Carbon Tissue Question

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Andrew O'Neill, May 28, 2009.

  1. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Okay all you carbon printers out there...I'm just getting into carbon printing after a few years elbows deep in the kallitype process.
    I've ordered 200 bloom gelatin but can't wait for it to arrive. So, I mixed up some Knox stuff to make the glop. 80g of Knox went in distilled water and let it sit. Warmed it up to liquify it, added 15g of pigment (I used chunghwa ink for sumi), mixed well, added 45g of sugar and mixed well, poured in 50g of 99% isopropyl alcohol, and stirred for a few minutes. Let it all sit for an hour to dispel bubbles.

    I poured the gelatin into the magnetic frame (about 1mm thickness). Let the gelatin set, pulled the frame off, and left it like that. Checked it this morning (had been sitting for about 16 hours). When I touch it, it's very cold and clammy...it's rubbery like jelly. The temp of the room is 24 C, humidity is about 60.

    What is dried pigmented tissue supposed to look/feel like when it has "dried"?
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Everything sounds pretty good. I assume you used a total of 1000ml water. Everyone works a little differently...I use Knox as my standard gelatin, but I use a bit over 110 grams per liter (11%), but the rest is about what I use..

    Anyway, your tissue is not dry yet. Once set, I remove the tissue from where I pour it and tack it to a piece of cardboard. Then stand it upright (less chance of dust falling on it) and have a fan blowing air across it over night. If I do not use a fan, then it will still be rubbery like yours. After the fan over-night, I let the tissue air dry for a total of 48 hours before I use it. I am usually at 60 to 75% humidity, but rarely over 20C.

    The surface has to be dry to the touch -- but as important, dry below the surface...which is why I wait the full 48 hours before use.

    What are you using for your tissue support material? I use a material the does not pass moisture...the tissue can only dry from the one surface. If you use a pourous material, then the drying times can be a little shorter.

    Vaughn
     
  3. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hey Vaughn,

    Thanks for your help! I guess it's not dry yet. I'll get the fan out and try that. I kind of followed Sandy King's instructions, and started off with 900ml of distilled water. I eventually ended up with a bit more than 1000ml total...
    As for tissue support, I'm using Yupo, which is pretty expensive up here. 11x14 pad of 25 costs me $25 Canuck loonies.. I guess that explains why it hasn't dried yet. What are you using for support?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2009
  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I am using litho film that the students toss out (already exposed, developed and fixed), or like the package of 16x20 litho film I have that is too old to doing anything else with but fix it out. It is .004" thick. I used some that was .007" thick, but had trouble getting it to lay flat in the contact printing frame during exposure. I have better frames now, so it might work. I get many many uses out of a sheet. Recycle and reuse! (I transfer onto old photo paper, too!)

    You should be able to re-use the Yupo, depending if you can pour on sheets that are already the size you want to print with. I know Sandy likes to pour large sheets and cut them down -- a very efficient way, but difficult to re-use the material.

    But just about any material, plastic, paper, or otherwise, can work -- as long as it does not deform in hot water or falls apart in the same. Some have used wallpaper (unglued) or that stuff they use to wrap houses with before nailing on the siding (Tyvec?)

    Vaughn
     
  5. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    That's pretty clever using film. I have quite a few old 8x10 sheets laying around. Hey, after fixing the film, do you remove the gelatin coating or do you just leave it?

    I'm going to try spirit sensitizing. I'm waiting for ammonium dichromate to come in as it is apparently best to use with isopropyl alcohol (which I have heaps of...I can't source any acetone up here so I gave up on that)...the sad thing is that I have lots of potassium dichromate (from kallitype printing) on hand, but apparently, it and isopropyl alcohol don't work well together for spirit sensitizing...any experience with this?
     
  6. Venchka

    Venchka Member

    Messages:
    692
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Vaughn,

    Not yet, but maybe someday so I'm soaking up knowledge...........

    Is there an upper limit to drying conditions? If/when I attempt carbon transfer, I will most likely be drying in my garage. In east Texas. In the summer. Garage temperature in the 80°F-90°F range. Medium humidity. Winter too, but it's cooler then. Closer to your summers.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Andrew, I leave the gelatin coating -- and I have noticed no difference between coating the image or non-image side. I have a few sheets of litho film that I hav e used 20 times or more -- but eventually the original gelatin coating starts to flake off (not surprising considering the number of times it gets put into 120F water.)

    Here in the States, acetone can easily be found in hardware stores...especially in painting/refinishing stores. I buy it by the gallon (3.8 liters?) -- lasts a long time seeing how I use 14 ml per 8x10 tissue.

    Strange thing about Potassium dichromate (PD) and Ammonium dochro (AD). Some folks work with PD and Iso with no problem as a one-shot tray sensitizer...and I have had bad reactions between AD and Iso (the solution would start to quickly darken). it worked fine when I first started to carbon print -- perhaps the later Iso had additives. I switched to acetone due to that...and much faster evaporation times.


    Venchka -- no upper limit. After the tissues seem to be dry, one can put them in a box and/or plastic bag to keep them stable. Too dry, and the tissues start to curl excessively. One can modify the amount of sugar and/or gylcerin in drier climates to help the tissue retain enough moisture to prevent excess curling. Too much sugar and/or gylcerin can cause the tissue to always retain too much water -- risking damaged negatives when printing...and possibly poor transfers.

    In my relatively cool damp climate, I actually use more sugar than most (but little or no glycerin). I use 80 grams sugar per 1000 ml of "glop". One just has to experiment and see what works best for one's working conditions and work flow. One size does not fit all with this process! But I think Andrew's receipe is a good starting point. I use much less pigment of a different type (about 4 to 5 grams of lampblack watercolor paint from tubes for 1000ml of glop).

    If you really want to sponge up carbon information -- check out...

    http://bostick-sullivan.invisionzone.com/

    Vaughn
     
  8. Dave Swinnard

    Dave Swinnard Subscriber

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    Parksville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Andrew

    Just a quick note on the acetone...I picked some up at the Rona on Austin Ave. a couple of months ago for a non-photo related project. Is it not appropriate in someway?

    Dave
     
  9. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    You can take the information that Vaughn gives you and follow it. It will serve you well. The process does require one to find their own working parameters. Vaughn and I live in similar climates and I use 50 grams of sugar and no alcohol. With a fan on my tissues, which are thick pours, take a good two days to dry. I just switched to a 200 bloom and I noticed that it takes a bit longer to dry. So give it time. Sensitizing will depend on the DR of your negative. You can adjust contrast with the dichromate and/or the pigment in the glop. The best info is on the carbon forum. Come join in the fun over there. Much more information to be had.

    Jim
     
  10. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    My workroom is climatized all year round and the RH varies from a low of about 30% to a high of 55%, but 90% of the time it is around 40-45%. I use about 30 grams of sugar per liter of glop, and usually no glycerine. I made my tissue on Yupo and pour to a wet height of 1mm - 1.5mm, usually the latter. With a fan the tissue takes abou 24 hours to dry when the RH is 45%. At 60% RH it would probably take 48 hours to dry.

    Tissue on any plastic or synthetic paper will dry at the same rate since it can only dry from one side. I used to make tissue on paper and it dried much faster, but there are more disadvantages than advantages with paper.

    There are several grades of Yupo. I use the lightweight variety to make large tissues (24" X 30") and cut to size for small prints (11X14 or less), usually discarding the Yupo after use. For larger prints up to 14X20" I use a heaver weight Yupo and reuse it many times.

    Sandy King
     
  11. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Great information guys, thanks! I went down a made a few more tissues. I've got that part of it down now. I used my glass coating rod after I soaked it in hot water, to spread the glop inside the magnetic frame. Got a really nice, bubble free coating. The next time I mix up the glop, I'll reduce the amount of sugar, and then perhaps at another stage, reduce the amount of Isopropyl...Just waiting now for the formalin to arrive, then I can coat some paper.

    Sandy, sometimes my darkroom can hit 70%RH or higher, but I can get it down to 50% with my trusty little dehumidifier. The last few sheets I coated worked well at 50%, so that'll be my target RH.

    Dave, thanks for the tip on where to source Acetone...I'll try Rona across from Coquitlam Centre first to see if they have any.

    Cheers guys!
     
  12. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Have fun, Andrew! (And I'll assume you meant Ammonium dichromate -- not formalin...unless I missed something)

    Vaughn

    PS...I had to google "Rona"...too curious and had to find out. Sort of disappointed it is just Canada's equivilent to Home Depot.
     
  13. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    yup, formalin AND ammonium dichromate...I was getting too excited about sourcing acetone I guess.
    Rona used to be Revy and before that I believe it was called Beaver Lumber.

    Can't wait to sensitize my tissues and get printing!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Well, I checked the first tissue that I made and I can see that it is starting to dry out. AND I picked up some acetone at Rona.
     
  16. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,157
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If fixed out photographic film works as a tissue base, cheap inkjet transparency film (used to make overhead projector slides) probably would too. One side of that material has a thin gelatin coat to accept the ink. A possible problem is thickness. Inkjet film is thinner that sheet film, and it will probably curl more. I've heard that ordinary artist's mylar (available in rolls quite cheaply) also works. I haven't tried any of these.
     
  17. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

    Messages:
    907
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Nanaimo, Bri
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Andrew, where are you getting your chromium salts? B&S in the states has really good prices for most chemicals but they can't ship the dichromates across the border so I'm very interested in more local sources!
     
  18. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hi Justin,

    I get my chemicals from jdphotochem in Quebec. Ammomium dichromat 100g $12 as listed on their website, but it actually costs $21. Their web site hasn't been updated for years.

    http://www.jdphotochem.com/
     
  19. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Sheet film is thicker than one needs. The litho film I use is about half the thickness of sheet film (.004" vs .007"). The test is to put the support material in hot water to see if it deforms or falls apart (it should do neither).

    If one brush sensitizes, 100 grams of Ammonium dichromate will last a while. For tissues to print 8x10 negatives, one might be using only 0.1 to 0.6 grams per tissue...depending on the concentration used (lower concentrations will yield prints with more contrast).

    Vaughn
     
  20. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,215
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Hi Vaughn

    Have you ever did multiple hits in register with your process?

    I would like to make separation negatives to isolate specific areas in the image and am sourcing ways of preventing the paper from shrinking with multiple coatings.
    I have decided mounting thick thick paper to lexan and then punching the whole print and then stripping the additional films in register to print multiple hits.
    Then I would peel the paper from the support lexan and thus removing the mounting tissue which may be suspect for archival properties.
    Any thoughts on multiple registration when working with Carbon.
     
  21. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Bob, this is one area of carbon printing I have no personal experience with. The late Gordon Chappel showed me his set-up...he used anywhere from a single layer to 4 or 5 layers, and I am trying to remember what he used as a final support material (non-shrinking). But I am not being successful. I wonder is just pre-shrinking the paper (soaking and drying a couple times) and then taping it down on all sides to the registration board might be enough...but this is just me thinking aloud. The synthetic watercolor paper, Yupo, may not shrink.

    This would be a good question for the folks over on the carbon printing forum I linked to earlier. Sandy King started off do 3 color carbons, so he would be able to give some solid advise over there.

    Good luck!

    Vaughn
     
  22. Venchka

    Venchka Member

    Messages:
    692
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Where would inexpensive x-ray film fit into this discussion?

    I have about 40 sheets each of 11x14 & 16x20 Ilford FB glossy paper that went south as far as enlarging is concerned. Is this paper suitable for carbon transfer printing? As the final print paper or an intermediate stage? Which side do you print on? I really know nothing. I'm just trying to save some paper from the dumpster.
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You could fix out the old FB glossy paper and use it as a final support for carbon printing. You would transfer the image to the emulsion side of the paper.

    Many carbon printers use fixed out photo papers for carbon printing.

    Sandy King



     
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Ilford Glossy FB paper is my final support of choice...tho the old Kodak Elite is nice, too. Recycle/re-use...that is my carbon printing motto!

    Actually just about any photopaper will work...the only one I had trouble with has been Oriental Glossy FB -- don't know why...but it just gave me foggy-looking prints. I know of another carbon printer that has used it with no problems. RC works well, also...I just prefer to keep the plastic out of the final product.

    Vaughn
     
  25. Venchka

    Venchka Member

    Messages:
    692
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks Sandy and Vaughn.
     
  26. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Bob, you need to have a stable final support. Gordon used Melinex. I have several sheets of his Melinex and sheets of his prepared tissue in both black and silver. I also have Gordon's NuArc unit with his pin registration board and have only played with multiple transfers. Gordon used one layer of silver and any where from 2 to 5 layers of black. I think you have to be careful of temperature and time of transfer to make things work. I will be experimenting more in the future but I am trying to finish printing some single transfer work first. The multi transfer is very interesting. Sandy King may be of help as would several of the people on the carbon forum. I'm a rookie when it comes to multi transfer work.
    Venchka, I have some work done with x-ray film that I will print in carbon but I need to make some more glop/tissue in 11x14. Give me some time and I'll post some results. As far as I can tell it is going to work just fine.

    Jim