Arkay "Flipper" Print Dryer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by photobizzz, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Well amongst a few other darkroom items I picked up cheap today was an Arkay Print Dryer. It is basically a chromed surface that has a canvas piece that holds the print down to. You can "flip" the dryer over and put one on the other side too. Has a rheostat to control the heat, I am assuming it is just a heating element inside. I plugged it in and it works, only gave $20 for it. Just really wondering if these are a good idea, do other members use them, anything special I should know before putting a print on it and turning it on? Did I pay too much?

    I also got a two bladed easel with a knob that will allow for an unexposed section of border on the outside, just turn the knob and slide the paper to the corner and it leaves that 1/2" or whatever you set it to. Paid $10 for it, seemed like a good deal and this thing is sturdy, all steel it seems.

    Got a medium format "Solar" enlarger by Burke & James, all the parts were there and everything works, even the bulb! Paid $40 for that, just need a lens. I plan on using it primarily for a light source for contact prints. Looking for a 4X5 enlarger with neg carriers for 4X5 and 6X7/6X9 for my primary use.
     
  2. DCV

    DCV Member

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    They're still around

    To the best of my knowledge, those flippers are still around. I bought one new about eight years ago. They're quite good but do your best to keep that canvas very clean. Contamination is always an issue with all that nice absorbent cloth!!:D
     
  3. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Good to know, looks clean now but I will take them off and hand wash them to be sure since it has been sitting in storage for who knows how many years.
     
  4. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    Also watch the stainless keep it spotless and scratch free. A soft cloth and water and soap only if needed.
    Pat
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Not for Rc paper
     
  6. photomem

    photomem Member

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    I have a premier version of this print dryer. I do not think there is much a difference, but I use both RC and FB paper on it. The only thing I can suggest is to use something like blotter paper or release paper to cover the surface of the print. Canvas fibers just love to latch onto wet emulsion.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Never dry RC paper on the dryer unless it is on a very cool setting. It was designed to dry fiber base paper, face against the chrome for glossy, face against canvas for matte. Keep the surface polished with a soft cotton cloth and occasionally polish with a good quality paste wax then buff. Always make sure your prints are completey washed and no fixer remains, or you will contaminate the canvas, followed by contaminating every print that follows. This will allow you to have fairly flat fiber prints without much hassle.
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I only my print dryer occasionally, but they are nice for getting flat prints. As noted, don't use it for RC.
    When you wash the canvas put it back on the dryer damp. If you dry it first it may shrink too much to go back on.
     
  9. photomem

    photomem Member

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    So, you put the Glossy against the plate? That was the main problem I was having with fibers being picked up was from the glossy. Does it not stick?
     
  10. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Ok well the only paper I have right now is Ilford multi-grade IV glossy, this is my first attempt at printing anything and I picked up the paper off a Univ of AK student that never used it for a class she was going to take. It is an $80 box of 100ct 8X10, I don't normally prefer glossy myself. I guess I will just wait until it is dry and if it curls I could use the dryer to help flatten it with this paper, not to dry it though. Thank for the info all.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    It wont stick if you keep the ferrotype plate clean and polished. Likewise, you should not get any fibers or lint from the canvas if it is kept clean. Dont worry that your prints will be overly glossy from drying with it, modern papers set the degree of glossiness in their finish. You can use a special ferrotype polish that will increase the gloss somewhat. These dryers are one of the best means of attaining a good flat print without any fuss.
     
  12. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Absolutly! Put on just enough to make a faint haze on the surface, then buff to a high sheen. I've used this on some furniture I've made as well as my print dryer. I haven't found anything I like more, and it smells tremendously better than ferrotype polish. I've tried the beeswax blend, and it doesn't work as well.
     
  14. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    You can wash the canvas and I would suggest that you do it often. I have a large Arkay and I wash the canvas about every the months. If you are using fiber, wash the hell out of the prints first. The "flipper" works great
     
  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If you don't care for a glossy surface, dry it with the emulsion towards the fabric. The finish will give no interference when viewing the image. Many fine prints ars finished this way and it's nothing like a glossy RC finish.
     
  16. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    I actually am trading (hopefully) my box of Ilford RC paper for a large lot of 11X14 & 8X10 fiber based paper to another APUG member who doesn't like FB paper. I personally have never printed with either since I am now starting the learning process but prefer the way FB prints look, I personally never liked glossy prints so it seems I will be able to use my print dryer more now :smile: