View Full Version : Supplies for Alt. Process Printing

Ellen Stoune Duralia
2-Mar-2005, 10:58
Hi all! I am getting ready to try my hand at alternative printing and I have some questions about glass coating rods. First of all, where's the cheapest place to get them? And do you need them to be specific to paper size or will one rod do it all?

Thanks for the clarification!

Michael Mutmansky
2-Mar-2005, 11:22

There's lots to be said about coating rods, but I personally wouldn't purchase one unless it is real inexpensive. They can break easily, and a good coating brush can be much more flexible and not really any more expensive than the coating rod.

I think a good coating brush like the Richeson 9010 in a 2" or so width will smoke a coating rod for quality of print, also.

The rods are for a specific width of print. It is generally not possible to coat an area wider than the rod without leaving behind a coating artifact that will be visible in the final print.

These comments are relevant to pt/pd printing, and should apply to most other alt printing processes, but some others may be more forgiving of rod coating, and possibly be successfully done with a smaller rod than the width of the image.

Depending on the size of the print, you will want different widths of brushes also, but there is more flexibility in the range of print sizes you can do with a single brush. You could use a 1-1/2" brush up to about 8x10, and a 2" up to about 11x14, and a 3" or 4" for the biggest size prints.

If you are looking for great prices on the Richeson 9010, I recommend Jerrys Artarama or Dixie Art, which have consistantly had the best prices around.

For coating rods, B+S, Photo Formulary, and Edwards Engineering all sell them, but if you have a lab supply store, you could make some for a fraction of the price. You need some 10mm glass tubing and a glass or plastic handle and some glass glue from the local home center. All it takes is a triangle file to score and break the tubing, some fine emery paper to clean up the edges, and a bit of time to put them all together.


2-Mar-2005, 12:15
I agree with Michael.

For all of the alterntive processes that I have tried, such as VDB, Kallitype, and Pt./Pd. the Richeson brushes give much better results and are easier to use than the glass rod. The only conceivable advantage to the glass rod IMO would be to as an economy measure with Pt./Pd., which can be relatively expensive., but that is something of a false economy because in most cases it is much easier to get a good Dmax with the Richeson brush than with a rod.

Chad Jarvis
3-Mar-2005, 06:01
I got tired of breaking rods, so I use a Richeson 9010 for pt/pd as well. I do, however, use a hake brush for speading gums (and a real cheap ass synthetic to smooth it) and cyanotypes.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
3-Mar-2005, 06:32
Thanks for the info and advice ya'll :-)

Jim Rhoades
3-Mar-2005, 07:42
I guess I'm the only one with Dan on this one. I too use the B&S puddle pusher. A little practice and the coating goes on very smooth and even. You would have to break a case of gold plated tubes to cover the extra cost of using a brush. Yes a rod for each size print.

William Blunt
3-Mar-2005, 08:45
I use the 9010 brush for coating PL/PD and use very close to the same amount of coating as when using the glass rod. The quality of the coating is much better (IMHO) . I use a 1" brush for 4x5, 5x7 and 4x10 prints. For 8x10 I use the 2".

Ellen Stoune Duralia
3-Mar-2005, 18:52
Chemicals AND brushes are on the way - wish me luck :-) Thanks again everyone for your input!

3-Mar-2005, 21:03
2" wide pure sable is hard to beat...the mixed sable synthetic works well also and are alot cheaper. But if you're gonna print pt/pd why save cost with a cheap brush?