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tango

Distance from UV light tube ?

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Hi

How close to the UV light tube must stand the violin in a UV box ?

(Black light , 36w and 120cm long)

Tango

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I recently built a fairly large UV cabinet with 2 bulbs in each of the four corners. The distance between the bulbs and a violin hanging in the middle of the cabinet is approximately 15-17 inches. All I can say is that it seems to work.

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My aluminum cabinet has three of the same bulbs you are using. I have a small motor to hang the instrument and turn 1/3 rpm. The instrument is only about six to eight inches from the bulbs. In grad school when I worked in the museum conservation labs, we hung items as close to the bulbs as possible and lined the cabinets with aluminum foil to enhance reflection. Other folks on MN, may have significantly different systems but my varnish generally needs all the UV it can get.

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The disco ball motor Fossil Ledges mentions is a godsend. Lining the cabinet with reflective material, such as aluminum foil, is wisely done. My experience with blacklight bulbs has been underwhelming. Solacure has bulbs manufactured in Hungary that are far better suited to the task, but I wouldn't assume that they are readily available everywhere and I apologise if they aren't offered in your neck of the woods. I mention them only because I use them and like them. My cabinet is sized for cello, but I rarely have anything bigger than a viola in there - that would put the narrowest part of the instrument (the neck) about a foot and change from the lights, and I've never had a problem drying a coat in a day. A respected colleague in California uses sanitary grade UV-C bulbs. I have no experience with them, and they are hazardous. But he swears by the results and I trust him.

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I used to use suntanning tubes years ago and for me the distance was as close as possible for best effect of the light but far enough from heat that could cause cracking which would be my main concern. You should find out how much heat your setup generates and avoid overheating (and overdrying) the space inside the UV  cabinet. Use ventialtion and moisture source to keep the box safe fr the instrument. You can stick your hygrometer inside for few hours close to the tube and check recorded maximum temp and min/max humidity...

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Heat is the big enemy here!! Each of those bulbs is pretty much putting out 36 Watts of heat. The light emitted converts back to heat when it is absorbed by an object. With multiple tubes, in a closed cabinet, this can cause a very large temperature increase. Measuring the temperature in the cabinet is a must, and vents of fans will be necessary to control it. Personally, I don't let temperature go over 100F.

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Hi

Temp in the top of the cabinet is 18/22 C°. The cabinet is 120cm x 80 cm.

 We are in Winter in Buenos Aires.

I guess the stuff to be aware is the temp, isn´t it?

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Not just the temperature Tango, humidity can get very low in the box and cause you some real problems, more than the temperature actually.

Best to monitor both very often at first, until you get a feel for what the levels can be after an hour, two hours, six hours. You will find that things can change dramatically as the time increases.

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The temperature difference between the outside and inside air causes drop in humidity inside the box. If the rise of temperature is not too high and you use some way of adding moisture to the incoming air you should be fine. But using some trustworthy hygrometer to check it before you sticjk your nice new violin in is better than finding a open seam or worse open centerjoint on your newest instrument.

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