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Thread: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

  1. #1
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    I've been told a lot a lately that my printer woes have probably been caused (or made worse) by low humidity. I basically live in a victorian barn with a forced air heater, so it gets dry in the winter.

    It crossed my mind that instead of trying to humidify the whole space, I could treat the printer like a cigar box, and put a little humidity maker inside. A quick search found other people with the same idea.

    Any thoughts on this? I've already covered the thing with plastic when not in use. It's only a 3880, so maybe a small tray with a sponge would work. I'd just need to come up with a solution that won't spill.

  2. #2

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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    I had the same thought in regard to somehow enclosing the printer to keep the humidity during the winter. I also thought about the placing a damp sponge in the paper receiving area (all plastic) and putting a vinyl printer cover over it (I use an R2400 so no fancy case) to keep the added humidity in there. I think once a week is all you would have to add water to the sponge. Then I realized if I just did a weekly nozzle check the would probably do the same thing. I also wondered if the high humidity would corrode electrical contacts and thus cause problems. I decided to do the occasional nozzle checks but I must admit I often don't get around to it.

    Doug
    www.BetterScanning.com

  3. #3
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    There are humidifiers made for storing guitars that monitor the air and open or close the supply of moisture. I think you could put a cover over the printer and use one of those. They don't aim for high humidity, I think about 40% is their ideal. The other thing you can do is just make a small print every week or two. The ink spent doing that is generally less than if you have to do a nozzle cleaning.

  4. #4
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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    Look also for humidifiers for use with grand pianos. They comprise a water tray that sits under the piano, with some sort of arrangement to keep them full of water. Pianos can really be destroyed by dry air, but they are too big for an enclosed system. Protecting my 120-year-old piano is one reason I installed a whole-house humidifier on my forced-air furnace, and use a thermostat that will run the air handler without heat just to run the humidifier when necessary. Not a solution for everyone, of course, but if you move to a forced-air system at some point, adding the humidifier is not that difficult or expensive.

    Rick "who really suffers in winder-time hotel rooms" Denney

  5. #5
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    I decided against anything that tried to control the climate around the printer, just because I'm not looking for the complication. And the room is big. But I realized I only care about the environment right where the print heads are. It's really more like cigars in a box than a grand piano in a living room.

    Btw, Rick, have you seen the humidifiers that get installed in the piano? My dad used to spend his days shuttling buckets of water to the humidifier parked outside his old steinway. He got the in-piano system and it's improved his life immensely. He lives in an old building with steam radiators and no easy solutions for humidifying the whole place.

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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    Btw, Rick, have you seen the humidifiers that get installed in the piano? My dad used to spend his days shuttling buckets of water to the humidifier parked outside his old steinway. He got the in-piano system and it's improved his life immensely. He lives in an old building with steam radiators and no easy solutions for humidifying the whole place.
    The last time I saw a picture of one was maybe twenty years ago, in a book published some years before that. It was a tray that was hung under the soundboard of a grand piano that was filled with water. Probably what your father spent his days refilling. When I bought that piano, I lived in Texas which doesn't have the problem (the heat never runs that long). But when I moved to Virginia, I made sure the house I bought had the humidifier.

    If I lived where there were steam radiators, I suspect I might build a large planter to put near a piano, and if I didn't want to water it every day, I'd install a drip irrigation system and a drain. Maybe I'd build a big aquarium on the other side, heh.

    My piano was nowhere near as valuable as a Steinway, but it was hand-made in the late 1880's by a good small shop in New York (Hazelton Brothers), a decade or so before the upright piano boom sucked up most of those small shops into mass production. The sound is nice but the action is rather sloppy. But given how it is played in our house, a crisp action would be like lipstick on a pig.

    Rick "who has run the shower on cold water in hotels for extended hours to minimize suffering" Denney

  7. #7
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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    The new ones built into the pianos are pretty sophisticated. They measure the humidity and keep the environment stable. The first time I saw one it looked like a concert grand with a car alarm ... the only outside evidence was a pair of LEDs on a little control panel.

    My parents live in an old building in chicago with big temperature and humidity swings. They actually got cracks in the soundboard before the tuner said they needed to do something. He recommended against trying to repair the thing, because when the humidity is high enough the cracks close up and it sounds as good as new ... but who knows what it would sound like after a repair.

    Rick, isn't this off topic enough to get us both banned? I defer to your iron fist.

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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    Rick, isn't this off topic enough to get us both banned? I defer to your iron fist.
    One of these days, I plan to make large-format photographs of my piano, showing the cracks in the soundboard that close up when the humidity is where it should be. I'll print those photographs on my Epson 3800, which works well because the house has a humidifier.

    Rick "now, we're safe from those nasty moderators" Denney

  9. #9
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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    Obviously this just proves digital pianos are better.

  10. #10
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Humidor for an inkjet printer?

    I had my printer in the corner of a room where there was a door leading outside. The air was cold (about 16C) and dry (about 55 RH). The nozzles would glog up if I didn't run a nozzle check everyday. What a waste of ink. The printer is now in a room that is room temperature (20C with a RH of about 65). Haven't had any problems... yet (knock on wood!). Be careful not to make the room too humid. My darkroom in Japan was very humid and I lost some good equipment.

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