Conservation Tools – Fume Extraction

Conservators use a lot of different tools and equipment when treating objects and artwork in the lab.  This quarter’s blog posts from the Ford Center have been about different tools and how we use them.

 

Objects Lab

A view of the Objects Lab at the Ford Conservation Center.  The gray tubes hanging from the ceiling are fume extractors.

 

Almost every new visitor that comes into the Objects Labs, looks up and asks “What are those?” It’s not an unusual work of art that intrigues them. It’s the six grey tubes hanging from the ceiling like oversized elephant trunks. What are they? Those are fume extractors. They create an airflow, drawing harmful solvent fumes away from the conservators working in the lab. 

Safety comes first in the conservation labs, especially the Objects Lab where various organic solvents and other potentially dangerous chemicals are used more often than in the Paintings or Paper Labs. 

 

Removing Old Coating

The blue tubes are larger extractors that can be moved in close for larger solvent projects.  Here, conservation technician, Megan Griffiths, is removing old coatings from metal artifacts.

 

When at conservator or technician is working at one of the tables, and using a small amount of solvent, the fume extractors draw away the fumes so that they don’t bother the conservator or others in the lab.

 

Lab with Vent Scoop

The metal scoop at the end of the tube allows for a greater amount of air to be moved away from the conservator’s work station.

 

A scoop attached at the end of the tube increases the surface area of the air to be extracted.  If a larger quantity of solvent is needed, the conservator wears a respirator and may have to use the fume hood to extract more air.

 

GRFCC Spray Booth

Senior Conservation Technician, Vonnda Shaw, uses the spray booth to apply a lacquer coating to an archeological metal object.

 

The Ford Center also has a spray booth that can be used to large scale projects.  The back wall is one large air extractor, so large tanks of solvent can be utilized and varnishes and coatings can be sprayed safely. 

We hope you have enjoyed this quarter’s look into the labs at the Ford Center and the tools we use every day to preserve and protect the cultural materials in Nebraska and beyond.

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

State Song Sing-Along

State Song Sing-Along

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.