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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    Now just to find the ether - I'm imagining that that won't be a hardware store find ... does anybody here in the US know of where to get ether other than a chem. supplier?
    Most chemical supply places will think you are making illegal drugs if you ask for ether. SO I suggest you go, not to the hardware store, but the auto parts store. Look for "starting fluid" - it's usually ether. Check the label for "diethyl ether".

    It is very flammable. And it has narcotic properties. So be careful!See:http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/E2340.htm

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
    The vapor travels for dozens of feet remaining flammable and liable to explosion and that is what caught me unaware. I was carrying a beaker of ether past a hotplate (about 5 ft away in a hood) and the draft from the hood drew the ether vapor across the surface of the hotplate igniting it and causing an explosion. Friends told me I was surrounded by a blue flash of light like an aura, and I lost a lot of hair including eyebrows. From my standpoint it looked like a flashbulb had gone off and I felt a burning sensation over all of my exposed skin. I was lucky!
    WOW! You were lucky. That's a great story.

    I never have cool lab accidents like that (fingers crossed). Last thing I did was break off a pastuer pipette that was in some partially digested manure compost leachate and then ram the glass into the end of my thumb. 6 stiches... and a tetanus shot.

  3. #23
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    Last thing I did was break off a pastuer pipette that was in some partially digested manure compost leachate and then ram the glass into the end of my thumb. 6 stiches... and a tetanus shot.
    Oops ... broken Pasteur pipes can be surprisingly sharp ... and manure leachate ...


    I didn't realize about the starting fluid, I'll check on that.

  4. #24
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    One day, I was entering the lab and was pushing open the stainless steel safety door when I felt a 'thud' and something hit the door and knocked it back at me nearly hitting my face.

    I went forward again and the door bottom scraped on broken glass on the floor. I walked in to find a broken high pressure hydrogenation bottle lying on the floor, and there was about a 2" deep depression in the door at waist height.

    It seems that the HP hydrogenator blew up just as I was walking in the door. The explosion was such that it destroyed the safety cage around the bottle, but did not disturb anything to the sides or behind the apparatus. It was all directed one way, towards the door, just like a shaped charge. If I had been about 1 second earlier, I would have probably not survived. Nothing was harmed except for the safety cage, bottle and door (which was only dented). I do believe in miracles!

    Neither this nor the incident above happened at EK. These were both in graduate school.

    PE

  5. #25

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    Ether Flash

    Hi. Fascinating reading. My own profession (art conservation) has used ether for a variety of treatments in the past. We were always warned that diethyl ether has a flame trail or flash back capability of nearly 35 feet. That is an open flame or ignition source 35 feet away from an open can of ether will cause it to ignite. Kind of scary.

    Some of the early treatments involved refluxing archaeological artefacts in a bath of boiling/distilling ether. In glass no less.

    Well, back to setting up my wet plate equipment/chemicals.

    Mark MacKenzie
    Mark MacKenzie, M.A.C.
    Art Conservator
    Past Ink Publishing
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    S7H 2S6

  6. #26

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    Tannic acid when you want it.

    For field work where we didn't have tannic acid handy we brew up a six bagger pot of tea and steep to the point of blackness. The resulting brew did quite nicely for preserving archaeological iron artefacts.

    I would recommend loose tea as the tea bag often contributes to the brew. Unless you really want a staining developer I would use distilled water or at least reverse osmosis water and not well water for instance. Even city/house water can have appreciable lime and ferrous ions as well as curpous.

    Regards

    Mark MacKenzie
    Mark MacKenzie, M.A.C.
    Art Conservator
    Past Ink Publishing
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    S7H 2S6

  7. #27

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    Tannic Acid Safety (small note_

    I had already posted and then remember something I read a while back. Under normal useage tannic acid ought to be just about the safest developer possible, I think. However, there is one very special case where it is deadly or can be. In the late 1930's there was quite a stir in the medical community for treating massive burn victims. It was found that tannic acid powder applied to the burned areas formed a breathable protective mass and kept the area clean. People actually began to recover in situations usually never possible. But, then they died. Apparently, tannic acid in the blood and carried to the liver, damages and kills the liver when present in sufficient concentration.

    What a wonderful thing the stomach and GI tract is, eh? (I am Canadian so the eh is obligatory) Bio-evolution wins again and keeps us in a tasty beverage.

    I can't see that ever happening when used in photography however it is when we become too trusting that accidents happen and I would want to use gloves if I had large areas of abraded skin on my hands or open wounds and sores.

    Regards

    Mark MacKenzie
    Mark MacKenzie, M.A.C.
    Art Conservator
    Past Ink Publishing
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    S7H 2S6

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