View Full Version : A source for mercury

Cold Rolled
03-03-2003, 05:45 PM
To all you smart guys out there; I am looking for a source for mercury. I only need about 2 fluid ounces.
I have built a sweet shooting rifle but I always want more. Brownells sells mercury filled recoil reducers, which have used in the past but they do not sell the specific size I need. So I am going build one.

03-03-2003, 06:35 PM
Looks for mercury switches in a surplus stores, or in old thermostats.


03-03-2003, 07:10 PM
lots of thermometers?
check surplus stores for the old lab

i think some older smoke detectors
had them.

mercury switchs from old thermostats, as mentioned above, would be your biggest bang for the buck.

check airconditioners too.. older ones, of course.

03-03-2003, 07:52 PM
All the ideas above are good, but the volume you are looking for will be easier to get from mecury contactors. These units have a tube with about a teaspoon of mercury for each phase. They work by using a coil to pull down on a slug of iron that floats on the mercury. When the slug gets pulled down it causes the mecury to rise in the tube until it closes the circuit. Anyway, they will be the most mercury in the easiest package. Try your favorite surplus yard, or plastics processors. The plastics guys used to use these things by the hundreds to control electric heaters on their machines. They are used because they can cycle millions of times, but they do fail and most folks have a hard time disposing of them. To see what they look like, check out McMaster-Carr 7694K65. As always, be safe.


03-03-2003, 09:57 PM
A good old plumbing supply should still have small bottles of replacement mercury for mercury columns.

Last time I bought one it was a couple of bucks.

Be careful with it, the EPA has pretty much outlawed it.

03-03-2003, 11:10 PM
You may be able to buy mercury from high vacuum equipment supply house. They are used in difusion pumps. They are actually boilled and jetted at high speed through a vertical column which is deflected downwards. Needless to say, it does everything that you're not suppose to do with mercury.


[This message has been edited by Rotate (edited 03-03-2003).]

Ragarsed Raglan
03-04-2003, 08:20 AM
I restored a column and well barometer a few years back, These barometers take a huge amount of mercury to fill them. I got my refill after a visit to my dentist.......


Quick Change
03-04-2003, 10:57 AM
Cold rolled,
Don't forget dentists, many of who still make amalgam fillings which use mercury to dissolve silver for filling material. Those dentists that do amalgam probably have small 5 pound bottles of mercury that they might be willing to sell a portion of with sufficient salesmanship on your part.

Ragarsed Raglan
03-04-2003, 12:10 PM
Exactly....! This is where you need the purchasing skills similar to the sales skills of a refrigerator salesman to Eskimo's


Cold Rolled
03-05-2003, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the input. I will try my old family dentist. He is semi retired and some his equipment should be in a museum. That is most likely my best bet.

03-05-2003, 04:22 PM
Chemical supply, its hard to ship so look local. I have 10 LBS of it, had it for years, dont knwo what to do with, but im sure as soon as i get rid of it, ill regret it. I got it from a local chem supply store, was using it years ago in a fine gold extraction process. I you know anybody whos involved in Placer gold those guys usually save what they dredge up.

Try here

Good Luck

03-05-2003, 04:45 PM
Another source are old mercurial sphygamomanometers. We have several discontinued ones here at work that I am looking for a hazardous waste company or local collection source to take. Unfortunately, I have to have an audit trail to show disposition since they are property of Uncle Sam. Any doctor's office or hospital that is phasing out the mercurial units may have some to give you.

Cold Rolled
03-05-2003, 06:36 PM
Light switch how much volume is that? Everywhere I look I keep finding weight measurement but I do not know much a cubic inch would weigh.

03-05-2003, 08:09 PM
Try a local sign shop that makes neon. We all have mercury for our argon filled tubes. If there isn't a local shop, try signsearch.com for the listings of distributors that can ship any amount you need to you.

03-05-2003, 09:03 PM
mercury weighs 849lbs per cubic foot @ 32*F, so it comes out to .4913194 lbs per cubic inch if I did the math right.

03-08-2003, 10:39 PM
Take a squeeze bottle into the river behind OLIN chemical in Charleston Tn. The divers go into the river and suck up the mercury and sell it for scrap. INSIDE OLIN THEY have a mecury-saline tanks they run DC voltage through to make chlorine gas, the evaporated water with evaporated mercury is supposed to be reclaimed in the plant, but some always gets lost in the nearby river. I think this poisons the rivers all the way to the GULF.
Nothing will be done about this, cause OUR goverment has a working relationship with OLIN. OSHA sent inspectors to look everywhere except the nasty work enviroment, EPA sent people to ride up and down the river in boats.
I worked there for 2 1/2 years, I hate the place, they make HTH pool chemicals there also. You can pour hth into a pile and pour coke on it, it will burst into flame. Nasty place to work, nasty chemicals produced, Nasty to our enviroment. BUT>> Chlorine is used in plastics, food prep, paper and lot of chemicals.
I got permenant chronic bronchitus from there, but I ain't mad. (the hell I ain't)

03-10-2003, 12:52 AM
Clorine compounds are the most feared "common" chemicals by fire fighters up here. I would not have thought that if a fire chief and a Dangerous Goods Response Captain had not told me that.

It makes their job more dangerous than it should be...

Maybe you should hire a barracuda (lawyer). My condolences on your injury - try to get some comfort out of it by sueing the bastards. Lawyers are still going after asbestos cases ans cigarette companies. One woman in CA that was a smoker was awarded 28,000,000,000 (yes, billion) in damages, the judges later reduced it to 28 million.

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 03-10-2003).]

03-10-2003, 02:34 AM
yeah teh above numbers are a good guide.

All this mercury talk has got me thinking about an old National Geographic photo, where a guy is sitting on a pool of mercury, because it is so dense he doesnt sink into it like water, but rather very oddly kind of floats on teh surface like styrofoam or a cork. pretty crazy photo.

03-10-2003, 02:42 AM
heres a pretty sweet photo!


<IMG SRC="http://website.lineone.net/~zyra/merc16a.jpg">

Cold Rolled
03-10-2003, 04:38 PM
Lightswich I tried Emailing you but I do not think it worked. Please email me at mschmalz@midwest-express.com.

03-10-2003, 08:43 PM
Lightswitch, i remember seeing that photo when I was a teen. My mom and dad have a collection of National Geo dating from Nam all the way back to WW2. I remeember looking at that picture about 20 years ago. It was an old issue even then.

03-12-2003, 02:30 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jaymo:
Lightswitch, i remember seeing that photo when I was a teen. My mom and dad have a collection of National Geo dating from Nam all the way back to WW2. I remeember looking at that picture about 20 years ago. It was an old issue even then.</font>

Yeah 1978 i think, that was teh year i was born

03-12-2003, 02:38 AM
The answer to your problem has been solved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




And my favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck!

Cold Rolled
03-12-2003, 06:35 PM
Thanks Lightswitch I would have never thought of Ebay. If you can legally sell something, except guns, it is on ebay.

[This message has been edited by Cold Rolled (edited 03-14-2003).]