The large vacuum hot-table for wax relining of paintings in the Conservation Department of the Tate Gallery

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Slabczynski, Stefan;


Studies in conservation, Volume 5, Number 1, p.1-16 (1960)


conservation, elemi, England), hot table, laboratories, lining (process), mulberry paper, paintings, resin, Tate Gallery (London, vacuum


The tabletop is of aluminium, area 3.2 × 2 metres, thickness 8 mm. The heating chamber beneath, containing the electrical heating elements, is 15 cm deep. Air is blown through this chamber for cooling. Temperature is controlled thermostatically to ±3°C on the surface. Heating to around 58°C takes 35 min., cooling to room temperature 48 min., the important fall occupying the first 10 min. The three vacuum ports in the tabletop are placed in a way to permit use of half the table, the whole table, or relining of a picture up to twice the table area. Standard relining takes place in three stages: (a) impregnation of original canvas, (b) impregnation of relining canvas, (c) adhesion of the two canvases under controlled atmospheric pressure. Garry Thomson