View Full Version : cat litter for bentonite (specific brand)

03-22-2010, 02:23 AM
I know some of you have used cat litter as a source for your bentonite for making green sand.

Have you had luck with any specific brand?

Conversely, which brands would be best to stay away from?

I just picked up a bag of Kroger Value unscented cat litter. It's a store brand generic and is the cheapest one on the shelves. It says "natural clay" but isn't specific as to which type. I couldn't find an msds for more info on it.

I ground a little of it up and mixed it with some playsand and water and sealed it in a plastic bag to let it condition itself. I'll see if it's any good in a few days.

03-22-2010, 03:05 AM
Wally Werld "Special Kitty" unscented is what I used at first. Clay litter will either be bentonite or Fuller's earth, one or the other. Either should work, you just might need a higher percent to get good green strength.

03-22-2010, 04:07 AM
I bought generic and it has worked fine. It just said unscented clay cat litter.

Only cost about $6000 a bag. :shock:
I slipped on the ice while carrying two 25# bags. Knee surgery, a week in the hospital and 3 months off work. My green sand is golden. :cry:

03-22-2010, 04:19 AM
Woah Jammer, sorry to hear. Been there myself, I had to wear a mad max style knee brace for 2 years, and for the last 11 years since my accident, it's occasionally given me problems. Hopefully, your recovery was better than mine, but knees are tricky.

Good to know my litter should work for me. I'll have to play around with the ratios a little I guess.

03-22-2010, 01:53 PM
Yeah Special Kitty from Wal-Mart works great. I didn't have a ball mill and didn't want to have to grind it by hand so I just dumped a bunch in a plastic cup, filled it with water, stirred it up until it was a gooey syrup type thing and added it to two 50 lb. bags of semi-wet playsand. Some people say you should dry out the cat litter after dissolving it in water before using it and that you should dry out your sand too but I just threw it all together and kept on adding the syrup until it looked right then did the squeeze test till it came out right. Works great and it's pretty hard to get cheaper than that. You could probably make 500 lbs for under $25. Special kitty is like $3-$4 for 25-30 lbs and play sand at HD is like $2-$3 for a 50 lb bag.

03-22-2010, 05:14 PM
50lb bags of play sand at home depot in Vegas are 4.50 each

03-22-2010, 06:22 PM
80 lb bag of bentonite powder "food grade" was ~$15 (after tax) at my local feed store and they said that they can order it at that price at will. The other place to look is home-brew stores. It is a clarifier for wine production. I tried the kitty litter direction, crushing it down to powder was more work than I wanted to spend. Now I have enough for 400 lbs of greensand in addition to the 100 lbs I have now. That should be plenty for my little home operation. The only work it took was me remembering to ask the question at Country Max (which, if you knew me, would be a very non-zero number)

Edited for spelling.

03-22-2010, 06:40 PM
50lb bags of play sand at home depot in Vegas are 4.50 each

Oh haha not here. Still, I think it's still pretty cheap for moulding sand

03-22-2010, 11:20 PM
I've seen some cat litter that says it contains Diatomaceous earth. Would that work?

03-23-2010, 11:41 AM
Diatomaceous earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth) has lots of great uses but is not a form of clay and will not provide the stickiness needed for greensand. It IS a good insulator and would work better than perlite in a furnace mixture. Perlite melts at 1093*C while diatomaceous earth melts at 1710*C. I've been wanting to try building a furnace with a thin hotface backed with straight DE to see just how insulating it is. It is very light and cheap. Might be an inexpensive alternative to ceramic wool.

small potatoes
03-24-2010, 02:46 AM
Well, the feed stores around here don't carry bentonite, but the stone and garden place does, 12.50 for a 50# bag, and the well drilling place has it, $10.00 for 50#.