#1
I'm intending on swirl painting a guitar - I've got everything just about ready except my attempts to find Borax have not gone well. I decided to look online and from what I've read its virtually impossible to get in the UK for some reason unless you're in a lab or using it commercially. Does anyone have any idea (ideally with experience) of what to use instead?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#2
It's pretty much banned in the EU for several years. Here in California, it's always been a commonly used washing product and still is.
The best-known brand is 20 Mule Team Borax, which was a US Borax product until it was purchased by Dial, Inc.
Part of the reason it's so well known is that it was the sponsor of a radio show (beginning in the 30's) and later a TV Western series called "Death Valley Days". The collection of mostly true stories of the Olde West was usually introduced by The Old Ranger, who was eventually replaced by Ronald Reagan.

At a guess, you can use one of the Borax substitutes, but with free access to it Borax here in the states, it's unlikely that we'll have experience with anything else.
#3
Maybe you can get it from a chemist, a blacksmith or from uk ebay. Its too bad they banned it just because its poisonous
#4
The dose defines the poison, I know i played with borax as a child and it didn't do me any harm...as far as I'm aware at least. I will try both of those options though, thank you

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#5
I'm somewhat surprised they banned it here, explained why I couldn't find any a couple of years ago. We used to mix it with PVA glue as kids and turn it into rubber balls. None of us got poisoned from it. Then again it used to be mixed into cocaine as a bulking agent, perhaps that's why it was banned really.