Quiet indoor air compressor for cleaning film? (and camera gear)

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by kurt765, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    I've been mulling the idea of an indoor air compressor for cleaning film and equipment of dust. My "darkroom" I confess is a Nikon 9000ED scanner since I have no hope of anywhere to set up a darkroom. But, nonetheless dust is a problem with film scanned or film in an enlarger. I've been wondering about a small air compressor to help in these efforts, and for the last many years I have been relying on compressed air cans that probably have harmful chemicals in them or something and will sometimes leave residue.

    Would something like this work? Anyone have any other suggestions? I don't want something loud - I live in an apartment and don't want neighbors complaining when I'm up at 1am scanning film.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    You need an oil-less diaphragm compressor and an air filter on the outlet. The fuel filters for a Ford Crown Vic work quite well and can run at 50 psi with no problems and are easily inserted into a cut hose. Get one of those small room type HEPA filter fans to help control the dust. Humidity helps as well.

    "Compressed air" cans usually contained R134a, read the can and google the CAS number you'll find.
     
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    I've never used one of these, but thought I'd mention that this same Central Pneumatic oil-less airbrush compressor unit is currently on sale here, direct from Harbor Freight Tools, for only $59.99. That's almost a $40.00 savings over the Amazon vendor in your link.

    Ken
     
  4. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Also look into an anti-static air gun. This sends ions out with the air and greatly increases the effectiveness. One of these should allow you to work at lower pressure, hence less noise. Not cheap, but spending hours with the cloning tool and having angry neighbors aren't cheap, either. One example (I have no idea of the technology today- search around)
    http://kinetronics.com/store/iag.html
     
  5. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I've been using an air compressor like the one in your link for about 25 years, it was secondhand when I picked it up at an auction.

    I have a water filter, as does the one in your link. It's brilliant, use it for many things, but especially for eliminating dust from negatives and lens carriers.

    The one in the second link would, or should do the trick.

    You don't need too much pressure, I run mine at 1.5 Bar, which is more than adequate for neg cleaning. Much higher pressure and you do risk bending 135 and 120 film, meaning you have to re-seat them in the neg carrier. Higher pressure doesn't worry 4x5 and larger film.

    Mick.
     
  6. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    I'm curious as to what type of nozzle you use with it.

    Ken
     
  7. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    Does your link include the filter? I admit I know nothing of air compressors or airbrush attachments, etc.
     
  8. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Well now that's curious. Please take a look at this different Harbor Freight Tools link.

    I notice that the photo in the Amazon advertisement appears to be the unit on the left for $59.99. But under Product Features in the Amazon advertisement it also states a spec of 1/5 hp, which would correspond to the unit on the right, on sale for $89.99.

    So now I'm confused.

    I am also not an expert on these compressors, but I believe both units have an integral water filter (moisture trap). But I do not know if they also have a built-in dirt filter. A quick email to Harbor Freight Tools would likely clear that up.

    And something else worth looking at. Click on the right-hand 1/5 hp unit and read the seven customer reviews. Seems they are decidedly mixed, which might have a bearing on any purchasing decision.

    Ken
     
  9. Revolucion Artistico

    Revolucion Artistico Member

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    I know certain air compressors can have a muffler installed which may help with the quite part, I'll see if I can find an example.
     
  10. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    The air nozzle I use is like this one:-

    http://www.justtools.com.au/prod529.htm

    But about 35 years older and a bit different in build, but more or less like that one.

    The first post link to the $99.00 compressor shows in one of the pictures a black thingy next to a dial. Under the black thingy you will see that there is a semi opaque compartment, that is the water filter.

    You will have to compress the button underneath to allow trapped water to drain away, whenever you get a bit of water. It is not an issue and is easy as anything.

    Mick.
     
  11. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I have something similar, and I agree with Dan..... I can use less pressure, usually below 5 psi, and get better results with the ionizer.
     
  12. Revolucion Artistico

    Revolucion Artistico Member

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  13. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    I haven't decided on how to proceed. Once my last few compressed air cans are done, I suppose it will be time to order one. These guys contacted me about a quiet model that they demonstrate in a video:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/gmcpowerequipment

    Though it sounds like I don't need 116psi which seems to be their lowest power one.

    Hrm. What to get.
     
  14. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Go to a Harbor Freight store and look at the small ones. They are only a few inches long, and not very loud. You may be able to plug one in and turn it on to see how loud it really is.
     
  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Does it really need to be powered? Wouldn't a good set of hand operated bellows produce sufficient air?


    Steve.
     
  16. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Great idea! Or how about a foot operated bellows, like those that Jobo sold to remove the lids of the large tanks?