Volume 11, Number 3, Sept 1989, pp.7-8, drawing.

Technical Exchange

Walter Henry, column editor

Epoxy Putty

Objects conservators who use Pliacre epoxy putty as a fill material may have noticed that it has become difficult to find. Christie Peterson of Bradywicks in Santa Barbara has found a source for an epoxy putty which is similar and has the same working consistency as Pliacre. The putty comes in 6 lb. kits which sell for $43.20 and are available from: Martin R. Carbone; 2519-1A Bath Street; Santa Barbara, CA 93105; (805) 682-0465.

Christie Peterson would also like to report her use of Ziploc polyethylene bags filled with sand as a quick method of making sand bags of appropriate size to support an object during treatment. Christie advises doubling the bag to help avoid contaminating the work area with grains of sand.

Extracting Moisture from Your Air Line with Toilet Paper

 [Drawing of
Apparatus] The Motorguard M20 uses a roll of toilet paper to filter moisture in an air line. John Griswold of Glenn Wharton's sculpture conservation studio reports that this low-tech answer to the often vexing problem of unwanted moisture in compressed air lines provides a perfect triumph of the obvious over the ridiculously expensive. By placing the unit on an air line, moisture is absorbed by the tissue as air passes through. Replacement "cartridges" are readily available and very cheap. In fact, John has found that the cheaper the better--the more expensive (squeezable) brands are too loosely rolled to do the job effectively. The Motorguard M20 sells for approximately $58 at most automotive paint supply outlets.

Chromatography Database

Preston Publications offers CD-CHROM, a CD-ROM database of over 70,000 abstracts in the area of gas and liquid-chromatography. The abstracts are drawn from American, European, Asian, and Australian journals and cover the last 30 years. Priced at a mere $1295, this product allows full-text searching, as well as searching by compound. The query facility supports Boolean operations, subset references, and facilitates recall of search results. Updates, the first of which are due at the beginning of next year, are $400. CD-CHROM weighs in at a trim 120 megabytes and requires an IBM PC with a hard disk, 640 K RAM, DOS 3.1 or higher and a CD-ROM player (High-Sierra format). Preston Publications; 7800 Merrimac Avenue; P.O. Box 48312; Niles, IL 60648; (312) 965-0566.


At last the search is over! Textile conservators often grow fond of particular sewing needles only to find that after the last needle is bent, dulled or lost, a replacement is nearly impossible to find. It seems that surgical needle companies are bought and sold with some regularity. One company, Needle Industries Limited, formerly of Redditch, Worcestershire, England, had a particularly fine curved needle with a very slim eye. Now there is an American source for what looks like the same needle. Cincinnati Surgical Company; 11256 Cornell Park Drive; Cincinnati, OH 45242; (513) 489-6640; (800) 544-3100 (outside of Ohio). A catalogue is available. Look for suture needle styles 823 (size 1-6), 833 (size 1-4), and 850 (size 1-6). I want to thank Jo Hill for pursuing needle sources, including this one, throughout the last year.

Catherine C. McLean, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

A Source for Marvelseal 360

For more information on MarvelSeal 360, the vapor barrier material discussed by John Burke in the May issue (:"Microclimate Research at the Oakland Museum"), make contact with Charles Hargrove, a Ludlow sales representative. Charles Hargrove; 4903 Everett Avenue; Los Angeles, CA 90058; (213) 585-2311. MarvelSeal 360 is a waterproof, vaporproof, flexible barrier manufactured by Ludlow Corporation, a producer of military barrier materials. Composed of three layers, MarvelSeal 360 has an outer transparent nylon layer for toughness, a middle aluminum foil layer to prevent the transmission of water and other vapors, and an inner layer of polyethylene that allows the barrier to be heat sealed either to itself or to another surface. It has been applied successfully to the inside of wooden packing crates, display cases, and wooden storage shelves.

Sharon Blank, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Maternity Lab Coats

Full length maternity lab coats with pleated backs, adjustable belts to accommodate expansion throughout pregnancy, and shoulders and sleeves specially tailored for women are available from: Lab Safety Supply Co.; P.O. Box 1368; Janesville, WI 53547- 1368.

Future Products from Paper Technologies, Inc.

PTI is gearing up for a new production of 100% cotton blotting paper. In response to customer requests, this run will include, in addition to their standard weight of 112 lb (300 GSM), they will produce a lighter weight for use on vacuum tables. It will be produced in both sheets and rolls.

Interactive Image Analysis

For those with a little extra left in their capital equipment budget, Wild Leitz offers the Microvid microscope computer monitor. This device lets you superimpose computer generated images over the microscopic image, for observation, measurement, or photography. Applications in conservation might include photodocumentation and micromeasurement. The device also enables interactive image analysis, with true color discrimination, of the smallest particles. Using the Microvid image analysis software, the unit can measure length, perimeter, area, speed (using a mouse), duration of dynamic processes, count, etc. For more information write to: Wild Leitz USA, Inc.; 24 Link Drive; Rockleigh, NJ 07647.

Art Environments

Lonner F. Holden, Museum Lighting Specialist will offer a new consulting service this fall. Art Environments will analyze the Art Environments will analyze the environment of art and archival collections and make recommendations to protect collections from exposure to improper levels of light, heat and humidity. Art Environments will initially aim at serving the investments of private and corporate collections as well as extend its technological and informational service to helping insure safe environments for art and archives of small museums, libraries, and galleries. For more information contact: Lonner F. Holden; Art Environments; 2165 15th Ave.; San Francisco, CA 94116; (415)681-1750.

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