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What is a smooth, or "rounded" aggregate, like sand, but NOT abrasive ? Answered

I made an hourglass as a prop for a local production of "The Wizard of Oz".  The "witch" (the actress') still has it at her  home.  The "glass", which s actually plastic, & made of sections cut from 4 plastic goblets- is becoming less clear because the white sand I used is fogging up the surface with very fine scratches.  I'd like to replace this sand (that I got from a craft store, like Joann's) with an aggregate that has smooth round pieces, not rough ones.  These wont be so scratchy, and will also be less apt to cram together and clog the narrow passage from the top chamber to the lower one.  I googled these words, and got some very technical info about the science of manufacturing concrete and plastic products, but nothing I could use to find or even name what I could buy and use.  ALSO, is there a best compound for polishing the inside of the "glass" to restore the original clarity?  In other things, I've used brass polish, and even toothpaste!

Discussions

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mole1

2 years ago

salt?

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Cantoo

2 years ago

Thanks for SO MANY suggestions! This prop may never be cast in a play again, but its current owner has it on display. Best idea so far, for my needs and resources,s the glass beads for filler in fiberglass repairs, OR the glass beads for illuminating road stripes! Since this Hr-glass is a stage prop, I changed it from beach sand to white craft-store sand so it would show up better in the play (Dorothy had only so much time before the Witch would do her in); so the reflective glass beads would be great if they added illumination to this prop. I've actually stumbled across these highway marked beads in the past, so I'm keeping my eyes open. Oh, and for stage props, CHEAP is often the deciding factor :-)

Adding a hardened coating on the interior of the glasses may be an easier alternative to sourcing these hard to find materials. Personally, I don't know what would be best as an interior-scratch resisting coating, but I'm sure others will!

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Silica "beads" for bead blasting are hardly hard-to-find. They can be purchased at any industrial supply and are readily available via the internet. They are also quite inexpensive, albeit, not as cheap as beach sand.

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Downunder35m

2 years ago

If you check your yellow pages you might find a company produicing polysterene - the beads when unformed are really tiny and obviously polysterene so they won't scratch.
Might require proper washing though to remove fine dust.
Other alternative is to ask when they do line markings on the road.
The reflective stuff is just small glass beads and they will be happy to give you some if you ask in a nice way.
Last but not least you also get plastic and glass beads for "sandblasting" in various sizes.

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rickharris

2 years ago

You can get small glass beads as filler for fiberglass repairs.

Alternativly seed beads will work IF the hols is big enough, many colours too.

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seandogue

2 years ago

bead blasting material? Looks like sand, behaves like sand, and afaik, doesn't have sharp edges.

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Josehf Murchison

2 years ago

You want white beach sand or tumbled sand.

The action of the ocean tumbles the grains of sand and rounds off its sharp corners.

For the plastic polishing compound should remove the scratches, start with a medium grit and work your way to a fine grit compound.

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iceng

2 years ago

Find a glass blower to make you a descent double goblet ie hour-glass or put a titanium collar inside what you have now.