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arglebargle

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Just wanted to update yall - the tent has a 6" inline duct fan up top to draft air through. Air enters through a vent at the bottom left of the tent. The lamps are mounted to thin boards zip tied to the corners of the steel frame. The ballast is mounted to a thin board that has two large neodymium magnets attached to it's other side by epoxy - matching magnets on the inside surface of the tent hold the ballast board in place. I used a heated awl to punch two small holes into the back of the tent through which to route the wires from the ballast. The power strip and hygrometer are mounted to another board with magnets on the back, which attach it to the steel frame through the tent wall. 

In the bottom of the tent is a large roasting pan full of water, at the center of which sits a small inexpensive atomizer. The atomizer is plugged into the hygrometer, which is set to keep the humidity in the tent between 40 and 50 % RH. The sensor of the hygrometer is attached to the same wooden plate at the top of the tent that holds the disco ball motor.

I have tried a number of techniques in previous light boxes to maintain good humidity, and this is the cheapest and most effective method I have come upon. 

Cheers!

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Jackson, lookin' good. I have found the humidity sensing and control unit you are using to be very good. No known failures so far, in about four years of recommending them and using them myself. The sensor attached to the unit can drift a little over time, but nothing catastrophic, and the control unit can easily be adjusted to offset these changes.

You might need an air filter on the air input side, or maybe not, depending on the properties of the varnish you are using.

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20 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Jackson, lookin' good. I have found the humidity sensing and control unit you are using to be very good. No known failures so far, in about four years of recommending them and using them myself. The sensor attached to the unit can drift a little over time, but nothing catastrophic, and the control unit can easily be adjusted to offset these changes.

You might need an air filter on the air input side, or maybe not, depending on the properties of the varnish you are using.

Thank you, David. I pretty much learned everything I know about shop/lightbox climate control from your website. The atomizer was my only unique innovation, if you can call it that, and I recommend it to anyone who's interested. $10 bucks, shipped. Hard to beat!

As to the air filter, the intake at the bottom is covered by a built in fine mesh screen. Considering how clean I keep my varnish area, it hasn't been a problem so far but I believe if needed I could easily velcro an HVAC filter of the correct size onto it. Thanks for that thought. 

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27 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

The atomizer was my only unique innovation, if you can call it that, and I recommend it to anyone who's interested. $10 bucks, shipped. Hard to beat!

I don't think anyone would mind if you posted a link. I would be looking forward to trying it.

I do have high mineral content water where I live, so I might have concerns about an atomizer creating deposits on the reflective walls of my drying chamber, and rendering them less reflective. But if that should turn out to be a problem, It would probably take only about ten bucks worth of distilled water to get me through the varnish drying process. Ten bucks is pretty inexpensive, as disaster preparedness goes.

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12 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I don't think anyone would mind if you posted a link. I would be looking forward to trying it.

I do have high mineral content water where I live, so I might have concerns about an atomizer creating deposits on the reflective walls of my drying chamber, and rendering them less reflective. But if that should turn out to be a problem, It would probably take only about ten bucks worth of distilled water to get me through the varnish drying process. Ten bucks is pretty inexpensive, as disaster preparedness goes.

Absolutely, DB. Here it is https://www.amazon.com/AGPTEK-Aluminum-Humidifier-Halloween-Festivals/dp/B07YZ19YC5/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-p13n1_0?cv_ct_cx=agptek+atomizer&dchild=1&keywords=agptek+atomizer&pd_rd_i=B07YZ19YC5&pd_rd_r=9912cba0-5196-4c50-9d14-673669bdd31d&pd_rd_w=cqbAX&pd_rd_wg=wvKpJ&pf_rd_p=88606341-d770-4c0c-955e-aa633c47e624&pf_rd_r=1QS60C3759ME3Y7MDWHK&psc=1&qid=1599506061&sr=1-1-191b1ae3-0539-4250-ad39-b698e0b800f6

I can understand your concern about the mineral content. In you mom's hometown of Walla Walla (if I remember you right) where I live, the municipal water is excellent - good pH, sweet flavor, not too high on minerals. 

In the instruction manual that came with this gizmo, it recommended against distilled water but didn't explain why. But I don't see why a five gallon jug of reverse osmosis water wouldn't take you where you need to go and probably get you through half a dozen instruments worth of curing time.

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49 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

 In you mom's hometown of Walla Walla (if I remember you right) where I live, the municipal water is excellent - good pH, sweet flavor, not too high on minerals.

Yes, my mother grew up in Touchet, Washington. You will know where that is. Walla Walla was the nearest "big town" that anyone has heard of,  so I often refer to that as where she is from.

Maybe I could still find my way from Walla Walla to the farm, but I doubt it. Thomas Hartley was her father's name. I've thought about going to Walla Walla or Touchet and asking about the Hartley farm, but there is probably no-one alive who remembers that any more, and it's likely that so much has changed that I wouldn't even recognize it any more anyway.

Great memories though, including my first and only time driving a combine. I couldn't have been much more than six years old at the time.

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On 9/7/2020 at 7:14 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

Thank you, David. I pretty much learned everything I know about shop/lightbox climate control from your website. The atomizer was my only unique innovation, if you can call it that, and I recommend it to anyone who's interested. $10 bucks, shipped. Hard to beat!

As to the air filter, the intake at the bottom is covered by a built in fine mesh screen. Considering how clean I keep my varnish area, it hasn't been a problem so far but I believe if needed I could easily velcro an HVAC filter of the correct size onto it. Thanks for that thought. 

HI Jackson - could you post details of the hygrometer, please?

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2 hours ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

HI Jackson - could you post details of the hygrometer, please?

The hygrometer is a WILLHI WH1436H, endorsed for many years by DB. In concert with an AGPTek mist-maker I linked to above is where the magic happens. The two of them together are the best solution to lightbox humidity I have tried, and I have tried quite a lot.

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27 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

The hygrometer is a WILLHI WH1436H, endorsed for many years by DB. In concert with an AGPTek mist-maker I linked to above is where the magic happens. The two of them together are the best solution to lightbox humidity I have tried, and I have tried quite a lot.

Thanks, Jackson - much appreciated.

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21 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

Thanks, Jackson - much appreciated.

Sure! Enjoy! It's make a very big difference for me. The elevated, consistent humidity of 40-50% seems to accelerate and improve tanning and since I started using this I haven't had any seams opening or large projection changes.

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On 9/7/2020 at 3:17 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

In the instruction manual that came with this gizmo, it recommended against distilled water but didn't explain why. But I don't see why a five gallon jug of reverse osmosis water wouldn't take you where you need to go and probably get you through half a dozen instruments worth of curing time.

Water with a PH that is too low will cause corrosion, such as can occur with distilled or reverse osmosis water.  It might be worth it though in this situation even if one of the  very low cost atomizers only lasts through one instrument, as opposed to excessive mineral deposits on the reflective material in a light box/tent or one's varnish

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43 minutes ago, arglebargle said:

Do you use the atomizer while curing varnish or just during the tanning process?

If my lightbox is running, the hygrometer will turn the atomizer on or off as needed to maintain a range of 40-50% RH. Tanning, curing, or if I crawl in there to synthesize some vitamin D (kidding on that last one).

31 minutes ago, Mark Norfleet said:

Water with a PH that is too low will cause corrosion, such as can occur with distilled or reverse osmosis water.  It might be worth it though in this situation even if one of the  very low cost atomizers only lasts through one instrument, as opposed to excessive mineral deposits on the reflective material in a light box/tent or one's varnish

I appreciate that insight, Mark. These are very cheap, can be e-cycled, and if mineral deposits are of concern I see no reason distilled or RO water shouldn't be used as per your suggestion. You could also modify the pH of Distilled/RO water with a base, but then you're probably back to the issue of deposits. Maybe a 0.25% solution of KOH would be ok, I don't know.

Edit: if deposits are seen to develop (I haven't seen such yet, but my water is good and I've only run it for a couple hundred hours), wiping the reflective surfaces down with a cloth dampened with dilute CLR should address the issue. 

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