Best way to Dry Prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Huram, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Huram

    Huram Member

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    Some Newbie questions:

    I have been printing a lot of 8 x 10 prints lately. In the past, I have mostly used RC papers, but have recently tried fiber papers. Here are my questions:

    1. What is the best way to dry RC papers?

    I usually hang them up on a close line by cloths pins (on the corner of the print) and let them drip dry. Is this a "no, no"?

    This weekend, I made my first 8 x 10 FIBER prints.

    2. What is the best way to dry fiber prints?

    I tried hanging these prints on my close lines with POOR results -- they dried wavy -- were hard and stiff -- really crappy. What is the proper way to dry fiber prints with good results? I recall reading something about a blotting cloth roll. I don't have anything like this.

    3. Is their an good way to dry fiber prints without a blotting cloth? Where can I get some?

    I do have a Premeir print dryer that I got with my enlarger, but have never used it. It consists of a large convex stainless steel plate which is heated up. It looks like you set prints on then lay this cloth-type cover over it while it dries.

    4. Do print dryers like this work well? If so, how long should you place a print on it and what temperature setting (low, med, high) should you place it at?

    Any tips/suggestions would greatly help. Thanks for helping out a newbie to the art.

    Huram
     
  2. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Air drying (in the line) is great for most stuff.
    RC papers dry great, flat and glossy

    FB papers require some more help to dry perfectly. You can hang them on the line, but to avoid curling I use 2 clothes pin on the top and 2 on the bottom.
    A lot of people use drying screens, with excellent results.

    The dryer you have should be good, I don;t know how that one works, but the one I have used I used it on low heat, the print was there for 2 or 3 minutes and came out not-fully-dried though
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Huram, I dry FB pretty much the way you described. Ideal would be to use a screen and dry flat, but by it's nature FB likes to curl. I flatten using a heat press and they look fine. Use the search and I think you can find several other options, seems like I remember some using a sheet of glass to dry their prints on - just tape it down and the curl in gone. The prints you have that are curled can be flattened out by just putting a protective cover over the print and adding some weight to the print. Will not take all of the curl out, but will help.

    Good Luck and enjoy.
     
  4. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I have always worked other places than my house, so I didn't have time for the prints to dry naturally. I have used Agfa Gevaert electric roller dryers that is fed with the paper and dries them with heat. Only usable for RC, though. FB will stick to the rolls inside...been there!

    Greetings Morten
     
  5. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Squeegee back, flip over, squeegee front. Lie face up on fiberglass screens to dry.

    Squeegee back, flip over, squeegee front. Lie face up on fiberglass screens to dry. When dry you'll need to flatten them. Most people use a drymount press when available. An iron with the prints between clean mat board will likely work as well.

    I use the method as noted in answer 2, I'm unfamiliar with blotting cloth.

    Print dryers like the one you mentioned DO work, but you'll have to keep several things in mind. Keeping the plate meticulously clean. Keeping the cloth properly cleaned to minimize contamination from residual build-up of chemicals. As for temperature...? Do you know what the temps are at low, medium and high?? (You could use a meat thermometer to find the temperatures at different settings)

    The problem with using clothes pins is the marks left in the corners of the image damaging the emulsion.

    Hope that helps,

    joe
     
  6. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    The advice given by Joe is excellent but if you don't have space for drying racks you can hang them back to back on an overhead clothes line in your darkroom. Start by removing excess water as described by Joe and hang two prints back to back on the line using clothes pegs at all four corners and leave overnight in normal temperature. Don't try to speed things up by pushing up the heat all you will do is increase the curl, in fact the slower that the prints are dried you are less likely to have excess curl. My advice regarding the print dryer is to confine it to the waste dump or sell it to some unsuspecting photographer, preferably one that you hate. :smile:
     
  7. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I dry my fiber prints two ways and both leave the paper fairly flat. I use a dryer similar to what you have. first I sponge off the back of the print and place the back against the chrome plate. I then sponge the front and place the canvas over the print. I set the heat where it takes about 10 minutes to dry. After a few minutes I carefully lift the canvas and usually find the print face very lightly attached to the canvas. I carefully peel the print off and again place the print back to the plate. I do this again after a few more minutes. After about 10 minutes the print is flat and I keep it under a heavy book.

    I also dry fiber prints on my bedroom carpet which has a medium to high pile (so air can get underneath). I make sure I vacuum the carpet very throughly in the area where I plan to place the prints. First I squeegee both sides (sponging would also do) of the print and lay them face down on the carpet. Depending on humidity and temperature they usually dry flat in about 4 or 5 hours. Midway through I carefully shift the prints slightly to make sure they are not sticking to the carpet. when they are dry I place them under a heavy book.
     
  8. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  9. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    When first starting out I used to read that all the time and did it that way. I found there no difference, and how I lay my prints to dry it worked better face up. I'd say if it works for you, stick with it. There is no one right answer.

    joe
     
  10. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I may try it that way, and see if they curl a little less, thanks! :smile:
     
  11. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I place my squeeged FB prints face down on a plastic window screen. I then place another screen right on top of them. This keeps them pretty flat. The rest of the curl is removed in a dry mount press. As someone mentioned, the slower the prints dry, the less curl they'll tend to have.
     
  12. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Thanks for trashing my prints, Les... :mad:

    I never have curled print....you just have to adjust the heat, and the prints come out nice, dry and NOT curly...!
     
  13. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    I've never heard of a bloting "cloth" but I do have a blotting "paper" book. It worked fine the first time I used each page, but the print emulsion started to stick to the page after that. Turned out to be more of a pain in the a** than helpful. Then screen method was the one that has been suggested the most (I asked the same ? a few months ago). I have also tried the hang two together method, (thanks Les and Gerald who seems to be at work), worked fine. Still some curl. but easier to handle. Sorry not brave enough to do the carpet thing, the Mrs' would either step on it or kill me... likely both.
     
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  15. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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  16. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    FB prints will dry perfectly flat if you tape them to a glas sheet with tape that aquarelpainters use to tape their paper. I t can be bought in art supplyshops.
    You lose a bit of paper because you have to cut the edges though.

    Jaap Jan
     
  17. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Don't think was trashing anyones prints, but I agree with him on the style of dryer..worse thing about them is the cloth can become contaminated and then it get really unpleasant. But Hey, if it is working for you then it is the right thing..mileage differs with each one of us and that is part of the reason I keep coming back - that and to hear more stories about Jorge's otter. :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2004
  18. Jeanne

    Jeanne Subscriber

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    I tape as well,and the result is perfectly flat prints with no "dry down."
    A little extra work, but for me, it's worth it.
     
  19. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I know that some use the glass and tape method but I quickly came to conclusion that IF I was going to use fiber papers - I would have to get a press - It cost as much as a good camera but I couln't do without it - Oh .. yeah - you can mount your prints with it as well.

    I let my prints hang dry with cloths pins - I don't squeegie. I then put the press at 210F and let it warm up with two sheets of blotter paper in it. With no pressure but the weight of the platten, I sandwitch the print in between the blotters and let the top rest on it for a few minutes. When I remove the print, I let it cool between two large plates of glass. This gets them as flat as they can get. - After all - it is all cotten with gelitin on one side - there will always be some small curl to it.
     
  20. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    I know some people are going to hate this answer... but putting the prints (one at a time) in the microwave for 30 seconds works fairly well. They still need to be pressed, though, but it works for me. I would probably use screens if I had them. I've never tried hanging from a line. I've also tried blotter books and drying on a piece of glass, and I prefer the screens and microwave methods. -Grant
     
  21. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    Rogueish, you could just try an off print on the carpet to see how it works for you. I think a deeper pile works best as air can circulate better.
     
  22. McCarthy

    McCarthy Member

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    Blotter Book

    I dry my fibre based prints in a blotter book. Make sure to get one that has a sheet of glycin paper between each piece of blotter paper.

    1) Squeegie the back then front
    2) Place in blotter book for hours to a day (place the print side toward the glycine paper), the prints will then feel slightly tacky from moisture
    3) Air dry the rest of the way which introduces slight curl
    4) Place under a book when completely dry or use a mounting press
    Using this procedure, my fibre prints come out perfectly flat
     
  23. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Let me clear the things. I do NOT use a dryer with a cloth or anything. It's a dryer that is fed with the prints and rolls them through the machine. If the heat is set right it is great, IMVHO.
     
  24. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    If I tried this method I can guarantee the cat would decide to sleep on them, or in Jorges home his otter :smile:

    The back to back on a line method seems to work of me. I then layer them and put a large book on top after they are dry just to flatten them that extra touch.
     
  25. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Member

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  26. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    I use the microwave for work prints to judge 'dry down'. When I've got the time figured out, I place the final prints face down on fiberglass screens for final prints. Another screen on top of that minimizes curl and a dry-mount press finishes it off. I used to use a large heated drum in a gang darkroom but I'm sure the canvas must have been contaminated with hypo so I use air because it's cheap.

    Microwave is a great idea and a real timesaver. I saw AA use one in a video on his life. So, I think it's required accessory for the Zone System.

    -Mike