jcliff wrote: or I could package them in anonymous containers
Well, that would certainly be perfectly safe for Sodium Chloride (AKA table salt!). I would be tempted myself to hide the identity of some of these chemicals, rather than draw attention to them, but flying is not what it used to be as we are all aware so I would not suggest it to someone else. One would think that if they were in checked baggage it would be very, very unlikely to be detected on a domestic flight, but who knows in these times. Certainly never bring anything questionable on your carry-on. You should see the conniption fit I always cause when I fly with my bagpipes. The TSA people about have a meltdown when they see all those pipes and metal on the x-ray!
jcliff wrote:The chemicals I'd be bringing: Cupric chloride, lithium chloride, strontium chloride, copper sulfate, sodium borate, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium filings, iron filings.
For the love of Christ please don't decide to bring Sodium Nitrate too, that would light up the "fluffer" detector and you would surely be sent, if not to Gitmo, someplace equally bad. If you have been handling Sodium Nitrate in the lab (or have been handling fertilizer in your garden for that matter) you stand a good chance of lighting up the bomb-sniffing equipment that is present in many airports these days, this in turn will likely cause them to pull your checked baggage and search it which would raise all sorts of questions even if the stuff later proved to be safe, and then they will see all the weird shit you have with you for burning man and, well you know LOL. Case in point, my girlfriend is a ski patroller and handles explosives for avalanche control work all winter. In a "blonde" moment she could not find her regular travel pack so she used her work backpack to throw her carry-on stuff in for what should have been a short trip. Well, she was detained for 6 hours trying to explain why her pack smelled of bombs (and had a few spent fuses in the bottom too boot!). TSA: "Miss, explain to me why you say you use explosives for work again?" her (in her sweetest, most innocent voice possible): "I blow up avalanches sir!" The TSA folks in L.A. don't know what an avalanche is from a hole in the ground, or that it is perfectly common to use explosives for avi control work, and even though she had her explosives handling license and work ID, she was still detained for hours. It's kind of funny now in retrospect, but the TSA folks did not find it funny, they don't even find my bagpipes amusing.
Oh, and absolutely DON"T bring the magnesium shavings, I'm sure they are on the contraband cargo list. I'm a machinist and I have machined Magnesium and seen the hot shavings from the metal lathe catch fire on the floor, pretty flame but hard to put out and very dangerous, especially when it lands down your work boots!
Maybe consider sending the stuff ahead to your destination by FedEx or similar?
This all sounds like a lot of fun, colored fire-spinning! I think I will bring some of this stuff out too (I'm not flying!), my gal also spins fire batons!