Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Chapter 2
Doomsday DIY » Glass Grill

How to make your own ornament, using a barbecue and some sand. All the components of glass can be found in two places: the beach and the laundry room. It's possible to melt pure-white silica beach sand into glass, but only at temperatures of 3,000 to 3,500F. Washing soda, lime or borax (a traditional laundry aid) added to the sand disrupts the quartz-crystal structure of silica and reduces the required temperature to a more practical, though still dangerous, 2,000°F, which I achieved with a backyard grill and a vacuum cleaner.

Glass is thought to have been discovered around 7,000 years ago by Phoenician merchants when cooking fires were built over sand that, by chance, had some of these substances mixed in.

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