wet plate chemical info needed

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by eddie gunks, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    hi all,

    i have been trying to find a definitive answer to no avail.

    i want to be sure i am correct to avoid a real bad outcome.

    i understand that the ether is very volatile, i think that is i mix the ether with my grain alcohol this will help keep the peroxides from forming. is this correct? i mixed it 1:1 as that is the ratio i use in my formula (quinns New Guy Positive Collodion Formula:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Collodion & Solvents (Part A)
    Plain U.S.P. Collodion: 120 mL
    Anhydrous Ether: 80 mL
    Grain or Denatured Alcohol: 80 mL
    Mix the alcohol and ether together and then add it to the collodion. You resolve the "ether peroxide problem" with this and you can quickly mix Collodion when you're ready to make plates.

    Salts (Part B)
    Cadmium Bromide: 1.5 g (3 g for Negatives)
    Ammonium Iodide: 2 g (1 g for Negatives)
    Grain/Denatured Alcohol: ~3 mL
    Using a test tube, dissolve these salts in the alcohol. )
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    just to be sure i am thinking about this correctly do i need to mix it all with the cllodion or can i just leave the ether and alcohol mixed together and stored? also, do i need to add marbles to make the bottle totally full or can i hava ahalf full bottle with no problems?

    i am storing the E&A mix and my collodion mix in a mason jar with a metal lid that has a rubber gasket to seal it. is this okay?

    what do you all use to store your collodion, E&A, and silver bath? can i use a metal lid with the silver bath?

    thanks for the help. i plan to pour my first solo plate this weekend.

    cheers

    eddie
     
  2. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    i received an e mail telling me that storing the ether mixed with the alcohol keeps the peroxides from forming.

    i hope this info helps others in the future.
     
  3. tinyfailures

    tinyfailures Member

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    According to my alternative process professor, you need to wait a week after you mix the chemicals before you can use them.
     
  4. tinyfailures

    tinyfailures Member

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    The reason you add solvents to the collodion is to make it easier to coat the plate. So you can adjust the ratios based on your preference and results. (i.e. If you get streaking, you probably need more solvents.) Try to coat in a humidified room and let the collodion set before dipping it in the silver.
     
  5. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    The best bottles for storage are the Wheaton brand boston-round bottles with the "Poly-seal" caps. Even with these caps you will smell a bit of ether, but not if you seal them with parafilm. I buy from Carolina Biological Supply, but any decent lab supply store should have these things. A mason jar will be pretty sloppy when you need to pour, and won't seal very well.

    Regarding that peroxide thing, while chemically possible, is for all intents and purposes an urban legend. If you use your chemicals in a reasonable amount of time (say, 10 years?) you really don't have to worry. And why would you put marbles in your bottles? That sounds silly.

    The key is to make what you can use.
     
  6. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    thanks JG.

    i will order some more bottles.....you can never have enough.

    the marbles are to displace the air, so the liquid fills the bottle totally. many do this with developer so it keeps longer.

    eddie
     
  7. Quinn

    Quinn Subscriber

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    Eddie,
    If you read the rest of my post (on my forum), you'll read that (most) ether has a stabilizer in it and that alcohol helps stabilize it even more (preventing it from forming peroxides).

    Remember, Collodion already has a substantial amount of ether in it. I'm with JG on this; the "peroxide danger" is usually overstated. It's something to be concerned with, but there are other chemicals in the process that are far more worrisome in my mind. I think we spend too much time talking about it. The solution is to mix up PART A and then mix with PART B as you need salted Collodion. PART A will keep for a very, very long time, no marbles, and no catastrophes. It's how Kodak sold it in the 1930s - $4 USD per gallon. Your "salts" came separate. It's always good to store your chemistry in a cool, dark place away from ignition sources, children and animals.

    Marbles: Are you talking about wet plate developer, or something else? FWIW, you don't need marbles in wet plate Collodion developer. It will stay good forever.

    Tinyfailures,
    Solvents do a couple of different things in the process. Ether plays a role in adhesion (to the plate) and the "toughness" of the "emulsion" (make a batch of all alcohol Collodion and drag a wet cotton ball over it, you'll know what I mean).

    Also, this particular formula is ready to use shortly after you mix it (NH4I used, not KI), no clearing, and no waiting, ready to go. However, like all Collodion, it does get better with time. It works great for both positives and negatives too. And it lasts for a very, very long time.
     
  8. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I use the plastic photo jugs/bottles for storing siver nitrate and potassium cyanide. You don't want any of those bottles breaking.
     
  9. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    thanks all!

    i am up and running. fun and success so far!
     
  10. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Eddie, By looking at your plates you're well on your way. Carefull...its addicting. Robert
     
  11. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I agree Eddie. Great start. Really enjoying your work.
     
  12. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    i think i was addicted before i even started!

    yes, all seems to be coming along very well. thanks again to everyone who has helped with information and support!

    eddie
     
  13. Lebotski

    Lebotski Member

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    Grain Alcohol Substitute

    I searched about 15 pages back and didn't find a specific thread and I didn't want to start a brand new one for such a small question but here it is.

    Grain alcohol is obviously tricky to get in many states and I've read that denatured alcohol is a fine substitute. I've also heard that if there's too high a concentration of the chemicals they use to cut it (methanol if I recall correctly) that it either doesn't work as well or simply won't work, I don't know the specifics. Anyway, I wanted to know if anyone has personally used or heard of successfully using "S-L-X Denatured Alcohol" made by "W.M. Barr Branded Sales". If it works fine it would be wonderful since you can get it easily at any Home Depot or Lowe's for practically nothing.