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  1. #1

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    Is there a way to recycle the silver from unused dry plates?

    Hi,

    Is there a way to recycle the silver from unused dry plates?

    I have some old fully exposed Stanley dry plates. I want to hand grind the glass for use as replacement focus screens. It seems a waste to just discard the old emulsion. If I wet the emulsion and then scape off, can this goo be reused? Would it be better to process them first and then use conventional silver recovery method?

    Thanks, blubellow

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blubellows View Post
    Hi,

    Is there a way to recycle the silver from unused dry plates?

    I have some old fully exposed Stanley dry plates. I want to hand grind the glass for use as replacement focus screens. It seems a waste to just discard the old emulsion. If I wet the emulsion and then scape off, can this goo be reused? Would it be better to process them first and then use conventional silver recovery method?

    Thanks, blubellow
    If they are more than a few years old, be very careful grinding them as they will be brittle and could shatter and cut you, I know, I have tried it, that is why we only use new glass to make our focus screens. As far as recycling, I doubt there is going to be enough there that would amount to much silver...

    Just my .02

    Dave Parker
    Satin Snow Ground Glass

  3. #3

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    Yes, because of its age it is difficult to cut, but I have not had any problems with grinding . The plates I have are only 4x5, so handling is not too much a hazzard. I like to use them because thay do not have a tint, are thin; about 1.5 mm, and they do make nice bright screens.

    I do have a source for new optical glass that has both these qualities, Schott B270 Drawn Crown Glass from: Howard Glass in MA, www.howardglass.com. It comes in .9mm, 1.15 mm, 1.65mm, ect. they will cut to any size, have low min order, will grind but expensive ($100 for one), and limited to 4x5.

    I would like to find a source for new ground optical glass. There are companies in China that have green acid etched glass and huge min. orders, not really what I what. Does anyone know of a place?

    I do agree that one or two, or even 5 plates would not have that much silver. I have over 100 of these plates so it might be worth while to havest. I would like to use in Van Dyke process.

  4. #4
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blubellows View Post
    Yes, because of its age it is difficult to cut, but I have not had any problems with grinding . The plates I have are only 4x5, so handling is not too much a hazzard. I like to use them because thay do not have a tint, are thin; about 1.5 mm, and they do make nice bright screens.

    I do have a source for new optical glass that has both these qualities, Schott B270 Drawn Crown Glass from: Howard Glass in MA, www.howardglass.com. It comes in .9mm, 1.15 mm, 1.65mm, ect. they will cut to any size, have low min order, will grind but expensive ($100 for one), and limited to 4x5.

    I would like to find a source for new ground optical glass. There are companies in China that have green acid etched glass and huge min. orders, not really what I what. Does anyone know of a place?

    I do agree that one or two, or even 5 plates would not have that much silver. I have over 100 of these plates so it might be worth while to havest. I would like to use in Van Dyke process.
    Hi again,

    My standard screens are 2mm thick and have virtually no tint to them and I sell a 4x5 screen ground, clipped corners and edge finished to your specifications for only $9.95 there are many of my customers who frequent this website, I make perfectly flat screens all the way from 6cm x 6cm to 22" x 28" and I have no minimum order requirements..

    By the way, even with 100 sheets, you will still be looking at a very small amount of silver.

    Dave Parker
    Satin Snow Ground Glass

  5. #5

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    Hi Dave,

    I am a do it your self person.

    While your offer for ground glass is interesting, I do like the feel of a job done by my own hand.

    You are right, 100 4x5 plates will may not yeld much metalic silver, but reduced to siver nirate, may provide some very nice Van Dyke prints. These plates have not been developed, they are fully expossed (flashed).

    My intent of this tread is to find a simple way to filter the silver nitrate from the emulsion carrier. This must be a rather simple process, it was common practice in the late 18th and early 19th era to reuse. I do know that it is not a simple matter of melting off simple organics (egg whites), and that there are likely more complex compounds in the emulsion carrier.

    Thanks, blubellows

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The simplest way is to fix the emulsion, then plate the silver out of the fixer solution.

    There's no silver nitrate in emulsions (other than a trace in POP papers) as it is all converted to halides - iodide, chloride or bromide during emulsion manufacture.

    Once you've plated out the silver you could dissolve it in Nitric acid to produce fresh silver nitrate.

    Ian



 

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