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Thread: Flat Fiber

  1. #1
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    Flat Fiber

    I'm starting to get a few fiber prints stacking up, and I just thought of a good question about framing etc. of fiber prints. So far, I dry them on screens and then the next day put them under a heavy stack of books for a few days.

    My question is...what to do next.

    When I was doing RC prints, I could put them in a frame behind a matt etc. pretty easy. All of the stuff I'm reading talks a lot about dry mounting. Is dry mounting absolutely necessary with fiber prints?

    With my prints, even after they come out of the "press" of books, they still want to curt slightly. The edge curl is gone, but due to the paper weight etc. they are pretty stiff with that curl. I guess what I'm wondering is, if you put them behind a matt, if the curl will not allow the print to sit perfectly flat (especially with larger prints) unless it is dry mounted.

    What do you other fiber printers do with prints you frame?

  2. #2
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Try to find a dry-mount press that you can use/buy. They are awesome, my prints are totally flat usually, and they take about 2 minutes or so.
    -Grant
    Last edited by VoidoidRamone; 12-10-2004 at 03:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Dry mounting is not necessary for fiber prints, but a dry mount press helps a bunch. Just heat the thing up to about 200 Farenheit, put two pieces of mat board with your fiber print in the middle and press it for about a minute or two. This will get the print VERY flat. After that, stack a few books on top of the print until it cools down.
    This will get the print flat enough to mat and frame.

    Dry mounting will get the print perfectly flat, but it's not a reversible thing.

    If it helps any, I worked in custom framing for about a year (although I am no expert)...

  4. #4
    rbarker's Avatar
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    If you dry mount to a 3" thick slab of granite (or, 1/2" steel), you're pretty much guaranteed to keep the fiber-base prints flat. Mat board, however, isn't a sure-fire solution, unless it's quite heavy (e.g. 8-ply). Depending on the environment, and framing method, mounted prints can actually warp the mat board, too.

    Trends within the market to which one is attempting to appeal is also an issue for consideration. Currently, for example, many collectors seem to prefer that prints not be dry-mounted, but rather hinge-mounted and left to "hang free" within a "mat sandwich". If pressure is maintained on the "sandwich" when framed, and the print is isolated from the humidity of the environment behind glass, it will usually stay acceptably flat without dry-mounting.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  5. #5
    rogueish's Avatar
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    I read in an earlier thread here on APUG that someone here (sorry don't recall the name) uses a flat polished granite (some kind of stone anyway) slab and heats it in the oven, then uses that as his(her?) dry press.
    A search should turn it up.

  6. #6
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogueish
    I read in an earlier thread here on APUG that someone here (sorry don't recall the name) uses a flat polished granite (some kind of stone anyway) slab and heats it in the oven, then uses that as his(her?) dry press.
    A search should turn it up.
    Interesting, but wouldn't that be counterproductive? So many people take our efforts for granite, anyway.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #7
    Shmoo's Avatar
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    "Interesting, but wouldn't that be counterproductive? So many people take our efforts for granite, anyway."

    Ba-dum-bump! Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Barker will be performing in The Lounge later this evening under the Joke Thread. Be sure to catch his act!

    (too funny!!!!!)...roflmao

    S

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I flatten them in a press and then hinge mount, and try to leave enough of a border around my prints so they'll stay reasonably flat with a mat to hold them down. One advantage of this approach is that you don't need to have such a large (heavy, space consuming, expensive) mount press if you're just using it to flatten unmounted prints.

    Perfect flatness is overrated, in my opinion.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9
    hortense's Avatar
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    See www.lightimpressiondirect.com item no. 2741 (heavyweight, white enamel finished flat plate, 14-gage steel, 21"x17" with raised corners for ease of use) - or go to a local welding shop and have them cut to size and nickle plate.

  10. #10
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    I guess I'm not all that concerned about total flatness, I was just curious. I can get my prints pretty flat under the books, but they tend to want to curl back up. For those of you who do the hot press method, do you do this just prior to mounting? I guess what I'm getting at is if the prints will end up getting the curl back. My local darkroom has a dry mount press, and I'm guessing that is why I've seen various people gathered around it on occasion, probably using it for free to flatten prints.

    I just got a print dryer off Ebay, not year arrived, which I'll probably try. I'm assuming you could use it to dry/heat up the prints and then put it into the book press while it dries so they stay flat.

    Partly, I was just looking for reasssurance that what I'm seeing isn't unique. So far, I've only printed with Ilford MGIV out of a 25 pack, which I was wondering if it might have more curl than a 100 sheet box for example. I should be getting my 100 sheet box today though, so I'll be able to see for myself!

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