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  1. #51
    polyglot's Avatar
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    You don't need to spend $50 for a silver magnet to recover silver.

    You just need a low-current DC supply (wall wart or regulated benchtop supply if you have one) and a couple of electrodes (preferably Cu). The main thing is that the electrode current density (amps per surface area) needs to be low enough to not cause electrolysis of the water or other salts as you just want to take the silver out and not produce hydrogen, chlorine or ammonia. I don't recall the exact numbers but google will know; if you keep the current low enough then it will work. This is where adjustable regulated supplies make it easier to tweak, or just use a really big electrode with a small supply but that means the Ag is spread thinly.

    Obviously you want as high a current as possible without causing gassing in order to keep the recovery rate up, plus you need reasonable mixing of the solution. Commercial extractors use a drum electrode that rotates slowly. In some cases of slow extraction (requires careful control of both voltage and current, and a shutoff), you can even reuse the fixer afterwards, but most extractors will destroy the fixer.

  2. #52
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    You don't need to spend $50 for a silver magnet to recover silver.
    You are correct. You don't need to buy a ready made solution to extract silver from your waste fixer. You can find out all you need to know in order to do it by using Google. I have done projects like this and I would certainly encourage others who have the inclination and some basic knowledge to do the same. It's fun and informative.

    However, when I do projects like this, there is always an expense. I have to buy materials and equipment. I have to use tools and supplies that I already possess. It takes time and work. While its not too expensive or too much work, sometimes I find it to be easier and cheaper to buy that ready made solution. By the time you factor in the expense of materials and the cost of your time, it often evens out in the end.

    If I wanted to have pizza for dinner, I could go out and buy flour, tomatoes, vegetables and pepperoni to make my own or I could make a phone call to the pizza parlor down the street. Both methods will provide me with a good dinner. Making it myself provides a certain sense of satisfaction in a job well done but, darn it, sometimes I just want pizza and I don't want to fuss around. I can have good pizza from Pepino's Pizza Parlor in 30 minutes and it won't cost any more than making my own.

    In this case, I just want the silver out of my fixer and I don't want to fuss around. It was worth it, to me, to buy the ready made solution. Maybe, next time, I'll do it myself.

    It's a decision that people should make for themselves.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    You are correct. You don't need to buy a ready made solution to extract silver from your waste fixer. You can find out all you need to know in order to do it by using Google. I have done projects like this and I would certainly encourage others who have the inclination and some basic knowledge to do the same. It's fun and informative.

    However, when I do projects like this, there is always an expense. I have to buy materials and equipment. I have to use tools and supplies that I already possess. It takes time and work. While its not too expensive or too much work, sometimes I find it to be easier and cheaper to buy that ready made solution. By the time you factor in the expense of materials and the cost of your time, it often evens out in the end.

    If I wanted to have pizza for dinner, I could go out and buy flour, tomatoes, vegetables and pepperoni to make my own or I could make a phone call to the pizza parlor down the street. Both methods will provide me with a good dinner. Making it myself provides a certain sense of satisfaction in a job well done but, darn it, sometimes I just want pizza and I don't want to fuss around. I can have good pizza from Pepino's Pizza Parlor in 30 minutes and it won't cost any more than making my own.

    In this case, I just want the silver out of my fixer and I don't want to fuss around. It was worth it, to me, to buy the ready made solution. Maybe, next time, I'll do it myself.

    It's a decision that people should make for themselves.
    I'm very confused about the silver amount extracted. For example. I read you get a about 1/4 Troy oz of silver per "device" when it's filled up. And someone said you get about $200+ per return, but 1 Troy oz is only worth $22 today I looked it up. So how would 1/4 of that equal hundreds of dollars...

    What am I missing?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  4. #54
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    When my device fills up, I will have a block of silver approximately six inches long, three inches wide and an inch thick. I don't know exactly how much that will weigh but it will certainly be more than 0.25 oz.

    Maybe you'll get a quarter ounce per use but you'll use it several times until the thing gets full.

    I don't use my darkroom every day. Probably a week's use out of a month.
    I reuse fixer until it is exhausted. I save the spent fixer in a bucket. I throw film scraps and test strips into the fixer bucket and let them soak until all he silver is "eaten up." By the time the time I get around to extracting the silver, my bucket is half full of saturated fixer.

    I weighed the collector before the first time I used it. 76 grams.
    I've used it three times. Now it weighs 169 grams. Almost three ounces. About $65.00 worth of silver at today's prices.

    Already a worthwhile pursuit but, by the time the thing gets full, I'll have much more than that.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  5. #55
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    Used Sodium Thiosulfate disposal

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    When my device fills up, I will have a block of silver approximately six inches long, three inches wide and an inch thick. I don't know exactly how much that will weigh but it will certainly be more than 0.25 oz.

    Maybe you'll get a quarter ounce per use but you'll use it several times until the thing gets full.

    I don't use my darkroom every day. Probably a week's use out of a month.
    I reuse fixer until it is exhausted. I save the spent fixer in a bucket. I throw film scraps and test strips into the fixer bucket and let them soak until all he silver is "eaten up." By the time the time I get around to extracting the silver, my bucket is half full of saturated fixer.

    I weighed the collector before the first time I used it. 76 grams.
    I've used it three times. Now it weighs 169 grams. Almost three ounces. About $65.00 worth of silver at today's prices.

    Already a worthwhile pursuit but, by the time the thing gets full, I'll have much more than that.
    Oh good to know! And this is bought from John?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  6. #56

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    thanks guys ...

    ===

    hi stone

    the magnet can hold 30-32 troy oz
    the price of silver today ( 5/16 ) is
    23.62 ... 30*23=690$
    the refiners usually take about 10% of that
    for their refining fee so you would get a check
    for 690-69=621$ ... the price of silver goes up and down
    like the tide, so this week it might be 23$ and ...
    in a few months it might be back up at 39$ again

    ===
    polyglot,
    by all means make one, and USE IT
    the more people extracting the silver from their spent fixer
    ... the better. the magnet is just a low cost, proven and effective way to do it ...
    no testing, no worries, just plug+play as they say ...

    have fun!
    john

  7. #57
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Used Sodium Thiosulfate disposal

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    thanks guys ...

    ===

    hi stone

    the magnet can hold 30-32 troy oz
    the price of silver today ( 5/16 ) is
    23.62 ... 30*23=690$
    the refiners usually take about 10% of that
    for their refining fee so you would get a check
    for 690-69=621$ ... the price of silver goes up and down
    like the tide, so this week it might be 23$ and ...
    in a few months it might be back up at 39$ again

    ===
    polyglot,
    by all means make one, and USE IT
    the more people extracting the silver from their spent fixer
    ... the better. the magnet is just a low cost, proven and effective way to do it ...
    no testing, no worries, just plug+play as they say ...

    have fun!
    john
    Ok I'm in assuming I can afford the setup haha (have to see how many paychecks come in...)

    I think my GF likes silver, perhaps I can use this silver for a ring? A ring from film? Haha


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    You don't need to buy a ready made solution to extract silver from your waste fixer. You can find out all you need to know in order to do it by using Google.
    I've had quite a lot of experience recovering silver from photo solutions, and my experience is that "adequate" instructions on DIY electrolytic silver recovery are virtually non-existent on the Internet. I could never understand this lack of info, and eventually came to the conclusion that, although it is ofter written about, very few have actually done it. Also, the traditional technical books on photography don't seem to have much practical information; they seem to only mention a few main chemical reactions.

  9. #59
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Ok I'm in assuming I can afford the setup haha (have to see how many paychecks come in...)

    I think my GF likes silver, perhaps I can use this silver for a ring? A ring from film? Haha
    If you have silversmithing stuff, certainly you can do that. The purity may or may not be good enough: you can get other metals included if you run the extraction at too-high voltage, or you might end up with it near 99% purity.

    Some custom jewellers will make things for you from any old bit of metal or rock you provide them with.

  10. #60

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    Recovering silver by electrodeposition is not as easy as some would believe. There are many factors which can determine whether the process makes you money or not, Things to consider are

    1. Voltage
    2. Amperage
    3, Electrode size in in2
    4. Electrode composition
    5. Electrode shapes and configuration
    6. Electrode spacing
    7. Electrolyte composition
    8. Circulation of the electrolyte
    9. Your cost for electricity
    10. The resale value of the silver

    Miscalculations in any of these factors can severely decrease your profits!

    There is a brief section in Mason describing the process.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 04-16-2013 at 11:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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