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Making Collodion USP
Posted by: fpretoors ()
Date: February 25, 2011 07:19AM

I am from Cape Town, South Africa and I am in the process to gather chemicals and gear to be able to start with Wetplate photography.
I am connected on: www.collodion.com; www.cwreenactors.com/phorum
and I have also ordered John Coffer's book with DVD's.

I am running though in to a big pothole in my journey. Collodion USP is not available in South Africa and to ship it here is going to cost me $460.00.

My question: How difficult is it to make your own Collodion USP and if, how do you make it.

Thanks

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: sean ()
Date: February 25, 2011 08:51AM

Sigma-Aldrich produce a brand of collodion "Fluka" suitable for photography, it's about 5% or 6%. Here's their South African web site:

[www.sigmaaldrich.com]

Good luck with the process!

Seán

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: fpretoors ()
Date: February 25, 2011 09:26AM

Seán
Thanks and thanks again. You really made my day :-).

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: Ray Morgenweck ()
Date: February 25, 2011 09:19PM

If the costs are too high.....collodion, as we know it, can be easily made from cellulouse nitrate and ether and alcohol

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: Richard Mellor ()
Date: February 26, 2011 02:35AM


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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: minieball ()
Date: February 27, 2011 01:07PM

I had no luck trying to find cellulose nitrate commecially. If you have a specific source Ray, I'd like to hear about it.

The only place I actually found it was Scholle Chemical in Georgia and they flat out will not sell it to us tintype schmoe's

Todd Harrington
Winchester, VA

www.collodianartistry.com

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: Ray Morgenweck ()
Date: February 27, 2011 02:02PM

Used in making paint.

[www.alibaba.com]

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: minieball ()
Date: February 27, 2011 03:38PM

I started looking into this after a bad batch of plain collodion this past fall. And yes I know its used for nitrocellulose lacquer. You also need just the right nitration for it to work in photographic collodion.

Thanks for the website but I have already been through all of those, Ray. Minimum 10 ton orders are typical not to mention importing duties, laws, etc. trying to buy from China. Hell, a 1000 grams is pretty much a lifetime supply.

I think I'm going to just make my own....

Todd Harrington
Winchester, VA

www.collodianartistry.com

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: sean ()
Date: February 27, 2011 07:50PM

I buy my nitrocellulose from a sympathetic varnish manufacturer in London so I think it's worth trying to find one in your part of the world.

Show and give them some tins and explain you want to buy it to make collodion for a photographic process.

When I first started out with the black fingered process eleven years ago I couldn't find a source of collodion in the UK so I made my own
following the instructions in the Silver Sunbeam.

My home made collodion worked well enough but it's not easy to make and it's a potentially dangerous business.

I made four rather variable small batches and was extremely pleased when I found a suitable Merck collodion, and even more pleased
to find my friendly varnish manufacturer.

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: Ray Morgenweck ()
Date: February 27, 2011 09:16PM

I got my supply from Mark Osterman many years ago..and still have a lot left. Perhaps he knew someone who got the big 10 ton order....

It was amazingly cheap, and made collodion very well. Results were fine.

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: minieball ()
Date: February 27, 2011 10:50PM

Thanks, Sean...trust me...you have no idea how I have searched for a "sympathetic varnish manufacturer" I will be using the sulphuric acid and potassium nitrate method. I nitrate my own black powder combusitble cartridge paper now so plenty of saltpetre on hand.

Ray..I already checked with Mark and France. That batch came as a one-time sample from Germany, as you said, many years ago. Yep...a little goes a long way

Will Dunniway did the same thing as Sean suggested with the sample tins, etc with Scholle several years ago. He managed to get them to sell him a 1000gram tin. No luck for me though.

Todd Harrington
Winchester, VA

www.collodianartistry.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2011 11:54PM by minieball.

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: J0B00 ()
Date: February 28, 2011 08:41AM

Brian Scadden in New Zealand makes his from raw nitrocellulose if I remember correctly. Not sure where he gets it...

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: Petzval Paul ()
Date: February 28, 2011 12:28PM

Does anyone have a recipe on hand for mixing up collodion with cellulose nitrate?

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: sean ()
Date: February 28, 2011 02:34PM

I just make a 2% solution with 50/50 ether/alcohol mix, then add my usual iodides and bromides.

This works fine and it's what I've used for over nine years now.

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: Ray Morgenweck ()
Date: March 01, 2011 12:10AM

In reading through some of the stuff on the internet on this stuff..its amazing how close clear nail polish is to it.

I wonder if you could mix iodides and bromides with nail polish, and shoot with it??

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Re: Making Collodion USP
Posted by: RobertSzabo ()
Date: March 01, 2011 02:50PM

Doesnt seem worth it to me Todd. Your bad plain collodion is the first I have heard of in 13 years. Have you had more than one bad batch?

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