Premier Print Dryer problems
While I've decided I probably don't want a ferrotype gloss on my prints, I am curious about how to get it working. I've read pretty much everything on every forum for tips (that I can find), and here's my experience:
I have an almost unused Premier Print Dryer, the 'flippy' model. It sat in a box in a basement for 15 years and as far as I know, was only used a few times. The plates appear to be pristine, from what I can tell. I haven't had any problem with my fibre prints sticking to the plate, but no matter what I try, it leaves a 'mottled' appearance on the surface of my print. I've been gently cleaning the surface with some pure glycerin-based soap, then rinsing it with filtered water. As per some advice on the forums, I've tried rubbing a drop or two of glycerin on the plate with a soft cloth, but have also tried without glycerin. After rinsing my print, I squeegee the emulsion side once on a clean surface, then place it face down on the plate, then squeegee the back side of the print to the plate several times to make sure it has good contact. I've tried low heat settings and high heat settings. I always wait until the print is completely dry and released from the plate. No matter what I try, I get this irregular patchy appearance on it. Any tips?
Secondly, how do you clean the canvas?? I don't see any obvious way to remove it. There are a total of 4 large philips screws, one in each corner, but I'm not certain if I'm supposed to undo them in order to clean it. The canvas is probably clean for now, but I know that I should probably wash it once in a while to be certain there's no chemistry on it, even though I'm pretty careful. If I dry the fiber paper face-up, I still get a very flat print (which is my primary goal, rather than the extra gloss) but that makes me paranoid about chemistry getting on it. Thanks!
Is it worth even attempting to dry RC prints on it (face up, on low temperature)? So far, ironically, my experience has given me curled prints that are not-quite-dry. I assume the water vapour can't penetrate the plastic surface of the print.
I had one of those in the early 70's. A great little print dryer. Kodak, and probably others, made Ferrotype Plate Polish at the time but I doubt that it can be found now. It was applied and left to dry then was polished off using a clean rag. Kind of like the way car wax is used. Perfect glossies every time. A medium heat setting was always used.
I never took the canvas off of mine. Just made sure the prints were thoroughly washed after HCA. After 20 years of use there were no chemical stains on the canvas. The heating element finally gave out.
I never tried RC prints on it so can't comment on that.
Use a hair dryer on RC prints. It takes only a minute or two. Get an old $5 dryer from a Salvation Army store or someplace like that. Cheapest print dryer around and the ladies in the house won't complain.
An incredibly small amount of Renaissance Wax is a great replacement for the now extinct ferrotype polish. It's not cheap but that is just more incentive to use a very small amount. I use a lint free cloth and store it in a baggie after use. Usually there is enough on the cloth and I only have to add more on occasion.
Just dry the print face up.
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Thanks, Neal. I've seen that suggested in the forums, but it's basically impossible to get in my area. I've heard that Conservator's Wax is as close as you can get, and available in my area, so I think I'll try that.
Buje, that's a good idea for RC prints. Thanks!
This comes up periodically ... maybe there should be a "Ferrotype FAQ"
If the plate has a fine pattern of scratches on it - "cleaning marks" - you may as well give up.
Cleanliness, the right amount of water on the print and the right temperature count for 99%. Any itty-bitty bit of grit on the wet print will make a large splotch in the print's ferrotype finish. The print should be just slightly wet when you squeegee/roll the print on the plate. A final rinse in Pakosol (no longer made - glycerin works) can help. Don't run the drier too hot: you can ferrotype without any heat at all - just prop the plate at an angle and the print will pop off when dry.
I clean the plates with Bon Ami cleanser - the original in the red can, not the new stuff. The original can be ordered directly from BonAmi. The bar form isn't available any longer.
For wax I use carnuba car wax - can't remember the brand, but it is without polishing compounds. I use it because I happen to have a tin of it. I imagine Johnson's wax would work as well. Kodak polish was beeswax in solvent; I have a vague recollection of someone dissolving a bit of old candle in naptha. If you use the BonAmi there isn't much reason for waxing but I do it anyway. Use very little wax, as others have mentioned.
Ferrotype tips are a lot like developer formulas: an infinite number of methods that achieve exactly the same result. Use the magic ritual that works for you.
Last edited by Nicholas Lindan; 04-27-2012 at 12:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I have tried all recommended in this thread and am still having troubles
Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time
Any specific troubles?