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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

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By staze
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:08 am
#325062
Hey All,

Curious if anyone has recommendations for good sources of Silica sand. My local big box store carries Granusil, but apparently their ordering department messed up, and ordered 40mesh rather than 20mesh last time. I've used 20 mesh before, and it was okay, but I'd love to find a good source of 12 mesh without having to pay to ship sand (because really... who wants to ship sand).

No one seems to carry the Quikrete Course grade. The medium grade is barely 20 mesh (it's rated as 20-50 mesh). But Granusil 2095 is nearly impossible to find anywhere outside the east coast. =/

Anyone got any ideas? I'm in Western Oregon, btw. =)
Last edited by staze on Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Huntsmanshorn
Posts:  548
Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
#325067
Chick grit works ok and you might be able to get coarse silica sand for use with vented gas logs, both are kind of expensive for the amount you get through.
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2075
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#325068
As far as I've been able to tell, Quikrete discontinued their coarse grade silica sand years ago. I don't know why it's still listed in their product catalog.

As for sand, if you live in the Portland area, Kleen Blast (sand blasting supply company) is the only business I've been able to find in the region that sells coarse sand in significant quantities. It's not pure silica but it does the job well and it's cheap and comes in a variety of sizes. I think the #2/12 is optimal. Unfortunately it'll only be available for another year or two because the mine's shutting down.

When that stuff is no longer available, Kleen Blast also carries crushed glass which I also use. I'll pretty much be the only option in the future.
By staze
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:08 am
#325383
Awesome, thanks. I'm actually down to Eugene, but that's great to know.

Sadly (I mean, I am all for cutting down on silicosis) the change in sandblasting practice seems to be killing the ability to get good silica sand. Jerry's here in Eugene "carries" #20 and #30 granusil but apparently mis-ordered last time and has #30 and #40. The #20 worked well for me when I made my larger bog, but I used it all, and would love to get courser.

We have chickens, and the grit seems a bit large. Turface MVP "dust" (the stuff left after sifting MVP) would probably work as well.

I just called United Equipment here in town and they don't carry anything as coarse as #12 (it's Diamond brand, I think all their stuff is pretty darn fine (like #200 and above).

Great info on the Kleen Blast. I also just emailed Quikrete asking if they had any listing of retailers that would have their Course commercial sand. hopefully they'll come back with "it's discontinued" if it really is. =/
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2075
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#325386
I'd be cautious about Turface since it has a lot of free minerals. It should be fine for any species that grow in laterite or ultramafic soils but not sure about anything else.

If you're looking at poultry grit, try to find the smallest size that's used for chicks. That should be pretty close to what you're looking for.
By staze
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:08 am
#328376
Just went hunting for this again today, and found it. For those in the Oregon Willamette Valley, "Willamette Graystone" (http://www.willamettegraystone.com/) carries several different grades of silica sand, including Granusil 2095, which Willamette Graystone calls #8, but if you look at the breakdown (http://www.usmix.com/download.php?243dc ... d7d6155646), it's probably closer to #12 (3.5% retained at 8#, 70.5% retained at 16#, 22.8% retained at 20#, 2.1% at 30#, and then less than 1% above). I'm not an aggregate expert, so maybe it's normal to call your aggregate by the largest particle size?

Needless, it's pretty chunky sand. It's definitely chunkier than the 2075 I had bought previously as 20#. Better, I got it for about $10 for 50 lbs. =)
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2075
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#328379
staze wrote:Just went hunting for this again today, and found it. For those in the Oregon Willamette Valley, "Willamette Graystone" (http://www.willamettegraystone.com/) carries several different grades of silica sand, including Granusil 2095, which Willamette Graystone calls #8, but if you look at the breakdown (http://www.usmix.com/download.php?243dc ... d7d6155646), it's probably closer to #12 (3.5% retained at 8#, 70.5% retained at 16#, 22.8% retained at 20#, 2.1% at 30#, and then less than 1% above). I'm not an aggregate expert, so maybe it's normal to call your aggregate by the largest particle size?

Needless, it's pretty chunky sand. It's definitely chunkier than the 2075 I had bought previously as 20#. Better, I got it for about $10 for 50 lbs. =)
That's odd, there's nothing about them carrying Granusil products on either their website or full catalog. I guess I'll have to drop by one of their stores and see.
By staze
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:08 am
#328382
Right!? That's why I didn't even bother checking. But I was thinking "maybe masonry supply" so I went to one down here and they only had dolomite sand, but suggested I ask WIllamette Graystone, which is just across the street. Went in, they were like "yup" and had a little set of containers with a sample of each grade.

Score. =)
By staze
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:08 am
#328383
Did just think of something. On the little set of samples, it said "Greensand". I wonder if they used to carry that brand and switched to Granusil/Unimin...
By Granpa Walt
Posts:  97
Joined:  Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 am
#328930
I've found that the most reliable source of sand that is pure silica, free of contaminates is swimming pool filter sand. It is available add all swimming pool companies and at major hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe's where it sells for less than $6 for a 50lb bag. Before use I rinse it once in tap water and then once in rainwater.

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2075
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#328932
Granpa Walt wrote:I've found that the most reliable source of sand that is pure silica, free of contaminates is swimming pool filter sand. It is available add all swimming pool companies and at major hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe's where it sells for less than $6 for a 50lb bag. Before use I rinse it once in tap water and then once in rainwater.

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk
Unfortunately pool filter sand is #20 at best. We're trying to find coarser sand.
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2075
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#339918
Well I finally found time to stop by Willamette Greystone and they don't carry the coarse silica sand up here. They told me that there's not much demand in this area, though I don't understand why that would be the case.
By staze
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:08 am
#339949
Boo!

And yeah, that's odd. They might also call it Greensand.

Well, make it down to Eugene/Springfield often? I can certainly check ahead of time before you come down. =)
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