tray pocessing massive paper

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by wilfbiffherb, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    hey everyone,

    once more i must call upon your collected knowledge! i have just bought some 30" x 24" ilfospeed paper - exciting size, pain to process. does anyone know where i can get hold of trays big enough to process or have any idea how i can bodge some together that will do the trick at all?? i dont want to end up cutting this paper down small if i can help it.
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  3. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    alas im uk-based...
     
  4. laser

    laser Advertiser Advertiser

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    There are numberous ways to to this without having to buy giant trays:

    See-Saw up-and-down in a wall paper wetting tray. A stick attached to opposite edges will aid handling.

    OR

    Cover a piece of plywood with plastic sheeting then incline it in a sink. Use a spray bottle to apply developer etc. and spread with a sponge. Adding 100% more water to the developer will provide extra control.

    Wash both sides using a hose.

    Have fun.
     
  5. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  6. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    thanks very much for all the advice guys
     
  7. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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  8. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Years ago, my Brother and I made some prints this size. We made 'frames' with 2 X 4 lumber and lined them with plastic sheet from the building supply. This made big trays we left on the floor. Final wash was with a hose near the floor drain. This was all done in our basement at night. We also found that our enlarger didn't have enough light to do the job, so we used a slide projector with a 1000W bulb for exposure. Worked for us.
     
  9. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    smashing - i might try the trays. i assume you kind of roll the paper through the fluid in the tray getting full coverage left to right. dunking as it were. although i probably could knock up some wooden trays with plastic sheeting on the top....hmmm...decisions...
     
  10. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    I bought a 4x8ft sheet of PVC that is used to laminate countertops. Cut out a rectangle with width of the shorter size of your paper and length about 3 inches longer than the long side. Roll it into a cylinder. Then glue the ends together. This is what I use to process large prints. I use a single tray which is a bit longer than the cylinder and fill it with developer. By the way, i put a 2x4 under one end of the tray to use less chemistry. I put the cylinder into the tray, roll the exposed sheet of paper from the enlarger and put this photo roll into the cylinder. Then I start slowly rotating the PVC cylinder and unrolling the photo into it while entering the developer. When you unroll the whole paper, it sticks to the PVC cylinder by capillary effect (it sticks like glue). From that point on, the process is obvious: develop, take the whole cylinder out, dump the developer from the tray and refill with the next chemical. I also do a few washes in that same cylinder before pulling the photo out. This way I don't touch the photo and handling is very easy. The biggest print I've done so far is 20x30, but you can go as wide as you dare.

    I hope it clear, if you need photos, I can make them next time I'm doing a large print.

    Eugene.
     
  11. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    wow that sounds brilliant - i may give it a try if i can get my head round it. all i need now is for the paper to not be fogged!!
     
  12. tocalosh

    tocalosh Member

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    There's someone in Sheffield selling a set of trays for making large prints, collection only, item number 170916778626, only one bid of 99p so far. (no connection with seller)
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Here in the US, Home Depot has PVC tubs for mixing concrete, 24x35 inches, for $12.65. i looked at them as a substitute for a sink and they look pretty indestructible. You ought to be able to fine something like that in the UK.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202086174/h_d2/ProductDisplay?
    catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=mixingtub&storeId=10051#.UGy0dpjA8hU
     
  14. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    im looking but alas the common diy stores dont seem to sell them. sad because they looked perfect!
     
  15. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    You could also look at the Garland Titan gravel trays - 1000mm x 550mm x 150mm - These will be extremely heavy once full of chemicals, as would any large tray..
     
  16. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    nice find paul... I have used the gardening trays for work before but they have huge dimples which hold extra water , these ones look very good. Yes hard to manage
    when full , you need to get the water out slowly.


     
  17. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    ill have a loko out for them in the uk. i have heard some people talk about really diluting down the developer -do you think thats necessary?
     
  18. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I had a bit of exposure to large print processing as a young teen apprenticed for a few weeks one or two nights to an older guy who made photo murals - generally 36" high by several feet long on mural weight (heavier than DW) fibre based paper. Just at the beginning of my interest in photogrpahy. Old british guy who had worked in photo reconnaisance in WWII, Fred Noakes. Long gone by now. I would love to know what became of his gear.

    He had an epoxy piant coated piece of plywood, with a lip on the lower edge (i will call it as Fred did, as the platten), that sat on a braced affair on a cart. The cart made it tall enough to allow the lip to drain into the sink, or a bucket placed in the sink. It could be taken apart when not needed.

    After exposure, you would untack it from the wall, and roll the paper up emusion side in. Start processing it with the leading edge of the mural at the downhill end of the platten. You would wet the platten with a wet sponge so the paper would stick to it, then, rubber gloves on, lightly rub the face of the emulsion with a sponge dipped in a bucket of Dektol, more dilute than normal. Once the first part was soaked and coming up, roll it up, unroll more and start on the next section.

    Then look over the results, and see if any areas were weak, and needed more developer rubbed on. If not, hose down with low pressure running water and a clean sponge to wash/stop the developer. Then fixer one rub down, then fixer two rub down, then three passes of washing. The later two often the next morning.
     
  19. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    Anikin - i can kind of picture this. do you put the paper ONTO THE OUTSIDE of the cylinder as you rotate it into the developer?
     
  20. bill@lapetelabs.com

    bill@lapetelabs.com Member

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    I've used the troughs and float a PVC pipe with caps on either end, it floats in the chemistry and rolls. Place the print in the trough, emulsion down and place the pipe on top, it will hold the paper under the chemistry. Then with the help of a second person, on large sheet sizes, roll the paper back and forth until developed Then lift and transfer to a fixer trough, than a perma wash trough, then a water trough or clip the print to an over sized sheet of marine plywood or fiberglass sheeting, anything waterproof, rest it in a sink and hose off the paper. It works for me and you can make the troughs out of marine plywood and line them with heavy duty sheet plastic 4mil or better, or fiberglass them! They can accommodate what ever size paper that you choose, depending on the size of the trough.
     
  21. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    im now thinking ill get some wallpaper troughs as im only doing 30x24. if i get a pipe i can wrap the paper round the outside of it (emulsion out) and rotate that in the tank with the chems in. how does that sound?

    bill - do you dilute your dev so you have more time in the chem o do you stick with standard dilutions?
     
  22. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    No, on the inside. See the attached picture. You unroll it inside of the cylinder as it enters the water while rotating the cylinder. It's easier to do than to describe. And once the print adheres to the cylinder, you just handle the cylinder and don't touch the print at all. In this picture I do not have any chemicals in the tray, but I hope you get the idea. The photo I use in the picture is rather small - only 20"x24". I also made a bigger cylinder for 30"x40", but have not used it yet. I don't see why it would not work. By the way, the tray that you see here i made by cutting two 16x20 PVC trays and gluing them together. It gives me space to process prints up to 30" wide. I also added a drain for easier draining of water or chemistry.

    Eugene.
     

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  23. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    Thanks, that picture is really helpful. Ill be going 30x24 max so think ill try this tube and trough approach thanks very much.
     
  24. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Or make your own trays. Here are mine:

    trays_ceilingshot.jpg

    Paper in the fixer tray is sized 20x28 inches.
     
  25. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    im feeling a bit wary of trays - due to the size of the paper im worried about streaking/uneven development issues...