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U V light question


H.R.Fisher
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  I have a uv box with 4 ,20 w bulbs.. I will be going out of town for perhaps six weeks or so. I am considering hanging a white violin in to darken it till I return.

Is this a too long? I never left them in the box this long before. What are the consequences ?  

                                                                                                                                         Thanks Henry

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I'd be concerned about the humidity. It doesn't take much warmth in a lightbox to really drop the humidity level. I tan my violins before varnishing and will monitor their weight to ensure they don't dry out too much. Everyone's lightbox is different and I think tracking the weight is a good way to determine how long you can run the lightbox before cycling the lights off and how long it takes for the violin to recover that moisture. With that knowledge you could set a timer for the lights and leave them but personally I don't like to leave my lightbox running when I'm not around.

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54 minutes ago, DarylG said:

I'd be concerned about the humidity. It doesn't take much warmth in a lightbox to really drop the humidity level. I tan my violins before varnishing and will monitor their weight to ensure they don't dry out too much. Everyone's lightbox is different and I think tracking the weight is a good way to determine how long you can run the lightbox before cycling the lights off and how long it takes for the violin to recover that moisture. With that knowledge you could set a timer for the lights and leave them but personally I don't like to leave my lightbox running when I'm not around.

one of these:

humidity controller

linked up to 2 baby bottle warmers to generate steam works great to control humidity. They also make a temperature control version that I have linked up to an extractor fan for cooling. Could also be connected to the tubes to switch them off when it gets too hot.

They are cheap, accurate enough and seem very reliable.

Sorry - missed the part where you were leaving unattended for 6 weeks. My solution wouldn't help you, and I personally wouldn't do that. 

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Last go I linked x20w UV bulbs end to end and - 3ft total. I use a grow tent with a reflective interior. i hung the violin with a string attached to a peg which was suspended from a cheep slow speed synchronous motor bolted to the top of the tent. This  allows the violin to rotate once every minute or so in-front of the UV bulbs. Varnish dried in 24 hrs. Since my grow tent is large, the temperature never really got above 25-26 degrees Celsius. 

I learned the hard way - if you use a varnish with a long open time (4-5 hrs) a drying cabinet that is too hot can cause the varnish to move around before it starts to set

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Six weeks is a long time to leave something you wired yourself unattended unless you are extremely confident in your sparky skills. It's also a very expensive way to oxidize a wood surface. Not everyone is on board, but consider some sort of liquid oxidizer, whether it be Roubo primer (also known as horse sauce) or a synthetic version. 

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