Coat your own baryta paper?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by David A. Goldfarb, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    So given the apparent difficulty of acquiring baryta paper without making a large minimum order, and just out of curiosity, has anyone tried subbing their own? It would add another step to any coating process, but it seems like something one could do in large quantities and it would keep indefinitely.

    I'm not sure what would be involved, but barium sulfate (that is what it is, isn't it?) seems readily available and not too costly. It is used to improve whiteness and gloss in paints and in radiology (barium enemas and such). www.conservationresources.com sells it for $40/500g, and I suspect that there may be less expensive sources. Could it be mixed, say, with albumen or gelatin or another sizing before coating, or would it adhere to the paper if it were mixed with water and applied?
     
  2. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Soon as we get clear of avian flu, I'm gonna start a chicken farm, for makin' up some albumen paper !

    Yee, hah !

    ( I don't want my freedom... )
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David, I believe that there will soon be a reliable source of baryta DW paper in 3 surfaces. I have samples in hand by a several reputable manufacturers and have tested them all with silver halide emulsions. I will also try to test them with pt/pd printing. Since I am no expert there, it will take me a while to ramp up to do adequate tests.

    OTOH, if you wish to make your own, I have several formulas for baryta subbing. It requires the medical baryta paste (unflavored) that you mention above.

    There is another problem. Photograde baryta goes through calendaring rollers at very high pressure after drying, to achieve a smooth surface. If it does not, then you get a very rough surfaced baryta. It is ok, but is on the order of a double or triple matte with no possibility of having a gloss. Darkroom equipment cannot match the thousands of pounds pressure needed to achieve smooth matte or the many thousands of pounds pressure for glossy.

    PE
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    If it's not too much trouble, I'd at least be interested in seeing the formulas.
     
  5. Jan Pietrzak

    Jan Pietrzak Member

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    PE,

    What is the pH of the baryta coating, and in a paper sample that I have tried to coat why did the pt/pd slip and slide all over the place. I am not sure that just the baryta coated stock will work for ALT processes.

    Jan Pietrzak

     
  6. Annie

    Annie Member

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    For Pt/Pd homebrew uncalandered baryta will draw in emulsion like a black hole then on development bleed like a large sucking chest wound.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    They can't apply as much pressure as an industrial calendering press, I'm sure, but in the 19th century, there were hand cranked calendering presses. Albumen prints were sometimes calendered for extra gloss after printing.

    People who make handmade papers use some sort of small-scale calendering press. I know a few letterpress and book-arts types. I know a photographer who was interested in making 19th-century style cartes de visite from collodion plates printed on albumen, and I think he mentioned that he was interested in calendering the prints. I'll have to ask around.
     
  8. Annie

    Annie Member

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    David, the hand presses sound very interesting... in Japanese papermaking they sometimes use something as simple as hand polishing with a burin... please post a link if you encounter anything. Also I should add that when I tried the baryta raw perhaps I did not try it in combination with sufficient glues & gelatins. I think with the commercial paper there is some kind of resin in the mix that makes the surface too 'hostile'.

    .... make that 'baren' not 'burin' ... mind you the burin might explain the paper bleeding.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David, here is a production scale Baryta formula from a textbook by Baker.

    50% baryta paste 120 kg
    water 20 l
    Gelatin 4.5 kg
    water 30 l
    Chrome alum, 10% 1500 cc
    Citric acid 10% 1000 cc
    Alcohol 2000 cc
    Milk 2500 cc
    Glycerin 600 cc
    Coloring matter (tinting dyes) 100 cc
    Water 1000 cc

    This must be mixed to achieve a fine even paste and then filtered.

    Coat at 40 deg C (100 F) at about 100 ft/min and calendar when dry at the pressure needed for the surface desired.

    Starch or methyl methacrylate beads (a modern addendum) may be added for additional roughness or texture. The milk may be omitted and water substituted (from another source) with a slight loss in whiteness.

    The pH is on the acid side. By proper treatment, this paper should be usable for pt/pd imaging, but it will require modification of the formulas.

    PE
     
  10. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Check ebay for a rolling mill. That is a machine used in metal smithing to flatten and roll metal thinner. It is hand cranked (some can be motorized) and the one I have is 12 inches whide. It applies 2500 pounds of pressure per square inch and above depending on how much I adjust it. all you would need to do is place a piece of plastic over the top of the paper so it would not contaminate the roller or if you want just clean the roller after each use. My rolling mill was $750 brand new. Used you can get a good deal on them. The rollers btw are stainless steel polished to a high mirror surface.



     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks folks. I won't be trying this in the next month, but it's good to have the info for further experimentation.

    And Aggie--at some point I may send you an albumen print to run through your metal roller, just to see what it does to it.
     
  12. reggie

    reggie Member

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    Did I miss something in the thread? Why not just fix-out regular baryata sensitized paper, wash and dry it? This can then readily be hand-coated with Pt\Pd. Or were you going to try coating it with a silver emulsion?

    This has been discussed a few times in other threads.....Hope I'm not missing something here.

    -R
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Reggie, you have a point but consider this. Making baryta paper or even buying it with no emulsion layer is a lot less expensive in the long run than using fixed out photographic paper.

    In addition to the hassle, you have chemical usage, potential chemical retention, thicker layers, water usage to wash the fixed paper and etc. So, I guess each person would have to evaluate their own cost / 'yield' benefits.

    I would find it very useful to have a few hundred sheets of the right size plain baryta papers in several surfaces for making my coatings.

    PE
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I definitely don't want to have to worry about archivally washing my paper before coating it. Maybe it's okay to fix out a couple sheets of paper for experiments, but not as an ongoing proposition.
     
  15. reggie

    reggie Member

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    Hi guys:

    > Making baryta paper or even buying it with no emulsion layer is a lot less expensive in the long run > than using fixed out photographic paper.

    Well, it is one way of ensuring that the quality\color\weight,surface texture, etc are all right for you. It seems to me that if I could be guaranteed to get a non-sensitized paper that is exactly what I want then that would be the best solution - but is that possible? I understand there is an effort started by mikewhi to get a group together to make a large purchase of an un-sensitized paper, but is it the right color, weight, etc? I don't know how to make baryata paper and I'm not sure I'd want to with so much inexpensive high-quality paper around. If I made baryata paper, would it look as good in terms of color and surface texture as fixed-out Kodak Elite bought for next to nothing?

    I have a lot of nice bright white heavy stock paper that is out of date and was cheaply purchased. I don't see a big deal in fixing it out, washing, drying it, flattening it and having it stored and ready to go. If this is what it takes to get the paper I want, then that's what I'd do. I'd even fix-out in-date paper if the image required it, and the image is the thing that matters.

    I rather doubt that a single paper offered as a group purchase would satisfy everyone. The VCCB base is a little too cream colored to me - I prefer the bright white and high DMax potential in fixed out Kodak Elite, Oriental Seagul, Zone VI Brilliant, etc.

    And I don't do a huge volume of hand coating fixed-out paper. Does anyone? For me, low-volume is just fine.

    Having said all that, if someone can come up with a Elite-like paper that is non-sensitized and I could just buy some boxes of 22"x30" sheets of ir, count me in!

    Thanks guys.

    -R
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Reggie, I have a feeling that your wishes will come true soon.

    PE
     
  17. reggie

    reggie Member

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    I doubt it. I haven't been all that nice this year and you-know-who keeps that damn list. But if any of you find some under your tree, please share.

    -R
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Reggie, stand by for the guy in the red suit to lay a nice gift on you in spite of everything!

    I hear that something is about to bear fruit.

    PE