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Subject: Pen humidifier

Pen humidifier

From: Robert Futernick <bfuternick>
Date: Saturday, March 21, 1998
Gawain Weaver <Gawain [at] adidam__org> writes

>I've been working on a home-made pen humidifier for works of art on
>paper. I am using a 5 gallon capacity bionaire ultrasonic humidifier
>and have replaced the 3" circular vent with a disc of lucite.  My
>first attempt was to attach a 1/4 hose barb with 1/4" inside
>diameter tubing but this turned out to be too small--too much
>condensation, not enough steam getting through. I'm moving to a 1"
>i.d. tubing and will see what happens, it should have a better
>surface to volume ratio for letting steam through. I will then
>reduce down to the necessary diameter in the last 12". However,
>before I reengineer the pen humidifier, does anyone have any advice?

A simple low tech approach that works is to use the large diameter
hose described in the query and fashion a funnel that fits on the
tube at the downstream end. The best material I've found for that
purpose is thick blotter paper rolled into a cone, taped to hold the
shape and taped onto the end of the hose. Old blotter is good
because you can usually find some around the workshop and any
condensation that might form in the tube is absorbed before dripping
onto your work. Replacements are easily made and must be used when
the blotter becomes saturated. Notice I didn't say "disposed of"
largely for ethical reasons, and in fact you don't have to throw
them away--just dry them out for later use. There may be two other
problems here: First, you can get too much humidity too fast. But an
escape hole (to be played like a flute) cut in the side of the cone
provides a convenient release. Second, I don't think you can still
call this a "pen humidifier." And "fireman's humidifier" doesn't
have quite the right ring either, even though the end looks like a
nozzle.

Bob Futernick
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:79
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Received on Saturday, 21 March, 1998

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