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  1. #1
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    General Paper Coating Questions

    I've got everything I need to finally give Van Dyke's a try, but I'm a little unsure on coating the paper. I've never coated paper before so this is all completely new to me. I've read so much conflicting advice on things to do, things not to do that I'm flat out confused . Just when I think I've got a good understanding of how to do it, I read something else and then I'm back to square one. I've got a Richeson 9010 brush and I'll be using Stonehenge paper and Photo Formulary's Van Dyke kit.

    My questions are:
    1. Does the brush need to be moistened before applying the sensitizer?
    2. Does the paper need to be moistened?
    3. Do I apply the sensitizer in a thin bead on the paper and then spread it out using the brush or should I dip the brush into the sensitizer and then spread it?
    Thanks for any and all help.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  2. #2
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    pre-wet the brush in distilled water. Make sure you get all the air-bubbles out of the bristles so that the brush is thoroughly wet. This is to reduce absorption of chemistry by the brush. Once you have the bristles thoroughly wet, shake and/or squeegee the bristles with your fingers or the edge of your distilled water dish to get rid of excess moisture. Mix up your coating solution in a shotglass or other similar mixing container. Pour a bead of solution onto your paper, then spread with the brush. When the paper is coated (you have evenly spread the chemistry around the desired area and there is no solution left beaded up on the paper surface), rinse the brush thoroughly in running water, shake, and return to the distilled water cup to sit between coatings.

    As to moistening the paper, I'm not sure if VDB needs it or not, but with Palladium, you may need to slightly humidify the paper to get a good coating which exposes and develops properly. If the air in your room is very dry (ideal humidity for alt process printing is around 60%), you may want to get one of those warm mist humidifiers to run the paper over before you coat.

  3. #3
    juan's Avatar
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    I got better results without pre-moistening the paper. However, I live in a very humid area, so YMMV. I think you'll find that you just need to try different ways and see what works best for you.
    juan

  4. #4
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t_nunn View Post
    1. Does the brush need to be moistened before applying the sensitizer?
    2. Does the paper need to be moistened?
    3. Do I apply the sensitizer in a thin bead on the paper and then spread it out using the brush or should I dip the brush into the sensitizer and then spread it?
    Thanks for any and all help.
    1) Yes.
    2) No. Do not moisten the paper. You may wish to raise the ambient RH to about 50% if the RH is low in your locale. Also allow the paper to become humidified to the same RH as your coating areas RH. I usually do this by placing enough sheets spread out on drying racks 24 hours in advance.
    3) You can spread a thin bead or dump the sensitizer in the center of the paper. Spread the sensitizer evenly and slowly until no "puddles" remain on the paper. I always double coat VDB. The speed of the sensitizer slows down but DMAX is greatly enhanced. Double coating will also raise the moisture content of the paper so let it dry properly.

    Hope this helps,
    Don Bryant

  5. #5

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    Good instruction already Travis, but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Our own Matt Magruder - scootermm - has a PDF on his website that 'shows' you pretty much step by step how he coats and process his plt/pld - the coating part will work for VDB as well - just remember the processing part is for Plt/Pld.

    Here is the link... hope Matt does not mind me linking to it.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  6. #6
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, this is exactly what I was looking for: clarity. Sometimes you can read up too much on things and just get too much information. Hopefully I'll be able to post my results in a week or so, if the sun cooperates
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  7. #7

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    Ive just done my first vandyke prints couple of days ago and I've had great luck with the glass rod coating. It was extremely easy and uniform. I saw other people's prints and there were unevenly coated. Since the vandyke santisizer is clear its very hard to coat with a brush.
    i say do it with a rod.

  8. #8
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    I coat all processes with a rod for prints smaller than 8x10. For 8x10 and larger I use a Magic Brush. I find the feel of the rod helps with smoothness on the smaller pieces, but for some reason I get better feel with a brush for the larger ones.

    I do find that some humidity is necessary in the paper. On those days when our humidity gets very low, below about 35% and as low as 5%, I hold the paper over 125 degree water for 30 - 45 seconds until it just begins to feel limp. This makes it easier for me to coat VDB, as well as other processes, more smoothly as the absorption is more even. I should add that I keep up to about 25 sheets of paper in the coating room at all times so that it has a chance to reach the same level of humidity as the surroundings.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  9. #9
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    Well, I've already got a brush so I'll give that a try first. If for some reason I don't like using the brush or I just can't get the hang of it, I'll try a rod.

    Its supposed to rain the next several days so looks like I'll have to wait a while to try it out.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  10. #10
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Travis-

    You'll very quickly find that sunlight as a light source for printing alt processes is unreliable (weather, time of day, time of year, etc). You can make a UV lightsource for yourself quite inexpensively and compactly. With the homebuilt unit, you can print any time, day or night.

    What size negatives are you printing? No bigger than 8x10? If so, you can go to Home Depot and get some under-the-counter fluorescent fixtures that have BLB bulbs in them for about $15 apiece. It takes 4 of them to produce a light bank big enough to evenly cover 8x10. If you don't mind longer exposures, you can use just two and back them off farther to maintain the evenness of illumination. I wish I had a catalog number or product model number, but Home Depot doesn't sell them on their website. The fixture is a GE fixture, and comes with cord, bulb, ballast and switch all built in. I've got a unit set up with six fixtures plugged in to a surge strip, mounted on the underside of a shelf. I use the next shelf down to hold my printing frame when exposing. I'm getting 6 1/2 minute base exposure times for my Pt/Pd prints with this configuration, and my prints are evenly exposed.

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