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  1. #1

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    Flattening Fiber with Dry Mount Press - Dry or Damp?

    I've just recently gotten a small dry mount press in order to flatten fiber prints. Is it recommended to flatten them once the prints are fully dry or when they still have a bit of dampness to them?

    A couple of times in the past, I've gotten strange ripples at the edges when using the press and I would like to use the best techniques to avoid this from happening again.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    RPippin's Avatar
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    I flatten mine dry with two sheet of Bristol Board on each side. If there is any moisture in the print it will stick a bit to the paper. Most of my printing is done on glossy paper, don't know if it would be as much of a problem with matt, probably not.

  3. #3

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    Hi, you may be interested in trying this technique, which I have settled on for drying fibre prints- After the final wash I squeegee the prints then place them on a large sheet of glass (I use an old glazed picture frame as the frame makes it easy to handle) then along the full length of each edge of the print I put a strip of moistened gum strip (supplied by art shops), effectively taping the print to the glass and leave the print to dry overnight, cutting it out with a sharp knife the next day. The prints sometimes end up having a very gentle curve to them, but in a mount they sit perfectly flat and look great. They do not dry quite as glossy as heat dried prints, but the flatness achieved outweighs the loss of glossiness for me.... I'm considering placing the print-on-glass combo into an oven to experiment with retaining the gloss, or even the microwave, as I dry my test strips in the microwave to check for dry-down, and they always come out super glossy...

  4. #4

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    I've read about the glass technique and it sounds intriguing, but I think it would be too labor intensive for a printing session of 20-40 prints.

    Right now I'm wavering between getting drying screens or a ton of archival blotting paper for drying the prints before getting to the press stage. Decisions, decisions....

  5. #5
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    I've always just let the prints dry naturally overnight. They're not dry, through and through, but they're dry to the touch.

    I sandwich them between two sheets of clean, white craft paper and two sheets of clean matte board. I give them a good five minutes at about 225º F or 110º C. Hot enough to make any water still trapped in the paper turn to steam but not hot enough to damage the paper.

    When you take them out of the press, leave them in the "sandwich" and put a heavy book on top of them until they cool. If you make two sets of sandwich boards you can do them in assembly line fashion.

    The only time I have moistened a print is when it has been troublesome and won't flatten the way I want it to using my regular method.
    Carefully moisten the paper by wiping a damp (but not dripping wet) sponge on the back of the print. Dip the sponge in clean water. Wring it out until you can't wring out any more water. Carefully wipe on the back of the print. Flatten as above.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  6. #6

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    I air dry prints emulsion up on fiberglass screens. To flatten, I place them as mentioned above between acid free board with an interleaving sheet in my dry-mounting press with either low heat or no heat. There is also a silicon coated release paper available if you are concerned about the emulsion sticking. I only use fiber based gloss paper and suggest treating matte paper the same. Although I use glossy paper it is air dried and does not have a shiny glossy surface. I generally don't flatten unless exhibiting or selling the print. If you are dry mounting the print (which I prefer not to do) then that takes care of your flattening.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  7. #7

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    So it looks like air drying overnight should be sufficient before pressing. Dry but not too, too dry ?

    Also for interleaving, has anyone used Photo-Tex? I have a bunch I'm using for storing prints - I wonder if it would work well in the dry mount press.

  8. #8
    DarkroomDan's Avatar
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    I dry my FB prints on fiber glass screens then flatten them in my dry mount press. I have two clean sheets of matte board in the press. I usually turn the press on about twenty minutes before I intend to use it and preheat the press and the boards to 200F. Then put a print or, if there is room, two in the press between the boards. Close the press but don't lock it down. I set a timer for two minutes and after that time remove the print and place it under a weight to cool until the next print is ready. This works well for me.

    Dan
    Daniel Williams
    Enumclaw WA USA



 

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