Survey of FB Hand-Washing Methods

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by laverdure, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    I'd like to hear how people go about hand washing their fiber base prints. Here's what I've been doing, following an alkaline, hardener free processing:

    25 minutes continual shuffling in a waterbath between 60-70 degrees F, changing water every five minutes.

    5-10 minutes of shuffling and soak in a distilled water bath. (My tap water spots)


    What do you all do, or used to do, or would recommend doing?
     
  2. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    After fix, my prints go into a holding bath until the end of the printing session. Then, I move the prints to a fresh tray of plain water (moving them one at a time). They stay in that tray while I dump and rinse the developer, stop and fix trays.

    Then, I mix up a tray of hypoclear (I currently use Sprint, but other brands work just as well), and move the prints into that tray, one at a time. Agitate for a couple of minutes, and then let them sit for a few minutes.

    Then, move the prints one at a time to a tray of fresh water. Let them soak in that tray for at least five minutes. From there, they go to another tray of fresh water for at least 5 minutes per tray. As a practical matter, I tend to print in the morning, so I usually break for lunch during the wash cycle, and use that time to also check e-mail, and other household things. So realistically, the prints typically will soak in trays of water for well over an hour, and sometimes several hours. After about 6 trays of water, I squeegee them and lay them out on fiberglass screens to dry.
     
  3. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I use Ilford's two bath fixing step, then dump prints into a holding bath.
    Once I have all prints in the holding bath, I place a plastic sheet in my sink and then place the first print onto that and then wash gently while the print/board is flat in the sink. I reverse the print face down and do that for another 5 minutes. Then place that print into a hypo clearing bath for a few minutes and then start the next print into the wash cycle on the plastic sheet. During that I place the hypo'd print into another wash bath holding tray and repeat the whole cycle until all prints are in the last holding tray. I wash out all the trays except the last holding tray and get my selenium toner mixed in one of them and then one additional tray of water.

    My process then goes from last holding tray to toner. Tone for 2 minutes, then move over to plastic sheet and wash again for 5 minutes as previously, and place print into the next water holding tray. Repeat till done. Change tray water at least 5 times every 2 to 3 minutes. Squeegee, and place prints onto screens to dry.
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    My method is similar to what you describe, with the exception of having each print in it's own tray. I put one print through the process and then into the first wash. After it goes in, I set the wash timer for 5 minutes and begin printing my next print. When it the print timer stops, I change the water in each tray and move each print down one tray. I have three trays working, so on the second pass I turn the trays sideways so that I know they have been through once already. I am usually ready to put the print I'm working with in the wash each time the print timer goes off, so it works out well.

    Typically, I only make a handful of prints in any given printing session, and it works out that each print is only one tray behind the others in the wash cycle, I have three trays in use at any given time and prints move from tray to tray each 5 minutes so that I know how long each print has been washing, and my total wash time is 30 minutes (no HCA)

    - Randy
     
  5. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    No hca in the entire processing cycle?
    It is very recommended, it's value proven.

    My only question in using a hca is when?
    I've read that it is best used after the fixer
    and before holding. Common sense I suppose.
    The paper is for less time loaded less with the
    some what used fixer. Dan
     
  6. haryanto

    haryanto Member

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    same as Louie, after fix, all my prints in the print sessions go into a holding bath (cold water around 68F, until the end of the printing session. Then, go to 2nd bath plain fixer (thiosulfate + sulfite), hca for 1 minutes, selenium 1+20 for 5 minutes, hca again for 3 minutes, and then go to tray water 6 tray for each 5 mintues
     
  7. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    It is not needed with TF-4 fixer. Fixers convert unused silver to an intermediate compound, which is not easily washed out, and then more fixer converts that compound to a final compound, which is easily washed out. HCA accelerates the chemical conversion of the intermediate compound, thereby shortening wash times. As I understand it, TF-4 does not require the use of HCA because of either the rapidity of conversion to the final compound, or by converting unused silver directly to the final chemical compound (I've read both, but have no evidence to disprove one or the other) thereby eliminating the need for HCA. The end result is the same.

    - Randy
     
  8. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    From what I've read, HCA doesn't affect wash times after an alkaline fix at all. I don't use it either.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Very much A. Adams' method; develop, stop, rinse,
    hold. Then a second plain fix. The S. thiosulfate + S.
    sulfite second fixer is mildly alkaline. At least at times
    the second fix was followed by a hca bath laced
    with KRST. Dan
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Mr. Troop attributes a non-bonding character to alkaline
    fixers. That is thiosulfate and it's soluble silver complexes
    do not bond themselves to paper, gelatine, or baryta within
    an alkaline environment. The more alkaline the better; up
    to ph 10.5.

    In short the fixer washes out easily because no bonds
    with the paper have been formed. I've no argument with
    that. In fact tests I've performed support. One condition,
    the fixer, what ever the formulation, must be alkaline and
    the more so the better.

    Search rec.photo.darkroom for, ephraums 10.5 . Mr. Troop
    and others, I included, discuss the merits and workings of
    the alkaline fix and associated matters. Dan
     
  11. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    10.5 - isn't that close to the ph sodium carbonate gives? Perhaps that would be better than sodium sulfite or sodium metaborate. Any thoughts?
    juan
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Mr. Troop thinks a ph of 10.5 a likely upper limit.
    S. carbonate could push a fixer past ph 11. TF-2
    and/or TF-3 contain S. metaborate which can push
    the ph of a fixer to 10 or a little better. I think his
    TF-4 runs about ph 8. Why he settled for such a
    low ph I couldn't say. Dan