Sourcing Emulsion Material in Canada

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by cgthom, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. cgthom

    cgthom Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have recently become interested in making my own silver gelatin based emulsion. I am located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

    If there are any Canadians reading this who have made their own emulsions: Where do you get the material from (for example, Silver Nitrate)? I have contacted a few chemical supply companies, but because Silver Nitrate is listed as a dangerous good, it cannot be sold to Joe Q. Individual (me).

    If possible, I would like to purchase this material in Canada (If it is this hard to get in Canada, I can't imagine what might happen if I try and send it across the border).

    Thanks,

    - Chris
     
  2. buzzworm

    buzzworm Member

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    If you can't find what you need up north you might try these folks -- http://www.photoformulary.com/ They ship to Canada, though it's not cheap. They carry silver nitrate, though they are currently out of stock.

    Cheers...
     
  3. David William White

    David William White Member

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    I get most of the usual stuff from Bostick & Sullivan and the Photographers Formulary, as suggested above. Silver Nitrate was difficult for me, but I got some last year from JDPhotoChem outside of Montreal. I believe, however, that they are now defunct. You might get a suggestion from Bob Carnie of Elevator (apug sponsor here) or possibly Mike Wilde here, who I believe was in touch with JD before she went under. Mike could probably outline the procedure for manufacturing silver nitrate, I'm pretty sure.

    Good luck. I've been using mine for experiments with salt prints and with making my own Van Dyke Brown concoctions, and it would be useful for me to know where to source more when I need it.
     
  4. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    There's a seller on ebay (and ebay canada) named "cjchemical" that says they will ship internationally. I've bought from them before and had good service.
     
  5. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    Hello Chris,

    I believe that "cjchmical" is the ebay store of Artcraft: http://www.artcraftchemicals.com/ I have bought difficult to ship things (but not silver nitrate) from them and got good service. In Toronto there is Nymoc Chemicals. I have bought collodion, ether, nitric acid, etc. from them. They are great, but you may want to check prices, since silver nitrate prices can vary dramatically. They ship by Purolator for hazmat liquids - you have to have an account with Purolator. However, they may ship dry chemicals by other means. Also, you could pick it up at their warehouse - 24 McGee Street, Toronto, ON M4M 2K9 (416) 465-1929, (since you are in Waterloo) Murray Lindsay or John Burrows
    nymoc@bellnet.ca - tell them what you want the chemical for, and what grade, since contaminants could ruin your emulsion.

    Cheers,
    Clarence
     
  6. hrst

    hrst Member

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    If you can get a very high quality silver and nitric acid, you can make it very easily. I've made it by myself and so far no problems with it. My silver is "99,9%" and nitric acid was probably reagent grade, now I have even better trace analysis grade. Contaminants might be a problem, but it may be better still than no emulsions at all. Process is simple: just dissolve some silver in nitric acid at about 70 C (almost the boiling point of nitric acid). Just be very careful with nitrogen dioxide fumes! Make sure that all the silver has dissolved at that high temperature, add nitric acid if not. Then boil the acid away, silver nitrate starts to precipitate. Boil as much acid away as you can, add some distilled water and boil it away again and repeat. Then boil all the water away carefully until completely dry. Remember good stirring. It takes many hours.

    Disclaimer: this is how I did it and I think it succeeded. Please correct me if there are errors.

    There was a link here to an old, war-time documentation of Fuji's process to remove impurities from silver nitrate prepared this way. It says the result is usable for emulsion making. It didn't sound like too difficult of a process.
     
  7. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Clarence -

    Good to see you! I thought you had frozen solid up there in the Great White North!

    Kirk
     
  8. Emulsion

    Emulsion Member

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  9. cgthom

    cgthom Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks everyone for the informative replies! I see I have a few leads to pursue. I will do my best to update this thread with my progress in obtaining the materials.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. cgthom

    cgthom Member

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    Hi All,

    A quick update. Nymoc Chemicals (thanks Clarence!) was the only supplier I contacted that seems willing to accommodate my request. I am close enough to TO that a trip to pick up the chemicals in person is my best bet, however, fellow Canadians who are outside of Ontario might still be able to order with shipping via Purolator. I am sure there are probably other sources for these materials in Canada, so if anyone knows of any, please add them to this thread (but please, only if you have CONFIRMED that they will sell/send to individuals in Canada). Sorry if this post seems a bit Canada-centric, but it seems as though our options for sourcing some materials are more limited than our neighbours to the south, particularly for personal/hobbyist use!

    As best I can tell, Silver Nitrate cannot be shipped from the US to Canada. This includes the photoformulary website, and the "cjchemical" ebay store.

    In addition (as I mentioned in my original post) some Canadian chemical supply stores will not sell to individuals. The places I checked include Anachemia and Boreal/Northwest.

    Also, thanks to those who posted the information regarding the process of making Silver Nitrate... very interesting, though I am hoping to avoid that complication if possible.
     
  11. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    If you're having problems getting silver nitrate, you'll probably have problems getting nitric acid...

    Good luck with your emulsions and keep us informed on your progress! We like to share information here.
     
  12. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Thanks for the update and hope Nymoc will be able to fulfill your needs. Let us know if you get your silver nitrate from them, and keep us in the loop on your emulsion work...

    David.

     
  13. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    If you are coming to town, and need chems, I likely have enough to get you started with a lot of stuff, although I am not in the mood to sell off the silver nitrate I have around. Other stuff will go for a fair price; not more than I paid, and if it was free to me it can be free to you.

    Yes, Dave I am a fair bit of a mix from raw nut, but have not made my own stuff from nitric. That and hydrofloric I do not keep in the house, although I have a fair collection of stuff that if my wife ever cottoned onto she would flip.
     
  14. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    I've got hydrofluoric acid. It stays in the garage.

    Nitric, HCl, and Conc. Sulfuric are in the house though... All away from the Conc. Ammonium Hydroxide.