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  1. #1
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Dealing with big rolls of photo paper

    I found a roll of Fomatone 542 Chamois paper to buy, and for that I'm thankful, but I've never worked with big (1 meter wide) paper before. Cutting off some pieces to test with a scissors felt really clumsy and yielded some interesting trapezoids. My darkroom is small and I need a way to easily cut nice sheets and flatten then in the dark in a limited space. The paper is very curly off the roll and between that and the size--is a bit of a struggle. Anyone have any hints or tips? Thanks.

  2. #2
    eddie's Avatar
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    Barry- Do you have enough room to roll a bit of the paper on the darkroom floor? If so, my technique may work. I cut a piece of cardboard the size I want to trim the paper to. I place that over the paper, just to get the right size. I slide a metal straightedge below the cardboard, lining it up with the cardboard edge. Underneath, I have oversized cardboard, so I can use the straightedge and an Exacto blade.
    If you don't have the floorspace, can you borrow a darkroom to cut it in? You'd be welcome to cut it in my DR- I'm in Alexandria.

    BTW- Did you get it from the Craigslist posting for "Fumatone"?

  3. #3
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Got news for you: my darkroom is even smaller. I live in a 12 ft x 12 ft efficiency and my 'darkroom' is in a corner. Years ago I bought about eight rolls of color photo paper (dirt cheap) and cut it all in that tiny space. YOU MUST BE ORGANIZED.

    First, set it up. I used an old turntable to mount the roll horizontally so that it would feed easily. It would have been BETTER to hang the roll vertically (so the paper would not twist but it worked), like a water wheel, so maybe you can improvise something rigid to hang a horizontal narrow shaft on.

    Then on the (absolutely spotless) table you place a small paper cutter (I use an old Falcon cutter) and tape (duct tape) it down to the table so that it does not move, even a little. You set this all out so that everything will move easily in the dark. Then you place a small box slightly larger than the paper sheet size you will cut. Then you set out the black bag that the paper came in so that you can put the cut sheets in when the box is full.

    Try 'dry run' practice with the lights on and using dummy paper. It was a tiring ordeal to do eight big rolls but I have color paper to last a lifetime. But...little room for food in my refrigerator or freezer.

    Remember, hands and work area absolutely spotless. - David Lyga.

  4. #4

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    I leave the roll in the box, grab the leading edge with both hands, pull out the amount I need (a guide line can be taped to the edge of the box to get exact lengths), carefully roll into a tight cylinder right down to the lip of the box, and then use a box cutter to cut along the lip of the box. Picture the lip as an anvil of sorts. Works great, no crimps.

  5. #5
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I guess the upshot is I need a system and I might as well cut down the full roll as long as I have things set up. Some contraption to hold or suspend the roll while cutting would be a big help--that was part of my problem.

    @Eddie--Thanks for the generous offer, I may yet take you up on it. The paper was indeed the CL "fumatone"-- I have a good record finding useless junk on CL, but occasionally I find something worth the effort and money. The jury is still out on this one and I was soundly cursing myself for wasting money on a tightly curled scroll of dubiously-stored old paper.

  6. #6
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Barry- look around on CL for one of those old paper dispensers they use in florist's or other shops that use roll paper for something to hold it. Barring that, a good background stand and crossbar that can be adjusted height-wise to put the roll just above a table top. Then invest in a really good Rota-Trim or Dahle rotary cutter you can feed the paper through.

  7. #7
    eddie's Avatar
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    Barry- anytime...
    I contacted the seller, but he didn't know how old it was, how it was stored, etc, so I passed. Good price, though. Did you buy it all?

  8. #8
    eddie's Avatar
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    I don't think a paper cutter is a viable (i.e. cost effective) option. You'd need a cutter of at least 40 inches to trim meter wide paper. Those are costly.

  9. #9
    richard ide's Avatar
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    If you find the curl hard to work with, try reverse rolling it. It will not take long to remove the set. I used to use a lot of large roll stock and after trying several ideas settled on a shelf at the end of my 4 x 8 table about 6" below the top. A piece of steel angle on the end of the table gave me a cutting guide. I had a scale along the front edge of the table so I could quickly pull out the length I needed.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  10. #10
    Barrie B.'s Avatar
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    Make up or have made a large 'BOX' in a manner similar to a 35mm film cassette; but with the lower part of the 'felt' light trap extending about 12" out from the box , always leave about 2" of paper extending out from the light-trap, with the safelight on pull out say 12 " of paper , cut it with a straight-edge, you can them trim down the one metre into 4 x 8" x10" etc. with a little practice you can trim-off any sizes you desire and the remaining paper stays in your ' cassette ' ready for you next cutting session. Cheers Barrie B.
    Last edited by Barrie B.; 10-03-2011 at 05:22 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling ?

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