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  1. #1
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    FB washing method?

    I actually don't recollect a discussion of this burning, pivotal analog topic previously on APUG.
    Could it be?
    I'm sure that there are as many print washing routines as there are APUGers. The goal being to achieve a complete wash without wasting time and water. I'd be interested in hearing about other's methods, opinions and results.

    Here's my current method.
    Too much? Too Little? Any comments welcome.

    I don't use an Archival ($$$$$) style washer. I have about three washtub types of various shapes, sizes and designs that work on the old principle of circulating fresh water in at one end and drawing it out from the bottom and the top at the other end. Sure, the prints aren't all nicely, individually separated but with occasional hand shuffling by an unskilled laborer (Me), I think that they are reasonably efficient.

    1) After fixing, the prints go into a holding tub of water until the end of the session.
    2) After the session, the prints get a fresh water rinse to get the excess fixer water off of them and then go into a flowing water wash as described above. Shuffled by hand
    3) The prints go into a tray of Perma-Wash and get shuffled occasionally. Meanwhile, I empty the washer and rinse it and refill it (or just fill a different one).
    4) I can't stand the idea of dumping prints covered in P-W into the clean water so I rinse them again to remove the excess.
    5) Put them back in the washer for probably well over what P-W recommends, shuffling and separating occasionally.
    6) Drain, squeegee and hang.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  2. #2
    ann
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    this has been discussed, and if i remember correctly more than once.

  3. #3
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I've seen a few general discussions of print washing, mainly anecdotal information about soak and dump methods but very little on the actual methods and equipment that folks have adopted and adapted to their own personal production routines.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  4. #4
    lee
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    Neal, the only real way to know if you have washed long enough is to buy one of the residual fix kits from someone like the Formulary. Then you will know. With my archival washer, it takes about 48 minutes and I let it go for one hour. Most of the fixer is removed with soaking and dissolving and turbulence over the print surface does not do too much to remove the fix. This is what makes the dump and fill attractive to many users.

    lee\c

  5. #5
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    I think I've see it before too but here goes.

    I print mostly large 16x20 and 20x24. I go from the 2nd fix to a 20x24 tray with a Kodak siphon. The print is washed there for around 5-10 minutes while I'm doing other stuff then into perma wash. Again it sits there for about 10 minutes and into the archival washer, filled, but not circulating water.

    The current wisdom is that soaking and intermittent changing or water is just as beneficial as running water.

    So I soak, until all prints are finished printing then I turn on the washer for about an hour.

    If I tone which I do a lot of (selenium) I use the above procedure but I go from the initial permawash back to the siphon tray for about 5 minutes and then into the selenium for about 5 min. From the selenium back to the siphon wash for 5 minutes and back to the permawash for 5-10 min. From there into the archival washer and it sits until the last print is printed/toned and then I circulate the washer for 1 hour.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #6

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    i usually go from the first fix bath to a holding try with water that is dumped every once in a while. when i get all my prints out of my first fix i then do the 2nd fix, then a 5 min shuffle-fill/dump then the recommended perma wash ... the final wash i usually do at least 20-25 fill/dumps and shuffling the whole time.

    i never use hardener in my fixers.

  7. #7
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    My washing technique is identical to Michaels
    I do a light squeege and place prints face up on a screen with one on top , I then air dry the sandwich on racks that run the length of my room, I do not stack the sandwiches on top of each other as I find it takes much longer period to dry, this eliminates the water pooling.
    Finally I press the prints face up between two archival boards in a Hot Press.

  8. #8
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee
    Neal, the only real way to know if you have washed long enough is to buy one of the residual fix kits from someone like the Formulary.
    lee\c
    Instead just get some Silver Nitrate and make your own test kit.

    Kodak HT-2:
    45 ml Aqua Dest.
    8 ml 28% acetic acid
    400 mg silver nitrate
    (remake every 30 days so don't make more than ca 50 ml at a go)
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

  9. #9

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    I just bought a Versalab washer and I've only begun to start again using fiber based paper seriously.

    Thus far, my method is to use a two fixer bath of rapid fix mixed to film strength. From the second fixer, I put prints in an oversized tray with a weak mixture of a wash aid (I've use variously Orbit Bath, Hustler Rapid Bath and Heico Perma Wash). I then give the prints five minutes rinse with a Kodak tray siphon while shuffling them constantly. Then they go in the wash aid bath for five minutes of constant shuffling. From that, they go into the Versalab. I've used the Photographer's Formulary residual hypo test solution and I've found 60 minutes is just about perfect with a low flow of wash water. To be sure, I'll go a bit longer. I've also read that leaving the prints to soak overnight after about 30 minutes in the wash works even better than 60 minutes in constantly running water but I haven't tried it.

  10. #10
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee
    Neal, the only real way to know if you have washed long enough is to buy one of the residual fix kits from someone like the Formulary. Then you will know. With my archival washer, it takes about 48 minutes and I let it go for one hour. Most of the fixer is removed with soaking and dissolving and turbulence over the print surface does not do too much to remove the fix. This is what makes the dump and fill attractive to many users.

    lee\c
    Using a residual fix test, I've found the dump and fill method works. I don't do any running water wash anymore. After toning and the Perma Wash bath, I start soaking the prints in Rubbermaid dish tubs. Using two dish tubs, I can alternate the print stack from one tub of fresh water to the other. Total soak time is about two hours, changing water about every twenty minutes. According to the silver nitrate test, its working.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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