WAACNewsletter
Volume 7, Number 3, Sept. 1985, pp.14-15

Technical Exchange

Various authors

Tools to Adapt for Conservation

If you haven't already discovered these two new tools on your own or through a friend, you'll get a big kick out of adapting these to conservation uses:

  1. Salton "Cook 'N Stir" Model SM-1. Tired of stirring paste? This machine cooks and stirs for as long as you like and will make up to 800 ml of beautifully smooth sticky paste. Bob Futernick and Don Etherington swear by it! It is available through the Hammecker-Schlemmer Catalogue, but I got mine at Williams Sonoma for about $50-55. It comes with a recipe book, but a formula for paste is not included!
  2. The Ultrasonic humidifier can be obtained from various sources. Mine is made by Biotech Bionaire and was purchased from a discount store in Los Angeles called Adray's. I first saw the Ultrasonic humidifier demonstrated by Marilyn Weidner at the AIC meeting this past May in Washington, D.C. I'm sure it has many uses, but the big advantage is that the humidity is "cold" so you can create an extremely humid environment in a short period of time and not have a problem with condensation forming on inside surfaces. We adapted the nozzle of our humidifier with RTV rubber and a plastic tube. This addition allows us to direct the humid air jet to small localized areas and it works especially well in conjunction with the vacuum suction table on problems such as water stains. We have found that condensation will develop in the tube, but that can be overcome in the future. You'll love to play with this one. Price: approx. $100.
Victoria Blyth Hill
Senior Paper Conservator
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Electronic Hygrometric Instruments

Lisbet Thorsen is presently evaluating the performance of electronic hygrometric instruments for monitoring relative humidity in the museum environment. She will be presenting a paper entitled "The Design of an Airtight Microclimate" at the upcoming WAAC Meeting. Lisbet may be contacted at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Antiquities Conservation Department.

Silver: Polishes, Lacquers and Corrosion Inhibitors

Glenn Wharton is currently investigating polishes, lacquers and corrosion inhibitors for silver and gilt silver decorative art objects. The project will involve an examination of abrasives; the application of chemical cleaning formulas; various methods of applying lacquers; and the use of tarnish inhibitors in storage. All information on proprietary products, secret formulas, and old family recipes currently in use by WAAC members would be appreciated. Glenn can be reached at the LACMA Objects Conservation Department.

Bill Maxwell Suction Table

The J. Paul Getty Museum Paintings Conservation Department recently purchased a Bill Maxwell suction hot table and will be installing it at their new facility in the Ranch House.

Computerized Color Measurement and Color Matching Systems

Color measurement and color matching can be achieved through the use of a spectrophotometer and a colorimeter. The system functions for the Spectrophotometer include standard and sample storage, six illuminants, averaging and standard deviations, spectral plot and data, measurement of transmitted and reflected light, indices for chromaticity and whiteness, total color difference, yellowness opacity, and yellowness translucence. The system is composed of an IBM microprocessor and a sensor. For further information call:

Neil Mahony
Tech Science International
(714) 558-6964
or
Jerry Romanek
Pacific Science (301) 495-7000

Humidity Buffering Paper

Toshiko Kenjo of the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, has developed a humidity buffering paper which incorporates Nikka pellets. This paper is now available from:

Mishima Seishi Co.
Ginza 6-16-12, chuo-ku Tokyo, Japan

Relative Humidity Control Module for Display Cases

The CCI has announced the availability of blueprints and a construction manual for CCI's newly developed Relative Humidity Control Module for Display Cases. These may be obtained both in French and in English at a cost of $15 (Can.) Contact:

Canadian Conservation Institute Training and Information Division
1030 Innes Road Ottawa, Ontario KlA OM8

During the research and development phase the CCI followed these guidelines:

  1. The unit must be robust, quiet and easy to build.
  2. It must supply controlled air, adjustable between 45% and 60% RH, through easily concealed small diameter tubing.
  3. The unit as a whole must cost less than $1,000 for parts.
  4. The humidifier should be of the evaporative type and the dehumidifier of the refrigerant type.
  5. A silica gel buffer should be present to smooth out the output of the humidifier and dehumidifier.
  6. The mechanical components used should require minimal maintenance.

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