fibre based paper flattening.u

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by tmgreenhalgh, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. tmgreenhalgh

    tmgreenhalgh Member

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    Does anyone know a good way of flattening fibre based paper at home i.e. without specially made equipment?

    Would really appreciate comments as I have 10 10x8 prints which are curling.

    thanks
    Tom.
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    There's an ancient thread about this which I'm too busy to dig for ... Ideally one might catch the prints as they are "just about dry" but since that almost never happens, I dampen the backs of the dry prints very lightly with a sponge and clean water. This is not done to the point of visible wetness, just adding a bit of moisture. I then stack them interleaved with paper toweling , place the stack on a rigid flat surface, put a piece of plywood on the top and add five or ten pounds of weight. After 24 hours, they're usually flat enough for me.

    Now I have to point out, I use matte or semi-matte paper, not sure how or if my process would work with glossy.
     
  3. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Long ago I sponged off excess water from the prints and let them dry between sheets and under a blanket in a bed. When dry, they were stored alternately face up and face down in a tightly packed box. They stay flat until removed from the box. Then they may curl, depending on ambient humidity.
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Tom,

    Put them in a drying book (just put them in, don't bother wetting them or anything else) and plop a few books on top. Forget about them for a week or so. When you come back to them, they will be flat enough for framing. If you don't have a drying book, a few sheets of acid free paper between the prints should work just fine.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  6. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Several volumes from the unabridged OED work quite nicely, volume S in particular. In other words use several heavy books for a few days.
     
  8. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Very slightly damp, as DWT suggests, is one way, if you can catch that falling star. Otherwise, and less hazardly, place fully dried prints (i.e., same sizes stacked OK) under heavy weight for at least a couple of weeks. They should relax enough to become virtually as flat as if heat pressed. Money invested in a press only speeds the process in this regard.



    …or you could take the online course at "fibre based paper flattening.u" :laugh:
     
  9. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    IMHO and through a little experience a 100% foolproof way is the tape-to-glass method. When the prints are wet, tape them using gummed brown tape to a piece of glass. The tape only has to cover at most 1/8" of the paper. This tape is the type where the gum must be moistened to work. The downside is that unless you have a massive piece of glass you can only do a few prints at a time.

    My piece of glass is the front of an old TV - toughened and big enough for 4x 8x10 (just). What I do is hang the wet prints for a little while just to drain the excess water, and not make the gummed tape too wet. This is the only thing to watch out for because if there is too much water around the gum can creep under the print and stick it to the glass big time. Assuming all is good, when dry I just cut through the tape around the print with a craft knife roughly and then trim with a trimmer. I usually leave 1/16" of the gummed tape on the print because I quite like the reinforced edge, but that's just a choice. If you are going to do this do try and get a piece of toughened glass as it is much safer. I guess you could also use a piece of plastic, but glass works for me! The used tape quickly comes off the glass when placed in my sink and soaked for 5 minutes.

    Prints dry absolutely flat overnight usually, and as the surface is untouched there is no chance of any marking. I have tried flattening in my dry-mount press between mat-board, but with a soft print I do find that there is a possibility for slight surface marking.
     
  10. Rick Rosen

    Rick Rosen Member

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    Dry them face down on clean drying (window) screens. No heat applied. Let them dry over night. They will be virtually flat. If you are dry mounting them you can then place the print between two sheets of archival matt board and place in a heated press for 20-30 seconds followed by placing a weight over the board until it cools.