Thanks for that tip. That sounds like the simplest solution of all. Though it does raise the question of what steps need to be taken after coating and drying the paper. If one uses a hair dryer (as recommended) to dry the emulsion, does that not dehumidify the paper enough to cause problems?
Also, would you recommend acid soak even for papers that are not typically regarded as requiring it, such as Cranes Platinotype?
I find that elaborate humidity chambers and controls are overkill. I just tell my customers to coat their paper with distilled water or 10% oxalic solution and let it sit until it's about 90% dry before putting emulsion down. If you're trying to get water into the fibers of the paper, I don't see any reason to jump through hoops by controlling the ambient humidity. You're not trying to trick the paper into having water in it, you don't have to sneak up on it and surprise it. Just put the water on the paper and forget about the circus tricks.
...If one uses a hair dryer (as recommended) to dry the emulsion, does that not dehumidify the paper enough to cause problems?Paul
Is a hair drier still "recommended"? I use to use a hair drier (after waiting ten minutes or so to let it really sink in). But after getting asthma from the platinum dust the drier kicked up, I went to air drying (paper tacked to a wall with a fan blowing over the paper) -- and got better prints for it. I coat all the sheets I will be using that printing session, and once the prints are dry enough, I put them in a box to hold them until I need them. If your RH is very low, you can put them in a plastic bag to hold the moisture level.
Dana -- how does one determine "90% dry"?
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
From reading some of the previous posts it appears that many if not most people do not recommend drying with a hair dryer. I guess I was trying to be true to what Dick Arentz recommends in his book.
I think I will try what Dana recommends and coat the paper either with water or and oxalic acid solution, and once coated with sensitizer, will let the paper air dry. I will also try to crank up the rh in the corner of the basement in which I work with a humidifier.