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Product Focus: Heated Spatulas for Conservation

Heated spatulas for conservation, or tacking irons as they’re sometimes known, have a special place in our hearts here at Willard. They are the first conservation tool our founder Jack Willard was asked to make as back in the 1950’s, and went on to become the very first commercial spatula available on the market, and the rest you can say, is history!

Now in 2024, we still get asked by conservators the world over for unique adaptations of the traditional heated spatula for special conservation projects and tasks. We are always pleased to assist in these special projects because the custom designed spatulas and tips often go on to become part of our product range due to their success and effectiveness at the job in hand.

Combined with our special control units and purpose built stands, our heated spatula sets have become a mainstay in many conservation studios around the world and we look forward to building on our existing range even further. Stay tuned for some new sets too later this year! Take a look below at our most popular heated spatulas and tips that have been born from bespoke orders.

heated spatula for conservation

The first and one of the most adaptable models we have available, this is the first model to form part of our core range of conservation hand tools. Including a Standard Control Unit with a choice of 1E or 1EC (the compact model) and a set of 7 standard tips,  this is an ideal hand tool kit with many uses and represents excellent value compared to purchasing individually. 

hot air pen set for conservation

Purpose designed to provide a highly controllable source of heat over a small treatment area without contact on the object, is the Hot Air Pen set. Combined with controlled, low air flow settings, this minimises the risk of dislodgement of poorly adhered particles. This model comes with its own unique controller and 3 x interchangeable nozzles, 2mm, 3mm, and a 16mm x 1mm fan shape.

heated spatula stand for conservation

This stand was a special request for a customer who frequently required repeat use of their heated spatula and needed an insulated stand where the desired temperature would be maintained. A handy storage compartment for tips also features so you can keep everything in one handy space.

This set of alternative tip shapes is another example of a custom order that has proved popular as a set in its own right for a variety of projects and is compatible with both the 1E and the 1EC spatula.

heated spatula for conservation

Born out of the need to access difficult to reach areas, to assist with the removal of dry mounted objects and pressure sensitive tapes, this innovative flexible bladed heated spatula (or tacking iron), has a variety of uses.

With an ultra thin spatula blade, this tacking iron has full temperature control from ambient up to 150 degrees C, through the Willard ‘special’ model Control Unit.

heated spatula for conservation

This ‘grooved’ heated spatula is custom designed for precise, localised work on edges and corners when re-mounting easel paintings on stretchers. A unique tool that is now used in studios and museums worldwide.

Browse and shop our full range of hand tool via our online shop here.

What has your spatula been working on recently? We’d love to see what projects Willard tools have been involved in and we’d be delighted to share your project on our blog and social media channels too - please click here for more information on how to submit your project.


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