01-31-2014, 10:41 AM
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for sand, once i really started looking at things on the scale of it's individual grains, it opened up a whole world of things to consider
shape being a key one for sand blasting and foundry sand this comes a big issue, ... between angular (sharp edges) all the way to round (no sharp angles at all), and often 2 grades inbetween sub-angular & sub-round.
anything that fit "angular" or even "sub-angular" i will stay away from.
pool filter sand fits angular & high in silica, although i don't think it's anything like slag (your black diamond sand)
playsand, ... actually i dono about play sand
slag of any sort i tend to stay away from.
foundry sands are much nicer, they want round so it doesn't attach itself to the metal casting.
but i don't think any of these are on the list of "affordable" except compared to costs at the LFS, then they're more than affordable to go that extra distance.
otherwise, while i don't know much about playsand, it sounds like the best bet