Drying FB papers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by wiseowl, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Are there any viable alternatives for drying FB papers other than the usual hot bed with a canvas cover type.? Or how can I prevent prints from curling up if left out to dry normally?

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  2. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Well, a method I have heard about but never tried myself: hang two squeegeed back to back on the washing line.
    Another method is to use a drying screen.

    Good luck

    Hans
     
  3. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Martin,

    Most people dry fiber based prints on window screens.( made for home windows, nylon mesh). You can buy the screens from Calumet or from a home store.

    I dry face up some people dry face down but personally I think you can mark the print if it is face down.

    What we do is squegee the print, lay it face up and wait about a day for it to dry. It will still have a lot of curl to it. After it's dry, some people put matte board over the prints and place books or a heavy weight on the prints for a day or two.

    Some of us dry mount the prints so a little curl isn't a factor.

    Some people place the dry prints in the dry mount press to flatten them. Some use the heat, some don't.

    Bottom line: All fiber prints curl, some worse than others. Most people are happy to deal with the problem because they like fiber better than RC.

    Different people will tell you their favorite ways to deal with it. Pick a way that works for you depending on your equipment. (drymount press or not).

    On this and other forums there are many different ways described, so pick one and try it.


    Hope this helps


    Michael McBlane
     
  4. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I use Amoloco anti-curl liquid (contains glycerine I believe) diluted 1:10, 3 mins, after the archicval wash. Prints dry flat each time.
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    What did he say?
     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    he gave a series of options.

    take your pick.

    i would have done the same.

    My favority method is drying screens ; face up, under dry mount press until if get ready to mount.
     
  7. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Donald I said:



    Can't you read?


    Michael
     
  8. Ka

    Ka Member

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    After I squegee the print, I lay it face-up upon a sheet of bi-folded blotter paper.

    Then I take a hand (hair) dryer, and blow-dry the image surface just so it is no longer tacky.

    Then I close the blotter paper over the image.

    Repeating for each print.

    Finally, I place a weight on the "blotter-paper-print" pile.

    Ca. one week later, I pre-heat the print in a dry-mount press, as well as the museum board onto which it will be mounted.

    Lastly: I always dry-mount.
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Hmmm...
    Now I understand. Somehow it wasn't clear before...
     
  10. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks to all for the advice.

    I'll investigate manufacturing a window screen to try, I live in the UK and this is not something that's readily available. (At least I've never seen them.)

    As for flattening the print after it's dried, isn't there a risk of cracking the emulsion? Or would heat from a dry mounting press elliminate this?

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  11. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I have never had a problem with the emulsion cracking. After being under a weight you might just store them in a portfolio box until you get ready to mount them or what ever you want to do with them .
     
  12. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    The easiest way to flattne a print after it is dried, barring a dry mount press is to iron the thing. just use two pieces of heavy paper top and bottom to protect it, and iron away at a lower setting. It willnot harm the emulsion in the least.
     
  13. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I can vouch for the iron method. Not only does it work but its fun to say "Honey, I'm ironing my pictures!"
     
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  15. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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  16. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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  17. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I found a satisfactory screen kit at the local hardware store. This kit is intended to make replacement storm window screens with an aluminum. You can cut the frame rails any size you want, but being somewhat lazy, I left mine uncut and got two 36"x36" drying screens. Some assembly required.
     
  18. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Donald! Michael! Donald! Michael!

    Do you two ever sit in the same room? You could sell tickets.

    Thanks for the entertainment.

    ka
     
  19. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    My latest method is to use plastic clothes hangers, but specifically the ones with the two plastic clips. Simply clip to two corners of the prints (I usually clip on the smaller dimension), then clip two clothes pins to the two lower corners for weight.

    This gets the prints reasonably flat, enough for inspection and/or storage. After that, I dry mount.

    In my experience, fiber prints need to dry for 2-3 days, at least the Ilford papers that I use. I expose and develop so that the brightest highlights are without detail. After a day, I think I've screwed up, but somewhere in the second day, those highlights begin to pop out. Getting control of this has made a huge difference in my printing. Try it; it takes patience, but is well worth it.
     
  20. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    I must admit I was about to post something on a similar line to this.

    I did my first batch of 16x12 selenium-toned prints a couple of weeks ago on MGIV FB glossy. I dried them back-to-back on a line (just like that nice Dr Rudman suggested!) and, fair enough they didn't "curl" (all sides in towards the middle), but they warped (twisting of a plane) like the flamin' Starship Enterprise.

    I've had them sandwiched between two sheets of mount board with my most of my library sitting on top of them for the last fortnight, and they are a bit better, but an hour after taking them out they're curling like Scottish Olympic hopefuls!

    I may try ironing them like Aggie suggests. Failing that, has anyone else tried this "Amoloco anti-curl liquid"? Any idea on its affect of the archival properties of the print?
     
  21. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Works very well Frank. I use it all the time. After toning prints go to the anticurl and then onto the screens. I am assuming that it does not affect the archival properties of the print, especially when selenium toned.
     
  22. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    No offence, Francesco (seriously)...

    ...but what is it they say about assumptions? Has anyone else got experience of this additive?
     
  23. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Assume nothing, trust no one.
     
  24. Juraj Kovacik

    Juraj Kovacik Member

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    I dry fiber prints face up on the glass or ceramic table, sticked with paper tape. It takes some time, but i like result paper quality.
     
  25. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    all this worry, when Ironing takes moments, and is free (except for a bit of electricity). Plus it is archival. Good training for when you end up married to a photography diva. You can iron your own shirts.
     
  26. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I keep following Aggie whenever she brings up ironing. Sorry Aggie. But it should be explained that ironing relieves the tight curl relaxing the paper back pretty near its original state. After ironing, place the prints under the stack of books. I use three books of medium thickness, which isn't too many. After only a day or two, the prints are nicely flattened.

    Using this method, I have come to like single weight paper better than double weight. There are other reasons too, like handling the wet paper in the darkroom. But just on the merit of flattening, single weight is easier to work with than double weight. I know this is contrary to the current mainstream thought.