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Thread: Ferrotyping

  1. #1

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    Ferrotyping

    I just got some ferrotyping plates. I would like to use them but I need to clean and/or polish them. The old threads did have cleaning suggestions but are too old on the polishing side. What should I use to clean and polish the plates.

    Thanx for your help,


    Andy


  2. #2

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    hi andy

    have you seen these articles
    http://www.w7wwg.com/prints.htm
    http://www.rdrop.com/users/tedpet/ferrot.htm
    http://photo.net/black-and-white-pho...g-forum/00NlB9

    sorry if these links are of no help !

    good luck !
    john

  3. #3

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    Thanx I'll check them out.

    Andy

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    I'm probably operating the only glazing (ferrotyping) operation, such as it is, in Oregon, and I can say, it aint easy. There is a distinct learning curve that will have you second-guessing and tweaking almost every step of your printing process. Mine goes like this:

    1)dev, acid stop, hardening fix

    The hardening fix I've found to be of great importance. Prints were sticking bad to my dryer until I switched to hardening fix.

    2)wash 30 min, cold.
    3)Heico PermaWash diluted per bottle, agitated gently for 5 minutes
    4)Wash 10 min, cold.
    5)Selenium tone 1oz to 1gal of warm (100F) water for 3 minutes
    6)Wash 20 min, warm (75F)

    The warm second wash is both to speed the washing process by swelling the gelatin topcoat, and to soften it for drying. Also in this bath is a small amount of Kodak Print Flattening Solution (really just a solution of glycerine) that aids in the prints' release from the glazing drum.

    After this, prints go into a holding tray of more 75F water. One at a time they are removed, squeegeed once (one single pass, top to bottom), and placed onto the blanket of the print dryer.

    I was lucky in that my print dryer has both a clean blanket and an exceptionally clean drum that is free from scratches and rust. Likewise, I've ended up with a good supply of Kodak Ferrotype Plate Polish. Its a mix of parrafin wax and benzene. In order to prevent sticks and crazing, I have to be constantly be polishing the drum with a dab (tiny, tiny, tiny amount) of polish on a lint-free rag (which also keeps down the appearance of lint embossments).

    After a couple weeks of banging my head against the thing and very carefully picking ruined, stuck prints from the drum, my success rate stands at about 95%, which from what I hear is pretty good.

    I've used the same process on some individual ferrotype plates, with mixed results. The key seems to be applying a great deal of pressure when sticking the paper to the plate, and then leaving it in a place where it can dry as slowly as possible, with the back a little bit damp, so that it will peel off naturally and avoid telltale "oyster shell" lines (concentric lines from the paper drying and peeling the gelatin off the plate a bit at a time, leaving a mark where it couldn't peel any further until it was more dry).

    I've got all the formulas for all this junk around, collected over the years, so if you can't find any of them, let me know and I'll do some digging. What I can say, though, is that once you've got it dialed in and pull that first well-glazed print off, you understand what all the fuss was about and be better for it. It's an art I'd rather not see die off.
    My real name is Patrick, not Joe. Long Story.

  5. #5

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    I should note as well that I've tinkered with the acetate solution mentioned above, and the problem always seems to be keeping the whole paper/acetate assembly from drying too quickly, in which case you get oyster marks and/or a print that won't come off the acetate.
    My real name is Patrick, not Joe. Long Story.

  6. #6

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    Thanx this sounds like what I'm looking for. A couple of questions. Can I use Pakosol instead of Kodak Print flattening solution. I know both are no longer made but I've got a load of Pakosol. Second question; I tend to use a sepia toner not selenium and have found that using a non hardening fix is better for toning. Can I make a seperate hardening solution after the toning?

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    Oh and what should I clean the plates with? I have individual plates not a drum dryer.

  8. #8
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    I would suggest Simichrome polish. You'll find it in any biker shop.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_joe6 View Post
    I'm probably operating the only glazing (ferrotyping) operation, such as it is, in Oregon, and I can say, it aint easy. There is a distinct learning curve that will have you second-guessing and tweaking almost every step of your printing process. Mine goes like this:

    1)dev, acid stop, hardening fix

    The hardening fix I've found to be of great importance. Prints were sticking bad to my dryer until I switched to hardening fix.

    2)wash 30 min, cold.
    3)Heico PermaWash diluted per bottle, agitated gently for 5 minutes
    4)Wash 10 min, cold.
    5)Selenium tone 1oz to 1gal of warm (100F) water for 3 minutes
    6)Wash 20 min, warm (75F)

    The warm second wash is both to speed the washing process by swelling the gelatin topcoat, and to soften it for drying. Also in this bath is a small amount of Kodak Print Flattening Solution (really just a solution of glycerine) that aids in the prints' release from the glazing drum.

    After this, prints go into a holding tray of more 75F water. One at a time they are removed, squeegeed once (one single pass, top to bottom), and placed onto the blanket of the print dryer.

    I was lucky in that my print dryer has both a clean blanket and an exceptionally clean drum that is free from scratches and rust. Likewise, I've ended up with a good supply of Kodak Ferrotype Plate Polish. Its a mix of parrafin wax and benzene. In order to prevent sticks and crazing, I have to be constantly be polishing the drum with a dab (tiny, tiny, tiny amount) of polish on a lint-free rag (which also keeps down the appearance of lint embossments).

    After a couple weeks of banging my head against the thing and very carefully picking ruined, stuck prints from the drum, my success rate stands at about 95%, which from what I hear is pretty good.

    I've used the same process on some individual ferrotype plates, with mixed results. The key seems to be applying a great deal of pressure when sticking the paper to the plate, and then leaving it in a place where it can dry as slowly as possible, with the back a little bit damp, so that it will peel off naturally and avoid telltale "oyster shell" lines (concentric lines from the paper drying and peeling the gelatin off the plate a bit at a time, leaving a mark where it couldn't peel any further until it was more dry).

    I've got all the formulas for all this junk around, collected over the years, so if you can't find any of them, let me know and I'll do some digging. What I can say, though, is that once you've got it dialed in and pull that first well-glazed print off, you understand what all the fuss was about and be better for it. It's an art I'd rather not see die off.
    Thanks for this. I have one of these drying drums and I have never used it nor do I know how to. Is there a place where an instruction manual can be found? Also, how long do typically leave the print on the drum?
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

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  10. #10

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    As for Pakosol, it was originally intended to do pretty much the same thing as print flattening solution, so you should be golden there. Lucky find on that one.

    Hardening can most certainly occur via a seperate bath. Doesn't matter where in the process it happens, so long as it happens and the residual gets washed out thoroughly.

    As for cleaning the plates, I'd go along with Leigh's suggestion of a chrome polish. Basically, you're looking for a non-abrasive cleaner (at least as non-abrasive as a polish can be) that will leave just the slightest hint of a waxy residue on the plate, which aids in releasing the paper. If you can see a residue, there's too much, so its kind of a try it and see situation for getting the amount right.

    I've never seen any instructions for a drum-type dryer anywhere, but they're pretty self-explanatory. I'm using a Prinz-brand dryer, which feeds from the bottom and spits out the finished print just above where you feed them in, held against the drum by a continuous length of canvas stretched tight. Pretty common design. The speed and temperature aren't variable. I just turn it on and let it heat up until the light goes off, then start feeding it prints. Once they've come around, they're dry. takes maybe 30-40 seconds to spit one out.

    I will say as a mild warning that as the gelatin topcoat on glossy FB paper is...well...gelatin, it is extraordinarily fragile and impossible to repair. Fingerprints are almost a certainty, as are scratches from all but the very softest lint brushes and cloths. You'd be best off wearing cotton gloves, handling the finished prints gently, and blowing them off with air. If you're dry-mounting them, use a sheet of butcher paper to protect the print in the press (rather than the more common matte board) with the shiny side against the image.
    My real name is Patrick, not Joe. Long Story.



 

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