Liquid Emulsion Drying

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by eddie, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    When I use liquid emulsions, I've been taping the paper to mat board, applying the emulsion, and letting them dry in empty 50 sheet paper boxes. With the highly textured watercolor papers, they've been warping, and sticking to the box top. I have no way to leave them, exposed, in the darkroom, while they dry. Any suggestions for a solution? Opening the boxes, and finding the paper stuck to the top is very disappointing. Thanks.
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi eddie

    i haven't used large sheets as you are using and and even when i coat small
    the paper curls when it dries. ... i am a fan of is waxed paper.
    i know from book making that NOTHING sticks to this stuff
    and at least in some instances it is harmless if you have to peel it off ...
    i haven't used waxed paper with emulsion coating but maybe it is worth a try
    at least with a small piece first as a test, and if it peels off and is harmless
    it might be worth going to a restaurant supply place and getting a big roll.

    maybe the good folks at the light farm have a better suggestion if the waxed paper is a read dud ..


    - good luck !
    john
     
  3. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Wax paper is certainly non-stick, but the couple of times I’ve tried to work with it, I couldn’t get it to behave. Everything went in a separate direction, greased pig style. Try this. It will take an online order and an hour or so of prep work, but just the first time. After that, everything will be ready to go.

    1) Measure the inside of your boxes. Then, go to http://www.clearbags.com/art-photo and order a size of Crystal Clear bags that will fit inside. When you get the bags, cut your mat board to fit inside the bags. You’ll want a not-quite-snug fit. You don’t want the mat board to slosh around inside the bag, but you also don’t want it to be so tight that the bag bows the board.

    2) Cut your watercolor paper to the size of the mat board. Make sure you know the grain of the paper. You want the paper to warp parallel to the long dimension, not washboard across the width. Tape each piece of paper to a plastic bag covered mat board at all four corners. Loop the tape clear around each corner so that one cut end overlaps the other. Tape seems to stick better to itself than any other surface!

    3) Now, put the characteristics of the paper to work for you. Start your coating at least two inches down from the top of the paper and end the coating at least two inches from the bottom. The uncoated paper will fight the longitudinal curl of the coated area. You’ve “wasted” some paper, but given the price of commercial liquid emulsion (ouch) it’s money well saved.

    Also and obvious, but I'll mention it anyway: If you have the option of opening the boxes in the dark at any time during the drying, it will go a lot faster.

    Best of luck and fun.
    d
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    If you are taping the paper down on a board, how is it able to warp? If as you say you are using watercolour paper, why not size it first? Soak it in water for about 30 seconds, then tape it to the board while still wet, on all sides with wet gum strip and leave to dry. You can then coat it with liquid emulsion and it should not warp.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Do you have a paper safe? If not, one could come in handy for this work. I put paper into a safe to dry.

    You might also consider the Emulsion forum here on APUG for posting.

    Best wishes.

    PE
     
  6. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    I have a large table where I coat my sheets. When I'm finished i place developing trays up side down over each sheet and the I cover the whole table with a thick, dark cloth.
     
  7. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I use LE all the time as some may know..

    theory: if using too thin paper, they can warp a lot - especially if you try to prevent it using tape....

    I use heavy "Zerkall" paper and it bends, but always in the sides - never in the middle of the paper... IF I taped it, it is locked where it really wants to bend, and then it might do it in the middle of the paper.. Bending in the sides doesn't present a huge problem - it can easily be levelled out again.

    Have you tried a dry blower (for hair)? COLD setting (!!) - you can have the paper set and almost dry in a very short time using this.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Come to think of it, I have found that taped coated paper buckles more than untaped during drying. This may be the problem here in the sense that it makes the problem worse.

    PE
     
  9. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the ideas. A lot of good ones. It only happens with very textured paper. Smooth paper dries flat. I do use paper safes, when they're available, but they're often filled with other papers. This is happening with 8x10's, and my goal is to go to 20x24 (or larger), so I want to nip this issue in the bud...
    I'll let you know how it works out.
     
  10. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Eddie,

    How do you coat? Puddle Pusher, brush? I've only gone as big as 11x14 (with a 12-inch Puddle Pusher). I've tried coating that size both dry and wet. It didn't take me long to decide that wet coating is the only way to go that big (needless to say: my opinion based on my experiences/paper). My work flow doesn't fit with your current situation, but I'll throw it out anyway. This has been a very good thread with great ideas. I hope this will be a useful addition.

    Right before I'm ready to coat, I thoroughly soak as many sheets of paper as I think I'll need, and one by one, lay a sheet of paper on its own piece of thick glass, cover the paper with a sheet of 5 mil mylar, sqeeegee hard to remove all excess water, remove the mylar and do the next sheet. (The mylar protects the paper from any squeegee damage.)

    When I coat, I pour a puddle of emulsion near the top of the sheet and immediately pull it down the sheet with a Puddle Pusher. No paper buckling at all. I keep a atomizer bottle of Everclear ready to spritz the paper if I see any bubbles. The paper dries on the glass as flat as you could ask for. Your challenge would be figuring out a way/space to allow the paper to dry in the open air in the dark. Aside from that, I'm guessing you'd be as satisfied with the technique as I am.

    (One detail: Both ends of the Puddle Pusher are wrapped in tape. I use eight wraps for hot press paper. If you're coating rough paper, you might need more wraps. Also, I rinse the PP in hot water and dry it after each coating.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2012
  11. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Denise- I use sponge brushes. My coatings are OK. My concern is with the warping, while drying. I can't let them dry in open air, as the darkroom is also the laundry room. I'm going to try some of the ideas later tonight. I think the hair dryer idea may work. If they can go into the boxes a bit drier, they shouldn't warp as much.
     
  12. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    the first times I did this I was surprised to see the end result (when making my images) turning out very grey!... Untill I realized if heated it radiates light from the heater, and thus pre expose the papers (far too much).
    That's why COOL setting is VERY important, but it will still set the emulsion rather quickly.
     
  13. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Eddie,

    Since you're coating with a brush, you're freed up from the dead-flat coating surface requirement that using a glass coating rod imposes. If you ever decide to go with wet coating, the mylar bag covered mat boards will work just dandy.

    Hope your coatings went well last night.
    d
     
  14. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I coated a few 8x10's last night. Hoping to print later today, or tomorrow. I don't need perfect coatings, as I'm manipulating the prints with oils and pencils.
     

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  15. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    That's beautiful. Wonderful use of materials. I see why you go with the rough watercolor paper.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

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    Yes, I like to coat on Watercolor as well. I also use canvas and velour for different textures. I have coated up to 16x20 on 20x24 sheets of paper with good results.

    PE
     
  17. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Thanks, Denise. The last coatings went well. I managed to print, and paint, a few more:
     

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  18. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    PE- I'd like to try other surfaces. You've given me some ideas...
     
  19. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I don't know how PE is doing this, but for textured surfaces some suggest (maybe read in the book Silver Gelatine... need to check) that adding a little glyzering to the emulsion would help it cover easier... at least for the first layer.. (?)
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I use my coating blade for all surfaces. I coat on a cold surface and use emulsion and blade tempered to 110F. I dry at 68F or 20C at about 50%RH. I dry either flat or hanging from film hangers. The surfaces, methods and results are shown in my book.

    I have posted much of this in the Emulsion forum here on APUG.

    PE
     
  21. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I should have posted this sooner, but the problem has been solved. I've been coating 16x20 inch sheets without having them stick to the box tops. A little Blu-Tack towards the center of the paper keeps it flat, with no warping. After drying, the Blu-Tack peels off easily.