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  1. #1

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    Jun 2011
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    Gum Dry using hair dryer

    Hi all. Is it possible to fully dry a gum dichromate sheet with a hair dryer before exposing ? I've heard of the dryer being used to surface dry the print but that is all and as I don't have a drying cabinet, it would speed the whole process up by half for me.

    SPG

  2. #2
    dwross's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Oregon Coast
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    Hi Stephen,

    If I'm understanding your question correctly, you want to know if you can use a hairdryer to completely dry the prints between new layers (?) The first exposure is always on dry paper, of course .

    I always use a hairdryer to dry the gum/pigment before exposure. In my climate, it's the only way I'd ever get a coating to dry. Works great.

    But, after each exposure's final developer/wash tray, I hang my prints to dry. I have a small, free-standing electric oil radiator heater going in my darkroom most of the time. If I close the darkroom door with the heater going on low, and the ventilation fan on, the wet prints dry pretty fast. One thing to remember and avoid is a significantly different drying regime from one time to the next. Different drying speeds and temperatures will affect the shrinkage of the paper --more or less/depending, but there's a possibility the the differences will be enough to screw up your registrations.

    One additional thought: a drying cabinet can be as simple as a cheap food dehydrator unit with screen trays. They seem to be everywhere in stores this time of year. I have one for drying other kinds of prints, but I've standardized on the 'hang in a warm room' method for my gum prints.

    d

  3. #3

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    I just want to dry the emulsion before exposure so I will give it a go. Once washed though I will be hanging it to dry as normal.

    SPG

  4. #4

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    Be careful to either 1) keep the hair dryer moving, or 2) if you clamp it in place give it some distance. It is possible to bake the emulsion in a way that will render it fogged.

  5. #5

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    What sort of temperature should I be using ?

    SPG

  6. #6
    dwross's Avatar
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    I set my hair dryer on 'medium' and keep it moving. (I've never determined the exact temperature 'medium' is on my dryer.) It doesn't take long to dry, except for the top of the print where you start the coating. For me, at least, that's always a lot thicker and where I concentrate most of the drying. It's off the print image, so if I cook the coating a bit, I don't care. Better that than wet gum ruining a negative.

    d

  7. #7

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    It's worked so far for the sizing so I might actually try the drying the gum layer if I can work up the courage !

    SPG



 

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