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Re: [BKARTS] PVA Shelf Life



Peter hits on the key point for someone like me in private practice. Though I use adhesives every day, my use is modest compared to a big lab. So I keep mix and straight PVA on hand at all times, but take care to use in small containers from larger batches that are kept as air tight as humanly possible.

I do this because I think environment plays a huge role. Here in hot and humid Dallas—by some standards but we think you have to go to Houston or New Orleans for real heat and humidity :-)—paste goes bad in a day unless refrigerated and PVA—no matter how new—will go funky with the tiniest amount of contamination. PVA mixed with paste even faster.

A few years ago a fellow binder and I purchased a 5-gallon container of PVA to save costs, and split into separate containers. We knew to have clean containers (and used clean containers that only previously held PVA), but mold/fungus developed rapidly. We each lost at least a gallon to mold. Must have had a smidge of something in the containers that allowed the green/black stuff to grow and the warm, moist environment encouraged it to flourish.

Julie Sullivan




On Oct 9, 2007, at 11:32 AM, Peter Verheyen wrote:


My feeling on adhesives is this. Don't buy/make up more than you can use in a reasonable amount of time. In my modest "private practice," my after hours work at home I make up things as I need them because I may only work at something one day a week... I don't think this is atypical of most of us. This means I mix up paste for each sitting, either pre-gel or cooked if working with leather. Ditto on gelatin (hide glue). For the latter this means thinking ahead a day. With PVA I buy in smaller quanities and keep cool in storage. Seldom have contamination problems and then only if I get other stuff into it. By mixing up smaller amounts waste is minimized.

For larger operations, the same can hold true with some modification. Buying in bulk can save money, but if there's waste due to loss, then any savings are delusionary.

p.
_____________________________________

Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
<verheyen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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***********************************************
Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding"
Online exhibit and catalog order form at
<http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
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