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Re: Collodion

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  • boringsilicate <HF631G@aol.com>
    Hi, Just make sure you didn t get flexible collodion which has mineral oil included. The solvents in collodion are diethyl ether and usually methanol.
    Message 1 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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      Hi,

      Just make sure you didn't get "flexible collodion" which has mineral
      oil included.

      The solvents in collodion are diethyl ether and usually methanol.
      Neither will hurt you if you do this in a well ventilated place and
      their is no carcinogenic toxicity associated with either solvent. The
      warnings about flame and sparks are important, particularly if the
      humidity is low and static electricity is likely. Be aware also that
      collodion is a solution of nitrated cellulose and will burn
      vigorously even without solvent present. The dried film can be set
      ablaze with a match, but is relatively safe from spark ignition.

      I've also found small pieces of dried collodion adhere to the optical
      surface. Someone has suggested removing these with a small piece of
      painting tape, but I don't know how effective this is.

      I wonder if a simple rinse with acetone from a squirt bottle would do
      just as well?

      Good Luck,

      Denton



      --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "proplyds <proplyds@y...>"
      <proplyds@y...> wrote:
      > Hi all,
      > I finally managed to get a shipment of collodion.
      > Any last minute word of advise before I'll start disassembling a
      reflector for mirror cleaning?
      > Is it true one should not touch the secondary???
      > Any ideas are sincerely appreciated.
      >
      > proplyds
    • Geoff Gaherty
      ... OK, I ll admit it. I m totally baffled as to why anyone would use a substance so obviously dangerous for a simple task like cleaning optics, which can
      Message 2 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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        "boringsilicate " wrote:
        >
        > The solvents in collodion are diethyl ether and usually methanol.
        > Neither will hurt you if you do this in a well ventilated place and
        > their is no carcinogenic toxicity associated with either solvent. The
        > warnings about flame and sparks are important, particularly if the
        > humidity is low and static electricity is likely. Be aware also that
        > collodion is a solution of nitrated cellulose and will burn
        > vigorously even without solvent present. The dried film can be set
        > ablaze with a match, but is relatively safe from spark ignition.
        >
        > I've also found small pieces of dried collodion adhere to the optical
        > surface. Someone has suggested removing these with a small piece of
        > painting tape, but I don't know how effective this is.
        >
        > I wonder if a simple rinse with acetone from a squirt bottle would do
        > just as well?

        OK, I'll admit it. I'm totally baffled as to why anyone would use a substance
        so obviously dangerous for a simple task like cleaning optics, which can easily
        be done following the instructions in Star Ware, Backyard Astronomer's Guide,
        etc. I guess my two pieces of advice are, (1) don't clean your optics until
        they really really need it, and (2) if you absolutely _have_ to do it, use the
        simple tried and true methods. I don't want anything like collodion anywhere
        near my house, let alone on my mirrors.

        --
        Geoff Gaherty
        Toronto Centre RASC
        http://members.rogers.com/ggaherty/
      • Mike Coslo
        ... Be careful of using acetone. The everyday stuff you can buy at the hardware store often has oily contamination. Not much, but it doesn t take much. - Mike
        Message 3 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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          boringsilicate wrote:

          >
          >I've also found small pieces of dried collodion adhere to the optical
          >surface. Someone has suggested removing these with a small piece of
          >painting tape, but I don't know how effective this is.
          >
          >I wonder if a simple rinse with acetone from a squirt bottle would do
          >just as well?
          >
          Be careful of using acetone. The everyday stuff you can buy at the
          hardware store often has oily contamination. Not much, but it doesn't
          take much.

          - Mike -

          >
        • Mike Coslo
          ... Excellent advice. Many fine mirrors have been ruined because of a little dust which had no effect on performance. But the cleaning certainly did! ...
          Message 4 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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            Geoff Gaherty wrote:

            >
            >OK, I'll admit it. I'm totally baffled as to why anyone would use a substance
            >so obviously dangerous for a simple task like cleaning optics, which can easily
            >be done following the instructions in Star Ware, Backyard Astronomer's Guide,
            >etc. I guess my two pieces of advice are, (1) don't clean your optics until
            >they really really need it,
            >
            Excellent advice. Many fine mirrors have been ruined because of a
            little dust which had no effect on performance. But the cleaning
            certainly did!

            >(2) if you absolutely _have_ to do it, use the
            >simple tried and true methods. I don't want anything like collodion anywhere
            >near my house, let alone on my mirrors.
            >
            Collodian actually *is* a traditional method of cleaning a mirror.
            Beyond that, I agree. It won't get anywhere near one of my mirrors.

            In fact, I am more likely to send a mirror off to be recoated than I
            am to clean it.

            - Mike -

            >
          • Geoff Gaherty
            ... That s basically what I have done, too. -- Geoff Gaherty Toronto Centre RASC http://members.rogers.com/ggaherty/
            Message 5 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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              Mike Coslo wrote:
              >
              > In fact, I am more likely to send a mirror off to be recoated than I
              > am to clean it.

              That's basically what I have done, too.

              --
              Geoff Gaherty
              Toronto Centre RASC
              http://members.rogers.com/ggaherty/
            • proplyds <proplyds@yahoo.com>
              Thank you all for replies. I have to mention few things. The collodion cleaning method; I found it on the net, and from a certain perspective looked like it is
              Message 6 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                Thank you all for replies.

                I have to mention few things. The collodion cleaning method; I found it on the net, and from a certain perspective looked like it is one way of cleaning mirrors with minimum interaction. If it works according to the claims, there is really no need for washing and rinsing and dabbing and washing and rinsing and scratching (!yay!) the mirrors. A simple application, let it dry and peel it off.
                Collodion may be considered extremely dangerous material these days. Nonetheless, it used to be an easy item to pick up in pharmacies, and I believe in some countries in Europe is still on sale as a regular item.
                I have Collodion USP, not the flexible one, thanks to all who pointed this out.

                If I'll succesfully finish the job, I'll be back with a short description of what I've done and how it went.

                Clear skies and good weekend
              • heirphoto@aol.com
                In a message dated 3/1/2003 9:05:56 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I use collodion on a regular basis in my photographic applications and find it as safe or
                Message 7 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                  In a message dated 3/1/2003 9:05:56 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                  geoff@... writes:

                  > I don't want anything like collodion anywhere
                  > near my house, let alone on my mirrors.
                  >

                  I use collodion on a regular basis in my photographic applications and find
                  it as safe or safer than much of what we have around the house now <g>. An
                  open can of gas on lawn mowing day is far more of a threat to me I feel.

                  I do find it an odd substance though to suggest for cleaning a mirror. When I
                  apply it to my glass plates for photography I am counting on it NOT coming
                  off of the surface, just the opposite of what you fellows are hoping for. I
                  am using the same Collodion USP along with a few nasty solvents, alcohol and
                  ether to allow it to flow nicely but find it rather tenacious stuff one dried
                  on a surface.

                  You will find it's earliest applications were in all the tintype and
                  ambrotype images from the 1800. It forms the emulsion the photographs are
                  captured on. It is still used photographically by a few artists like myself
                  and in some scientific photographic applications. A modern day derivative
                  would be "New Skin" a first aid or surgical dressing used to close wounds.

                  Best,
                  Anthony D. Miler
                  "The Tintype Artist"


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • ASmith4062@aol.com
                  It is reported to be a very non-evasive way to clean your mirror. It is also reported to be a highly effective way to clean. I have used the water and soap
                  Message 8 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                    It is reported to be a very non-evasive way to clean your mirror. It is also
                    reported to be a highly effective way to clean. I have used the water and
                    soap method to clean my mirror and you cannot see any indication of my
                    cleaning except that the mirror is clean when I am done. Please tell us how
                    well it goes after you are done. Thanks, Al


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Vern <nitavern@attbi.com>
                    ... a substance ... which can easily ... Astronomer s Guide, ... I will break my long silence to comment on this issue. A little distilled water combined with
                    Message 9 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                      > OK, I'll admit it. I'm totally baffled as to why anyone would use
                      a substance
                      > so obviously dangerous for a simple task like cleaning optics,
                      which can easily
                      > be done following the instructions in Star Ware, Backyard
                      Astronomer's Guide,
                      > etc. > --
                      > Geoff Gaherty
                      > Toronto Centre RASC
                      > http://members.rogers.com/ggaherty/

                      I will break my long silence to comment on this issue. A little
                      distilled water combined with pure alcohol and a minute drop of
                      dishwashing liquid works very well. If surgical cotton is used for
                      wiping (if needed) scratching is not an issue. I pour the distilled
                      water over the mirror to rinse it when done. I have only cleaned any
                      mirror I have ever owned once. As has been pointed out they usually
                      need recoated before before they need washed if normal care is taken.

                      Vern
                    • dsmalln <dsmalln@yahoo.com>
                      . I ve tried it twice and both times the process ... acetone. If it leaves residue, your back to square one. Also call the fire dept. ask them to let you
                      Message 10 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                        . I've tried it twice and both times the process
                        > left behind a few stray pieces that had to be removed with
                        acetone.


                        If it leaves residue, your back to square one. Also call the fire
                        dept. ask them to let you borrow a truck,just in case.
                        DL Smallen
                      • Mike Coslo
                        ... Maybe you know the answer to this one, Vern. I m a fan of this method, but the strange thing about the recipes for this manner os cleaning that I ve seen
                        Message 11 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                          Vern wrote:

                          >
                          >I will break my long silence to comment on this issue. A little
                          >distilled water combined with pure alcohol and a minute drop of
                          >dishwashing liquid works very well. If surgical cotton is used for
                          >wiping (if needed) scratching is not an issue. I pour the distilled
                          >water over the mirror to rinse it when done. I have only cleaned any
                          >mirror I have ever owned once. As has been pointed out they usually
                          >need recoated before before they need washed if normal care is taken.
                          >

                          Maybe you know the answer to this one, Vern. I'm a fan of this
                          method, but the strange thing about the recipes for this manner os
                          cleaning that I've seen call for the 200 proof version of alcohol. Then
                          it gets diluted with water. Seems a bit odd to me.

                          - Mike -

                          >
                        • Mike Coslo
                          ... I m not a fan of that method, but don t be so afraid of collodian! Gasoline is around the same danger, and we use it all the time. - Mike -
                          Message 12 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                            dsmalln wrote:

                            >. I've tried it twice and both times the process
                            >
                            >>left behind a few stray pieces that had to be removed with
                            >>
                            >acetone.
                            >
                            >
                            > If it leaves residue, your back to square one. Also call the fire
                            >dept. ask them to let you borrow a truck,just in case.
                            > DL Smallen
                            >
                            I'm not a fan of that method, but don't be so afraid of collodian!
                            Gasoline is around the same danger, and we use it all the time.

                            - Mike -

                            >
                          • ASmith4062@aol.com
                            There is no dilution with this method. You put the mirror in a cleaned sink on a clean towel under a stream of Luke warm water to loosen the dust and grim. do
                            Message 13 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                              There is no dilution with this method. You put the mirror in a cleaned sink
                              on a clean towel under a stream of Luke warm water to loosen the dust and
                              grim. do not let the mirrors surface become dry once you start this process.
                              You stop up the sink and run tap water until the mirror is submerged, add a
                              drop of dish washing soap to the bath and let the mirror soak for a few
                              minutes. You can lightly swab the mirror with just the weight of a couple of
                              natural cotton balls touching the surface. Use only the side that you have
                              not touched with your fingers. Pull the plug on the sink and start the Luke
                              warm water stream again playing the water over the surface of the mirror,
                              never letting the mirror surface dry. Turn off the water and quickly grab
                              your jug of alcohol and tilting the mirror slightly on edge you rinse the
                              surface with straight alcohol. Then you quickly grab your jug of distilled
                              water and rinse the mirror surface with that, using a good half gallon to
                              rinse. You can lightly blot up any remaining distilled water with a couple of
                              fresh cotton balls. I cannot take credit for this method. It was learned from
                              a book or web site which I do not recall at this time. I have used it several
                              times on a 8" mirror with very good results. When the time comes to do the
                              15" mirror I will have to modify the procedure because the mirror will not
                              fit in my sink. Al


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Geoff Gaherty
                              ... New telescopes have sometimes forced poeople to buy new cars. Maybe you ll need to buy a new sink! -- Geoff Gaherty Toronto Centre RASC
                              Message 14 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                                ASmith4062@... wrote:
                                >
                                > When the time comes to do the
                                > 15" mirror I will have to modify the procedure because the mirror will not
                                > fit in my sink.

                                New telescopes have sometimes forced poeople to buy new cars. Maybe you'll need
                                to buy a new sink!

                                --
                                Geoff Gaherty
                                Toronto Centre RASC
                                http://members.rogers.com/ggaherty/
                              • Florian
                                ... Got a bathtub? ;-) -Florian
                                Message 15 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                                  >When the time comes to do the 15" mirror I will have to modify the
                                  >procedure because the mirror will not fit in my sink.


                                  Got a bathtub?

                                  ;-)

                                  -Florian
                                • Tom Duggan <tduggan@frontiernet.net>
                                  ... I was thinking about draining the swimming pool.... Tom D
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                                    --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Florian" <florian@b...> wrote:
                                    > >When the time comes to do the 15" mirror I will have to modify the
                                    > >procedure because the mirror will not fit in my sink.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Got a bathtub?
                                    >
                                    > ;-)
                                    >
                                    > -Florian

                                    I was thinking about draining the swimming pool....<G>

                                    Tom D
                                  • Harry Lewin <hml48@earthlink.net>
                                    There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the use of collodian to clean antique optics. I don t know if I ever got a straight answer about whether or
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                                      There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the use of
                                      collodian to clean antique optics. I don't know if I ever got a
                                      straight answer about whether or not it is suitable for modern coated
                                      optics.

                                      As for why - Well every other method of cleaning will inflict some
                                      damage to the optics. Collodian if you manage to remove it while it
                                      is soft will not. Provided it is safe for the coatings.

                                      The other warning I got was to build a "dam" around the edge of the
                                      optics to prevent the colodian from accumulating in tight area around
                                      the lens mount. I guess thats not an issue if you are disassembling
                                      the instrument.

                                      I've never tried it but let me know how it goes.
                                      Harry Lewin

                                      --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, Geoff Gaherty <geoff@g...> wrote:
                                      > "boringsilicate " wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > The solvents in collodion are diethyl ether and usually methanol.
                                      > > Neither will hurt you if you do this in a well ventilated place
                                      and
                                      > > their is no carcinogenic toxicity associated with either solvent.
                                      The
                                      > > warnings about flame and sparks are important, particularly if the
                                      > > humidity is low and static electricity is likely. Be aware also
                                      that
                                      > > collodion is a solution of nitrated cellulose and will burn
                                      > > vigorously even without solvent present. The dried film can be
                                      set
                                      > > ablaze with a match, but is relatively safe from spark ignition.
                                      > >
                                      > > I've also found small pieces of dried collodion adhere to the
                                      optical
                                      > > surface. Someone has suggested removing these with a small piece
                                      of
                                      > > painting tape, but I don't know how effective this is.
                                      > >
                                      > > I wonder if a simple rinse with acetone from a squirt bottle
                                      would do
                                      > > just as well?
                                      >
                                      > OK, I'll admit it. I'm totally baffled as to why anyone would use
                                      a substance
                                      > so obviously dangerous for a simple task like cleaning optics,
                                      which can easily
                                      > be done following the instructions in Star Ware, Backyard
                                      Astronomer's Guide,
                                      > etc. I guess my two pieces of advice are, (1) don't clean your
                                      optics until
                                      > they really really need it, and (2) if you absolutely _have_ to do
                                      it, use the
                                      > simple tried and true methods. I don't want anything like
                                      collodion anywhere
                                      > near my house, let alone on my mirrors.
                                      >
                                      > --
                                      > Geoff Gaherty
                                      > Toronto Centre RASC
                                      > http://members.rogers.com/ggaherty/
                                    • ASmith4062@aol.com
                                      Come to think of it, I guess it will fit in the shower! Al [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
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                                        Come to think of it, I guess it will fit in the shower! Al


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Harold Newton <hal.newton@ieee.org>
                                        ... mineral ... and ... The ... that ... set ... I would have shortened the above, but the warnings are important, so I left them... ... optical ... of ... I
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Mar 2, 2003
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                                          --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "boringsilicate <HF631G@a...>"
                                          <HF631G@a...> wrote:
                                          > Hi,
                                          >
                                          > Just make sure you didn't get "flexible collodion" which has
                                          mineral
                                          > oil included.
                                          >
                                          > The solvents in collodion are diethyl ether and usually methanol.
                                          > Neither will hurt you if you do this in a well ventilated place
                                          and
                                          > their is no carcinogenic toxicity associated with either solvent.
                                          The
                                          > warnings about flame and sparks are important, particularly if the
                                          > humidity is low and static electricity is likely. Be aware also
                                          that
                                          > collodion is a solution of nitrated cellulose and will burn
                                          > vigorously even without solvent present. The dried film can be
                                          set
                                          > ablaze with a match, but is relatively safe from spark ignition.
                                          >

                                          I would have shortened the above, but the warnings are important, so
                                          I left them...


                                          > I've also found small pieces of dried collodion adhere to the
                                          optical
                                          > surface. Someone has suggested removing these with a small piece
                                          of
                                          > painting tape, but I don't know how effective this is.
                                          >

                                          I used masking tape, and touched only the dried Collodion. It
                                          worked great normally. I've cleaned the mirror a few times, and on
                                          one occasion, the tape method did not work. When that happened, I
                                          recleaned the entire surface. That did work.

                                          The first time I cleaned this way, the mirror just had dust on it.
                                          Wasn't worth the effort.

                                          The second time, the mirror had a haze on it - definately worth the
                                          effort!

                                          The third time, I didn't get all the collodion off from the second
                                          effort...

                                          -Hal
                                        • Vern <nitavern@attbi.com>
                                          taken. ... Then ... Mike, Most of my answer has been given but I would like to expand on it a bit if I might. You can mix the alcohol with the water as well
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Mar 3, 2003
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                                            taken.
                                            > >
                                            >
                                            > Maybe you know the answer to this one, Vern. I'm a fan of this
                                            > method, but the strange thing about the recipes for this manner os
                                            > cleaning that I've seen call for the 200 proof version of alcohol.
                                            Then
                                            > it gets diluted with water. Seems a bit odd to me.
                                            >
                                            > - Mike -

                                            Mike,
                                            Most of my answer has been given but I would like to expand on it a
                                            bit if I might. You can mix the alcohol with the water as well but I
                                            like to do it the way that it is described in the previous message. I
                                            do keep some of the mixed up stuff(50/50) for eyepeices and other
                                            optical surfaces. >

                                            Vern
                                            > >
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