Old print dryer question

ABrosig

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Location
Nacogdoches TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Inherited an old (old , old, old - you get the idea) 16x20 print dryer (Arkay, I think). I've had an upholstery shop make me up a new canvas top because the old one was just too stained and torn to be usable.

That wasn't the problem. The metal plate was rusted/corroded on about one-third of the surface. I used distilled white vinegar and removed all the visible rust, which left pitting in the metal which I sanded away as best I could with 120-grit wet sand paper. It feels smooth to my hand, but I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on should I be concerned re. contamination/staining,etc of prints? Any input would be appreciated.

Getting my darkroom set back up and relearning me some b&w shooting. Digital, which I use for work (photojournalism) is seeming a bit sterile to me. Hoping to get the creative juices flowing once again. Thanks in advance for responses.
 

timor

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
5,905
Reaction score
890
Location
Toronto ON
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
That wasn't the problem. The metal plate was rusted/corroded on about one-third of the surface. I used distilled white vinegar and removed all the visible rust, which left pitting in the metal which I sanded away as best I could with 120-grit wet sand paper. It feels smooth to my hand,
I would suggest to go on to 400 grit and then to even finer. As the final step use a car buffer with some buffing paste (for chromium ?). The problem is with glossy paper any imperfection will be instantly visible. But not so much with matte papers.
Good luck with the darkroom. :thumbup:
 

Helen B

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
3,296
Reaction score
467
Location
Hell's Kitchen, New York
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
It depends on whether or not you want to ferrotype (glaze, in the UK) glossy paper. Many people do not, though I think it suits some images. Glossy paper is more commonly dried the same way as matte - ie image side to the apron (cloth). The gelatin takes the impression of whatever it dries to. If you dry it against a scratched or pitted surface (even slightly) there is also a good chance that it won't come off without rewetting or damage because the gelatin keys into the tiny surface imperfections.

I guess that you know that you can't use it for resin coated paper (RC) only fibre based (FB).
 
OP
A

ABrosig

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Location
Nacogdoches TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Helen and Timur: Thanks for the replies - I definitely plan to dry images "face up" as it were. I've never been into the, to me, over-glossy look of a ferrotype surface. Though I did get two, 11x14 plates with the dryer (they're rusted even more than the dryer was). I have used a fiber dryer to "shock" dry RC prints, on a very low setting, one at a time. But I usually hang-dry RC. I don't really have room to build the massive, plastic-screen drying rack I'd love to have for RC.

The idea of a car buffer and polishing compound never occurred to me. Do you think there'd be any danger of compound getting stuck in any imperfections and staining prints? I think that would be my biggest concern with that plan. I'm going to also (probably) try to score some kraft paper as another buffer between the print surface and the canvas. It's a very fine canvas, but I see the concern about texture transfer. I plan to work primarily with matte paper for my final, exhibition prints, so texture might not be as big a concern as it would be with glossy. My father, who taught me darkroom 40 years ago, used to use a towel, but that always resulted in little bits of fluff stuck all over the prints. Real pain to get off.

The darkroom has been in boxes/closet for probably 8 years now. Luckily, everything is still working. I'm really exited about getting it set up again and getting back to my roots. Digital, which I shoot for work, is becoming a little mechanical to me.

Thanks for the input. Any other ideas really welcome.
 

timor

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
5,905
Reaction score
890
Location
Toronto ON
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The idea of a car buffer and polishing compound never occurred to me. Do you think there'd be any danger of compound getting stuck in any imperfections and staining prints? I think that would be my biggest concern with that plan.
If you have no intention to dry paper for high gloss then there is no problem with polishing ferrotype plates. Just keep them clean and off course rust free, more important will be state of the canvas.
Welcome back from the digital world.
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top