Home made coated paper drying box

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by Marco B, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here's the problem: OK, you've read about paper coating using (commercial) liquid emulsions or are interested to give alternative techniques a try. Buying emulsion is easy, and coating a piece of paper in darkroom isn't that difficult either. In your enthusiasm, you've coated a whole stack and now intend to let them dry... Darn!!! :surprised:, I can't leave my darkroom, as opening the door will expose my coated sheets of paper!!!...

    or: you've read left over paper boxes are good for drying. Your second try on coating seems to go well, and you leave the papers in the boxes to set and dry. A few hours later you go back in to check them... D#!X!!m :mad:, the paper is stuck to the bottom of the boxes lid!! Paper boxes just can't cope with the amount of water released from the coating, and will buckle, causing the paper to get stuck to the lid... This is especially a problem if you are (over-)ambitious (like I was!) and want to coat larger paper sizes (e.g. 40x50cm).

    or: you've read a hairdryer might do the job, only to discover that the red-hot heating spirals have fogged your paper...

    Been there... :D

    So what to do :confused:

    Now there are probably (expensive) commercial drying cabinets available for this problem, but I thought I would give it a try with a home-grown solution. What I have created is a light tight drying box with active ventilation based on a developer tray, that can hold up to six 40x50cm sheets and dry them safely.

    To see how I build it, see the link below that points to a webpage on my personal website:

    http://www.boeringa.demon.nl/menu_technic_paperdryingbox.htm

    Interested to hear what you think and if it was useful!... all in all, it took me the better part of three days to build it, including buying stuff and doing a black paint job on a red developer tray that I had left over. Of course, I recommend all of you to start out with a black one :wink:, since the red ones are far from light tight... the paint job did it though... :tongue:

    Marco
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,900
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    See Jim Browning's plans for a hepa filtered box that can dry about 20 sheets up to 30x40 inches.

    PE
     
  3. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, since I hand coat using a brush, 20 sheets is a bit overkill, the 6 sheets my box can contain is enough for me at the moment. Nice to hear about some other work in this direction though, although I am still not sure if I have found the right link using Google:

    http://www.glsmyth.com/AltProcess/Articles/DyeTransfer/dye_trans.htm

    Is this the info you pointed out?
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,900
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Go here: http://www.dyetransfer.org/ and get the PDF file in the middle left of the screen below the picture.

    I coat 20 sheets at one time and simply hang them to dry. I keep the hall outside my darkroom dark and can come and go as I please. The temp is about 68F, 20C most of the year and about 50% RH. They dry in about 4 hours.

    PE
     
  5. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for pointing this out PE, really nice to see this stuff of Jim and the description of the dye transfer process.

    Don't regret spending the time I did on building the drying box though, it was great fun to do.

    Marco
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,231
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I am not trying to deliberately offer a rival system but for anyone interested in solving this problem for very small volume users, Lee Frost in his latest B&W book discusses the exact same problem and says that he has solved it by use of old boxes of different size paper which he strengthens by simple cardboard inserts. Each box of course can only carry one sheet but most printers build up empty boxes quite quickly.

    He devotes a section of the book to liquid emulsion use. A worthwhile book for beginners wanting to try a few new things. I have no connection with Mr Frost

    pentaxuser
     
  7. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't mind at all seeing other suggestions, it's just that my own experience with left over paper boxes were bad, and I wanted a more convenient, yet cheap solution. This is, especially if you break down an old computer to get the necessary stuff, so I thought sharing it would be nice. And once more: it was big fun to build! Any more suggestions are of course welcome in this thread!
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    7,076
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Basin and Range Province
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Interesting idea, very resourceful. I have a rotating door on my darkroom, so I can come and go, but something like this would allow me to do other work with the lights on.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,900
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In a pinch, I use my paper safe to dry paper. It has 4 shelves and will hold 11x14 sheets.

    If you use a paper box and have sticking problems, put a sheet of wax paper or plastic in the bottom of the box and set the paper on it then put the lid on. That will help.

    PE
     
  10. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    With "paper safe" you mean you use a safe for storing valuable items?? (like jewellery and money) That still leaves the question of how you get the coated papers into the safe without exposing them, or is it located inside your darkroom? (well, most photographers will probably consider their darkroom their most valuable asset... so it might not be such a strange place after all... :D)
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,900
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A paper safe is a box with a light trap that I place paper sheets into for a darkroom session. I open the light trap and remove a sheet. I can store up to 4 different types up to 11x14, or I can dry my coatings in it.

    It sits next to my enlarger.

    PE
     
  12. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

    Messages:
    3,267
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,900
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mine is totally unlike those in that it has 4 compartments instead of 1. But basically those are similar.

    Thanks Kirk.

    PE
     
  14. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK, thanks for explaining and Kirk for pointing to the B&H link. I have never seen these things before, so this is useful information. I didn't know boxes like these existed, might be handy to have one once, instead of having to close and open my boxes continuously during a printing session (as you probably do too, I check each print using daylight type lighting in my darkroom after each print has finished).
     
  15. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  16. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,468
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Hill C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Has anyone used a dehydrator/jerky maker? If so, who might make the largest ones that might work for photographers? Bill Barber