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MMD > Archives > September 2010 > 2010.09.13 > 15Prev  Next

Hide Glue Joints Softened by Alcohol
By Carl Zwanzig

Since the common names change between continents, I offer the following:

Methanol (CH3OH, methyl alcohol) is commonly called "wood alcohol"
because it was originally made by destructive distillation of wood.
It's highly toxic, especially when ingested.  Don't.

Ethanol (C2H5OH, ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol) is only toxic in
larger quantities, but is ofttimes toxicly taxed.  Hard to find at
over about 75%.

Isopropylanol (C3H7OH, IPA, "rubbing alcohol", isopropyl alcohol),
usually at either 70% or 91% alcohol.  It's also nicely toxic, but
not as toxic as methanol.

Denatured alcohol (a.k.a. methylated spirits) is ethanol with enough
other stuff to make it non-drinkable.  Besides methanol, sometime it
might have isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl
isobutyl ketone, or maybe something else.  The official British recipe
I saw contained a bittering agent.  Also not very nice.

Based on all that, if you want a parts cleaner, ethanol is the best,
followed by rubbing alcohol.  Denatured alcohol can have other
non-alcohol components that might leave a residue.  For removing water
from something, the highest percentage of either methanol or rubbing
alcohol is probable best.

Also, most alcohols like water so much, they'll suck it out of the air.
Because of this, they're generally not found at more than about 95%
alcohol.  And my chemist mother once told me that you might see ethanol
at more than 95%, but it was probably distilled with benzene as a
carrier, making it also undrinkable.

Carl Zwanzig

(Message sent Mon 13 Sep 2010, 06:24:01 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Alcohol, Glue, Hide, Joints, Softened

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