Public Darkroom - Transportation of Wet/Drying Prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by DJGainer, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    Hello,
    I am going to use a public darkroom for the first time to print and asked the facilities what equipment they had for drying FB prints and was told that they had none. It was suggested that I bring some form of plastic to lay the prints on and separate them with paper towels. I am concerned about lint issues and cracking of the emulsion. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  2. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Don't use paper towels but instead use wax paper. This will eliminate a source of particles.
     
  3. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Dave,

    Some of the students at Univ. of Akron's darkroom do not like to leave their prints on the screened drying racks. What I have seen them do is bring a roll of unprinted paper towels. They unroll the paper, lay the prints out with no overlap, roll the paper up and take the roll home. This all assumes the prints are not larger than the paper towel roll is wide. The students return in the next day or two with moist prints that they flatten and dry on a big Seal dry mount press, one of the 500 series that will do multiple small prints or a 20x24.

    When I was in college the first time, 1960-64, Kodak offered a similar roll that I used for the same purpose. I had a B-22 Omega enlarger in my shared apartment, using the bath tub for final wash. For a whole year I never thought of ring around the tub.

    Hope this helps.

    John Powers
     
  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    When I used to go to the Saidye Bronfman darkroom in Montréal, they had a blow drier for prints. I used it on RC prints with decent success, barring the occasional water spot in the surface. I used FB a few times, and always printed it first, then blow-dry as much as I could, in the hopes that the paper would be sufficiently dry by the end of the evening when I left. It was never really satisfactory, and I put the photos between some sheets of drying paper. Bits always got stuck in the emulsion.

    I would suggest trying to go the plastic / wax paper route instead. You want to avoid any drying to happen during transportation. Then, when you come home, you may re-wet your prints so that they dry evenly.
     
  5. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Subscriber

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    I manage a small communal darkroom which doesn't have an FB dryer or space for screens; people seem to use photo blotting paper (should be able to get from Calumet etc.) after sqeegeeing the prints. They then flatten under a pile of books or use a dry mount press if they have access to one.
    I haven't tried the paper towels but would worry they would leave stuff on the print, also are they archival, doesn't seem to make sense to take the trouble to properly wash FB paper then put it in contact with kitchen paper.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2008
  6. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    depending on the size of you prints you can get some sealable containers like from tupperware and just take the prints in some water home to dry. You could get some screens and set up a temporary drying rack when you need it. You need to squeege them but perhaps that can be done on the bathroom mirror..
     
  7. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Why not get a plastic storage bin with cover in the size you need from a hardware store?

    Then you can transport the prints home in an inch or two of water, and squeegee and dry them at home.

    I guess if you take public transportation it wouldn't be convenient, but if you're driving it should be great.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Get blotter books. They're still made, and may be available at art supply stores as well as from photo retailers.
     
  9. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, I also suggest taking them home wet and finish washing at home. A tupperware would be fine or even a ziplock would work (if you put between cardboard to keep from bending). You don't need a sloshing around amount of water as they won't dry out in a sealed container. Just stack them up "dripping wet" with no paper towels in between.

    Jon
     
  10. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    many of my students use the tupperware , with a small amount of water to keep the prints from sticking to each other. A lid is helpful here and that is why tupperware, altho, i have a few who just put the prints in an over size tray and finish washing at home. For the most part they have screens that they got from Home Depot for drying.

    we have screens but they are mainly for RC papers.
     
  11. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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    Blotter books...

    As Scott said...

    I use a blotter book. It's bound, light and portable. The Ziplock and Tupperware ideas are good; you especially don't want them to dry en route and stick to a surface such as another print.

    A microwave oven works for drying quickly...
     
  12. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    Thanks for the responses. What would be a good idea for prints up to sizes of 16x20? For that it seems a blotter book would be the only solution, but I wanted other ideas if there were any.
     
  13. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, you can still use the wet stack of prints wrapped in plastic between sheets of cardboard to stiffen method for 16x20.

    Jon
     
  14. DAK

    DAK Subscriber

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    When I do fiber in a communal darkroom I give the prints a pre-wash and maybe a session in HCA, then I put them in a tray I bring from home for the ride home. They stay damp until I get home and then I put them in my archival washer or if there only a few of them I wash them with the tray soak and dump method. I dry fiber prints on dish towels, face down. The friction of the towels reduces curl and slows drying time. I find that dry down seems to be correlated with drying time. Dave
     
  15. msage

    msage Subscriber

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    Hi Dave
    I have this problem at work, we don't have good washing/drying/pressing for FB at the shop so do those steps at home. I give the prints a rinse then put them in a tray with a enough water to keep thing wet. I have used up to 16x20's in 16x20 trays. I then slip the tray in a plastic bag big enough for the tray and enough to fold the bag back over the tray. My commute is 25 miles ( one way ) and a ferry ride. I have never trusted blotters, blotter books or rolls and never trusted paper towels.
    Michael

    I have never had damaged prints or a leak.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Blotter books or rolls.
     
  17. ooze

    ooze Member

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    If you're travelling by car just leave them wet in a tray and dry them at home. I know someone who did it just like that. He used to print in a university darkroom till late at night. One night he picked me up on his way back home. We started talking about the photos. At one point he stopped the car under a street light, took the tray out of the trunk, and we spread the wet 30x40cm pictures all over the car bonnet to continue our talk there :smile:
     
  18. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A much better material than paper towels and reusable
    is available at fabric stores. The material is called interfacing;
    a non-woven hydrophobic material of polyester. VERY inexpensive.
    I use it in conjunction with a special corrugated board which is
    expressly manufactured for the purpose of drying flat sheet
    materials. Use the material for transport and additional
    same sheet material along with the board to create a
    sandwich print dryer. Dry and Flat in one step. Dan
     
  19. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Dancqu,

    Tell us about this corrugated material...?

    Do you dry all your prints this way? Any clamping or weighting involved?

    Thanks!
     
  20. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    The best deal I've found for the material is at
    www.forestry-suppliers.com . Search there for,
    ventilators . If interested also search for, driers .
    A dozen 12x18 ventilators are $8.65; plus S&H,
    about $15. Good for 22 8x10s, 11 11x14s. I've
    now 24 5x7s drying. Slow, I allow as much as
    a week. No hurry high production here; slow
    room temperature drying.

    I've not bought any of the driers because it hit
    upon me that some hydrophobic material would do
    better. My prints are sponge dried both sides prior to
    being sandwiched within the stack. On top rests 8
    pounds of just the right size magazines; a few
    more in the middle due to a slight warpage of
    the moisture resistant corrugated board.

    Corrugated stack dryers are hardly anything new.
    Burke & James, Salthill, and others have manufactured
    and Kodak marketed a corrugated roll-up dryer.

    Archival Suppliers are another source. The herbarium
    and plant press designation should not diswade Dan