Australian Modelers - Isopropyl Alchohol

racedirector Jun 4, 2004

  1. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Aussies....

    Where do you buy your supplies of Isopropyl alcohol and in what quantities. All I could find today was small bottles in the chemists labelled "IsoCol" @ $8.95.

    And while I am at it, what quantities would be needed for things like weathering washes (with India ink), staining ties, gluing ballast etc

    Cheers
    Bruce
     
  2. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have never used it what were you going to use it for?
     
  3. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Ummmm, isn't it used for making alchohol/india ink washes, adding to white glue for ballast etc...?
     
  4. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

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  5. JASON

    JASON TrainBoard Supporter

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    It works great on stripping Kato paint jobs too,70% 500ml bottle will cost around $10au.99% 500ml bottle will cost $25,your local chemist should be able to get it,thats where I got mine.
    Doh sorry Bruce didn't read all yopur post!
     
  6. jkristia

    jkristia TrainBoard Member

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    $25, wow, what is the AU/US $ rate?, here in the US it's called "rubbing alcohol" and I pay about $2 for 500ml bottle 70% and just a little more for 90%.

    Actually, I'm not sure if the rubbing alcohol is the exact same thing as isopropyl alcohol, but for doing AI washes it works just perfect.
     
  7. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

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    We have rubbing alcohol here too... Might be cheaper since it doesnt have a name I cant pronounce..
     
  8. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    I had a better look at the bottle of IsoCol at the chemists today. It said it contained isopropyl alcohol but it also said it was an antispectic. It was $8.95 for 300ml. I just dunno if this would work or not. The chemist did say that he could order some isopropoyl for me but it would be $9.95 for 100ml.
     
  9. JASON

    JASON TrainBoard Supporter

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    70% is good for weathering washes,tie staining etc,91% to 99%is better for paint stripping,depends on what your doing with it!
    As for adding to white glue for ballast?haven't heard that one,I prefer latex glue for ballast etc.
     
  10. jkristia

    jkristia TrainBoard Member

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    I just checked the bottles I have,
    the 70% is called "Rubbing Alcohol - 70% isopropyl"
    and the 91% is just called "91% isopropyl alcohol" and each bottle is 473ml (16 fl oz).

    I just checked IsoCol (did a search at au.yahoo.com) and found IsoCol Rubbing Alcohol for $7 with RRP (MSRP?) at $9, so it seems that IsoCol is what you want to use for alcohol/ink washes. A 400ml bottle will last not forever, but for a looong time

    Ohhh. and a search for isopropyl alcohol gave me a link to some 99.953% pure alcohol, maybe that's why it so expensive.
     
  11. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Jason/Jesper

    Thanks guys. It seems Isocol is the one then as I do want it for weathering washes with india ink.

    Thanks for all your help...

    Cheers
    Bruce
     
  12. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    Isopropyl alcohol and rubbing alcohol are the same thing. Its primary use is an antiseptic, as are all common alcohols so you can use fine whiskey (40% ethanol) on cuts to kill germs. Now I’ve never tried using ethanol (beer alcohol) for ink washes, but I would suspect that it isn’t all that different than isopropyl alcohol. And I’m pretty sure you can find a cheap bottle of vodka (also 40% usually) for less that you are paying for isopropyl alcohol. In fact I just put some Jim Bean on a car and it didn’t take off the paint. So if you want to use normal alcohol for ink washes you should be able to without any problems. I once picked up a very cheap bottle of vodka for 3 bucks. It tasted very bad.

    Isopropyl alcohol is also good for thinning acrylic paints for airbrushing as it evaporates faster than water. You can use vodka for that too.

    [ 10. June 2004, 02:49: Message edited by: Curn ]
     
  13. mdrzycimski

    mdrzycimski TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've heard that Isopropyl Alcohol contains some kind of oil or lubricant in it to make it not so harsh on the skin when used as directed. Denatured Alcohol is supposed to be the same thing without the additive. Did I hear correctly or are the two completely different things? Can the two be used interchangibly(sp)?
     
  14. texasdon

    texasdon E-Mail Bounces

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    Isopropyl alcohol is simply a low molecular weight alcohol (C3). It has a low boiling point, so it is used to cool people off when they have heat stress. I use the simple rubbing alcohol, which is about 70% isopropanol and 30% water for the various model railroad related uses. I don't know about other additives, but I have never had problems with it for wetting scenery or thining washes. You just need to be sure the materials you are using are water compatible.

    Denatured alcohol is ethanol. That is the good old active ingredient in adult beverages. Because ethanol forms azeotropes with water, it is hard to get much more than 95% ethanol with 5% water, so really pure ethanol can be expensive. In the US, drinkable ethanol is very heavily taxed, which is what makes it expensive. Ethanol as a chemical product is actually fairly low cost. Ethanol sold for purposes other than human consumption is denatured by adding something you really don't want to ingest. This exempts the industrial or construction application ethanol from booze taxes.

    You can buy denatured alcohol in hardware stores. Its used to thin certain varnishes and such. I have not used it in place of isopropyl alcohol, so I am not sure how it would perform. I can buy a 16 oz bottle of rubbing alcohol for about a US dollar at Walmart, so I just use it.
     
  15. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    I use RUBBING ALCOHOL for a whole bunch of things. Mix a 1 to 1 solution with water for wetting down ballast for adhesion. Mix a bottle of India Ink in a pint of rubbing alcohol and you have a great black wash. There are several different shades of india ink also.
    Use the rubbing alcohol you can get at WAL-MART , or your local pharmacy/drug store. I don't see any need of buying the expensive stuff when the cheap brand will do.

    Also, do you have WAL-MART's down there in Australia?
     
  16. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

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    Off the shelf rubbing alcohol usually has other ingredients added as Mike pointed out, usually some form of fragrance.

    Jason, it can be used to 'wet' water (break surface tension) much the same way as a drop or two of detergent does.

    No WAL-MARTs in Oz, Mark, but they do have K-Mart.
    In the UK the closest is ASDA, which is part of WAL-MART chain of companies, but primarily groceries. Not a patch on the real McCoy, unfortunately. :(
     
  17. JASON

    JASON TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi Gary,
    Thanks for clearing that up,BTW I have a couple of B30-7's ready for B unit conversion if you have the time?Picked them up on e-bay for $39 US each.
     
  18. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

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    I use isopropyl alcohol as a wetting agent for ballast. I also use it for India ink washes. It also can be used to produce fading colors on rolling stock and loco's ;)
     
  19. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

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    Send me an email, Jason. I'll have to think of the timeframes I have at hand.
    If only the post was like the good ol' days and took 6 weeks! :D
     
  20. disisme

    disisme TrainBoard Supporter

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    I use Isopropyl Alcohol for cleaning the fuser glass on laser printers. Its simply the BEST stuff around for getting the ink powder off the fuser screen (laser printer ink is dust that gets melted by a Xenon light that flashes REALLY fast and REALLY hot). Its incredibly effective in its pure form. Also rather 'heady', a bit like ether. I have no doubt it would turn a nice piece of plastic rolling stock into a puddle if used 100% pure. Where to get it? I steal it from work...LOL

    For those wondering about my ether reference, we used to race model aircraft endurance races, so we used little diesel engines and we mixed the fuel ourselves. To get max performance we mixed a concoctions of 40% castor oil (lubricant), 55% Ether, and 5% Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxyde (NASTY stuff) which was like running avgas in your car. Now you probably gather that with 55% ether, you have to mix a lot of it. and thats kinda true. Being a tough guy though, I never used breathing protection until I woke up some 8 hours after starting to mix some fuel, still with the plane in my hand..... and an empty ether bottle (evaporates like you wouldnt believe. I must have been a bit slow this day and let it permeate the air too much!)
     

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