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"Commonly" found items that contain magnesium (metal)?

I found a propane grill that was built out of stainless and had magnesium end caps. No idea why in the hell it did, but there you have it. Scrapped the grill, kept the magnesium.
 
Circa 1948-50, the first thing I did with my Gilbert chemistry sets was light the powdered magnesium. Second choice was the sulfur. After that, it got boring.

I had a chem set that I don't recall. But I did get something like three feet of magnesium ribbon and strontium nitrate in the mid 1960s. I lit the ribbon end (with an ordinary match). When ribbon burned into the nitrate, the resulting flare was deep red and very bright. Quite spectacular. Don't recall where I got the ribbon or nitrate, but it wasn't hard - these were not considered dangerous then.
 
The spare tire carrier mounted to the back door of Jeep JK wranglers is made of magnesium. For what you are trying to do though, @jaguar36 has the right idea. Go to the camping section of your local super store and grab a few magnesium fire starters. They are cheap.
 
Don't sparklers work? Match heads? Glycerine and potassium permanganate?

A water heater anode has a steel or copper (IIRC) core of about 1/8" diameter with the anode being 3/4 - 1 inch. You'd have to saw off the sides To get a thin enough strip to ignite I think.
 
t tMany of these are zinc no??
So when I read the info on the web, for water heaters the anodes are apparently often aluminum or magnesium. When I replaced my anode the metal seemed very low density - so Al or Mg I think. IIRC I bought an Mg anode but perhaps not: it could be Al. Mg has the largest electrode potential, Al a but lower, Zn is a lot lower. I suspect that Mg works best, Al works pretty good for cheap. Don't know how Zn electrodes would work.
 
I got the mag ribbon in the mail today and still couldn't ignite my thermite. I was finally able to get one formula (a lot more iron oxide) Goin with a road flare but the supply ran out. Next batch will have alot more iron oxide.
 
I believe you are confusing magnesium with sodium or lithium, both of which react violently with water.
The violent reaction is not wanted. Just a metal that will definitely act as an anode and protect the steel tank. Magnesium is better because fresh water is not very conductive, unlike seawater, where aluminum or zinc work fine.
 
Local metal supplier has chunks of it. They're sort of an overpriced direct to consumer metal distributor, but they shear free of charge. No idea if that's a common thing, because it's a very niche market.
 
If you have some scrap machines built during WW2, many manufacturors switched normally aluminum parts to magnesium so they could allocate the aluminum to aircraft manufacturing. We've seen a few hydraulic "clicker" press's with mag heads on them for that reason.
I have a Northfield bandsaw that was made during WW2. It has solid metal wheels that I always assumed were aluminum. I couldn't figure out why they possibly would have made the wheels out of aluminum during the war when it was in short supply. It always seemed so bizarre. Never even occurred to me that they might be magnesium. Your message caught my eye and tonight I went and checked and sure enough, they're not aluminum, they are magnesium. Probably also explains why they are pretty poorly cast, I imagine the foundry wasn't used to pouring mag.
 








 
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