Building a UV box question

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by padraigm, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    Hi All,
    I know this has been covered in various iterations on this forum but please bear with me. I was able to acquire the plans for a UV box from Edwards Engineered Products. Looking at the parts list I looked up the listed supplier Grainger, and with the prices they are quoting(Lamps, ballasts) it looks like it might be easier and more cost effective to just buy the build it yourself kit from edwards. My question is, does anyone have a resource they have used for these essential items that are perhaps much cheaper? I certainly want to shop around before getting all the parts together. Any information or experiences are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Patrick
     
  2. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Given the cost of the smallest Edwards kit, you may want to contact Freestyle. There were a couple of sweet looking UV boxes for sale starting around $600, when I was in there a couple of weeks ago.
     
  3. Len Middleton

    Len Middleton Member

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    Not certain the trade off between the different UV light sources, but to keep my start into alternative processes within a reasonable budget, I got a NuArc plate burner locally for $100. This included a 20x24 vacuum easel built-in.

    It is about 30 years old, but industrial quality and at that vintage does not have any obvious electronics that might be impossible to replace "in-kind". Big and bulky, but cheap...

    One of the outcomes of the pre-press business moving to digital.
     
  4. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    As I add up the costs it is beginning to look like a pre made might just be easier in the long run with a minimal amount more than if i built myself.
     
  5. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    I agree, but I have been watching craigs list for about a month for something like that(San Diego) and only one has come up and it was huge.
     
  6. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I have also found Pot grow lamps for like $160 that would be fast and inexpensive for alternative processes. You may have missed the boat on the exodus, but I got my plate burner from a printing supply house that was just dumping the UV sources from their many customers.
     
  7. Len Middleton

    Len Middleton Member

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    Mine came from a print shop that was moving and had not used it in some time.

    But huge, yeah...
     
  8. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I'm in the process of building a simple bank of BL bulbs. I'm keeping the construction really simple, just laying everything out on a 24x24 wood panel. On each of the four corners of the panel I'm attaching simple legs made up of cut pieces of wood. Then I just turn the whole thing over and let it rest on the floor and cover it with black plastic. Who needs a box anyway?
     
  9. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    True that would be sufficient. But If i am going to the bother I want it to be a little more complete.
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I found my NuArc at a university surplus. $75. Integrator and vacuum easel. They are around, if you hunt long enough.
     
  11. mark

    mark Member

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    What do you mean by more complete?
     
  12. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    Well I guess that term is a little arbitrary. What I mean is not something I have to cover with plastic, all wires safely contained and not showing, and looks neat next to my enlarger. There are certainly many rudimentary designs that will work fine, but if i am going to the trouble and expense i would like it to look finished and not thrown together as so much of what I have is. Basically what i am stating in this post is after adding up the price of all the parts I was surprised to see that it was not much less that a ready made box. I have since been searching parts on ebay and such looking to bring the price down. Still looking on craigslist for a Nuarc or something similiar with vacuum able, that would be ideal. Alas so far no such.
     
  13. mark

    mark Member

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    Now I get it. Nothing wrong with what you want. You might ask yourself though, if making something rudimentary to get by with until you can buy or make an enclosure might be a good idea? That way you can see if you like the processes, practice, and get some enjoyment from the process. Once the enclosure is available it is pretty easy to move the lights etc to the enclosure.

    Just a thought.
     
  14. m1tch

    m1tch Member

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    Thanks for all this input guys, looks like I will have to get lucky and come across something at some point lol when I leave for work in the morning its dark, when I get back its dark, so can't really do any exposures during the week.
     
  15. KenS

    KenS Member

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    Patrick...

    I downloaded Edwards' plans a few years ago when they were 'available' at 'no cost'. I then built mine..but had an electrician check my 'wiring' (elecricity scares the 's**t' out of me since I can't 'see it). It works well qite nicely (and it 'burning' a VDB as I hunt and peck this. You are welcome to a copy of what I have.

    Ken
     
  16. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    HI Ken,

    Thank you so much for the offer. I was able to find a cached one on the internet. I think I should provided a link here for those interested.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010127065200/http://www.eepjon.com/Ubldit.htm
     
  17. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    Does anyone know if the Nuarc 26-1 Mercury Exposure System will work for Platinum printing?

    -Rob
     
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Why build a UV box? I bought a facial tanning lamp off ebay for £25 or 40$ which after minor modification works fine.
     
  19. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I made a lightbox out of black light tubes. It works for salt prints, but for cyanotypes, it doesn't work well. The emulsion washes off when a develop it. Don't know why. I'll return to using the sun for cyanotypes. Looks like I'll have to buy need tubes. Any recommendations?
     
  20. Len Middleton

    Len Middleton Member

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    Rob,

    I believe that is the unit that I have, and it is a UV light source, so I would expect it would.

    You are welcome to try mine, as we re not located that far away from each other...

    Thanks for your help in the past,

    Len
     
  21. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I built a UV box using spiral BL lamps that works just fine for pt/pd printing.

    I used six bulbs spaced on 6" centers (two rows, three bulbs per row). The height of the box was designed so that the space between the surface of a printing frame the bottom of the bulbs would be about the same as the center-to-center spacing. I cannot detect any variation in illumination with this spacing.

    I put a laid a sheet of aluminum flashing across the surface to act as a reflector before mounting the lamp bases. I don't know if that was necessary or even if it is of value - it just seemed like something that made sense, and I had a roll of flashing left over from a previous project that I could use.
     
  22. Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose Member

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    You can buy unshielded UV tubes for aquariums and such, I believe Phillips makes these in various lengths and you don't need a ballast. You can place them in any TL tube box and they work well for me, I've done Gum prints, salt prints and Cyanotypes with them, no problems at all.

    If you need a type number or so let me know, I can look it up on the tubes.
     
  23. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I used simple 2X20W fluorescent striplamp fixtures and 360BL fluorescent tubes. These are readily available at big hardware outlets. You can also use regular Edison bases and spiral blacklight tubes, as noted above. These are available from the same places. There are two disadvantages to these boxes: the 360BL tubes (with filter) do not put out as much photographically effective light as unfiltered 360 lamps or unfiltered and un-phosphored high intensity discharge lamps; and they are area sources rather than point sources, which can affect sharpness in some cases. The spiral lamps may also have a warmup problem and not reach full output until a couple of minutes after being turned on. The time to full brightness varies with temperature, line voltage, and lamp construction so the output from each lamp can be irregular for several minutes. The tube type fluorescents are less troublesome but still may show some variation, especially at low temperatures. High intensity discharge lamps are excellent, but they also need a warmup period. Commercial frames generally have a special actinometer that measures the UV output and adjusts the exposure time accordingly. Discharge lamps also resemble point sources, which takes care of any sharpness problems.
     
  24. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey thanks for the advice! I did a search on the Internet and found a few. I'm going for the Phillips Actinic UV tubes.
     
  25. Robert Ley

    Robert Ley Subscriber

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    I made my UV box with these instructions off the net and sourced all the materials for about $250. The ballasts were the expensive part and I was able to get the bulbs for about $4 ea. I have a wood worker cousin who helped with the box, but the whole thing works very well and I get about 5 minute exposures with my gum prints and can print up to a 16x20.