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Camger 1-175 durability??

Scott Olsen

I have a project where the architect is specifying Camger 1-175 to be used on clear coated surfaces. This is a museum and from everything I've been able to find online, this is the best product to most effectively seal in any acidic off-gassing from the cabinet materials. My concern is that the Camger 1-175, while it may may be great at sealing in harmful gasses, doesn't feel like a durable, commercial finish. All of the samples that I've sprayed have somewhat of a soft and "rubbery" feel to them. They scratch easily with my fingernails and I don't feel that I can warranty this finish. I'm pretty sure that I'm spraying it correctly, using thin coats, temperature high, humidity low etc. Does anyone else have experience with this product as far as durability goes? I'd appreciate any input that I can get.


1/20/15       #2: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Paul Snyder  Member



I what application are you using this product? It's often specified for the interior surfaces of conservation grade sealed cases. Are you being asked to use it on the surfaces outside the cases?

1/20/15       #3: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Scott Olsen

Yes. They're wanting me to use it on the faces of miles of cabinetry. These are not air tight, sealed, glass front cases. They're doors and drawer fronts, face frames, finished ends etc. Seems like the wrong application for this product, but I wasn't sure since I haven't used it before.

1/20/15       #4: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Paul Snyder  Member


Definitely the wrong application. See if you can get it straightened out. Where is the architect getting their info?

Are you working from an approved design document? If so, it should specify the approved finishes and/or standards the finishes have to meet as defined by the museum.

Does the museum client have a conservator that specifies the finishes or a conservation guide they follow?

I do a lot of work with the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and National Archives and they have stringent standards, but case exteriors do do have to meet the strict environmental controls used inside the cases that contain multi-million dollar artifacts.

1/20/15       #5: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Paul Snyder  Member


Note - change the last sentence to read "... case exteriors do NOT have to meet the strict environmental controls used inside the cases..."

1/21/15       #6: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Scott Olsen


Thanks so much for the information Paul. There is a conservator for this project and he's the one specifying the Camger, but I think it's a classic case of the needing to educate the expert. He's specifying the right product, but for the wrong application. We'll get it worked out, but your professional opinion is very helpful. Thanks again. Nice website by the way.

1/21/15       #7: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Rick W

I have sprayed a lot of it.It is the main finish I have used for the exteriors of exhibit cases that I've built for a natural history museum.
I think the reason the conservator specified the Camger finish is two-fold. One, to seal the surface of the wood to slow down the natural off-gassing of the wood itself. Two, to have a finish that doesnít off-gas harmful chemicals by itself. The Camger finish would meet both criteria.
The Camger 1-175 does remain soft for a while. However, in a week or so, it develops much more hardness. I have had no problems with finish durability on the exhibit cases Iíve finished with it. In fact, I think the Camger 1-175 was originally developed as a floor finish.
My usual finish schedule is to spray one wet coat and let it dry. It usually takes one to two hours. The finish is sensitive to temperature, taking MUCH longer to dry if itís below 60 degrees. After the first coat is dry, I sand it with a 360 grit Abralon pad. Then I give it two more coats, letting them dry to the touch between coats.
If you want more info, Iíll be glad to talk to you about it. PM me and Iíll get in contact with you.
I wouldnít be afraid to use then Camger for your application. You will have to adjust your finish schedule, and it WILL take longer to apply, but it should work for your application.

1/22/15       #8: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Scott Olsen

Thanks Rick. I appreciate the input. Unfortunately I haven't found this product to harden up over a week or so. We sprayed our first samples over two months ago. We sprayed them in a booth that was between 70 and 75 degrees F. The humidity was around 45 to 50 and we sprayed three coats exactly as you describe above. Those samples have been stored on a high shelf in our heated office for the last eight weeks and I can still easily scratch them with my fingernails. I have no doubt that it's a great product for sealing in off-gassing, but I just can't see it holding up to the rigors of a typical commercial setting. We're currently waiting on an actual sprayed sample on wood from the manufacturer. We'll see what that feels like. It's also possible that the can that they sent us is somehow contaminated. Perhaps it froze in shipping or something. We have new cans of finish on order as well. I haven't entirely given up, but I currently remain unconvinced that this product will provide my customer with the level of durability that they will require for the application.

1/22/15       #9: Camger 1-175 durability?? ...
Rick Whitehead Member


By now your finish samples should be harder than that.I have two exhibit cases here in the shop that I sprayed just before Christmas, and I can't scratch the finish with my fingernail.
Your suspicion that the material may have frozen in transit may well be right. That happened to me once. If the material is milky and pours easily,like a regular water-based finish, then it's probably OK. If it has lumps in it that resemble cottage-cheese, then it has probably been frozen.
Using that finish during the winter can be a problem. Application isn't a problem if you have a heated spray booth, as both you and I do.But the possibility of the finish freezing in transit is quite likely. I try to remember to order the finish in the spring and summer. I once had to order it in the middle of winter. I carefully checked the temperature both here in Oklahoma and in Massachusetts, where Camger is located, to try to find a window where it wasn't below freezing. In the end, I had it shipped by a company that guaranteed that it wouldn't get frozen,, at a cost of over $300.00.
I hope your new cans of finish arrive unfrozen, and that it works out for you.
Rick W

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