Best way to flatten a fiber print?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by jcdeboever, Jul 10, 2019 at 7:29 AM.

  1. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I recently started printing on fiber paper and the annoying thing is it comes out all wrinkled compared to the RC paper. I don't want to tape or staple the edges for obvious reason and not sure it would work anyway. That's how I prepared watercolor paper back in the day, get it wet and water tape the edges on a shellacked board, let it dry, and then paint on it. When the painting was finished, it dried nice and flat.

    I recently ironed one and it came out fine but it scared the crap out of me. I sandwiched the print between craft paper and it came out fine but made me real nervous. Any other ways, better ones?


     
  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    An old Encyclopedia Britannica (at least 3 volumes), patience, and controlled humidity.

    Joe

    P.S. The ironing is fine. Heat in fact can temper the gelatin emulsion in contact with a surface that won't melt or stick. A dry mount press applies considerable heat and I used to vary the material in the press that was in contact with the print surface for effect. Common practice with a mount press is to use a sheet of mat board in contact with the print surface. But I like a print surface with a little more sheen to it and so I'd slip in a sheet of hard-surfaced butcher paper between the mat board and the print. I went through a stage for a while where I went a step further and waxed my prints. I used to buff them on the dining room table with and electric drill which amused my wife. I gave that up over concerns for damage over time from the wax.
     
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  3. IanG

    IanG No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use a dry mounting press, it's the easiest way to flatten fibre based prints.

    Ian
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I used to use a dry mount press. Worked pretty well.
     
  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When I took a darkroom workshop at a local university (grad level art course) I learned how to dry mount... don't remember for sure but seems like I tried fiber, don't remember it wrinkling but don't remember if it was tricky to get it to dry flat or not.

    I remember we used dry mounting tissue... We also used a tacking iron to hold the print in place on the backing mat before it went in the press. With a small print maybe you could just use a tacking iron but I suppose it could take awhile to do a large print!?

    I'm thinking we used dry mounting tissue to protect the print and didn't apply heat directly on the photograph, but is that right?? If/when I have time and/or remember I could look at my notes from the class and see...


    (I took an online class on encaustics, didn't get too far with it yet, centuries old process that involves layers of beeswax w/resin, metal palette and heat gun, etc. etc. Which is getting OT but somebody mentioned wax...)
     
  6. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I use RagMount dry mount tissue, an old iron and a 100% cotton t-shirt on top to protect the print.
     
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  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    There used to be old devices called ferrotyping tins, Which were basically polished steel plates, and the user dried prints face down, and in this way got a really glossy finish to the print.
     
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  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    It has been literally decades since I have printed much on fiber-based paper.

    One solution to getting a nice print is to dry smaller prints on a really clean bathroom mirror. After the final wash, place the image side of the print onto the mirror, and using a stiff rubber squeegee, remove excess water, and allow the print to dry and then to fall off .
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    with larger prints such as eight by tens, you might find that you have to either weight them down,or as you did, to iron them. I remember drying stacks of 8 x 10 prints face-to-face in between heavily weighted cafeteria trays, or between stacks of paper, designed to absorb every last bit of moisture that was in the photographic prints which had been rack dried.

    resin coated paper is really pretty handy, but I do not think it makes nearly as nice a photographic print as fiber-based paper.
     
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  10. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oh, ferrotype plates!! I have some of those, love 'em! Vintage, and they do have to be in good shape, they don't work so well if they're dented or banged up. (I have some with that statue on the paper cover). I use them for RC prints or lumen prints, makes them nice 'n glossy/shiny! Just put them face down, use my good ol' Kodak black rubber squeegee, and they'll pop loose as they dry.

    Was thinking too I've used drying booklets, usually after I've squeegeed a print, those work well too (with RC anyway).


    Edit - Apollo, the brand of ferrotype plates (that's who that dude is!)
    Delta, the photo drying books. Both work like a dream.
     
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  11. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  12. dennyr

    dennyr TPF Noob!

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    Mr. Derrel mentioned above.....it REALLY Helps to push as much water from the washed print, as you can, before you let it dry.
    I typically use SOME Weight, with the print(s) between two screens.
    You might be able to find something that was made to iron T-Shitrts...something like that...in place of a Dry-Mount press.?
    I do not have people beating down my door to buy prints, so i simply use the "Encyclopedia Method" to finish the job. :)
    good luck
     
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