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  1. #1
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    Using Premier Print Dryer

    I picked up a used Premier print dryer, and I'm wanting to test it out on double weight Ilford MGIV fiber paper (glossy finish). So far, I've read to squeegy the print well, and place it face toward the canvas to dry (assuming that I don't want a glossy finish that is). Could someone who's uses one of these for this type of paper let me know their process?

    Do you put the print on the unit right after squeegying it off, or do you let it set for a few minutes?

    I'm assuming the dried print will maintain the curl of the unit itself. Could you simply put the warm dry print under a heavy book while it cools to make if flatter?

    I've read a lot of talk about ferrotyping etc. I do have glossy paper here, but I'm not necessarily looking to make the finish of my prints more glossy. Are these types of dryers what is or used to be used for ferrotyping?

    Also, this dryer has one side that is chrome, and the other is blue? I thought at first the blue might be a protective coating, but I think it's permanent. Almost like colored chrome? Does the blue surface mean that this side is intended for a different purpose?

    How high do you turn the heat up. The dial doesn't really have a range, just on and then higher?

    Thanks for your suggestions. David

  2. #2
    geraldatwork's Avatar
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    Double check that blue might still be a coating. See if you can peel it off or in a corner if it washers off. I have the same dryer. It does a nice job of drying the prints flat although not as completly flat as RC paper.

    After washing I sponge off the back of the print on a flat surface and place the print face up (towards the canvas). I then sponge off the face of the print before putting the canvas on. I set the temperature where it takes about 10 minutes to completely dry, between 2 and 3 on my dryer which goes up to 4. I am using exactly the same paper and finish as you. I then flip the dryer and do the same on the other side. Assuming you have resolved the blue coating issue. After about 3 or 4 minutes I lift the canvas off the plate. The print will stick to the canvas somewhat. Peel the print off the canvas and place the print down again face up and replace the canvas. Do this again one more time another 3 or 4 minutes later. The print will stick a little less this time. Replace the print and it should be dry in another 3 or 4 minutes. I then place it under a heavy book.

    I tried flipping the print as I've read it lets the print dry more evenly. But I found on more than one occasion the face of the print stuck to the plate and couldn't be removed without damage. This process works for me. Your mileage may vary. Experiment first with unimportant prints.
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  3. #3

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    Non-woven cotton batting may be a good thing to place under
    and over the print when drying. If the heat is kept low, a synthetic
    batting might due.
    I use a corrugated board blotter stack with non-woven hydrophobic
    seperator sheets.
    BTW, have you tried sponging? Dan

  4. #4
    Dean Williams's Avatar
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    You have the right idea David. I have one of these (an old Arkay) that I have used for years. Mine has temp settings though. I dry the prints face up (against the canvas). I haven't tried the sponge method, just squegee well and leave it under the canvas until it's dry, (about ten min.) I've tried getting a ferro finish with mine, and it works fairly well. The plattens must be spotless and unblemished for a nice finish. It will make FB prints almost as shiney as RC if thats what you're after. I mostly use mine when I have only a few prints to do, and want them dry fast.
    [COLOR=Sienna][FONT=Arial]Some days are diamonds. Some days a tree crashes through your roof.[/FONT][/COLOR]

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Williams
    I haven't tried the sponge method, ...
    Sponges. There are sponges and then there are sponges. Of
    course there is the Photo Sponge from Kodak and others. They
    may be still of the best quality; pure cellulose.

    A sponge will draw water from paper. They should be kept
    under cover when not used. Would'nt want it to pick
    up any dust or grit.

    I don't think I'd trust a squeegee squeezing my paper. Dan

  6. #6
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    Well, I tried this thing out on some test prints with mixed results. My first impressions have more to do with using glossy fiber MGIV for the first time. I had been usign the matt finish which I really like. I'm not yet sold on the glossy/semi-matt finish that I've got here.

    I tried some prints on the dryer, and some on my drying screens. One thing that I see is a problem with this used unit, is that the canvas must be dirty, as it is leaving some small fibers in the emulsion. Anyone have any ideas? I think I've read that you can remove it and wash it, but I'm not sure that will solve the fibers issue. Worth a try I guess.

    I made the mistake of trying one print face down, and I almost panicked! I had to turn the heat way down and the print sort of popped off! I won't be trying that again. The prints that I put on face up worked well. They dried in about 10 minutes. The last one I tried I only did for say 5 minutes, and it was just slightly damp. I pulled it off and put it under a heavy book for the night. It seems to have stayed the flattest of them all so far.

    One thought I had for this thing, since speed usually isn't my concern, is to use it as a cheap dry press of sorts. Make a print and dry it over night on my drying screens. The next day I would heat up the dryer and put the print on it to warm up, then after it is nice and warm take it and put it under a heavy book. I think I read that someone does this with a dry mount press. Anyone try something like this?

    Now back to the gossy finish. Anyone out there want to swap 50 sheets of Ilford MGIV Glossy for the same in matte!? I shouldn't give up on this finish so easy I guess, as I haven't even tried it behind glass. Most of my prints so far end up being loose, and this glossy finish seems to have a slight texture to it that I'm not sure about. I suppose to really see what I think, I should make a print that I already like on the matte finish with this paper to see how they compare. I think I read that someone things the glossy finish gives you darker blacks, but I didn't notice that really on these first prints.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruby
    I tried some prints on the dryer, and some on my drying screens. One thing that I see is a problem with this used unit, is that the canvas must be dirty, as it is leaving some small fibers in the emulsion. Anyone have any ideas? I think I've read that you can remove it and wash it, but I'm not sure that will solve the fibers issue. Worth a try I guess.

    Be careful if you decide to wash the canvas. It could shrink. I picked up a couple of used dryers at a local camera store's clearance sale for next to nothing. I took the canvas off of the one that was in the best condition & washed it. I put it in the clothes dryer for a few minutes to dry a bit. After I reinstalled it, I never could get it to close down. It shrunk a bunch. When I used the other one to dry prints I got fibers stuck to the emulsion. I decided that they weren't worth the trouble & do not use them.

  8. #8

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    David, I used one of these dryers extensively in the 60's with both Kodak and DuPont papers.

    Don't try to dry double weight prints face down. That method really only works with single weight paper, which I don't believe is available any more. A perfect high gloss is better achieved with RC paper dried with an air knife in an RC dryer.

    Fiber paper (back then when I used it) required a hardening fixer to toughen the emulsion. Without it, the emulsion was so soft that fibers from the cloth apron imbeded themselves in the face of the print. Same with fuzz from blotter rolls. Without enough hardener, damp prints stacked up under a weight to dry would bond together into a "brick".

    But too much hardener or too much time in the fixer made the prints brittle. The emulsion would craze like the glaze on old pottery.

    The most important trick to success with these dryers is to have the print as evenly dry as possible before placing on the dryer. I started with a large rubber window squeegee. Then followed up with a wipe-down with a fresh, lint-free tea-towel or white motel-type towel. I found that a wet sponge was not sufficient to achieve perfectly even dampness with no drips nor drops.

    Fiber paper stretches when wet and shrinks as it dries. If it is unevenly wet when placed on the dryer, it will dry differently, causing scallops and depressions. Even a wet fingerprint will cause this. Thus the careful final wipe-down with a fresh towel.

  9. #9
    Dean Williams's Avatar
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    David, you can wash the canvas and it may help a little with the fibers sticking to the prints. If you wash them, put them back on the dryer while they are still wet and close the canvas over the platen. When the canvas has dried to where it is just a bit damp turn the dryer on low heat and let it finish drying the canvas. This will help the canvas to remain taut without shrinking it so much that it won't fit.
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  10. #10
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    i might be putting this thing back on ebay! I do like how much flatter, and that they stay flatter, my prints seem to be. put the fibers thing is a huge issue I think. Thanks all. I might try washing the canvas.

    I don't really like the idea of using hardener, since I'd like to retainthe ability to tone etc. easier.

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