Monday, March 2, 2009
Dick Smith, the inventor of the Wei T’o Book Freeze Dryer and Insect Exterminator, after checking all the controls to make sure they had survived the trip, spent the day training us on how to use the freezer. The first step is to set the controls to freeze the books. Once the books are frozen, the freezer controls are changed slightly for the freeze drying process. The drying is done through with additional fans and controlled defrost cycles. It’s similar to a home freezer. If you leave a tray of ice cubes in your home self-defrosting freezer long enough, the ice will disappear. Wet books typically dry within 2-4 weeks in a book freeze dryer.
We have probes that we set inside 2-3 different size books to monitor the internal temperature. One of our first tasks was to uncoil the probes and plug into the freezer.
ISU Preservation staff joined us for the day. They have a freeze dryer and welcomed the chance to get a refresher class from Dick.