Drying RC & FB prints to avoid curl

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Poohblah, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    I'm wondering how you guys go about drying FB and/or RC prints.

    More specifically, my school's drying rack consists of wire mesh shelves and I would like to get the most out of this (rather primitive) drying method. I've been having trouble controlling curl on FB paper, mostly. I sometimes have trouble with RC papers as well. Should I dry emulsion up, emulsion down, sandwich the print between something...?
     
  2. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    It may be primitive, but it works. Racks are the method I use in my darkroom at home.

    RC papers are easy. Squeegee off any excess water, place them face up on the screens and in an hour or so, they're dry. I get slightly curly RC prints only if the prints have been subjected to excessive wet time. There's no need for more than a 5 minute wash and you shouldn't let them sit in a tub of water while working on other prints.

    Fiber based papers present more of a challenge. I've had moderate success keeping by allowing them to soak in a solution of 1 ounce glycerine in a quart of water for 5 minutes, squeegeeing both sides of the print to remove as much excess water as possible, then placing them face up on the screens to dry. It's not perfect. The more slowly the prints dry, the less curl they take on. Works better during the humid summer months than it does in winter when central heating systems dry the air out to desert levels. Drying them face down screens often leaves the impression of the screen in the emulsion.
     
  3. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Probably emulsion side up unless maybe you want a touch of wire mesh patterns on your prints. :smile: After they are dry, press them in a blotter book. Fiber prints curl, always have and probably always will. Something about the physical properties of two dissimilar materials bonded together. I'd guess cutting the sheets of paper from a roll just might have something to do with it as well. :smile:
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    In my experience actually RC prints are more a problem than fiber in that once they get warped from being wet too long there is no way to flatten them. Fiber prints come out with much more curl but you can flatten them back with weight or a dry mount press. The screens will probably leave marks on the emulsion side.
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Were you to alternate sheets of corrugated board with
    those layers of prints and blotters you'd have the prints
    dry and flat in one move. I call it a Corrugated Board
    Stack Dryer. Rather than absorbent blotters, sheets
    of non-woven water repellent polyester are used.

    I sponge dry prior to laying in the prints. Doing
    so, I believe, will draw water from a print
    leaving it dryer to start. Any flat, clean,
    level surface will do

    I've posted many times on this subject and in some
    detail. As well as the Sticky which covers the subject
    search for, corrugated ... posts. Dan
     
  7. KenS

    KenS Member

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    curl-free FB prints

    For many years, I have squeegee'd the back and then the front (of my FB prints) with a 'flat' windscreen wiper... mine was originally purchased for a VW Beetle. The prints are then placed between sheets of blotting paper (for smaller prints cut up one of the blotter 'rolls'). The blotters are 'changed' to dry sheets about every 20 to 30 minutes or so until dry. The 'final' set are placed under a sheet of 1/4 inch plywood weighted with a bottle of water.

    I can have prints almost ready to hinge-mount in less than three hours.

    On the rare occasions (ie when Q & D RC print is required for 'evaluation') the print is squeegee'd and the emulsion dried with portable hair drier

    Ken
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    Thanks Jason, I'm sorry. I'm not really sure how I missed the sticky.