific gravity of .880 (hence the name) and is also relatively easily available as "lab reagent grade" ammonia. If you're using old recipes that call for .880, you can generally use 4x the quantity of the more easily available.
Anhydrous ammonia (the form as a gas) really _is_ nasty.

We have those too, but they'll be described as "ammonia floor cleaner". They're basically detergents, with ammonia added largely for its ability to shift old floor wax. If you can find "ammonia and nothing else added", then it's 25-26% and it's not even that hard to find.
Incidentally, takes a look for "Kleenoff household cleaner", made by Jeyes as a convenient source of ammonia for overnight oak fuming.

Rubbish. You'd have to start drinking the stuff, or splashing it in your eyes to see serious hazard from 26% ammonia.
I have no woodworking chemicals that represent a major hazard - certainly none of them that are anything like the hazard of most of my metal patination chemistry (nitric acid, selenium salts, mercury salts). Now some of those really are a bit nasty.

I don't bother with a respirator that much when I'm handling it quickly - good ventilation is adequate (and ammonia is one of the few common chemicals I'm moderately sensitive too). However you do need eye protection - because it's so water soluble you'll notice it through your eyes smarting before you can barely smell it. I use a mil-surplus full face mask. Ammonia filters are easy enough to find if you've got something with a standard filter fitting.
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It is not at all difficult to buy 26% ammonia here...you just have to know where to look.

And do you know what the _actual_ (read: not "nominal") concentration of that ammonia is? (I'll give you a hint...depending on temperature, it's roughly 35%.) You can also buy that here in the States...it's available at virtually any chem-supply lab. Just like 26%.

Incredibly bad advice. Do you really have any idea what you're talking about here?

Same as me...goggles, gloves, hold my breath, outside, upwind.
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wrote:

Why not just google "msds strong ammonia" and come up with a link? Here's one:
http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/A5472.htm

See above link.
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On Thu, 20 Oct 2005 10:48:00 +0100, Andy Dingley

waaaiiiit a minute... you're a brit. wouldn't you be walking a couple hundred meters?

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On Thu, 20 Oct 2005 13:06:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@all.costs wrote:

In Staple Hill it's still 1963 - that's why there's still a good ironmongers.
Besides which, beer and mileage are still imperial. Weights in shops are generally metric, but that's about all.
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