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  1. #1

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    Best way to Dry Prints

    Some Newbie questions:

    I have been printing a lot of 8 x 10 prints lately. In the past, I have mostly used RC papers, but have recently tried fiber papers. Here are my questions:

    1. What is the best way to dry RC papers?

    I usually hang them up on a close line by cloths pins (on the corner of the print) and let them drip dry. Is this a "no, no"?

    This weekend, I made my first 8 x 10 FIBER prints.

    2. What is the best way to dry fiber prints?

    I tried hanging these prints on my close lines with POOR results -- they dried wavy -- were hard and stiff -- really crappy. What is the proper way to dry fiber prints with good results? I recall reading something about a blotting cloth roll. I don't have anything like this.

    3. Is their an good way to dry fiber prints without a blotting cloth? Where can I get some?

    I do have a Premeir print dryer that I got with my enlarger, but have never used it. It consists of a large convex stainless steel plate which is heated up. It looks like you set prints on then lay this cloth-type cover over it while it dries.

    4. Do print dryers like this work well? If so, how long should you place a print on it and what temperature setting (low, med, high) should you place it at?

    Any tips/suggestions would greatly help. Thanks for helping out a newbie to the art.

    Huram

  2. #2
    titrisol's Avatar
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    Air drying (in the line) is great for most stuff.
    RC papers dry great, flat and glossy

    FB papers require some more help to dry perfectly. You can hang them on the line, but to avoid curling I use 2 clothes pin on the top and 2 on the bottom.
    A lot of people use drying screens, with excellent results.

    The dryer you have should be good, I don;t know how that one works, but the one I have used I used it on low heat, the print was there for 2 or 3 minutes and came out not-fully-dried though
    Mama took my APX away.....

  3. #3

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    Huram, I dry FB pretty much the way you described. Ideal would be to use a screen and dry flat, but by it's nature FB likes to curl. I flatten using a heat press and they look fine. Use the search and I think you can find several other options, seems like I remember some using a sheet of glass to dry their prints on - just tape it down and the curl in gone. The prints you have that are curled can be flattened out by just putting a protective cover over the print and adding some weight to the print. Will not take all of the curl out, but will help.

    Good Luck and enjoy.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huram
    1. What is the best way to dry RC papers?
    I have always worked other places than my house, so I didn't have time for the prints to dry naturally. I have used Agfa Gevaert electric roller dryers that is fed with the paper and dries them with heat. Only usable for RC, though. FB will stick to the rolls inside...been there!

    Greetings Morten

  5. #5

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    1. What is the best way to dry RC papers?
    Squeegee back, flip over, squeegee front. Lie face up on fiberglass screens to dry.

    2. What is the best way to dry fiber prints?
    Squeegee back, flip over, squeegee front. Lie face up on fiberglass screens to dry. When dry you'll need to flatten them. Most people use a drymount press when available. An iron with the prints between clean mat board will likely work as well.

    3. Is their an good way to dry fiber prints without a blotting cloth? Where can I get some?
    I use the method as noted in answer 2, I'm unfamiliar with blotting cloth.

    4. Do print dryers like this work well? If so, how long should you place a print on it and what temperature setting (low, med, high) should you place it at?
    Print dryers like the one you mentioned DO work, but you'll have to keep several things in mind. Keeping the plate meticulously clean. Keeping the cloth properly cleaned to minimize contamination from residual build-up of chemicals. As for temperature...? Do you know what the temps are at low, medium and high?? (You could use a meat thermometer to find the temperatures at different settings)

    The problem with using clothes pins is the marks left in the corners of the image damaging the emulsion.

    Hope that helps,

    joe

  6. #6
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    The advice given by Joe is excellent but if you don't have space for drying racks you can hang them back to back on an overhead clothes line in your darkroom. Start by removing excess water as described by Joe and hang two prints back to back on the line using clothes pegs at all four corners and leave overnight in normal temperature. Don't try to speed things up by pushing up the heat all you will do is increase the curl, in fact the slower that the prints are dried you are less likely to have excess curl. My advice regarding the print dryer is to confine it to the waste dump or sell it to some unsuspecting photographer, preferably one that you hate.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
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    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  7. #7
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    I dry my fiber prints two ways and both leave the paper fairly flat. I use a dryer similar to what you have. first I sponge off the back of the print and place the back against the chrome plate. I then sponge the front and place the canvas over the print. I set the heat where it takes about 10 minutes to dry. After a few minutes I carefully lift the canvas and usually find the print face very lightly attached to the canvas. I carefully peel the print off and again place the print back to the plate. I do this again after a few more minutes. After about 10 minutes the print is flat and I keep it under a heavy book.

    I also dry fiber prints on my bedroom carpet which has a medium to high pile (so air can get underneath). I make sure I vacuum the carpet very throughly in the area where I plan to place the prints. First I squeegee both sides (sponging would also do) of the print and lay them face down on the carpet. Depending on humidity and temperature they usually dry flat in about 4 or 5 hours. Midway through I carefully shift the prints slightly to make sure they are not sticking to the carpet. when they are dry I place them under a heavy book.
    "When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers"
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  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=Joe Symchyshyn

    Squeegee back, flip over, squeegee front. Lie face up on fiberglass screens to dry. When dry you'll need to flatten them. Most people use a drymount press when available. An iron with the prints between clean mat board will likely work as well
    joe[/QUOTE]



    I place my FB prints face down on the fiberglass screens. Is that wrong??

  9. #9

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    I place my FB prints face down on the fiberglass screens. Is that wrong??
    When first starting out I used to read that all the time and did it that way. I found there no difference, and how I lay my prints to dry it worked better face up. I'd say if it works for you, stick with it. There is no one right answer.

    joe

  10. #10
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Symchyshyn
    When first starting out I used to read that all the time and did it that way. I found there no difference, and how I lay my prints to dry it worked better face up. I'd say if it works for you, stick with it. There is no one right answer.

    joe

    I may try it that way, and see if they curl a little less, thanks!

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