Air Compressor

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by nsurit, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I'm thinking I might need to look at an air compressor for blowing out film holders and possibly for doing the same for negatives prior to placing in the enlarger. Any ideas on these uses? Any suggestions on specific units to consider? Bill Barber
     
  2. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    I use a Gast for my darkroom. Nice and quiet compared to the compressors one can buy at the usual home reno stores. I run an extension hose and keep it in another room to make the darkroom even quieter :wink:

    I also have some canned air I keep for the scanner.
     
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Why not just use canned air for everything? they have refillable canned air cans.
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Similar to canuhead, I have a cheap, small compressor "in another room" and run tubing to an outlet in the darkroom. Make sure to put a filter in the line and you're good to go.
     
  5. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    Depending on your humidity situation, air/water separator may be required. Local auto paint shop folks can advise as their lively hood depends on clean dry air.
     
  6. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    Used air brush compressor. Small, inexpensive and quiet. Might have creative "other" uses in printing & toning/bleaching small areas.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I buy six cans of compressed air, Dust-Off, Professional, The Original Compressed Gas Duxter SX", for cleaning photographic equipment and dusting off negatives. Just do not put it too close to the object to avoid by product contamination.
     
  8. rawhead

    rawhead Member

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    How's the air pressure on those things?

    I used to use Dust-Off XL for everything, including DSLR sensor cleaning, but recently bought myself a Hurricane canless air system because I was weary of contamination from Dust-Off, and also figured it's less of a hazard, not to mention more economic in the long run.

    The thing is, the hurricane is (1) friggin' LOUD, so loud as making me hesitate to use it at night, and (2) partly due to the large diameter of the ejection tube, I don't the kind of quick bursts of high pressure like I do with Dust-Off… it's like a small hair dryer or something, ya know?

    I want somthing that marries those two--clean, residue free, air-only high pressure rechargeable system. I'm hoping air brush compressors are the answer.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    For the small amount of air you need, a hand (or foot) operated bellows would probably be enough.


    Steve.
     
  10. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    http://www.farmandfleet.com/product...gclid=CI-Yl8a0z7UCFUZV4AodZh4AkQ#.USpF3aVths4

    perhaps? it's just a tank for air, fill it with your compresser and it'll last a while
     
  11. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    As a guy who has remodeled huge chunks of my home (and used to airbrush professionally)...

    Tool-sized compressors are pretty dang loud. One solution would be to get a compressor and an air tank; fill the tank in your garage. You would want all of your fittings to be very airtight (valves, hose connections) or it will just leak out overnight.

    In the airbrush days, many artists used scuba tanks, which they would have refilled.

    An airbrush compressor may not have the "oomph" you need. I have one (somewhere) and it really wasn't good enough for airbrush art. The spray (even with thin dies) was a little too grainy, not atomized enough.

    With any sort of compressor, you'll need a hose (a coiled hose is probably best), a system to hang it and keep it out of the way, an air blower attachment, and all the fittings. And with any compressed air source - unless you live in the desert - you'll definitely need a water separator. Even on dry days in Dallas, my compressor squirts a lot of water vapor. Keep in mind the air tank is holding a roomfull of air (and whatever humidity is in that air). Also, compressors with oil-using engines (vs. teflon piston rings) deliver a good deal more air for the buck - but engine oil can find its way into the tank - not harmful to your framing nailer or impact wrench, but not good for art.

    All of that said - the convenience of the cans is huge compared to the above. They're delicate tools for delicate work, vs. something made for removing cylinder heads and building roofs. I'd think it's overkill, unless you have a large darkroom running 8 hours a day, in which case you'd install a compressor in a dedicated room, with all the filtering bells and whistles and a system to deliver air to work areas.
     
  12. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I used to use a small air compressor from a big-box store. Actually still have it. Right after spending quite a bit of money on nice hoses and fittings to plumb the air into my newly constructed darkroom I was enlightened to the idea that blowing air off of negatives, film holders, etc. just pushes it up into the darkroom atmosphere where it inevitably settles on something else where it is not wanted and causes problems. So I adapted flexible plastic hose to my vacuum easel in hopes that the dust is now sucked out of the darkroom. The vacuum, by the way, is outside the darkroom. I fitted a small tube and brush intended for vacuuming computer equipment onto the darkroom end of the hose.
     
  13. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    I am working with the hair dryer of my wife. It's cheap and perfect for this use.
    Henry.