Big Prints, here I come!!

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Sparky, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I have three boxes of 42" Forte Polygrade on their way to me now... I wonder how much the 10 000 gallons of dektol's going to cost me! Just excited. I have to figure out how the heck to process this stuff!
     
  2. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Big PVC tubes, end caps...roll 'em back and forth?
     
  3. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    When I lived in a small apartment, I would tape a 4' x 5' print to the tile wall above the bathtub. Develop, stop and fix with sponges and then wash in the tub. A little wasteful as far as chemistry use but very successful.

    How much space do you have?
     
  4. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Just to prevent people from wasting time... I wasn't so much looking for solutions ( I'm sure I'll figure something out and re-post if it's a big problem...) so much as wanting to 'shout out' or something. But thanks for the ideas so far. The tube thing I don't think would work for me because it would be too labor-intensive. I'd imagine I'll just pump developer through a hose either in my sink or against a glass sheet on the wall..
     
  5. konakoa

    konakoa Member

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    This post got me thinking ... a big sheet of plastic resting against the wall. The bottom of the sheet is in a old rain gutter. Gutter empties into a large bucket. In the bucket is a small aquarium pump with a long tube. Hose down the print with the tube .... use the pump to empty the bucket into cheapo gallon plastic paint pail for reusing the chemical and then just dump in the next chemical in the pump bucket. Kinda makes me want to try it just to see if it would work.

    Is Forte Polygrade fiber paper? Until it soaks up the developer it's going to be big trouble keeping a huge sheet of paper flat ....
     
  6. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Actually I was thinking something similar - but with a sheet of glass - the plexi's going to absorb the chems too much I figure (would also be more expensive, heavier - and I have a glass shop about 5 metres from where I live!). That would rest directly in my sink (6' plus) so any spillover/splash would go straight to the drain. But I WAS actually thinking either saltwater aquarium pump - OR a rotary vane type (dev doesn't contact anything but silicone tubing) unit. That would feed directly from a 1-4 gallon dev bottle I figure.

    I'm not too worried about paper handling... I'll just roll it when transporting.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  8. Magnus W

    Magnus W Member

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    I'ts been a while since I did really big prints, but I used wallpaper trays and rolled the paper scroll-style back and forth. It doesn't take much chemistry, and not much space either.

    -- MW
     
  9. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I have always thought that the biggest problem with large prints would be the focussing, I mean who has an arm that long? :smile:

    I have been contemplating the same thing Jonathan. I will be interested to hear your trials and tribulations.

    Patrick
     
  10. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Okay Patrick - I'll let you know. I've done biggies in the past - but it was horizontally with a 2KW Durst head on an 8x10 enlarger - and it was color - so the processing was a no-brainer. I guess it's all pretty much the same - you just have to 'think bigger'...

    Matt - thanks for the link! I've been meaning to try the ansco - though Dektol seems much cheaper! (20L of STOCK for about as many dollars). But if the ansco wins out, well, it wins out. I guess I should try the amidol also - some people seem to like it with the Polygrade... or was that Poly Warmtone...?
     
  11. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Instead of hosing down your drkrm in large quantities of dektol I'd strongly advise you follow Magnus' advice - use troughs and scroll. Not only does this technique save you from having to mix huge amounts of chemistry (one gallon of working solution should be enough for two 30x40's) and fits in your sink (my troughs are 48"long x 12"wide x 3"deep), it's also the best way to get uniform development and archival washes. Furthermore, the cylinder of the scroll is a lot more rigid in fluid than a giant, flat piece of paper and so A LOT less prone to crimping and other material handling problems. It may seem counter-intuitive to your standard process w/ trays and tongs but having done hundreds of murals this way I can't imagine a more simple process. BTW, a couple 40x50 sheets of homosote and some push pins works well for viewing and drying. Good Luck!
     
  12. Jordan.K

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    We do it in shallow plastic troughs. You really only a gallon's worth of chem at a time. You then scroll the mural paper back and forth lengthwise.
     
  13. KenS

    KenS Member

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    Two of 2x4" (on edge) x 50" 'frames' on the darkroom floor... lined with 6 mil construction plastic stapled over the edge of the 2x4s. one 52" length of alumin(i)um gutter with end caps for stop bath. 1 gallon each of developer and stop then 1 gallon rapid fix. Swab wash-aid with sponge. Wash in bathtub or on the front lawn with hose... if it is a 'nude female' wash on the back lawn at night. :cool:

    Been there... done that but did not get the T-shirt!

    Ken
     
  14. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    One of the Ansel Adams books recommends using a wall paper trough as described. It also recommends washing the print by placing it on lawn and washing with a garden hose. Maybe the fixer is good for the grass.
     
  15. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I think I'll use my shower - it's probably big enough (just) if I hang the print vertically (somehow)...

    thanks again matt for the ansco idea. I just checked out some prices - I was looking into mixing up my own - digitaltruth has all the chems (except glycin!) for a really decent price - so it looks like I could do it at 1/10th the cost of dektol!
     
  16. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    When I was in college, I did a class where we printed that big.
    To process them we had some larger PVC Pipe, that was probably 20'' in diameter that was capped on each end and cut in half.
    The school had these wooden supports made to support them.
    To process them I'd roll the paper loosely and put in the chemicals then do a squat thrust kind of movment. I remember it being quite a workout as well as being messy.
    Good Luck!
    Brian
     
  17. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Got my paper today! Nice. I'm starting to consider using my HVLP gut for the dev... though it seems that PERHAPS it would be a bad idea from the perspective that atomizing the dev is going to prematurely oxidize it... maybe not.
     
  18. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Jonathan-

    another big plus to the Ansco is that it goes FOREVER. Until you exhaust the developer by volume, it doesn't go bad, even stored in open trays. I have a NOVA vertical slot processor, and when filled with the Ansco 130, it took something like 60 days for the working strength to go bad, including printing something like 30 or more 8x10's in 1 gallon of the stuff.
     
  19. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    you could go online to Clyde Butchers website and ask him how he did it. he processed 4' x6' prints in trays. and these trays were not that big.

    mike a