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Thread: Material used for lute?

  1. #1

    Material used for lute?

    Hi!
    Please allow me this question here:
    What kind of material do you use to lute your destillation vessels if you don't have ground glass joints?
    I tried rye flour, which is a hint I got from an old moonshiner. It works, but it is messy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    Hi!
    Please allow me this question here:
    What kind of material do you use to lute your destillation vessels if you don't have ground glass joints?
    I tried rye flour, which is a hint I got from an old moonshiner. It works, but it is messy.
    It depends on what you are distilling. For most purposes, even for distilling acids, the lute recommended by Lavoisier in his "Elements of Chemistry" is one of the best ones: a mixture of raw clay and boiled linseed oil to form a plastiline-like mass.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=G2...red%22&f=false

    I often use it in combination with something that did not exist in Lavoisier's times: teflon tape/thin-sheets. Teflon is one of the most remarkable substances ever discovered, it will resist almost anything. Not even red fuming nitric acid, which vapors corrode almost anything they come in contact with, has any effect on it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    recommended by Lavoisier in his "Elements of Chemistry" is one of the best ones: a mixture of raw clay and boiled linseed oil to form a plastiline-like mass.
    JDP, Lavoisier also recommends that we "put this into a brass mortar, and beat it for several hours with a heavy iron pestle" I underlined the section I have a question about - really?!?!?

    Do you have any suggestions on how to do this in a somewhat simplified way?

    TIA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aham View Post
    JDP, Lavoisier also recommends that we "put this into a brass mortar, and beat it for several hours with a heavy iron pestle" I underlined the section I have a question about - really?!?!?

    Do you have any suggestions on how to do this in a somewhat simplified way?

    TIA
    Lavoisier used very large amounts of the lute for his chemical researches, so obviously he dealt with pounds of the mixture at a time. For more moderate amounts it will suffice to put the powdered raw clay in a metal, plastic or ceramic bowl, then take a wooden stick or spatula and start mixing small amounts of boiled linseed oil while stirring the mixture until you reach the desired consistency. Then you can start kneading it with your hands -like playdough or plastiline- and shape it into a ball or block. Then you store it inside a closed container (the mixture will get harder with time, as the oil absorbs oxygen from the air and becomes harder, so it cannot be stored indefinitely, though it will last for a considerable amount of time as long as you keep it from being in contact with the open air and absorbing too much oxygen too soon) and use it as needed.

    I also recommend waiting a few days after applying the lute to the joining pieces of glass, to give the layer of lute enough time to absorb enough oxygen to harden more.

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    Another thing that can be used for lutes in many cases are liquid rubbers, which are sold on the market already made. Just apply a layer of the liquid rubber on the joining glass pieces and let dry. Repeat the procedure a couple or so more times, until you see that the glass joints are well covered and sealed. Rubbers resist many chemicals, but will not work with nitric, acetic and sulfuric acid vapors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Lavoisier used very large amounts of the lute for his chemical researches, so obviously he dealt with pounds of the mixture at a time. For more moderate amounts it will suffice to put the powdered raw clay in a metal, plastic or ceramic bowl, then take a wooden stick or spatula and start mixing small amounts of boiled linseed oil while stirring the mixture until you reach the desired consistency. Then you can start kneading it with your hands -like playdough or plastiline- and shape it into a ball or block. Then you store it inside a closed container (the mixture will get harder with time, as the oil absorbs oxygen from the air and becomes harder, so it cannot be stored indefinitely, though it will last for a considerable amount of time as long as you keep it from being in contact with the open air and absorbing too much oxygen too soon) and use it as needed.

    I also recommend waiting a few days after applying the lute to the joining pieces of glass, to give the layer of lute enough time to absorb enough oxygen to harden more.
    Thanks JDP. That helps a lot.

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    I found a "recipe" by accident, but it works VERY well.

    Buy powdered graphite and calcinate it till it's white. I STRONGLY suggest to use one of these:



    (using the image because its Spanish name translated to English shows me a species of penguin... and I would not like to see somehow wearing a penguin on the face ).

    The use of this mask is simply because the powdered graphite will make a mess and fly everywhere and you'll end up breathing it, which won't cause your death, but black snorts are not truly nice to have.

    The calcination is simply because when it's black it will stain everything (thus I suggest to use rubber gloves too when it is still black... and covering the area in which you are going to work with some newspapers is not a bad idea either).

    Once you have it white, mix it with powdered white clay (you can get it in most shops for artisans who work with clay).

    And then you mix 1/2 of white graphite and 1/2 of white clay... and add water till you have something that you can mould, but without making it too "sticky".

    I did it to create crucibles and it failed due to the fragility of what you get... but it is quite ideal to lute things because it's hard enough as to do the trick, it resists heat and it's fragile enough as to remove it quite easily later.

    I have NEVER tested it with strong acids... thus I do NOT suggest it for such thing because I do not know how it may react, but if you are not going to use a strong acid, then it's quite good and easy to handle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    I found a "recipe" by accident, but it works VERY well.

    Buy powdered graphite and calcinate it till it's white. I STRONGLY suggest to use one of these:



    (using the image because its Spanish name translated to English shows me a species of penguin... and I would not like to see somehow wearing a penguin on the face ).

    The use of this mask is simply because the powdered graphite will make a mess and fly everywhere and you'll end up breathing it, which won't cause your death, but black snorts are not truly nice to have.

    The calcination is simply because when it's black it will stain everything (thus I suggest to use rubber gloves too when it is still black... and covering the area in which you are going to work with some newspapers is not a bad idea either).

    Once you have it white, mix it with powdered white clay (you can get it in most shops for artisans who work with clay).

    And then you mix 1/2 of white graphite and 1/2 of white clay... and add water till you have something that you can mould, but without making it too "sticky".

    I did it to create crucibles and it failed due to the fragility of what you get... but it is quite ideal to lute things because it's hard enough as to do the trick, it resists heat and it's fragile enough as to remove it quite easily later.

    I have NEVER tested it with strong acids... thus I do NOT suggest it for such thing because I do not know how it may react, but if you are not going to use a strong acid, then it's quite good and easy to handle.
    I don't remember ever hearing that graphite turns "white" by heating. Where did you get this "recipe" from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    I don't remember ever hearing that graphite turns "white" by heating. Where did you get this "recipe" from?
    I didn't know such thing either, JDP! It was an accidental discovery.
    The recipe to make the crucibles, I got it from an engineer who works at the best local ceramic shop and gives advice to sculptors who work with ceramic and want to create different "effects" (i.e, how to make the clay lok crackled, how to make the glaze look rainbow-like, etc). I asked him how to make a crucible that could resist a thermal shock many times... He suggested me to use clay and talc and a plaster mould... but that he was not sure if it was going to do the trick... and it failed.

    So I returned to the shop and told him that it failed, so he said that PROBABLY using equal parts of graphite and clay would do the trick... So I mixed equal parts of both and I got a black clay:



    It was unpleasant to work with it because it stains the hands and without caring how much soap you use, they remain completely black for some days... But I made my black crucibles. When I got them out of the klink (I hated to some 1000ºC if my memory is not wrong) they were white, but too fragile as to use them as crucibles. they were GOOD with the Thermal Shock, but not very good when it comes to being hard (VERY fragile).

    So I realized 2 things:
    a) That this mix was not good for making crucibles, though maybe it is, but using an industrial press, which I do not have... but that it was ideal for luting.
    b) That the graphite turns white when it is calcined... and it is BETTER to calcine it BEFORE mixing it with the clay, not because it "improves" the final result, but because you avoid working with a clay that stains your hands and everything and the stains are very hard to remove.

    So it wa an accidental discovery... the "white graphite" is not "white", but a very light gray (maybe MORE heat will make it perfectly white, I haven't tried such thing... but this is not one of those calcinations that seek to achieve a perfect white "salt", nor it's related to spagyrics... but this "light gray", almost white graphite does the trick of not staining the hands at all).

    Here's a photo of how it looks:



    (as you can see, it's light gray... but it doesn't stain the hands).

    So that's how I accidentally arrived to this luting mixture that does the trick. Sometimes an "experiment" goes wrong, but you still end up learning something useful.

    I have NOT tested it with ANY acids, so I CAN'T suggest it for works with acids because I do not know how it reacts, but for works without acids, it certainly does the trick.
    (testing it with acids would be easy, it would simply be a matter of making a small cube and adding some of the chosen acid to the vessel with the small cube inside and seeing if it corrodes it or if it doesn't... but I do not have the intention of doing such thing in the near future).

    Anyway, it's just a silly trick that I've learnt by chance.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    I didn't know such thing either, JDP! It was an accidental discovery.
    The recipe to make the crucibles, I got it from an engineer who works at the best local ceramic shop and gives advice to sculptors who work with ceramic and want to create different "effects" (i.e, how to make the clay lok crackled, how to make the glaze look rainbow-like, etc). I asked him how to make a crucible that could resist a thermal shock many times... He suggested me to use clay and talc and a plaster mould... but that he was not sure if it was going to do the trick... and it failed.

    So I returned to the shop and told him that it failed, so he said that PROBABLY using equal parts of graphite and clay would do the trick... So I mixed equal parts of both and I got a black clay:



    It was unpleasant to work with it because it stains the hands and without caring how much soap you use, they remain completely black for some days... But I made my black crucibles. When I got them out of the klink (I hated to some 1000ºC if my memory is not wrong) they were white, but too fragile as to use them as crucibles. they were GOOD with the Thermal Shock, but not very good when it comes to being hard (VERY fragile).

    So I realized 2 things:
    a) That this mix was not good for making crucibles, though maybe it is, but using an industrial press, which I do not have... but that it was ideal for luting.
    b) That the graphite turns white when it is calcined... and it is BETTER to calcine it BEFORE mixing it with the clay, not because it "improves" the final result, but because you avoid working with a clay that stains your hands and everything and the stains are very hard to remove.

    So it wa an accidental discovery... the "white graphite" is not "white", but a very light gray (maybe MORE heat will make it perfectly white, I haven't tried such thing... but this is not one of those calcinations that seek to achieve a perfect white "salt", nor it's related to spagyrics... but this "light gray", almost white graphite does the trick of not staining the hands at all).

    Here's a photo of how it looks:



    (as you can see, it's light gray... but it doesn't stain the hands).

    So that's how I accidentally arrived to this luting mixture that does the trick. Sometimes an "experiment" goes wrong, but you still end up learning something useful.

    I have NOT tested it with ANY acids, so I CAN'T suggest it for works with acids because I do not know how it reacts, but for works without acids, it certainly does the trick.
    (testing it with acids would be easy, it would simply be a matter of making a small cube and adding some of the chosen acid to the vessel with the small cube inside and seeing if it corrodes it or if it doesn't... but I do not have the intention of doing such thing in the near future).

    Anyway, it's just a silly trick that I've learnt by chance.
    Maybe the graphite is impure and this is why it turns of a lighter color after heating. Pure graphite should not change color with heat (it's just a form of carbon.)

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