Print Dryer Problems

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by PhotoPete, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. PhotoPete

    PhotoPete Member

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    Hi all-

    I am hoping someone can tell me what to do to resolve a problem I am having with the used print dryer I recently acquired.

    If I put the prints on the dryer when they are very wet, I get weird splotches in the print finish, where some the splotches are glossier than the rest of the print.

    If I squeege the prints first, the splotches don't appear, but the print does not dry as flat.

    Possibly pertinent details:
    • The paper is relatively old
    • It is an Ilford fiber paper witha a matte finish
    • I am drying on just about the lowest setting for about 10-15 minutes
    • I have washed the canvas with detergent
    • I have cleaned the chrome with water and baking soda and have rinsed the surface

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Matt paper should not be dried for a gloss finish, dry it with print towards the canvas for a matt finish. Edwal still makes print flattener solution which will help with the curling.
     
  3. don sigl

    don sigl Member

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    As mentioned, matt prints should be dried with the face against the canvas. Glossy prints can be dried against the metal for a ferrotype look, but it is not very easy. I have tried this on every setting and even with the dryer off, and have always gotten uneven glossy spots. The metal has to be super clean and absolutely dust free. Its harder to do than you might think.

    Controling humidity will help with the curl. it works with air drying. maintaining about 50-60% humidity helps keep the curl to a minimum. I wouldn't recommend using a print flattening agent unless you are not concerned about archivability. You can also use the old fashioned "Leave the prints set under a pile of books for a week" method to flatten them.

    I have found that drum dryers always impart some level of curl to the print. I used to get a reverse curl when I used the dryer.
     
  4. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I dry between two screens, then flatten in a drymount press, and let the print cool under books. This works as well and is faster than just pressing them under books. I get a flat pirnt in about ten minutes, including cool down. This is what works for me, in my climate. There are a whole bunch of threads you can search up on flattening prints. I have no experience with print dryers, but I see them surplus all the time around here.
     
  5. PhotoPete

    PhotoPete Member

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    I have found that drying prints with the emulsion towards the canvas results in an accumulation of lint on the surface of the print. Is there something I can do to reduce this tendency?
     
  6. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear PhotoPete,

    As you found, you must squeegee matte paper before you place it on the dryer surface or the wet areas will ferrotype. I also found that having the emulsion against the canvas caused all sorts of problems. Make sure you roll the print onto the dryer plate. You may want to trr some Paksol (http://www.pakor.com/). I have never used it but some folks rave about it.

    Neal Wydra