My grandmother had a recipe for this, but I lost it! Here in Tucson, I'd just leave the sand outside for a few days...good luck finding a 'real' answer.
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that sounds like a lot of effort that probably is not necessary. You want silica sand (readily available from any home improvement store in 50 or 100lb bags). This is 100% moistureless whereas builders sand or play sand is not. When you fill your stands, be careful not to breathe the dust as silica is carcinigenic.
I vaguely remember a thread along this line quite a while back, but I don't have any link (sorry). I also vaguely remember there being comments about being a little careful about just what kind of sand & where you get it, because I think the poster or someone who responded had some issue with a delightful aroma as they cooked their sand. They also went into using stuff like flat pans, etc. but I think Rwwear had the right idea - turn it often, and don't baste...
Seriously... Sand would be the most economical route, however make sure the sand is 100% dry. Many play type sands are bagged and shipped moist after being exposed to rain. I would prop each bag in an upright position, and cut a slit in each bags top. Opening and allowing it to dry out in a non-humidity area for a few days prior to filling your rustable steel stands.
A "Easy Bake" oven would make for a great sand dryer!
Lead shot, is not something you really want to play with. I'd rather eat Ants in the Sand, then knowing I had lead in the house with the kids.
Lead dust is even worse! I heard horror stories of fellows that used lead to fill their stands in their listening rooms. Missing the stand, & spilling it all over the carpet. Lead is also non-magnetic, & using a vacuum would agitate the lead dust. I can send you a 16 page EPA brochure on what lead dust can do to a childs still developing mind. So if you have children I would strongly rule out the lead.
Unless you ate Lead Paint chips as a child, since your parents wouldn't buy you Ruffels stay away from Lead.
So let's talk about the Numero Uno Rule of filling a stand.
1.) No matter what filler is used, if possible due to stand weight, fill stands Outside or in your Garage in case of SPILLS!
Thanks for the inputs folks. Lead shot isn't an option, pretty much impossible to find in Canada. My original thinking was to avoid getting any moisture in the pillars of the speaker stands, they would rust out over time (maybe stink too). I broached the subject of using the oven along with some roasting pans to the keeper of the kitchen, that did not go over well. "Get your own pans, leave my stuff alone. You're insane, quit hanging out on AudioGon" (I'll still do it if it makes sense to me though). The silica sand sounds like a good idea, but the toxic nature of it makes me a bit leery.
Unfilled vs. filled is another topic unto itself. Only way to know is try 'em both ways. Intuitively the unfilled stands will ring, damped stands won't. I figure it's worth exporimenting, worse case you empty the stands out if they sound better unfilled. Thanks all, Jeff
Using sand to fill the pillars definitely tightens up the sound - well worth pursuing. The oven would be great for drying, but you can also simply spread it out on a piece of cardboard and set it out in the sun for a few hours. Make sure when you fill the pillars you do it outside because it lets off a lot of dust.
Hi Jeff... new monitors, eh? I filled my Atlantis stands with dry construction sand from Rona. (Sugarbrie's price quote is about right IIRC.) That was maybe seven years ago and the pillars are still dry inside. I didn't have to bake it. I was glad about that, because even more years ago I had attempted to sterilize a small batch of potting soil in the oven. It stunk up the house and didn't dry the soil out completely even after many hours at high heat. ATB, Toby
I've found that filling my stands is as much for sound quality as non "tipping" security for the monitors. While I've had success with sand in my stands, I'm much more secure with fine steel shot in my stands (as Jsd52756 recommended above). It's dry, much more dense than sand, non toxic, pours like a dream and inexpensive. The toughest part is locating a supplier. I've found it to be the perfect fill. My monitors weigh 56 pounds each, sitting on top of 24" stands, I was worried as hell about tipping over. With steel shot in my stands, they are very secure, and the stands are dead quiet. Just a thought.
Thank you Swampwalker. It is always fascinating to have the scoop from one whose moniker knows :o)
I take it that Hack's sand, if he were allowed to oven-bake it, probably wouldn't smell as bad as my potting soil did, since it could well be lower in organics.
I remember the hours we considered fleeing the house or ending the experiment prematurely. It's a slow process. Deserts take time.
Anyone who is thinking of "drying" anything in the oven (be that veggies or sand) should know that if you don't crack the oven door you are simply roasting the sand. When teh moisture evaporates but has nowhere to go it will turn your oven into a steam room of sorts. This is probably why Tobias still had stinky moist soil after cooking it.
Spend same time and effort with a batch of San Marzano tomatoes and you will find much bigger rewards.
Good luck to all!
this is a weird thread. we dry sand in our lab at work so it can be tested. my recommendation would be first DO NOT dry sand in your kitchen oven unless you want your wife to divorce you or have you declared an idiot. buy dry silica sand as others have mentioned. if you must dry it, do it in a pan outside on a camp stove or gas grill. stir it and it will be dry in about 10 minutes or the time it takes to drink one to two full beers. personally, i recommend the lead shot route using the finer shot, and don't worry about contamination unless you ingest it or grind it and snort it. ok, some have said to rinse it off - if it makes you feel better. oh, and there are disposal issues when you are done with it.
The shot melted! Ha! Ha! Reminds me of a calamity that occurred 30 yrs. ago. See, I had to melt lead into bricks to use as ballast on my racekart. So I got these discarded printing plates by the 100's. Late in the night I took a metal ice-cube tray and placed it across 2 red hot burners on the stove (having tried the oven to no avail) and put the plates in. Worked like a charm! Soon I had 2 trays full of melted lead. Then my roomie comes out at 2am wondering what the smoke was (printing plates have ink on them) and gets a glass of water. He looks at my project warily, then slips on the kitchen floor, the water goes flying, and some water drops land into the molten lead.
BOOM! THE LEAD SPRAYS ALL OVER THE PLACE >>>> CEILING, STOVE, EVERYWHERE, ME. My buddy falls AND BREAKS HIS ARM! No ballast resulted. SAND WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER, I'm certain. Colm