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Old 11-19-2017, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Kansas City
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Default Antimony

Not alimony... Antimony.

I came across this ebay auction and these antimony blocks looked interesting for casting. Problem is, I have no experience with this metal at all.
Any thoughts? I use carbide cutters and a good mask and dust collector. Don't see why this wouldn't look great if smaller bits were incorporated into a cast.

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Old 11-19-2017, 11:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
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I am pretty sure that antimony is poisonous if it gets into your body IN ANY WAY.

Check it out.

And notice the buyer's location ..... don't know how they can sell this stuff into a worldwide market.

Plenty of other articles ... I just googled "Is Antimony poisonous"

Kids rule the world !!! .... eventually if not already !

Last edited by magpens; 11-19-2017 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Waxhaw, NC
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I've worked with antimony before, but for casting bullets not pens. We use it to harden alloys. Not something I'd want to turn on a wood lathe for a number of reasons.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I too have used antimony before casting bullets. That was when I was young and dumb and cast without any respirators. We used it to harden lead.
Old woodworkers never die, they just keep chipping away!

Fort Mill, South Carolina
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Kansas City
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Here's what I read:

"For some time, China has been the largest producer of antimony and its compounds, with most production coming from the Xikuangshan Mine in Hunan."

"The effects of antimony and its compounds on human and environmental health differ widely. The elemental antimony metal does not affect human and environmental health. Inhalation of antimony trioxide (and similar poorly soluble Sb(III) dust particles such as antimony dust) is considered harmful and suspected of causing cancer. However, these effects are only observed with female rats and after long-term exposure to high dust concentrations. The effects are hypothesized to be attributed to inhalation of poorly soluble Sb particles leading to impaired lung clearance, lung overload, inflammation and ultimately tumour formation, not to exposure to antimony ions (OECD, 2008)."

I'm certainly not advocating adding antimony to your casting supplies. But I'm not really convinced that adding some bits of this in a resin cast would be so bad. I feel pretty safe with my respirator and my Wynn Environmental filter on my dust collector. Heck, if I added a decent fan, the exposure would have to be really low.

It's not like we don't get exposure from acrylics, resins, toxic exotic woods, aluminum, and other metals.

I'm just playing devil's advocate. I don't think making a couple pens will be any worse than the radon levels in our basements, but then again, who needs this stuff?! I might try it, but only after I exhaust the millions of other materials, ideas and techniques in casting and stabilization.
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