Anyone out there have a link to an article on sizing your own paper?
I purchased some Arches 88. It is absolutely the softest, smoothest, dreamiest, thirstiest paper imaginable. Without sizing it cannot be coated.
It would have to be a tray method for one 11x14 sheet at a time, as I have no industrial troughs for the 22x30 papers.
You might try this techniques described for salted papers using arrowroot starch.
Here's Dick Sullivan's 'quick sizing' method:
Topic: Instant Sizing (1 of 6), Read 53 times
Conf: Alt Photo Circle -- Host: Dick Sullivan
From: Dick Sullivan (email@example.com)
Date: Tuesday, December 14, 1999 09:37 AM
I worked up this method a while back. I would appreciated hearing from anyone
else who tries it.
plate glass coating surface
Knox gelatin or deionized ossein.
windshield wiper blade
Optional: syringe and glass coating rod
Making the gelatin
put 1 to 3 grams of gelatin in a small bottle that is 100 ml to 200 ml.
More geletin = more sizing. 1 gm = light sizing 3gm = moderate sizing.
Add 100 ml of room temp water.
Shake vigorously. (Put in back pocket and play Chubby Checker records.)
Zap in Microwave for 10-15 secs.
When it gets hot to hold let sit until no gelatin particles are visible through
the bottle when held up to the light.
(This sounds like a lot of work but in reality it can be done in a minute or two.
it takes longer to descriobe than to do.)
You can now put bottle and all in a tray of cool water to cool it down. Bottle
and any left over gelatin can be put into a fridge and "remelted" in microwave
later for use.
You can now add a few drops of formaldehyde (not recommended) or glyoxal as a
affixing the paper.
Find a nice piece of 1/4 plate glass that is somewhat larger than the paper you
will size. This is always a handy work surface for rod coating etc.
Tape the paper to be sized down on the glass in "landscape mode." Tape completely
covering the left and right edges.
(Again this is a zip-zip quick procedure that takes longer to describe than to
Coating the paper. (right handed procedure. Lefties should stand on their head to
Place the coating rod on the right hand side of the paper. Pour about 5-10 mls of
gelatin solution against the rod. (a syringe works well for laying doen the gel
against the rod.) Spread the gel around with the rod. (the rod is a spreader
only, not a coater like in platinum coating. As soon as the paper is thoroughly
wet, take the wiper blade on squeegee off the gel.
Set paper aside. It will curl downwards making a slight arch. The paper will dry
in a few minutes and you can usually pile the sized paper on each other without
All of this sounds like a lot of trouble but it really isn't. Once you are set up
you can size a piece of paper in less than a minute. Since you are not soaking
the paper and only one side is wet, it dries rapidly. There is no messy dip and
dunk, no lines with drippy bits, etc.
[quote="Deckled Edge"]Anyone out there have a link to an article on sizing your own paper?
Here is an excerpt from my gum-platinum workshop manual that may be of some help:
The platinum print should be re-sized for optimum results with the subsequent gum layers. Sizing seals the surface of the paper and minimizes pigment staining problems and aids in smooth, even development. I've tried several different methods and materials for sizing, and have come full circle to a standard gelatin size with hardener. The hardening can be done as a separate step after the sizing has dried, but this is just more work. I prefer to add the hardener directly to the sizing as described in Livick's book (see References). There are times when you may want some pigment stain on a first gum coat and you can accomplish this by not sizing until after the first gum coat (more on pigment stain later).
To make 2% to 4% gelatin sizing;
- Add 2 gm to 4 gm gelatin per 100 ml distilled water. Allow to 'bloom' for 20-30 minutes
- Heat to no more than 140oF
- Optional: Can add ethyl alcohol (Everclear) to reduce sparklies at a ratio from 15:1 to 20:1 gelatin to alcohol
- To harden and preserve the gelatin add formaldehyde (37%) or glyoxal (40%).
WARNING: Formaldehyde is a hazardous chemical and must be handled appropriately. Skin, eye and breathing protection are a must.
We will use glyoxal as a less hazardous substitute for formaldehyde. It works well, but you should print on it soon after sizing otherwise the sizing may yellow.
Add the hardener at the rate of 1 ml per 1.5 gm of gelatin. For example:
100ml of 3% sizing contains 3 gm of sizing. To this add 2 ml of hardener.
100ml of 4% sizing contains 4 gm of sizing. To this add 2.7 ml of hardener.
6 drops hardener for every 10 ml of 3% sizing
8 drops of hardener for every 10 ml of 4% sizing
Coat the paper quickly with a glass rod or hake brush or a combination of both. The gelatin soon becomes sticky as it cools, so work quickly.
Allow the sizing to dry completely. The paper is now ready for adding the gum bichromate layer(s).
It's really pretty easy to do and doesn't take much time if you batch it. Be careful about heating sizinig in a microwave. They don't heat evenly and if you overheat it, you'll render it DOA. I prefer to heat my sizing on a mug warmer if I'm only making a small quantity, or in a double-boiler type setup on a small electric burner if I'm making larger quantities.
Can anyone comment on arrowroot starch for sizing? I'd like to try and size the stonehenge rising (which is not working out for me) and the arrowroot starch method sounds easier.
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Thanks for the article. Where does one obtain glyoxal? What is it, and what precautions are required in its handling, heating and use?
BTW YOU are the reason I'm in this mess, stripped of my net worth. I took your Yosemite Platinum course in 2000 and now have all my assets in potassium chloroplatinite. I won't stop until I get your fabulous results.
Originally Posted by Deckled Edge
Ummm.... sorry? Although I hear this alot "it's your fault I bought a bigger camera, spent all my kids college money on platinum and palladium, my wife left me because I was always in the darkroom..."
You can get Glyoxal from B&S, Artcraft chemical and probably other places as well. I don't know much more about it than what I posted before. It's thought to be less hazardous than formaldehyde, but I don't know that it's been studied nearly as much. I use formaldehyde as a hardener and wear nitrile gloves and a respirator with cartridges specifically for formaldehyde. Standard acid/gas type cartridges don't protect for formaldehyde.
Hang in there. It'll come together if you really want it to. I'm teaching gum-platinum in Yosemite in December... Oh, nevermind.