Ahhhh, the smell of ether in the morning.....Makes me want to go back to bed? The presence of so much high spirits so early in the morning is sooo hard to resist.

Thank you all for your comments and advice. I will use something like Everclear should it be available to me.

To those not familiar with the great white north, it is next to impossible to come by ethanol (not denatured) without paying excise tax unless you are a Federal laboratory and apply for an exemption under an existing clause. Now this is from when I ran part of a federal lab more than 13 years ago. Today I run a provincial art conservation facility and my local solvent suppliers don't even know that non-denatured 95/5 alcohol is/was available. Reagent and spec. grade suppliers will supply for a price but I can't justify the expense. Hence my original question.

Ah, while not adverse to the occasional nip of poteen especially shared with my wife and Valentine's love I will come by my drinking stuff using the more usual ways and means.

Having to add water to facilitate the reactions is a very good reminder, thank you.

I have toyed with the idea of drying out drinking or over proof drinking (150 proof) which is available here but only as rum I believe. Rather than using some of the usual getter chemicals (usually reserved for trace H20 removal) I have read that you can pass the dilute alcohol through a bed of Zeolite resins and they will remove the water and give you pure alcohol. These are the resins usually found in water softener cartridges. (You didn't hear this from me, now did you?)

If you thought this question close to "heresy" wait until the next one on ether substitutes!!

Once again, thank you to all for the discussion and I hope there are more posts.

Mark MacKenzie