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Thread: Drying HUGE fibre prints

  1. #11

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    I assume you are using the roll-reroll technique for processing such large prints. If so, draining is really important to reduce the water weight in the print before drying. If you have a large enough flat surface to lay out the prints and squeegee them (truck windshield wipers), I would do that. If not, then let them drip loosely rolled up and in a vertical position for a while.

    For drying, I would recommend (in order of preference) appropriately-sized screens or mesh (nylon, not metal!) in frames (you can get a screen shop to make them up, or do-it-yourself at most big-box hardware stores). Lay the prints flat or slightly tilted and face-up if you tone. For some reason, toning makes my prints susceptible to screen marks. With prints that size and the accompanying investment in time and expense, you just don't want to take that chance.

    Next, you could use tightly stretched linen or cotton sheets of the appropriate size or, for that matter, any inert type of netting, even fairly coarse (a safety net might work just great, you don't need fine mesh, even a mesh with a six-inch opening would likely work fine). Again, lay the prints flat or slightly tilted and face up. The trick here would be to minimize the bowing.

    Hanging prints by the corners would be my last choice, just because of the risk of tearing, distorting the paper and the ever-present risk of the print letting go from whatever clips you have holding them and ending up on the floor.

    However, if you could come up with a system where you draped the prints over a curved surface or the like with both sides hanging down (maybe a large paper roll or the like), then that might work well. It would have no clips to deal with and the hanging surface of the print would be divided into less than half, meaning less chance of damage and no chance of the print falling to the ground. I would imaging that the curling could be a problem, though...

    How are you planning on transporting/storing such large prints. If you roll them up, you are likely to get curl that will be difficult to deal with later. If flat, than you need some boxes on steroids! Maybe between sheets of masonite or the like to prevent damage...

    Hope this helps some.

    Doremus

  2. #12

    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    I've witnessed hanging a 4x6 fiber print to dry. You need a taunt wire and good clip that will hold the heavy wet print. Also the clips need to be able to slide. When the print dries it will shrink a little. If the clips can't slide the print may tear. That's why your wire needs to be good and taunt. That's the way Clyde Butcher does it and hes been doing it for a long time with success.
    Rich

  3. #13
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    I use very large screens 48 inch by 96 inch

    If push came to shove I would also hang the prints back to back .. they dry flatter that way.

    We have a very large plexi in the wet room to squeegie the prints before drying...

  4. #14

    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    I assume you are using the roll-reroll technique for processing such large prints. If so, draining is really important to reduce the water weight in the print before drying. If you have a large enough flat surface to lay out the prints and squeegee them (truck windshield wipers), I would do that. If not, then let them drip loosely rolled up and in a vertical position for a while.

    For drying, I would recommend (in order of preference) appropriately-sized screens or mesh (nylon, not metal!) in frames (you can get a screen shop to make them up, or do-it-yourself at most big-box hardware stores). Lay the prints flat or slightly tilted and face-up if you tone. For some reason, toning makes my prints susceptible to screen marks. With prints that size and the accompanying investment in time and expense, you just don't want to take that chance.

    Next, you could use tightly stretched linen or cotton sheets of the appropriate size or, for that matter, any inert type of netting, even fairly coarse (a safety net might work just great, you don't need fine mesh, even a mesh with a six-inch opening would likely work fine). Again, lay the prints flat or slightly tilted and face up. The trick here would be to minimize the bowing.

    Hanging prints by the corners would be my last choice, just because of the risk of tearing, distorting the paper and the ever-present risk of the print letting go from whatever clips you have holding them and ending up on the floor.

    However, if you could come up with a system where you draped the prints over a curved surface or the like with both sides hanging down (maybe a large paper roll or the like), then that might work well. It would have no clips to deal with and the hanging surface of the print would be divided into less than half, meaning less chance of damage and no chance of the print falling to the ground. I would imaging that the curling could be a problem, though...

    How are you planning on transporting/storing such large prints. If you roll them up, you are likely to get curl that will be difficult to deal with later. If flat, than you need some boxes on steroids! Maybe between sheets of masonite or the like to prevent damage...

    Hope this helps some.

    Doremus
    Thanks Doremus,
    We're actually process the sheets in a massive purpose built sink that will accommodate such large prints, so we don't need to roll-reroll. I was curious to now why you warned me off using metal to dry the print?
    Thanks

  5. #15

    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Quote Originally Posted by gandolfi View Post
    I wish I knew how big 7ft is in matric.....

    BUT I'd dry them as I always dry my fiberbased papers:

    Put them on a big flat surface (Glass is best) - image up.
    Squegee the surface water off.

    Then you use a special tape.. (And here I have the problem, that I have NO idea what that is called in english..). A tape made of paper - comes in big rolls. tape is dry until you put the glue in contact with water.
    Make this glue wet - but not soaking wet. And only the tape side!
    Then tape the image down with this tape. Make sure it is in good contact (no air pockets) with both the paper and the glass.
    Use about 1 cm (or in this case maybe more due to the size) of the photopaper to give good contact.
    Leave this to dry. Leave it horizontally which makes the drying it safer..

    This tape is looking so fragile and thin, but it is really strong and holds papers (thick ones too) in place without problems. (I have only tried up to 20x24" but suspect it will work with larger sizes too - why not..)

    I'll see if I can find a link to the tape type I am referring to.

    EDIT:
    image added.
    It comes in brown or white (I have the feeling the brown is strongest)

    This drying method is great, as it gives the surface such a nice glow. And I always keep the tape on the border after drying, as it gives strength to the paper, and you also will have a place to hold the image without damaging it...
    Thanks very much for your suggestion. 7ft is around 213.5cm, if this helps.
    We're not too concerned to keeping the print flat while drying as we have an industrial heat press to flatten the print after the drying stage. We'd really like to know the pros and cons associated with hang such large prints and what materials (incl. metal) are suitable to dry on.
    Thanks again

  6. #16

    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I use very large screens 48 inch by 96 inch

    If push came to shove I would also hang the prints back to back .. they dry flatter that way.

    We have a very large plexi in the wet room to squeegie the prints before drying...
    Thanks Bob,
    What are your screens made from? Nylon mesh?

  7. #17

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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Great thread.... just beginning to think through this subject myself and here it all is..... Gandolfi continues to amaze and the taught wire with strong clips and... and.... Thank you everyone.

  8. #18

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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Fiberglass screen dude.

  9. #19
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Yes , we buy the stuff in very large rolls and wrap it around a custom brace we made in our frame shop using home depot strapping and bracing ,, I stack about 6 of them on top of each other when we are busy and put 2x4 cut blocks to space them out and give air.
    we put our prints face down and our humidity is controlled year round around 50%

  10. #20
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    We also have a very large hot press to flatten out or mount the prints as it sounds like you do.

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