Glass Plate Questions (thickness, storage, etc)

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by timlayton, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. timlayton

    timlayton Member

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    I am in the process of learning how to do dry plates and as a part of the process I ordered some glass plate holders off e-bay. Since I don't have the holders yet I have to assume the actual size of the glass I need to get is exactly 4"x5", 5"x7" and 8"x10" based on the history of the medium. I just want to confirm before placing an order with my local glass company. I use all three format with sheet film, but I will be starting with 4x5 to make sure I can indeed master the process before going bigger.

    The next issue is the thickness of the glass. It is my understanding that 2mm is the right size which in glass company language here in the US is about 5/64". I can't find a local glass company that offers this thickness. All I can find is 1/16" which is about 1.58mm. I am wondering if the 1/16" glass will work properly in the antique wooden holders? If you know of a source for new glass holders that would be an option too.

    I am also looking for any ideas for proper storage of my glass plates after they have been developed. I have looked around on e-bay and if you can find any storage boxes they are very expensive because of the "antique" or vintage value. I want to properly store and archive the plates so I want to make sure that I go about this with a good plan. If anyone has a source for reasonable storage boxes or some creative ideas of a do it yourself plan I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  2. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    I can't recommend strongly enough that you wait until you have your plate holders in hand before you order the glass. Take one the holders with you when you go to your glass company or framing shop and let them help you measure the exact size and thickness. 1/16th will very likely work, but remember to factor in the thickness of the emulsion. Give yourself a little wiggle room. You don't want the darkslide to scrape the emulsion coming and going. Also, it is likely the glass for the 4x5's for be thinner than for 8x10's.

    The storage bags sold for film will work fine for dry plate storage. You can make your own storage boxes from archival mat board, cut and folded just like a flat, pre-constructed cardbox box comes.

    Fun!
    d
     
  3. timlayton

    timlayton Member

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    I agree that is smart to match the glass plates with the holder. Best case scenario I would like to find a place that makes new glass plate holders and just order them and not worry about the condition. If anyone knows of a source, let me know.

    Thanks
     
  4. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    I think this might be something: http://www.filmholders.com/index.html But really, modify a standard plastic holder first if you are using a modern camera, to save some money. Or have someone do it for you, if you can't do it yourself. Custom holders aren't for the faint of wallet.