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Thread: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Denmark
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    Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    It is a few years since I last bought Canada Balsam for recementing achromats. I still have enough for a few years, but it seems now to be unavailable. I have bought small bottles through hobby shops (Microscopy supliers ) and ebay before.

    There are a few results for searches which show "reconsituted" canada balsam in zylene in North America, but none appear to offer postage. I have to believe this is due to the zylene content which has come under suspect as a carcinogen or for being an inflammable solvent.

    I think the "real" Canada balsam is without the zylene thinner, but this seems no longer available.

    Microscopy suppliers seem to gone over to an aqueous based product these days instead of the centuries old balsam product. However, this could be an easier product to work with lenses?

    Anyone with special insight? I will not go over to short lifed Norland UV synthetics.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    596

    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    This claims to be the pure product but only ships ground http://www.arttreehouse.com/store/content/canada-balsam

  3. #3

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    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    Interesting site. Looks like my idea of a complete ban on liquid in bottle transport by air, even though it is only 2" tall, has hit Canada Balsam!

  4. #4

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    Feb 2016
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    Pennock, MN
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    5

    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    you can still get it from the surplus shed, in solid form, so you have to dissolve it yourself.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    858

    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    What's wrong with the modern UV-curing lens adhesives used by all current lens manufacturers?

  6. #6

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    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    I have given my reasons a couple of times before.

    High cost.
    Short freezer life - even if you get from a new manufactured batch. The UV cement you bought for the last job will be past "last date" when you have a new one to do.
    Far more difficult to "undo" for a new attempt.
    More difficult than balsam to loosen up for the next DIY person.
    I don't do modern lenses, just reestablish the original cement layer for vintage lenses, which was canada balsum.
    Balsam has an attractive smell!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    208

    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    Kremer Pigmente in Germany sells Canada Balsam as an art product. It may be the raw resin which must be dried over low heat and redissolved in xylene to use as a lens cement.

    However the product listing states the product is only for sale to "professional" buyers. Do you know somebody who qualifies as a Professional?

    My interest in Canada Balsam comes from one of my other hobbies making permanent microscope slides.

  8. #8

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    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    Quote Originally Posted by desertrat View Post
    Kremer Pigmente in Germany sells Canada Balsam as an art product. It may be the raw resin which must be dried over low heat and redissolved in xylene to use as a lens cement.

    However the product listing states the product is only for sale to "professional" buyers. Do you know somebody who qualifies as a Professional?

    My interest in Canada Balsam comes from one of my other hobbies making permanent microscope slides.
    Making slides was a wonderful Victorian Gentlemen's hobby and I'm sure 95% of sales nowadays is to their "descendants". I have a B.Sc in Chemistry before I did Social Psychology at Cambridge and Imperial College - so perhaps I qualify as a Professional!

  9. #9
    David Schaller
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Williamstown, MA
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    458

    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    Have you checked Artcraft Chemicals? I seem to remember seeing it listed on their website.

  10. #10
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,115

    Re: Canada Balsam - no longer available?

    I don't pretend to know Jack here, but have you been to this website?

    https://www.optical-cement.com/cements/products.html

    Looks as though they have a selection although no CB.

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