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Thread: air compressor

  1. #1

    air compressor

    I am interested in purchasing an oilless air compressor to clean my 4x5 holders, camera equipment and blowing dust out of glass when I am framing. I mention all the applications because I need something very strong, but not so strong that it will blow a hole in my Leica shutter or seperate tape on my 4x5 film holders.

    Could someone recommend a set-up that I should purchase? I rather get an electrical unit (i use it in my home) that is relatively quiet (so my cats aren't running up the walls) but I guess the greatest concern is that there will be nothing that will damage my equipment in any way. I also rather not bother with purchasing seperate tanks of nitrogen or carbon dioxide etc (when I researched the archives I read a bit about these options.)

    I will need a compressor, hose and nozzle. Suggestions of specifics?

    Many thanks,
    Serge

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    air compressor

    A regulator would permit you to set the flow as low or high as you want. Adding a little tank to the setup would be helpful.

  3. #3

    air compressor

    When you blow compressed air all you do is move the dust around and depending on the humidity you will make your dust problem worse by creating a static charge from the rapid movement of air so your newly cleaned object attracts more dust. I would buy a small HEPA type vacuum to remove and contain the dust.

  4. #4

    air compressor

    Wouldn't a vacuum cleaner, which causes rapid air movement, also create a static charge which would atract more dust?

  5. #5

    air compressor

    The use of compressed gas can be very helpful and effective. One of the most inexpensive sources is an artists small air compressor for an airbrush. About 15 lbs. of pressure is all you will need to free pockets of dust, and they do very little in spreading the dust, because it is dispersed in such a large area that it does not become a problem.

    Another solution is to use either carbon dioxide or dry nitrogen in a small medical tank with a regulator on top. (about 4" diameter, and 3' tall.) I use one of these on my airbrush...with nitrogen...for my airbrush when spraying lacquer paints as it prevents premature drying of the paint I am spraying. Although you have to buy the tank and regulator, the refills are only about twenty bucks.

    If you use any kind of air-compressor, make SURE you have a moisture trap or filter on the line between your nozzle and the compressor itself.

    Good luck.

    Richard Boulware - Denver.

  6. #6
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    air compressor

    FWIW, I think cranking up a (pressure-regulated and filtered) compressor of any size would be over-kill. There are, however, small, low-pressure units that might work well for your purposes. One example would be the units intended for use with artist's air brushes. I've also seen small-ish, enclosed units designed for bench-top use. All of these, while more quiet than the "shop" variety sold at home stores, are still a bit noisy. Sorry I can't give you brand names. Otherwise, oil-free canned air may be a more practical alternative.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    air compressor

    Call me "Mr. Overkill", I have a 6HP 60 gallon compressor in my shop which, in addition to other things, I use to clean my holders.

    FWIW, I have a regulator on the air gun and dial it down to about 20lbs PSI before I clean out my holders - 125lbs psi would REALLY be overkill (and probably be bad for the holders too).

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    air compressor

    An air compressor is a great idea. First I vacuum my holders, then I use my aircompressor to blow out my holders at about 40-50psi, OUTSIDE of the darkroom. In the darkroom I then use my anti-static brush before loading the holdes. My dust problems have almost disappeared.

  9. #9

    air compressor

    For those of you in support of the air compressor route... and who use the non-airbrush type that is oilless and electrical, can you suggest an actual brand? And these brands have a dial that can adjust the strength of the blast?

    Also, the filters that are applied on the hose (a dessicant of some sort I suppose) where can I find those or what are they called?

    Many thanks,
    Serge

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,952

    air compressor

    A SCUBA tank and regulator, with a bit of extra tubing will let you vary the flow rate over a fairly large range. Older second hand equipment is often reasonably priced.

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