Puddle pusher "technique"

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Anupam Basu, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Ok, here's a slightly silly question. I used to coat with a sponge brush but wanted to try glass rod coating for its smoothness. I find, though, that the puddle keeps expanding along the length of the rod as I push, so that I don't get a rectangular coated area. My glass rod is quite long but I am wondering if it needs to be just the right size. That is, if you have an 8 inch rod for 8x10, can you also coat for 4x5 with it (if so, how do you do it?)? Or do you need a rod just 4 inches for that?

    Thanks,
    Anupam
     
  2. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Doing Pt/Pl-prints, I find I need a glass rod a bit longer than the short side of the film format to ensure an even coating. So yes, an 8 inch rod will work on 4 inch, but you may waste some emulsion.
    Hope this makes it through the spam filters ;-)
    Best regards, Christoph
     
  3. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Since I am working with cheaper sensitizers, I don't mind the wastage so much as the non-rectangular shape I end up getting - it's like a trapeziod as the base expands along the rod as i push further.

    -A
     
  4. Dana Sullivan

    Dana Sullivan Advertiser Advertiser

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    That's the capillary action drawing the solution along the edge of the rod, and it's completely normal. Think of a coffee or tea cup that drips down one side: when you sent it on a table, and then pick it up again, it's left a perfect ring. Same concept involved with the glass coating rod.

    In order to get an even coating you should be using a rod a little longer than the width of your negative. Pour your emulsion along one edge of the paper, and place the puddle pusher against the solution. Wiggle the rod gently for a few second and the solution will spread itself evenly across the entire length.

    Dana Sullivan
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    That is why I designed the coating blade, and why Denise Ross designed her attachment to the puddle pusher.

    But, in the final analysis, coating is an art. If you set out to paint the Mona Lisa you cannot expect to do it on your first try.

    :D

    PE
     
  6. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Ok. Thanks for the advice. That's what I thought. I only have long glass stirring rods and no easy way to bend them to give me a straight of just over inches, so I'm stuck for now, I guess.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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  8. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    When I used them, I made one for each format I was printing based on the short side of the negative.
    They were a half inch longer then the negative.

    4x5 was 4.5 inches long
    5x7 was 5.5 inches long
    8x10 and 8x20 was 8.5 inches long

    I had mine made by a friend who was a stained glass artist. She cut down the rod to the correct length and ground down the ends and them epoxied a flat piece of glass from her scraps to make the handle. I only ever had to re-attach the handle once in about five years of use because I dropped it.

    George
     
  9. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Thanks. I just put in a large order with Bostik and Sullivan, darnit! Will have to pay shipping all over again just for this.

    George, is there an easy way to cut a 5mm thick glass rod at home?
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Glass rods are easy to cut. You use a triangular file from the locak hardware store and make a sharp cut on one side of the rod. Then turn it 180 degrees and make a similar smaller cut on the side facing you. Grasping the ends with the deeper cut facing away from you, give the rod a sharp jerk with the ends towards you. It should break cleanly.

    The cut ends can be sanded or flame polished.

    PE