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finnfinnviolin

Mercury vapour bulbs

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Has anyone used mercury vapour bulbs for tanning? I remember reading a post by someone that they used them with the outer glass removed and had really great results. 

 

I just bought a big pack of six at a thrift shop and want to experiment 

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I use one only for the rare times when I need it for restoration work.  Even with protective eyewear, I am STILL reluctant to use it even then.  Mercury is not something you want to [self edit] mess around with. Reserve curiosity and open-mindedness for varnish and making methods and tools and draw the line at workplace hazards. No need to die for your art.  Plenty of other perfectly good, safe alternatives.  Take the bulbs to the local hazardous waste disposal facility, chalk up to experience what you spent.  And move on. 

Sorry if I am sounding like a jerk about this -- or like more of one than usual --, but take that as a mark of how seriously we all need to take workplace safety.

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 Mercury is a toxic hazard once it is out of the lamp. It is the UV source when ionized in a vapor such as in fluorescent lamps. So, I dispose of my old lamps at the recycling center. 

 

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The common fluorescent tube also has mercury vapor, at very low pressure.  Is a "mercury vapor" lamp just a high-power, high-pressure version?  I know there are tons of variations, but is the fundamental spectral output (before filters and phosphors) the same?  

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4 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Julian, what type of restoration work requires a mercury vapour bulb?

Any time you are working with older touch-up work, it makes it easy to see the area that needs to be cleaned up and then touched up again.  I also use it with fluorescent chalk when chalk fitting a post patch. 

The mercury vapor bulb that I have is no longer commercially available because of the hazard and I have only been able to find them on eBay and even then with difficulty.  I have an old one at the moment that I will be taking to a hazardous waste disposal facility, as Mike suggests.

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18 hours ago, finnfinnviolin said:

Has anyone used mercury vapour bulbs for tanning? I remember reading a post by someone that they used them with the outer glass removed and had really great results. 

 

I just bought a big pack of six at a thrift shop and want to experiment 

That depends on what you mean by "mercury vapor" bulbs. As Don has already pointed out, standard fluorescent bulbs are one form of mercury vapor bulb. 

When I experimented with UVC (germicidal or "germ killing" bulbs), they didn't seem to provide any advantages over UVB for either wood tanning or varnish drying. And yes, they can be highly dangerous.

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There are several different kinds of mercury vapor lamps that run on different voltages, and have different outputs. If you don't know what you're doing around high voltages, and high UV exposure, you should probably research what type you have, and it's properties.

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While mercury is nothing to mess around with, the elemental mercury in lamps is less of a hazard than methyl-mercury in fish.  Wouldn't worry about the bulbs from a mercury standpoint. 

The risks of hard UV are a different matter.  You can really cook the proteins in your eyes that way.  I wouldn't want that around.

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1 hour ago, Shunyata said:

While mercury is nothing to mess around with, the elemental mercury in lamps is less of a hazard than methyl-mercury in fish.  Wouldn't worry about the bulbs from a mercury standpoint. 

The risks of hard UV are a different matter.  You can really cook the proteins in your eyes that way.  I wouldn't want that around.

I'm not sure that comparing the two is particularly illuminating (NPI).  In fact, it can pose its own danger, viz. that people are lulled into a false sense that mercury vapor lamps in some cases needn't be a concern.  In this case, to argue that something is not as bad for you as something that is terrible for you does not mean that the first is by any means not bad enough to worry about. 

I find the comparison of various types of mercury vapor lamps reflected in earlier posts is helpful in narrowing down which lamps we use are more hazardous than others (in all cases, though, advising proper disposal).  Can that be said of a comparison of lamps to methyl-mercury in fish?  I don't think that, as a false comparison, it can.  Then again, I am but one among many weighing in in this thread.  And -- full disclosure --, I AM a vegetarian.  ;)

 

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I never mean to make light of safety considerations.  I wouldn't use the high intensity mercury bulbs myself, for a variety of reasons. 

That being said, a properly handled and disposed mercury bulb is almost certainly safer than eating tuna fish - and I eat tuna fish.  Go figure.

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Hmm...makes me long for the days of easy, straightforward candlelight.

Wait! Candles = fire. Violins = wood. Fire + wood = not good...:mellow:

Might have to reconsider...

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3 hours ago, Violadamore said:

[Slams a large breaker "OFF" with an aluminized gauntlet, and raises her gilded visor.]  Y'all are way behind the times.......  :ph34r:

https://www.lasercomponents.com/de-en/product/uvb-uvc-leds-200-315-nm/

To really create the mental image accurately, it has to be a double pole knife switch, on a hewn rock wall.

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4 hours ago, finnfinnviolin said:

Yup.  Pulling the outer UVC filter (believe me, that's what the "expert" did) is like hoisting the boards to above the atmosphere.  That short a wavelength is extremely dangerous, BTW.  I don't say don't use it, but shield yourself from it, and deal with the ozone it generates.  DON'T breathe the stuff, or let it accumulate, actively vent the chamber outdoors via a stack.

BTW, I noticed this link in a comment to the linked page above, and decided to pass it along.  IUVA definitely knows about UV effects.

Now, why are y'all so fixated on old fashioned, bulky, and inefficient UV bulbs when UV LEDs are readily available?   Are y'all still using CRT monitors as well? :huh::lol:

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10 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Now, why are y'all so fixated on old fashioned, bulky, and inefficient UV bulbs when UV LEDs are readily available?   Are y'all still using CRT monitors as well? :huh::lol:

For me, it's because the standard BL, BLB fluorescent bulbs and their fixtures are inexpensive, readily available, produce known results, and are more or less "plug and play" (little sweat equity and experimental time involved).

If I lived in a place where electricity was much more expensive, perhaps I'd look into the potentially higher efficiency of LEDs.

Here's a thread from 2017 on using LEDs: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/338443-uv-led/

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13 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Yup.  Pulling the outer UVC filter (believe me, that's what the "expert" did) is like hoisting the boards to above the atmosphere.  That short a wavelength is extremely dangerous, BTW.  I don't say don't use it, but shield yourself from it, and deal with the ozone it generates.  DON'T breathe the stuff, or let it accumulate, actively vent the chamber outdoors via a stack.

BTW, I noticed this link in a comment to the linked page above, and decided to pass it along.  IUVA definitely knows about UV effects.

Now, why are y'all so fixated on old fashioned, bulky, and inefficient UV bulbs when UV LEDs are readily available?   Are y'all still using CRT monitors as well? :huh::lol:

I'm so glad to be reading you, VdA, rather than listening to you.  Your voice no doubt is as mellifluous as your comments are insightful.  But my ear trumpet is out for repairs at the moment.  :lol:

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4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

For me, it's because the standard BL, BLB fluorescent bulbs and their fixtures are inexpensive, readily available, produce known results, and are more or less "plug and play" (little sweat equity and experimental time involved).

If I lived in a place where electricity was much more expensive, perhaps I'd look into the potentially higher efficiency of LEDs.

Here's a thread from 2017 on using LEDs: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/338443-uv-led/

OK, thanks.  You answered my question.  I read the thread.  Devices in the wavelengths necessary for varnish curing are now available, but it would take a bunch of them to irradiate a chamber for properly frying violins quickly.  I was envisioning exposing the fiddles for longer periods than Luis was using.  Like you say, it comes down to the electric bill, but I was also considering service life, and mercury disposal hassles. :)

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54 minutes ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

I'm so glad to be reading you, VdA, rather than listening to you.  Your voice no doubt is as mellifluous as your comments are insightful.  But my ear trumpet is out for repairs at the moment.  :lol:

You silver tongued devil, you.......  :P;)

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