Silverprint washer questions

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mrtoml, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I just received a Silverprint print washer, but it has no instructions. Forgive me if this sounds silly. I'm really just starting out with the fiber paper adventure.

    There are dimples on one side of the panels that go in the slots. I assume that the paper goes in with the emulsion facing the dimples or vice versa - or does it not matter?

    There is a long perspex stick with a hand shape at one end. Presumably this is just to poke the prints around in the washer to help with the flow of water over the prints?

    Are there any guidelines as to how much pressure the water input should have?

    Just wanted to clear this up. I think I have figured out the plumbing parts :tongue:
     
  2. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    I don't have the same printwasher but the basics are:

    Maintain a continuous flow of clean water over the paper for a period of time. The flow rate is debatable, up to a gallon/minute and the time duration is also debatable, up to 1 hour - after hypo clearing treatment.

    I do the full duration and flow rate for those special prints. Water pressure is not an issue.

    Rotating the prints during the wash period gives more complete results, especially if your going to tone the prints afterwards. I rotate the prints 90 deg. every 15 min. for one complete rotation after 1 hour.

    Paul
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2008
  3. RobC

    RobC Member

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    fill it with water before putting prints into it.
    The rough side of the plexi stops prints sticking to it.
    I rotate prints every 15 mins. That means end to end once, then top to bottom once and then end to end again. That means all bits of the print get the same washing.
    The paddle is for retrieving prints. Smaller prints which you can't grab from the top of the washer need to be got out somehow. Put the paddle end down the non emulsion side of print to do that.
    Remove prints while washer is still full of water because if you empty it first they will stick to sides and won't pull out.
    And if you use the dump facility, start it slowly or you risk getting sploshed.

    only small amount of input pressure is required. You shouldn't need to turn tap up more than just past start. Of course this depends on your tap pressure.
     
  4. RobC

    RobC Member

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    I have heard one report somewhere, that if the emulsion is facing the dimples, it can show up in the toning process as dots on the print but I have never seen this happen. It may have been caused by residue left in the washer from previous prints or over washing but I wouldn't worry about it unless it actually happens and then if it does you'll know why.
     
  5. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    The rough side creates greater turbulence which, according to the Silverprint tests when they were designed, washes the prints more effectively.
     
  6. RobC

    RobC Member

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    Well its the paper side of the print which absorbs most chemicals. The emulsion is very thin by comparison but may not wash out as quickly as paper of the same thickness. So if I were guessing, which I am, I would say its the paper side which needs the most washing since its so much thicker than the emulsion and would therefore benefit from being next to the rough side of the plexi. However, since I do what I do, which is my rotation sequence, the paper side gets half hour and the emulsion side gets a half hour.
     
  7. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    Thanks for all your informative replies. I think I can safely get started now :smile:
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Maybe worth looking at the Silverprint website. Martin Reed tested, I think, a Nova washer way back and his article makes very interesting reading. He mentions the dimple effect and lots of other things that seemed to blow away the contention that archival standard can only be achieved by draining a Severn Trent reservoir and your bank balance along with it if you are on a meter.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    Thanks to everyone who replied I have sorted it all out for now and it seems to work fine.
     
  10. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I have downloaded this. Looks useful. Thanks.
     
  11. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    I use a Silverprint archival washer. They don't come with instructions - or at least mine didn't and yes, I had the same problem getting the hoses to fit the taps! The paper emulsion should face the textured side of the dividers. Rotating prints during the wash sequence is good practice; I rotate once 180o degrees halfway through. Martin Reed (of Silverprint) wrote an extremely interesting article entitled 'Mysteries of the vortex' which refutes some long held beliefs about archival washing. I have a copy of it somewhere. As a previous poster says, you don't need copious amounts of water to wash a print - too strong a water flow may even reduce washing efficiency - just a moderate flow will suffice, say 1.5 ~ 2 L per minute max. Personally, I use a fill and dump method on my prints. 6 ten minute soaks in water at 25~30c (preceded by an initial quick wash and a 10 minute soak in home-made washaid). Anyway, don't worry, they're very well made and do the job admirably.
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Mysteries of the Vortex, the title of the article.
    Martin included in that Photo Techniques detailed
    view of print washing a picture of the 12x16 Nova
    washer. A huge dead spot exists center. Due at
    least in part to the 6 liter per minute wash
    water input.

    He goes on to describe a three change soak
    method. Very little water and very clean results.
    I've found alternate tray still water soaks to do
    very well. Separators make of my method
    a horizontal slot washer. Dan
     
  13. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I am going to read this article tonight.

    One more question I have is that I have the washer in another room in the house. So during a printing session I keep prints in a holding bath of water until I have 5 or so ready for washing. I then transfer these to the washer in the other room. Would it help/be harmful if I put some hypo clearing agent in the holding bath? Is it going to damage the prints if they are left in the holding bath for too long?
     
  14. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    If your routine is; last fix, rinse, hca, hold, then water
    alone should do. If your routine is; last fix, hold, then
    better use some hca. Commercial hca's are near
    neutral ph and should not soften the gelatine.

    I routinely have prints soaking 12 to 15 hours;
    an overnight soak. Dan
     
  15. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    Thanks, Dan.

    I also just read the 'Vortex' article and HCA is obviously a no brainer.

    That article is a very interesting read.