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Camphor


#1

I delivered some cast bolos to a customer not long ago, and just
as was beginning to leave, he said: "Do you know about Camphor?"
I did not know how to answer that. I, of course, had heard about
camphor products for sores on lips. But I could not figure out
why he would ask me about it. I must have looked at him with a
funny look, because he then said: “I am a retired chemist and I
use camphor to prevent oxidization and tarnishing of our sterling
silver around the house.” So, I said I had not heard of that and
to please explain. Here is some

“The material we use to stave off silver tarnish is camphor.
Can probably get it in cake form at a drug store. The cakes are
about 1” square by 1/4." I keep my bolos in a sealed freezer
bag along with a camphor cake. I leave the wrapper on and
simply puncture the wrapper to let the vapors out. I also keep a
cake of camphor in our silverware drawers, and in our cupboards
where we store larger pieces of silver."

Has any one used camphor in display cases? Has any one used it
for this? Any comments?

Have fun, Don


#2

Hi Don, One of the other dealers at a show two weeks ago told me
she used camphor in her display cases to prevent tarnish. Since
her silver was bright and she (she stated) doesn’t polish, it
convinced me to go buy some camphor cakes. Regards, Larry White
Covington, Va


#3

I do shows, and used mothballs in my carrying cases for several
years. This did discourage surface oxidation. Then I ran into a
couple of customers who had bad allergies, who had a reaction to
the faint leftover smell. I’ve also been told that chunks of
chalk will retard surface oxidation without the profound aroma.

Jim


#4
I delivered some cast bolos to a customer not long ago, and just
as was beginning to leave, he said: "Do you know about Camphor?"

This is interesting – I have an old camphor chest in the
basement; I 've been wondering what to do with it – who knows –
maybe a good place to keep my metal stock in the future…
Laura.


#5

Dear Don, As a young die maker apprentice back in 1967, I learned
that placing several of these camphor “cakes” in your precision
tool box keep your tools mostly rust free. I use the same oak
tool box today in my second career, and those same packages of
camphor are still in the box, doing their job. Never thought to
pass along the tip.

JMF


#6

Camphor is-- C10H16O or “Ordinary camphor is obtained from the
camphor tree, Cinnamomum camphora, which grows in Asia and
Brazil.” While moth balls are Naphthalene (a petroleum distilate
??). Quite different products. More info on the calk would be of
interest.


#7

Camphor sure does manifest its presence…

What is the active ingredient? Do I recall Eucalyptus leaves?
Some twigs in the jewelry case would be more aesthetic. That is,
if the Pandas will let us have any.

Colleen
Colleen Lynch Studio & Gallery
185 Water St.
St. Andrews, NB
CANADA E5B 1A9
(506) 529-4019
@Colleen_Lynch


#8
    I delivered some cast bolos to a customer not long ago,
and just as was beginning to leave, he said: "Do you know about
Camphor?" 

My grandfather was a tool and die maker. He used to keep
camphor in his tool box with his micrometers, etc. Said it kept
away rust. I guess I could use a bucket of it in my shop. :slight_smile:


#9
  Has any one used camphor in display cases? Has any one used
it for this? Any comments? 

I’ve not used it much for display cases (the smell can be
bothersome), but you can get cakes of the stuff in machine tool
supply houses. Put it in the drawers of your tool chests etc,
(closed spaces) to prevent rusting of the tools.

for display cases, you can get, from 3M company, a paper that’s
been treated with similar organic (I think) tarnish retardants
that don’t have that smell. Easy to place pieces of the paper in
a display case, or small bits in the plastic bags one might use
to package finished jewelry for storage or shipping…

Peter Rowe


#10
Camphor is--  C10H16O or  "Ordinary camphor is obtained from the
camphor tree, Cinnamomum camphora, which grows in Asia and
Brazil." While moth balls are Naphthalene (a petroleum distilate
??).  Quite different products.

Fair enough - but the important thing to remember is that
camphor has quite a pleasant smell, whilst naphthalene has an
unpleasant smell. Both of these are synthesized these days. My
elderly neighbour whose wife died a while ago, is extremely old
fashioned, and and has heaps of naphthalene balls in every
cupboard, drawer and cabinet, under every bed, scattered in every
corner, under the settee, armchairs, etc. to the effect that the
moment one puts one’s head through his door - one wishes one
hadn’t. People were sorry he had no wife, so invited him home
for a meal. And wished they hadn’t due to the overpowering smell
of moth balls on his clothes! - John Burgess


#11

Just let the former chemist add his 1 santim (Latvian santim is
almost 2 cents worth:-). There are actually 3 kinds of camphor - 2
natural ones (the “ordinary” or medicinal one - from camphor tree
and other plants, turning polarized light right or dextrarotary ;
another one, that turns the polarized light left or levorotary -
from Siberian fir) and the synthetic one, a mixture of both,
produced from turpentine. The annual production is over 10.000
metric tons. It is not made for moth balls :slight_smile: - most goes into
powder. I doubt if naphtalene is still used for moth-balls in
civilized countries - it is not very effective and the stink is
legendary. Probably it is dichlorobenzene that folks
traditionally call naphtalene. A purely speculative idea about
camphor as rust prevention agent - it is very volatile at room
temperature and in aclosed box will condense on metalic surfaces
in a microscopic film like lacquer. Since it is almost insoluble
in water such layer might keep water vapor from reaching
sensitive surfaces. Maybe the same works for sulphur compounds
tarnishing silver? I can not recall any properties of camphor
that could prevent rusting chemically… What sez John Burgess,
the staff chemist? Eddie, ex-chemist


#12

And my one santim (another chemist)-- it is my understanding
that presently mothballs are paradichlorobenzene, as Eddie says. I
am always reminded of a cartoon I once saw in an organic
chemicals catalog – two archeologists have just opened up the
case of a mummy. One holds up a rounded ball – “By jove! I do
believe it is a nugget of pure paradichlorobenzene!”

Margaret
@Margaret_Malm


#13

Not sure I’m with the understanding of the thead . . . Will
camphor retard tarnishing of silver and/or rusting of iron . .
tools . . . Really could use it for silver retardation if so.

Jim


#14

Dear Colleen, I believe that it is the koala bear that eats
eucalyptus and the panda that eats bamboo. I have a camphor tree
in my yard the circumference of the trunk is 14’ 1.5". The tree
produces lovely eggplant colored berries that stain everything
they touch and eat the paint off of cars. The area of Florida
where I live was once home to camphor plantations. They were
grown for their “menthol” type oil which was used in unguents,
polstices, medicines, and various formulas for cleaning solvents.
Today menthol is produced using a variety of other sources and
chemicals. Because of this camphor plantations are no longer
needed. By the way crushed camphor leaves make a great insect
repellent.–Fun facts to know and tell— Hope you have happy
holidays, Deborah Ringhaver Lane