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Thread: Print washer

  1. #11
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dario View Post
    ... One possibility is to use partitions that have a textured surface. ...
    This was done for my washer and it works very well.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  2. #12

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    On mine, there is no special device preventing from prints sticking. However, the plastic dividers are made out of textured plastic material and not super smooth like Plexiglas. With water flowing and flowing around the prints, they float nicely between the dividers.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #13
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dario View Post
    Could you describe the notches please? Depth, width?

    Also, what is the difference in height between the higher and lower partitions? Half an inch, maybe? Or less?
    The notches are spaced perhaps 1/2 inch apart from each other, and they are not even 1/8 inch deep or wide.

    The difference in height between every other partition is somewhere from 1/2 inch to 1 inch. (I am doing this description without the washer in front of me, as it is not mine.)

    Maybe frosted Plexiglas would help prevent sticking.

    Each compartment is about 1/2 inch wide.

    You need a rubber-tipped fishing pole as well, to pull the prints out.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  4. #14
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    The process of print washing is a combination of displacement and diffusion. In other words, you want to rinse the prints off first, to get excess fixer removed quickly, after which you want the print in the washer to slowly diffuse the remaining fixer out of the emulsion and the paper fibers. Only slow flow rates are required to do so.
    Ralph makes a very important point- if you are concerned about water consumption

    If you rinse the fix off a print, then the amount of water you need to adequately wash it is surprisingly low.

    I am not sure, but I think I saw an article from Ilford many years ago that showed a 10x8 could be washed to archival standards with less than 1 litre of water.

    Martin

  5. #15
    ROL
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    Perhaps I can add a pragmatic perspective to the otherwise fairly accurate, albeit theoretical tenor of this thread. I routinely use four different designs of print washers (see this, if you need a picture).

    1. Flat Style
      I use a simple flat washer for holding and pre-wash of up to 16X20 ("mural washer" for greater than 16X20).
    2. Cascade Style
      A 16X20 Cachet Eco Wash of the same apparent (common) cascade design of the Summitek is used for prints up to 16X20. It has a reservoir inlet and outlet (on the opposing side) at the top. 12 slots are created by 11 identically sized, smooth acrylic (plexi) panels, alternating in height. Every other one (high dividers) is raised enough to allow water to pass underneath, while alternates (low dividers) allow flow over their tops through notches, just as in the Summitek diagrams. I don't believe notching is absolutely necessary with this design, but leveling is. Prints just don't stick to the panels once inserted. They can be difficult to insert if not entirely wetted. This is another good reason to use a pre-wash/holding bath. The idea of this washer design is that it functions essentially as an automated, slow–diffusion, fill-and-dump. If memory serves, I believe Steve Anchell made a study of these washers and determined that they were the most efficient, because of the ease of diffusion and water consumption, at cleaning prints of hypo. If concerned about the outflow "contamination" of downflow prints, just observe the first in, first out – inflow to outflow – protocol of the the slot locations.
    3. Cross–Jet Style
      For prints up to 20X24, I use a Calumet (Gravity Works?) cross–jet style washer, which essentially provides each print with its own independent inlet and outlet. The same care must be taken to insert less than saturated prints as with the cascade style.
    4. Mural prints up to 30X40 are washed in a flat washer of my own design, which functions primarily as a fill-and-dump style washer.


    I have never experienced any washing problems with either style of washer and would rate them the same, except that the cascade style uses much less water. If I had a choice (rather than using what I have for the required print size), my preference would be that all my washers, including those for murals, be cascade style. But, admittedly, my prints may be washed fairly well before they ever enter the washers, as they are pre-washed in holding and receive a brief hypo-clearing wash prior to full washing.
    Last edited by ROL; 04-24-2011 at 01:58 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: clean up

  6. #16
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    ... If I had a choice ..., my preference would be that all my washers, including those for murals, be cascade style. But, admittedly, my prints may be washed fairly well before they ever enter the washers, as they are pre-washed in holding and receive a brief hypo-clearing wash prior to full washing.
    This is an often overlooked point when discussing print washing. Most washing sequences are a mixture of rinse (displacement), HCA (chemical support) and washing over time (diffusion). Due to my workflow, by the time my prints enter the washer, most of the fixer is already gone.

    By the way, great darkroom design ROL! Looks very neat and comfortable. Something, I believe, that is important for quality work.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  7. #17

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I think I've got it sussed now.

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