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Homemade layout fluid

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Interesting.  What is the desired consistency? French polish is shellac in alcohol.  Could that save a step?


When I worked in the machine tool industry long ago we used to make our own layout fluid.

In our stores there was a 10LB tin of Prussian blue powder and a bottle of  Methylated spirit  (Ethyl Alcohol).
We just mixed it up in an old jam jar until the mixture looked suitable, we did not use Shellac, I suspect that is just to make the mixture more durable.
More Methylated spirit  was added later when the fluid thickened due to evaporation.

White water based emulsion paint was also  used when marking out castings.

Scraping blue was made up from the same powder, oil was added instead of the  Methylated spirit and a flat Tin was used.

Prussian blue powder is available if you Google.


--- Quote from: sparky961 on April 11, 2018, 11:17:13 PM ---Cool, but why waste the ethyl alcohol?  Would high test isopropyl or methyl not work just as well?

Now if only I knew where to get powdered Prussian blue and shellac flakes.... Sounds like a Dave Gingery sort of thing.

--- End quote ---

Curry's has Prussian Blue:
LeeValley has shellac flakes.

I have a jar of methylene blue, might try that out and see if it works.


--- Quote from: timby on April 12, 2018, 04:58:17 AM ---Methylated spirit  (Ethyl Alcohol).

--- End quote ---

Actually, Methyl Alcohol aka methanol is Methylated Spirit. It's usually dyed purple and has a bittering agent to make it unpleasant to drink (given that it will kill you more readily than the proper stuff).

Ethyl alcohol aka beer, whisk[e]y, etc. (well, the active ingredient of) is the drinkable variety - although drinking from a chemist's bottle of "Ethyl Alcohol" is likely to be just as hazardous to your health as drinking Meths... several university students a year die of just such a mistake...

Isopropyl alcohol is yet another version. Unfortunately, unlike Andrew's school physics lessons (see the measuring thread), my chemistry lessons didn't stick and I can't remember what the difference is between the different alcohols.

Here in Australia, they had a lot of deaths in the depression and in the early post-war years from people drinking 'metho' with orange juice. Apparently, it overcame the terrible taste of the bittering agent.
As far as I know, all 'methylated spirits' in Australia is actually ethanol with bittering agents(and no drinking alcohol taxes), to avoid the horrible health issues and costs resulting from ignorantly/accidentally/deliberately drinking methanol.... Actual Methanol is now quite difficult to get hold of, except for lab use.


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