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"Houston, I have a problem" [ with static elec."

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jaxondog, Nov 18, 2012.

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  1. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    Hope this is in the right forum. My problem is with static electricty has arroused in my reloading room. I have just spent a ton of money on finishing this room upstair's over the shop so I could have my own little "man cave". I put down some laminate flooring and when I walk across the floor and touch something, anything, there is that dredded spark:what:. I did'nt give it much thought till I started moving the material's in [press's powder bullet's]. Then I laid a stepping stool against a metal cabinet and a pretty blue spark :eek:jumped between them and it was fairly strong, that's when it dawned on me that I may have a serious problem.:uhoh:

    Has anyone here had a problem with static and how could I fix this problem. Maybe some rubber fatique mat's or something. Any sound advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    That'd be my first notion, though you may be able to do something with a humidifier/dehumidifier, too.
     
  3. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    I dont know much about reloading and if/how much ESD is an issue,

    However, having worked in the electronics industry, I know some about ESD and how to control it.

    Various products and sources are out there. Here's a couple examples. Shop for price and selection. Its a competitive industry with lots of choices.


    I'd go floor mat, table mat and a wrist strap.
    http://www.esdmat.com/


    http://www.uline.com/BL_1755/Anti-Static-Mats

    http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/H-935/Grounders-Static-Control-Equipment/6-Grounding-Wrist-Strap
     
  4. thefish

    thefish Member

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    I'd first check to see what the relative humidity is in the room. If it's below 30%, add a humidifier.

    Also wearing rubber soled shoes with cotton socks will help.

    If that does not give you the desired results, i'd look into an ESD mat and tether like in the previous post.

    You could also set up a grounding bar that you touch before toucjing any of your reloading equipment, and keep movement in the room to a minimum.

    That being said, I don't know if it is a concern or not, I have no experience reloading.
     
  5. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    There have been a few threads on this subject. One major issue is static build up on powder dispensers really screwing up your powder drops. Overall you can start working with ESD mats, wrist straps and such but I would begin with adding a nice humidifier to the room. Get some moisture in the air and the problem should go away. It should also make the overall new room environment more comfortable. Just a guess from fading memory but get the RH (Relative Humidity) up around 50%.

    Ron
     
  6. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    How do I go about checking the humidity. If raising it, if that's the problem sound's a lot easier and cheaper than the mat's. But if I have to have the mat's then oh well. Just another $500 or so. I looked at one of the link's above and I would need about 30 ft. or more. But I have gone too far to give up so I will start with the humidity and find where I'm at with that.
    And will not haveing consistent heat in the room have anything to do with it? I only turn on the heat when i go up to the room and it get's fairly cold up there.
     
  7. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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  8. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    The low humidity is the source of the problem so everything else is like treating a cold with over the counter medicines, they just treat the symptom, not the problem. You should be able to get a relatively inexpensive humitiy guage from almost any hardware or discount store. You can also get a portable humidifier at the same place. I would probably go with one of the "cool mist" types with at least a gallon reservoir for your situation.
     
  9. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    OK , thank's guy's. I will try the Humidfier and if that does not work I will have to step back and punt. It's just a little dissapointing that I have not even got it all set up yet and this happen's. I can deal with a little static clean in the funnel's, etc. I just worry about a big kaboom that would be on the evening new's. lol
     
  10. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    Start cheap with a humidifier. Get yourself one of those inexpensive wall mounted humidity indicators. The main cause of high static. especially up where I am is the low humidity during the winter months. So rather than treating symptoms as mentioned, treat the root cause.

    Also, it is actually to ignite gunpowder as a result of ESD so the chances of a big Kaboom are very slim. :)

    Ron
     
  11. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    The cheapest and most expedient humidifier is a couple of warm, damp towels hung in room. The sooner they need rewetting, the worse your problem.
     
  12. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    My computer was in the shop a last winter and the repairman took me in the repair room to show me the problem. He said "Be sure to touch this before you handle anything" and pointed to a steel plate bolted to the work bench. It had a copper wire attached going to the ground that would discharge any static electricity before you touched the sensitive electronics. There were also rubber mats all around the work station where you could not build up a negative charge by dragging your feet like you can on the carpet.

    As I understand it, this is a common practice where people have to handle electronics and explosives and it would not be hard to rig up some sort of grounded piece of metal near your reloading bench.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  13. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Member

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    The good news is that it's commonly accepted that an electric spark can't light the powder.

    It seems that gun powder is not conductive, so the spark goes AROUND the individual grains of powder.

    Electricity takes the path of least resistance, you know.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5Z5yAeO3dw
     
  14. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    what was that used to ignite the powder?
     
  15. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    Is the hallway leading up to the reloading room carpeted?

    If so, that's where your problem lies.

    An anti-static spray on the last few feet of carpet plus grounding the doorknob should alleviate the problem.

    Ever consider a whole-house humidifier? One that goes in the ductwork of the heating/ac unit?
     
  16. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    Looked like a small hand held torch.

    Ron
     
  17. upstech76

    upstech76 Member

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    I always heard that gas heat would dry out the air during the winter months. A place I used to work hung bounty drier sheets from air ducts. I would definately try a inexpensive humidifier in the room and see if it helps. That some drier sheets and maybe some antistatic spray would be the least expensive fixes.
     
  18. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    JLDickmon, no it is a room above my car shop. The stair's are wood tread's and there is 7 mm laminate flooring with the padding that is on the floor. No carpet or pads anywhere. The heat will come from a window unit. That you tube video made me feel a little better. I'm just old school and thought the spark's would ignite the powder
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  20. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    I will have to get one of those machine's to do it with and I will give it a try RC. Can't wait to get in there and get started. Have been reloading out of a walk in closet for over 20 year's. All other time was at my Dad's. Excited.

    Thank's for the replies.
     
  21. jaimeshawn3

    jaimeshawn3 Member

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    Get a hotplate and a teapot for your man cave and make yourself a pot of tea before you start work. I myself prefer green tea. The steam will raise the humidity and the tea will calm you before attempting precision work. Reloading should not be rushed, and making the tea also gives you time to collect and review your notes, and make your plan so no mistakes are made...
     
  22. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    Keep humidity over 30%. In aerospace electronics, if under 30% all work stops unless we run ionizers and that lets us go down to 25% and then everything stops. Mind you we are also using ESD mats, wrist straps, constant grounding monitors and other things to protect our work. For us ESD is a serious matter.

    If you keep humidity between 35% and 50% you are golden, that will mitigate your primary source. You can also mop the floor with a solution of dish soap and let that dry. The soap residue will help dissipate some of the static charge that is resulting from your laminate floor surface which is insulative. Wiping the inside of your powder funnel with a dryer sheet will also help with the static cling inside of your dispenser.


    Rubber soled shoes do not help as they insulate you from the ground plane(floor) and cause you to have a different electrical potential than the surrounding areas. To draw a spark that can be felt you need to be at least 3500V different than what you contact.
     
  23. blarby

    blarby Member

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    #1 Ground your bench. Easy to do.

    #2 Wear anti-static wristbands.

    #3 Ground your stool pr chair if you use one to the bench ground.

    #4 Discharge yourself before touching your bench. Doorknobs are usually great for this, but you can just as easily strike a large nail into the door frame to remind yourself to do it.

    Not sure why you are picking up static, but its never good.

    Also a positive. There are cheap humidifiers on the market that have humidity % settings on them. I have one. It goes from 20%, to 100%. Mine was $45, and its very accurate. Eerily accurate....... It doesn't get used much in the winter here in Oregon, but it helps a lot in the drier seasons.
     
  24. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    that's the most intelligent idea I've read all day...
     
  25. wally

    wally Member

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    Ah! in Houston its damn hard to make a high school static electricity demo work at all!

    Raising the humidity is probably the easiest thing to do.

    If you get it to Houston levels you'll quickly have a patina of rust on your dies -- never caused me any problems, however.
     
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