Staticmaster—Oh My Goodness!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Ben 4, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    I've been using Staticmaster brushes for over a decade as a primary method of controlling dust on negatives. I have found them to be extremely effective. These are the brushes with the radioactive cartridge, and, if you've used them, you know that the cartridge needs to be replaced every couple of years. No big deal. The cartridges for my 1 inch brush cost about $15 (maybe even less) last time I did this.

    My current cartridge expires this month, and I went to the B&H site to check on refills. I was stunned to see that the replacement now sells for $65!! Adorama has it for less, but it's still more than $50! It looks like I'll be hunting for a new way to control static.
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Keep using it.
    The cartridge in mine expired in 1983. It still works about as well as it did when it was new.
    That is, I never have seen much evidence that they reduce static all that much. YMMV
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I found similar brushes without the cartridge also in art supply stores you can find brushes with similar bristles. Both have worked fine for me. It's humid don here so static is not an issue.
     
  4. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    bdial - ??? Try using the brush on some static cling packing peanuts. It is pretty obvious when it works and when it is expired. radioactive half-life and all. If yours works for you without the active static-canceling agent then great...your anti-static needs are few.

    Yes, it has gotten expensive which is a major bummer. All kinds of reasons including Hazmat costs.

    I love mine and use it on film, to cancel static cling on chemical prills when mixing up developing ingredients, and to remove any static charge from my .01g scale before taking a reading.
     
  5. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    I use the Kinetronics brushes that don't have isotopes to degrade away; supposedly "wicks" static away during vigorous brushing. I can't swear that either the Kinetronics or my former Staticmasters do much, but there it is.
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I've used fresh and old Staticmasters on static-prone things like records, and not so much static prone like film, and in dry climates and humid climates.
    Your mileage is different, but I've never noticed much of an effect. I like the brushes though.
     
  7. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    You're right about the brush itself, bdial, and I'll no doubt continue using mine for that purpose. Static is a problem here in the winter, and there are times when I've seen some of the dust on a negative just fall off when using the staticmaster. Not all of it does, of course, and I usually find that some light brushing is necessary.

    I do have one of the small (and inexpensive) Kinetronics brushes, which I haven't found to be effective.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 4" Kinetronics brush works well for me. I use it on negs, glass neg carriers, printing frames, vinyl LPs, lenses, and all sorts of things. It can be washed periodically as well.
     
  9. C A Sugg

    C A Sugg Member

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    I've been using an old Discwasher Zerostat "gun," designed for use on LP records. Seems to do the trick.
     
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I leave water in my print washer and a cheapo air filter unit running to keep the air moving to encourage some humidity in my darkroom in the winter; it is better than nothing, and a cheap way to counter winter dry air and static zaps, in addition to helping to keep the dust under control. Once in a while the print washer gets a blast of dilute bleach and a run to cahnge it's water to keep the growies under control that otherwsie start in stagnant water.