Waxing paper negatives

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Zby, Sep 19, 2003.

  1. Zby

    Zby Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Gdansk, Pola
    Hi all,

    I took me a while to search the archive but I haven't found anything about waxing the paper negatives. I am recently using paper negatives for my pinhole cameras and want to get rid of paper texture on final contact prints. Can anybody advise a waxing formula? I've heard of turpetine mixed with alcohol but have no idea of proportions.

    Please, help.

    Rgds,
    Zby
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hi zby:

    i have a photography annual from 1904 ... i'll see if i can dig up a formula and post it if i can find it ...
    another thing i have heard of people doing is coating the paper with canadian balsam, it makes the paper transparent like a negative ( i guess like waxing it? )

    -john
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Light Impressions sells a product which is identified as a wax for black and white prints. It is supposedly archival. I don't know if this would be of help in your situation. I believe that it was manufactured in Europe and imported to the states. Perhaps you could locate a source there.
     
  4. Zby

    Zby Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Gdansk, Pola
    well. I want to make my paper negatives translucent. I have no idea how and where to get canadian balsam in Poland, sorry. Any ideas of greasing paper are welcome.
     
  5. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi again Zby:

    I was able to dig up 3 methods of making paper translucent. I am not sure what Gum-elemi is, when I looked it up in the glossary, it said "resin" ...
    Anyways - here it is:

    From 1908 Photographic Annual: Figures, Facts & Formulas
    "Making paper translucent: powdered resin, 4 z; gum-elemi, 4 oz; paraffin wax, 2 oz; rectified spirit of turpentine. 12 oz; Place in a large clean enameled saucepan, and heat over a fire or gas stove, with constant stirring, until mixture boils and froths up to to fill the pan. Allow to cool a little , then add another 12 oz of rectified spirits of turpentine, stir thoroughly, then pour into wide mouthed bottles and cork well. In the melting there is a liability for the mixture to catch fire ( especially if the stirring is slackened), therefore a close-fitting lid or flat board large enough to cover the top of the pan should be kept at hand during the melting. To use, lay the prints face downward on clean blotting, and stretch with drawing pints on a board. Use a broad flat brush well charged with the varnish and with a few sweeps quickly cover the whole back of the print, then let dry. If white spots appear, give another coat of the varnish.

    Pour melted paraffin wax over warm prints in a hot zinc dish, paper side up - drain before fire and dry.

    Smear paper side with vaseline, lay on blotting paper and iron several times."

    You might find something on one of the Alt Process Forums as Annie suggested.

    I hope this is a good start at least :smile:

    - John
     
  7. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Just north o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Best bet....

    Buy this book

    Primitive Photography by Alan Greene.

    He uses beeswax. I'm guessing pure beeswax.

    Anyway his book is VERY good. He covers wet and dry negs, all sorts of chemistry, etc.
     
  8. Zby

    Zby Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Gdansk, Pola
    thank you, everyone. I keep searching for the formula.
     
  9. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Just north o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You should be able to get beeswax.

    What kind of waxing do you want to do?

    You can do it after you expose the negative, or before. There are different methods for each.

    For both you use pure beeswax. To use it you heat it to more than 80C but NO MORE than 100C (that will decompose the wax).

    If you like I can post the procedures for both. With the dry process - the process you use before exposing the negative - you have to also change how you sensitize the paper.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hi zby:

    can you post your findings / results on your negative waxing?
    was it easy?

    i made myself a 8x20 pinhole camera a while back, and thing the whole endevour would be that much easier if i could wax my paper negatives :smile: since film costs a small fortune in that size <g>

    THANKS in advance!

    -john
     
  11. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Holland, MI
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Is there a reason paraffin sealing or candle wax won't work? Many people use it for batique and then iron with paper overlay to remove later. It's opaque when thick, but seemed translucent enough to me when absorbed into paper. Beeswax seems so sticky to me, but not having done the process, I can't claim to be right.

    There are other types of wax that aren't as easy to get. I got some microcrystalline wax as a sample once because I needed a higher melting point than paraffin wax.


    Murray
     
  12. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Holland, MI
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    May I ask why beeswax is required? Is it more transparent?

    Thanks

    Murray
     
  13. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    http://www.collodion.org/

    I would suggest getting hold of these people since they wax their final products. Supposedly it makes them more archival.
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    murray -

    the reason behind my wanting to wax my prints has nothing to do with archival -issues, but to make the paper more transparant so light will pass through it quicker/easier when i make (positive) prints.
     
  15. lord-fox

    lord-fox Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    Primitive Photography by Alan Greene covers the process of waxing paper negatives
    with bees wax in step by step detail , should give you all the info you need .
     
  16. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Holland, MI
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    OK - I have that- I'll go look it up...I wonder if he is intent on using vintage chemistry, and beeswax was perhaps easier to get that paraffin wax.

    It may bee :smile:O) that paraffin wax just doesn't do it right and that's why.

    Murray
     
  17. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One thing I know is beeswax is more malleable and will bend easily with the paper whereas paraffin sets harder and had more tendency to flake. I also think the beeswax may be more transparent but really cant say more without a side by side comparison. I've also used a beeswax product called Tackyfinger that has a bit of glycerin mixed in to soften it. It's purpose is to give your fingers better grip with papers when doing things like collating sets of forms. You might try picking some up from the office supply store and see how it works.