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Subject: Small suction tools

Small suction tools

From: Mark Hingley <mark.hingley.nro>
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2003
Christine McCarthy <cmc [at] mit__edu> writes

>I am interested in purchasing a small area suction tool or device
>primarily for use for tape removal and related adhesive/stain
>reduction treatments.  Most of our lab's work is book conservation,
>but some flat paper treatment is also anticipated.  I am requesting
>recommendations from conservators using any small area suctions
>devices, such as a fritted glass disk, small suction platens,
>hand-held tools etc.  I am interested observations, both positive
>and negative, regarding the use the tool and its effectiveness in
>various treatment applications.

Although purchased and used for mainly parchment and vellum
treatments, we have found our large (4'x6') suction table to be very
effective for tape removal using solvents. This is because the
blower unit is driven by a powerful 2.2 kW motor. To a great extent,
the size of the platen is irrelevant as long as it is masked down to
the area required to fit the work piece. When choosing the table
itself avoid selecting too small a working area; you might regret
future limitations. We often work on paper and parchments small
enough to fit in the palm of the hand, but we have also used the
full area of 24 square feet.  The important factors are: 1. that the
blower/motor combination be capable of providing a high pressure
differential for long durations without overheating (ours to 50 mB)
and 2. that the platen should not distort under pressure.

For all applications, it is highly desirable that the blower be
capable of shifting large volumes of air. This allows a margin for
the leakage of air around work as it is re-positioned on the table.
Our supplier provided a remote control unit which was retro-fitted
and has proved invaluable.  I have seen and tried out a couple of so
called high suction units which although specified for tape removal
and suction cleaning, et cetera, did not appear to do the job
particularly well. Small fast spinning pumps might have a high
theoretical suction but are deafening and have very little air
volume reserve. I perceive no advantage in fritted glass discs; we
overlay our perforated aluminium surface with a release fabric and
blotters. Whatever else you do, try before you buy. By all means,
get in contact should you wish for further details.

Mark Hingley
Conservation Section
Norfolk Record Office
Norwich, Norfolk, UK
+44 1603 215 286

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:58
                  Distributed: Thursday, April 3, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-58-001
Received on Thursday, 3 April, 2003

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