From PRAKTISCHE ALCHEMIE IM ZWANZIGSTEN JAHRHUNDERT
(Practical Alchemy in the Twentieth Century) by Frater Albertus.
Translated by Arthur G. Fehres.
Unfortunately this book has not been published in English yet. Starting from p. 155
THE POURING OF GLASS IN
For smelting and pouring, the bottom of the furnace should be covered with one or two finger-widths of finely sifted quartz sand. The quartz sand will catch the small droplets of glass, which during the procedure might flow down the crucible. In this way the crucible can be removed anytime without sticking to the bottom of the furnace.
As we know, that in Antimony all colours exist, we try to pour glass of different colours.
In a new non-glazed crucible put Antimony Trisulfide (1 part) and Borax (2 parts). Beforehand, both ingredients are well ground and mixed in a mortar. Another time try a mixture with a proportion of 1 to 4 parts. It is also a worthwhile experiment to put Antimony Trisulfide or trioxide onto the still liquid glass remaining in
the crucible after the glass has been poured out of it.
There are still other
varieties and each one will
even find a way to produce
glass. Nobody, however,
should become misled by the
beautiful colours of the Vitrum Antimony, for after
its change into glass its
poison has not been taken
'While smelting Antimony
Trisulfide sparks will jump
up from it, which means,
that through the great
heat, the spirit is driven
out while giving off a
spray of sparks.
CITRINE-YELLOW GLASS OUT OF
For one hour the furnace is
heated until it shows a
constant temperature of
In a mortar the following
are well ground and mixed
5 parts of Antimony
Trioxide and 1 part
Borax has nothing to do
with Antimony. It is only
a means of making the
Antimony smelt easier.
A non-glazed crucible is
filled with this mixture
and put in the heat. After
15 minutes the first test
can be made with a pointed
steel knife. A certain
quantity of liquid glass
will stick to the cold
steel point. The glass is brownish red.
The second test is about eight minutes later, therefore, 23 minutes after the crucible has been filled. This test shows a transparent citrine-yellow colour. Like this the glass is right.
With fire forceps the crucible is taken out of the furnace and as thinly as possible the liquid glass is poured onto a preheated fire proof dish. (Basil Valentine recommends pouring it on brass.) After cooling one keeps these pieces of glass in a well stopped wide necked bottle.
With 14 cruciblefuls of
Antimony Trioxide a whole kilo of pure transparent citrine-yellow glass can be poured. To get less Borax in the glass the mixture can also be 8:1.
FROM MINERAL ROCK INTO GLASS DROPS
Using Antimony Trioxide in making glass, the quantity collapses, for example, the crucible can be filled to the brim and after a certain time can be filled again.
when working with Antimony Trisulfide the crucible is only half filled. This smelting substance expands and has be pushed down with fire forceps, if necessary. to prevent it from over
wards ground into powder.
VITRUM, which has gone through the finest sieve, is still too course. In the mortar this has to be ground until unbelievably fine. The glass has been rightly prepared when with the tiniest bit of wind it behaves the same as dust.
Before breaking up the glass into small pieces it can be put on a clean sheet of paper in order to lose nothing at all of this dust. With a fine brush all of it can be carefully collected in a dish.
WASHING THE BORAX OUT OF THE VITRUM
The ground glass, with which we have filled the soxhlet thimble, has still alot of Borax in it. The Borax had been mixed with the Antimony Trioxide to achieve a better flowing of the glass during the smelting process and now this has to be washed out again.
The soxhlet is 3/4 filled with distilled, water. Through constant extraction and circulation the Borax is drawn out of the soxhlet flask. After a few hours new distilled water is used and repeated, if necessary, until after careful examinatibn the red litmus paper does not turn blue anymore. During this process the water stays clear and transparent. It is only through litmus
paper that the alkalinity can be tested accurately enough.
It is peculiar, that with the first extraction the water gets a soft yellow tinge. This, however, is not from the yellow glass powder in the thimble. Antimony does not dissolve in water, but in Antimony Trioxide are still traces of nitric acid left.
Thus, what is chemically pure Antimony Trioxide, is alchemically still not pure enough. After the pouring of the glass-through higher temperatures using Antimony Trioxide without Borax even this nitric acid has to be washed out.
When working with antimony, go carefully about it, unless you want to poison yourself. You would do well to use a wet handkerchief to cover nose and mouth during operations such as pulverizing, mixing, smelting, etc. If you do these inside do not allow the fine dust particles to contaminate the t whole room and what is in it.
A small electric furnace has been proved to be better than a big one as the heating elements would be too far away from the crucible, lowering the heat in the centre of it considerably. One could also improvise a blasting furnace using e.g. gas and oxygen or air.
Porcelain crucibles, the size and shape of a cup, will prove to be very satisfactory.
Crucibles will last longer when you; a) dry them thoroughly before using;
b) heat them gradually before putting them in the furnace;
c) avoid quick cooling during refilling and pouring.
After a crucible has been cracked, putting some pieces of glass in a new one will act as a starter.
To obtain red glass of antimony requires more than 1,000oC. (1200oC plus)
Dropping a small piece of charcoal or charcoal granules on smelted antimony will purify it better and quicker.
Good quality citrine-yellow glass has been made using 8 parts antimony trioxide (commercial) and 1 part of Borax at 950o- 1,000oC.
Instead of a pointed steel knife a bent piece of sturdy wire can be used for testing without having to remove the crucible.