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  1. #1
    Max Power's Avatar
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    Are Print Dryers Any Help in Flattening FB Papers?

    Although I have only just started to use FB paper, and am absolutely bowled over by the quality, I am very discouraged by my apparent inability to get prints to dry flat. Even after pressing under heavy books, in sheets of mat-board, they never seem to lay flat enough. Microwaving gives a stunning surface, but then I have a tough time flattening the prints. Air drying works a bit better, but the surface is a bit 'blah'.

    I know that with print dryers, there is a possible contamination issue, but apart from that, do they actually keep prints flat? I've heard that they also give a very glossy surface. I'm actually thinking of a basic Premier Print Dryer.

    Thanks,
    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  2. #2

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    I found that print dryers can be used to help flatten FB prints. Most dryers can dry either glossy or matt, glossy with print in contact with the chomium plate or matt in contact with the canvas apron. Keeping the canvas apron clean as well as the chromim plate clean and free of dust can be a chore.

  3. #3

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    Some problems you may encounter with the dryer you're looking at will be:
    Getting an even gloss, the surface of the dryer must be clean, clean, clean.
    Finding a temp that will give you a flat print can be a real pisser. If too hot you'll end up with edges that look like waves on the surface of a lake.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  4. #4
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Before I drymounted my keepers, I often dried prints between sheets in a bed with a blanket to hold them fairly flat. Then they were stored alternately face up and face down in tightly packed boxes. RC prints are only a little flatter.

  5. #5

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    Best to use the print drier as a first stage for speeding up the process. When the print is nearly but not quite dry, sandwich it between some blotting paper and heavy weights, then leave it over night. That usually does the trick for me. Also it will have to be mounted quickly as any moisture in the air will curl the prints.

    Johns points about temp are very true too, I find a temp of around 50 celcius is about right for me.

  6. #6

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    I place my prints under 4 or 5 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and leave them there for about four days. It works very well.

  7. #7
    Max Power's Avatar
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    Okay then,
    Although the Premier and Arkay print dryers seem to be the most common and least expensive, what other inexpensive option would work better, apart from simply pressing prints under weight?

    Cheers,
    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  8. #8
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    For what it is worth!
    For years there was a Print Flatning Solution that fiber based prints were soaked in before drying. Later I used I used PakoSol available from the Pako company. It had a glycerin smell, and worked wonderful. We allowed the washed prints to bathe in the PakoSol for a few minutes, then they went on to a ferrotype drum dryer until the one revolution was complete, then they were stacked front to back and placed in a "letter press" like those seen in lawyers offices with the big wheel on top for several days. When removed
    single weight was flat howeve double weight seemed to always have a slight curl from the long ends. The curl was so slight it disapeared when mounted or framed. I can't proove it but I always felt that heat dried prints had a slightly different tone to one that was air dried. Also that the heat dried print done on a double sided "flip dryer" curled more than one that was air dried.
    I use fiberglass screens today and air dry, and have little problem.

    Charlie................
    Last edited by Charles Webb; 03-12-2006 at 09:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Webb
    For years there was a Print Flatning Solution that fiber based prints were soaked in before drying. Later I used I used PakoSol available from the Pako company. It had a glycerine smell, and worked wonderful. We allowed the washed prints to bathe in the PakoSol for a few minutes, then they went on to a ferrotype drum dryer until the one revolution was complete, then they were stacked front to back and placed in a "letter press" like those seen in lawyers offices with the big wheel on top for several days.
    Application of glycerol or any hygroscopic substance to print will render the image more susceptible to fading and thus undesirable from archival standpoint. I wouldn't use it.

  10. #10
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    OK,
    I guess all the work I did from 1938 through the year 2000 for the federal government and various museum archives who specified that PakoSol be used with any prints submitted to/for their archival files is going to fade. I don't think they are going to like that! As I said it smells like glycerin. I haven't ever had a print other than color fade over the past 50 years, I guess it will start any day now. Darn, that is a bummer!

    Charlie...........................

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