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View Full Version : How do you flatten your glossy fibrebase or Baryta darkroom prints after air drying ?



Gudmundur Ingolfsson
22-May-2017, 08:04
I am printing a lot of pictures on glossy Ilford fibre base cool tone and Adox MCC 110 papers. I have gotten a routine in fixing toning and drying those but when it comes to flatten I am a bit frustrated. I use a sponge to slightly moisten the backside of the print in then I put it under the hot mounting press for 30 seconds. This goes well up to size 11x14" but I do not get 16x20" or 20x24"s flat enough. My aim is to have the prints flat enough to overmat without having to drymount when I put them in a frame. Maybe the flattening should be done in the drying process ?

Fred L
22-May-2017, 09:48
I used to dry fiber prints by drying them using blotter sheets. usually had prints between two blotter sheets above and below, and with a weight on top while they dried, they came out flat.

Arne Croell
22-May-2017, 09:54
I am printing a lot of pictures on glossy Ilford fibre base cool tone and Adox MCC 110 papers. I have gotten a routine in fixing toning and drying those but when it comes to flatten I am a bit frustrated. I use a sponge to slightly moisten the backside of the print in then I put it under the hot mounting press for 30 seconds. This goes well up to size 11x14" but I do not get 16x20" or 20x24"s flat enough. My aim is to have the prints flat enough to overmat without having to drymount when I put them in a frame. Maybe the flattening should be done in the drying process ?
What temperature setting do you use in the drymount press? 30s seems a bit short to me, I usually use 1-2 min, without any additional moistening - the water vapor adsorbed in the paper is usually enough.

Gudmundur Ingolfsson
22-May-2017, 09:57
Thanks for your answer, but can you dry glossy prints with blotters too ?

jp
22-May-2017, 10:19
I use a drymount press and a couple of clean matboards.. Warm it up and press the mattboards for a couple minutes and open it up to let the moisture out, then insert a print for a minute or so. Repeat drying the matboards if needed as they absorb moisture.

Arne Croell
22-May-2017, 10:35
I use a drymount press and a couple of clean matboards.. Warm it up and press the mattboards for a couple minutes and open it up to let the moisture out, then insert a print for a minute or so. Repeat drying the matboards if needed as they absorb moisture.
Agreed - I use 2 4-ply matboards below and one above the print, plus a sheet each of "release" paper (i.e. siliconized paper)in direct contact with print. Temperature setting is around 230F (110C), for 1-2min.

Robert Opheim
22-May-2017, 11:00
I have been printing on Adox MCC 110 and am now currently making 16x20 prints. To flatten them I put them in my drymount press between two sheets of museum board without adding any water and press them for 1 minute. I pull them out of the press between the board still - and put a weight on top of them for 2 or three minutes. My weight - I had made at a welding shop - is a 3/16" sheet of plate metal with two handles welded on the back. I can easily handle a 20x24 matte print size.

Greg Y
22-May-2017, 14:58
I use the same system as Arne..... press between 2 mat boards & release paper... then I let them cool under a piece of plate glass.

Corran
22-May-2017, 17:41
Recently I've started hanging mine up with 4 clothespins on the corners as shown. This has drastically reduced curl while drying. I have some high-test fishing line strung all the way across my darkroom up near the ceiling for hanging.

It's flat enough to stick in a mat and frame without much trouble and doesn't push up the windowed mat. If not matting immediately I stack the prints in a paper box of that size to flatten more.

I don't have a press or anything to do much else and didn't want to have space tied up with weighted-down prints.

165232

Kirk Gittings
22-May-2017, 18:07
I use the same system as Arne..... press between 2 mat boards & release paper... then I let them cool under a piece of plate glass.

Ditto except I used to let them cool in the DMP. That took to long. I now use a granite sink cutout ($5 from a local fabricator) with a clean sheet of paper to cover the print. The granite sucks the heat right out of the paper.

Luis-F-S
22-May-2017, 18:13
I know you want to flatten a single sheet but you can always dry mount it to a blank sheet (or a junk print for that matter) if you want it incredibly flat!

Peter Collins
22-May-2017, 19:22
Great idea, Kirk!

Roger Thoms
22-May-2017, 22:21
I use a piece of granite just like Kirk, in fact I probably got the idea from him, pretty sure he has posted that suggestion previously.

Roger

Chester McCheeserton
23-May-2017, 10:42
I found that adding sheets of 4 or 8 ply museum board in the dry mount press to increase the pressure really helped. Think I did 3 minutes at 225 and then would have a 2nd flattening station, usually an empty 20x24 ilford box reversed, with clean museum boards, right next to the press. I would quickly take the print out of the press and while it's still hot put it face down in the paper box top, then put the bottom (smaller) piece on and quickly stack a bunch of weight on top to apply pressure as the print cools. I used big stacks of old Artforum magazines as weights and would repeat this process for each print as it came out of the press and then leave the prints under those weights for a week - 10 days...

Chester McCheeserton
23-May-2017, 10:47
if you really want them to stay flat in the mat without mounting you kinda have to print with slightly larger white borders though, like at least 1.5 inches

brad martin
23-May-2017, 16:55
+1 on the release paper.

brad martin
23-May-2017, 17:00
Ditto except I used to let them cool in the DMP. That took to long. I now use a granite sink cutout ($5 from a local fabricator) with a clean sheet of paper to cover the print. The granite sucks the heat right out of the paper.

That is brilliant. Thanks.

John Kasaian
9-Jul-2017, 17:27
Ditto except I used to let them cool in the DMP. That took to long. I now use a granite sink cutout ($5 from a local fabricator) with a clean sheet of paper to cover the print. The granite sucks the heat right out of the paper.

I found a guy on Craig's List that has a bunch of granite counter top cut outs and scraps under "Free Stuff"
I'm heading over there this evening to take a look.

John Kasaian
9-Jul-2017, 20:17
I found a guy on Craig's List that has a bunch of granite counter top cut outs and scraps under "Free Stuff"
I'm heading over there this evening to take a look.
Got it!
And I wasn't going to drag any more photography stuff home.
Oh well :cool:

Peter De Smidt
9-Jul-2017, 20:33
I used a sheet of plate steel instead of granite.

Jac@stafford.net
10-Jul-2017, 07:11
One of these with the print sandwiched between blotter papers. Works for me, but I make small prints.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ac/0e/a1/ac0ea126cbe36d2c1830f2a703c6f051--antique-tools-handmade-books.jpg

John Kasaian
10-Jul-2017, 14:12
One of these with the print sandwiched between blotter papers. Works for me, but I make small prints.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ac/0e/a1/ac0ea126cbe36d2c1830f2a703c6f051--antique-tools-handmade-books.jpg
That is very cool!

Jac@stafford.net
10-Jul-2017, 14:35
That is very cool!

Thanks. It is so handy! Mine is not decorated, but the same thing. If I had not found it in the neighborhood I would not have it. Heavy! Shipping is expensive. I'm not sure what it is. The previous owner, a photographer, called it a copy press. Dunno. I think it is a bookbinders press.

paulbarden
10-Jul-2017, 17:18
Nothing produces a flatter print (for me) than taping (with kraft tape for watercolor users: wettable glue on one side) a wet print to a sheet of glass, and allowing it to dry.

Kirk Gittings
10-Jul-2017, 17:23
Dry mount press.

Roger Thoms
10-Jul-2017, 18:02
One thing that helps is drying the prints between two window screens.

Roger

John Kasaian
10-Jul-2017, 19:00
One thing that helps is drying the prints between two window screens.

Roger

The piece of granite counter top I picked up last night is big enough to cut in half, I figured being in between two sides of polished smooth granite ought to do a good job of it. I don't know how much that's going to cost but it shouldn't be terribly expensive (in keeping with my bottom feeder financial practices :rolleyes: )

Gudmundur Ingolfsson
11-Jul-2017, 13:25
Thanks for all the information in this thread. Now I wet the back of the glossy print slightly with a sponge, then I put it in the hot mounting press for a minute or two and then I cool the print under the polished granite for a few minutes while I dampen the next and put it in the press. Nice results. Thanks again !

AtlantaTerry
11-Jul-2017, 19:43
Way back in the '60s when I was a city newspaper photojournalist, we used to dry our wet prints on a chromed-surface print dryer. The drum was VERY hot in order to be able to get them to the desks of the editors. If we did nothing, the prints were rolled up and difficult for the editors to handle. So what we would do after the prints popped off the dryer is to put them face down on a blotter and wipe the back with a damp (but not dripping wet) sponge. The fibers would take in some of the moisture and the prints would relax then lie flat. It only takes a bit of practice to learn the technique. Just be sure to use a clean sponge and fresh water so as to not contaminate your freshly washed prints.

Jim Jones
11-Jul-2017, 19:56
Thanks. It is so handy! Mine is not decorated, but the same thing. If I had not found it in the neighborhood I would not have it. Heavy! Shipping is expensive. I'm not sure what it is. The previous owner, a photographer, called it a copy press. Dunno. I think it is a bookbinders press.

It's a copying press. A nipping press is similar, but can press a higher stack of material. I had a copying press decades ago for hand-binding books.