Mounting FB paper BEFORE processing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Zishe Breitbart, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Zishe Breitbart

    Zishe Breitbart Member

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    Hi

    It seems everybody using FB has it's own recipe to make it flat. I am fixing the paper with clamps between wooden frames and glass.
    With this method the paper becomes very flat after drying - I'm quite pleased with the result. The only drawback is that I need to cut the borders because the pattern of the frame remains printed on the paper surface.

    I'm thinking whether it would make sense to mount the paper BEFORE exposure/processing?
    I could use 3M photo to mount the FB on 2-3mm thick sheets of aluminium.
    What do you think of this idea? Could there be problems during developement due to reactions with the metal / during washing due to the impermeable back? Could the durability/stability of the image suffer?

    Thanks,

    Zishe
     
  2. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Yes!
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I see no issues, have done it in fact
    We used archival hot tissue that you can then reheat and take the print off the aluminum
    this is how registration work is done.
    QUOTE=Zishe Breitbart;1469883]Hi

    It seems everybody using FB has it's own recipe to make it flat. I am fixing the paper with clamps between wooden frames and glass.
    With this method the paper becomes very flat after drying - I'm quite pleased with the result. The only drawback is that I need to cut the borders because the pattern of the frame remains printed on the paper surface.

    I'm thinking whether it would make sense to mount the paper BEFORE exposure/processing?
    I could use 3M photo to mount the FB on 2-3mm thick sheets of aluminium.
    What do you think of this idea? Could there be problems during developement due to reactions with the metal / during washing due to the impermeable back? Could the durability/stability of the image suffer?

    Thanks,

    Zishe[/QUOTE]
     
  4. Zishe Breitbart

    Zishe Breitbart Member

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    Thanks for your reply. The idea would be to leave the print on the aluminium.
    I will do some prototypes next week and for sure increase washing times. I'm afraid that chemicals are not washed out from the paper base completely.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Aluminium is a not-advised material for processing tools
     
  6. Zishe Breitbart

    Zishe Breitbart Member

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    what would be a more suitable material? I have a lot of brass sheets lying around.. I guess brass is even worse?
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Perspex (Plexiglass) would probably work.


    Steve.
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A borderless easel might be easier.
     
  9. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Dudes.... with all due respect aluminum works in chemicals.. need to go to a museum and ask to see some Irving Penns work...We have been doing this now for a few years.

    I have had a couple of the Worker Series by Mr Penn pass through my shop onto Sothebys.. They were on pt pd aluminum.. As well we have been mounting silver gelatin prints on aluminum and making prints, no issue.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Plain aluminium or anodised?


    Steve.
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    All british handbooks I got warn explicitely of using aluminium.

    On the other hand, aluminium has been used in ferrotyping, but to my knowledge fully laquered or anodized.
     
  12. Zishe Breitbart

    Zishe Breitbart Member

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    I'll try it and let you know the results
     
  13. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Sure Al is reactive and it will suffer badly if you left it in fixer for a week, so it's a bad idea to make any processing tools/containers out of it. But we're talking about 5 minutes of exposure here plus a bunch of very thorough washing, the metal will be totally fine.

    I'd be slightly worried about how you attach the paper to the Al and whether that involves trapping any chemistry that's difficult to wash out, e.g. if an edge is a little loose, could a bunch of fixer get trapped in there? And do you really want to be using spray adhesive with only a safelight? I suppose registration is not critical if you can guillotine the Al backing after processing to align with the print, but checking for bubbles & removing etc is going to be annoying in the dark. Normally when mounting a print, you're not really afraid to touch the front surface but if it's unexposed then most papers are very sensitive to skin-oils etc.
     
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  15. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    To Polyglot; You could 'spraymount' coat the aluminium-alloy sheet in the light though, surely? Then again, Bob mentioned using a heat-sensitive film (hence no out-gassing) so that might imply having a press inside the darkroom, while most people probably keep the dark-stuff in a different room from the mounting-stuff - not that I have a mounting-press, or large pieces of alloy sheet.

    One might suppose that there would be only half the surface of paper for the fixer to soak in to, as the alloy would cover the back, so that would leave just the baryta layer at the front face of the paper. If the paper is well sealed down (no unattached voids for chems or water to collect) then it sounds feasible indeed, although maybe a bit of overkill if it's just for getting a flat print!
     
  16. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Anodizing aluminum will not protect it from being attacked by either the alkali in developers nor the acid in stop baths and fixers. Aluminum is a very reactive metal and under the right conditions will even displace hydrogen from boiling water. Aluminum is usually protected by a thin oxide coating. Prevent that coating from forming say by forming a mercury amalgam on the surface and aluminum will react with water and other things. Sometimes quite violently as in the thermite reaction.
     
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  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I guess polyglot got the right insight by dividing between tools and materials. We should not forget that photoplates are based on Aluminium (though anodized) too.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i think it is reinhold here on apug who
    uses aluminum foil to plate the silver out of his spent fixer.

    i'd mount the images after they have been fixed ..
    but that's just me ..
     
  19. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Mounting before processing risks stains and deterioration from chemicals retained in the mounting substance, and the print may buckle upon drying. If you use spray mount, how will you stop it going everywhere, including your fingers, the print surface, your negatives etc. can you spray and mount efficiently and cleanly in safelighting?

    Why not just get a proper flatbed dryer? They do a great job providing you keep the canvas free of chemicals. So do dry mounting presses. Or just accept your current arrangements as adequate.

    It's not something I'd recommend or try myself. Your mileage may vary, of course.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2013
  20. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    Zishe, curious what the aluminum mount is all about vs. mounting board. I have not seen that before. Secondly, 30 seconds in a dry mount press does such a nice job flattening fiber paper. A used press is not very expensive, they come up on ebay. Lot's of complexity mounting in advance of printing. How do you deal with dry down for example?
     
  21. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    It might be a good idea to note that there is a sticky on getting your fibre based paper to dry flat. That is found HERE.
     
  22. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    I'd be darned if a lot of recent wetplates weren't coated on Al sheets.
     
  23. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Sounds pretty cool but it will be a lot easier to mount your fb print to aluminum sheet AFTER you process it. I can't see any benefits to mounting the paper before it is processed other than to expend a lot of effort on a backwards technique. But as far as backwards techniques go, this should provide for some rich, time-hungry experiences. I say go for it!
     
  24. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    One very simple reason.... shrinkage... OP may want to try multiple register printing....mmmm now thats an idea....

     
  25. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I really don't understand this thread. Why not mount the print after it is washed and dried? Talk about needless complications and problems...:confused:
     
  26. edcculus

    edcculus Member

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    About the concern of the aluminum reacting - If aluminum reacted to developing chemicals, why would lithographic printing (lithographic as in commercial type printing) use aluminum printing plates? The industry has been using them for years. A large peice of aluminum is coated in emulsion sensitive to UV light. In the old days, the plate was exposed by "contact printed" with a large negative in a vaccuum frame. Now they are exposed in a CTP platesetter with lasers and a fast spinning drum.

    The developer we use is pretty nasty stuff. pH is around 12. Compared to B&W developer, this stuff makes my hands burn instantly and dries out my skin so that it starts to peel and crack.

    Long story short, chemicals reacting to the aluminum probably won't be a problem!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2013