Thanks for mentioning the Bon Ami. Being an ex-Navy photographer,
I just tend to throw Brasso at any shiny surface, but we do use Bon
Ami around the house. The form we use is from a powdered
dispenser, like Ajax or Comet. I haven't seen the cake variety.
I'm guessing the powdered form would work just as well.
That makes sense about there being petroleum distillates in brasso.
It took a lot of polishing to get most/all of the oil off the
surface of the drum, and maybe all of it didn't get off and some of
the pitting I have left might actually be from oil on the drum
pulling lint off the apron and pressing it into the emulsion.
Do you recollect if that ferrotyping polish was used in a heated
process or for room temperature ferrotyping? I'm thinking that
probably wouldn't be the ticket on the kind of hot drum + linen
apron glazer I've got.
Very helpful post. One more independant variable to add to the
mix -- roller tension. The other night, I got decided to pull the
apron off the dryer. It took the better part of an hour, but I got
it off, washed it once with soap and bleach, once with soap only,
then dried it on low for a long time, so now it should be
relatively cleaner and have less lint. I'll Bon Ami the drum
before I put the apron back on, to make sure I've got it as
polished as I can and have gotten the oils off from the Brasso.
Up until today, my darkroom has been out of commission and full of
saw- and sheetrock-dust since I've been adding electrical outlets to
the wall, ceiling and a small dry counter. To test the dryer, I've
taken previously printed prints of mine, soaked them in water for
fifteen minutes to an hour, then run them through. I haven't even
added photo-flo to the water, and I haven't run a test yet with the
gelatin mixture, so I'll do that with both of those once I get some
fresh prints, hopefully today.
Also -- as I was disassembling my dryer to get the apron off, I notice
that the wing nut on either side of the unit controlled tension on a
spring attached to what I'll call the primary squeegee roller. This
is the roller that, through the apron, first presses the print against
the drum. There's a corresponding roller (both rubber) on the
opposite side of the drum immediately before the print comes out from
under the apron, but it's fixed and not adjustable.
Sincee my dryer doesn't have adjustable heat or speed (I didn't see
any rheostats when I had it torn apart), perhaps this tension
adjustment might be the next best thing. If I reduce the tension on
the roller at the entrance to the drying path, it might press out less
water and let the print take a little longer to dry.
This is actually quite fun. I had no idea there was so many things to
consider when I dug into this issue. Hopefully, I'll have some
production quality prints to show for the effort.
Anyone have any ideas on the archival impact of the gelatin mixture?