View Full Version : Source needed for KCN, potassium cyanide

Eric Woodbury
24-Sep-2020, 16:08
For fixing wet collodion plates, I prefer the color given by KCN. Does anybody have a source for this where it doesn't cost a fortune or require a dump truck to deliver?

Yes, I know it is toxic. I know other things work. Prefer KCN.

Thank you all.


Whoops. Title should read "POTASSIUM CYANIDE"

24-Sep-2020, 21:47
Fun fact: KCN is used in electroplating process. ;)

karl french
25-Sep-2020, 06:07
Where are you located?

Eric Woodbury
25-Sep-2020, 10:36
I'm in Santa Barbara.

I've heard this chemical is used in gold mining, jewelry polish, and bug killing jars.


Tin Can
25-Sep-2020, 11:12

Amazon has small doses, mayb not sold in CA

LD is 200 to 400 mg

Roger Thoms
25-Sep-2020, 11:26
Bostick and Sullivan and ArtCraft both list it.




Jim Noel
25-Sep-2020, 12:13
B&S lists potassium chloride, but does not list potassium cyanide

Drew Wiley
25-Sep-2020, 12:37
It kills more than bugs in jars, so probably has distinct shipping restrictions.

Eric Woodbury
25-Sep-2020, 13:16
Artcraft does not carry it. The link points to KCl.

Shipping is to another state where I need it. East coast. Probably if I drive out to the mines in Beatty NV, they'd give me a carload. 30 years ago, when I visited Victor CO, it was everywhere in open ponds. Charming.

Jim Michael
25-Sep-2020, 14:16
Try reagent chemical suppliers like Sigma Aldrich https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/search?interface=All&N=0+114538164&mode=partialmax&focus=product&lang=en&region=US

Bob Salomon
25-Sep-2020, 14:55
For fixing wet collodion plates, I prefer the color given by KCN. Does anybody have a source for this where it doesn't cost a fortune or require a dump truck to deliver?

Yes, I know it is toxic. I know other things work. Prefer KCN.

Thank you all.


You really want to play with this?


Roger Thoms
25-Sep-2020, 14:58
Well the title says potassium chloride, missed the KCN part, should look a little closer before I post.


Eric Woodbury
25-Sep-2020, 16:12
Roger, sorry about the title. Apparently that is an edit I can't make.

No, I don't want to "PLAY" with it, but I'd like it for wet plate collodion. It gives the color I prefer. What I have is nearly gone. I'm more likely to be killed by some virus, heart disease, stroke, car accident, alcohol poisoning, drug overdose, drowning, shark bite, gunshot, falling on my head, or the disease I already have (only one per customer, please). Right now, KCN is the bottom of the list and it will stay that way.

25-Sep-2020, 17:04
Itís a restricted chemical but most chemical suppliers will sell to you with proper requirements. Best to contact them directly.

Try https://www.mileschemical.com/ or https://www.laballey.com/

At the very least they will need a Resale Certificate, TIN, and perhaps safe handling assurance.

Person who taught me WPC used it a lot for his work and workshops. His business justified itís procurement. I suspect you have some aptitude in using it and I understand your preference.:)

karl french
25-Sep-2020, 17:43
It's amazing stuff. And at the dilutions used for fixing plates, not particularly worrisome if used with care. I do have some, but you'd have to be in SF to pick it up. I'm mostly interested in negatives, so I would be willing to part with it. Really, the silver bath is likely the nastiest part of doing wet plate.

Oren Grad
25-Sep-2020, 17:55
OK, everything reconciled, thread title - with KCN and cyanide - should now be correct. Thanks to all for the behind-the-scenes correspondence.

alex from holland
25-Sep-2020, 22:34
You donít need kcn for gaining a color. Developer can also give you a warm color.


26-Sep-2020, 07:46
What Alex said. You don't need KCn to chase down a specific color rendering. There are other ways to get a warm-colored plate.
Besides, it is well on its way to a tightly controlled/restricted substance and in 5 years its likely you won't be able to buy it, period. A well-known merchant used to supply it fairly readily, but after several buyers - unbeknownst to the merchant - acquired it for the purpose of committing suicide, they decided to make it much more difficult to acquire. And for good reason.

Tin Can
26-Sep-2020, 08:18


Oren Grad
26-Sep-2020, 11:15
There are times when derailing a serious topic with frivolous tangential comments is really unhelpful.

Closing the thread at the OP's request.