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Subject: Air pencil system

Air pencil system

From: Rebecca Pavitt <rpavitt>
Date: Thursday, March 18, 2004
Carol Pratt <jcpratt [at] efn__org> writes

>In 2000 there were a couple of postings describing the Air Pencil,
>which blows a concentrated stream of heated air and has airflow and
>temperature controls.  Other than being useful for lifting
>self-adhesive tapes, what other kinds of chores will this tool do
>and with what success?  The tool itself is listed in the University
>Products catalog.  Any problems, advantages, experiences from anyone
>out there?  I've been considering this thing for some time, but I'd
>like to know more about it before I spring for it.

I've used the "Preservation Pencil" for several years.  It hooks up
to an ultrasonic humidifier to blow heated water mist.  I think this
is the gadget you are talking about.

I have a love/hate relationship with it.  When it's working well,
it is wonderful.  Softens animal glue and gums easily, prevents
tidelines when working locally on a stain.


    Water condenses in the hose that runs from the humidifier to the
    heating "gun". The hose needs to be lifted periodically to allow
    the water to drain back into the humidifier.

    Water can condense in the nozzle of the gun, and drip onto the
    object being treated.  The gun needs to be shaken and wiped out
    regularly during use.

    I forgot to turn the heating unit off once, after I'd turned off
    the humidifier.  This burned out a fuse, and it took me awhile
    to figure out what was wrong.  University Products would have
    had me send it back to England for repair--they didn't offer
    this service themselves.

    Occasionally little black flakes come shooting out of the nozzle
    too, so frequent cleaning of the nozzle is essential.

    The connection between the hose and the humidifier is not tight,
    and one needs to fill the gap with a gasket.

    The connection between the hose and the air gun is not tight--I
    seal it with duct tape (have to change it regularly).  Perhaps
    there are other solutions here?

    The hose and cords from the heating unit get tangled easily.

I couldn't work without it, but I wish it were more "wieldy".

Rebecca Pavitt
Fine Art Conservation

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:61
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 24, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-61-007
Received on Thursday, 18 March, 2004

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