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Thread: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

  1. #1

    Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    Hey there I just got an enlarger for my 8x10 a few rolls of paper and even the space needed to produce mural prints. My new concern is the amount of chemicals needed to process these 30"Arista, 48"Foma, and 56"Kodak Polycontrast rolls.
    I have never got to play at this size so just looking for some tips and any knowledge on what results I can expect from different chemicals.
    I normally have just done contact prints as 8X10 enlargers are not easy to find let alone use. I have processed the film in a jobo and the paper in trays.
    The first person I spoke with offered the idea they said they have used including a rain gutter and two people on each side to lift and drop the paper through the chemicals.
    The next person I spoke with mentioned that especially at these larger sizes what I need to worry about the most is getting a wrinkle in the paper. Suddenly moving it up and down sounded like a excessively frustrating situation. He mentioned when he created these he would roll the paper in a large stainless steel sink and that I might be able to construct one with acrylic and acrylic glue. Thats still a bit much.
    My new idea is where the summer season and needing lots of chemicals comes into play. Inflatable pools are relatively cheap. But would need around 50 gallons. sooooooo just need some 55 gallon water barrels.
    Im hoping that this is not a 100% pay for what you get situation.
    The prices I saw on bulk Marathon Chemicals are far more appealing than any other option so far. I have also been searching for expired Dektol lot deals on Ebay and am not seeing anything nearly as affordable.
    All these papers that I have obtained are all slightly expired by 2 to 5 years so I understand my contrast won't be perfect but I am hoping that if I use the Marathon chemicals that it will not add a further significant loss of contrast.
    If anyone has any experience in creating analog mural prints I would love to hear any advise you have to offer. Am I moderately level headed with this idea? My main fear of using the pools is if they spring a leak. It wouldn't be the worst but a bit activating to clean up.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    The rain gutter guy is on the right track. You can roll up the print, put it into the developer, then re-roll it in the bath into a new roll and repeat until development is complete. Same for stop/fix. A fellow Dutchman recently posted about it on here iirc; works quite well for him it seems.

  3. #3

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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    Take a look at the DeVille Bobinoir roller system & how it works - it uses 20 litres or less to run up to 48-50" wide roll paper. I like it a lot & it's far easier to handle big pieces of roll paper with it than just about any of the manual processing methods.

  4. #4

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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    Wall Paper trays can work.

    Build a flat bottom tray with a gate opening so you can dump chemistry without lifting. Lay paper in and dump chemistry on it, agitate chemistry over the face of the print and when ready for the next step you open the gate and dump the chemistry into a bucket. Let it flow out - maybe tray lifted higher on the other end to help with fast emptying. Then close the gate and dump the next chemical or rinse water onto the print. Have aeen this used by an excellent photographer - but the name escapes me. Probably will remember later.

    Doing this no need to move the paper at all - no wrinkles or kinks and you get chemical onto the paper surface fast.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  5. #5

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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    You didn't share the size of your prints, so that could be helpful in getting some ideas.

    If you want to make 30x40 type prints, a 12 inch PVC gray air duct tube works very well and if you want to step up to 40x50, you will need a 14" tube. The air duct tubes are much thinner and lighter than the schedule 80 pvc used in plumbing.

    To calculate the circumference of your pipe, just multiply the diameter by the value of pi (3.14). For example, the 12" pipe has a circumference of about 37 inches. For a 30 inch prints that leaves a 7 inch gap between the ends of the paper. I leave that gap at the bottom of the tube when I load chemicals.

    You can easily build a manual roller base out of 6 wheels on a small sheet of plywood and roll the drum. I have done this method and it works very well. It saves a lot of chemicals and therefore a lot of money and also a much smaller amount of space to process your prints. For a 30x40, I only need 2 liters (1/2 gal) of chemical which is a huge savings and better for the environment too.

    End caps for the 12 inch tube are easy to get, but when you get to 14" and above, that starts to get more difficult and more expensive. You just need one end of the tube to be blocked at all times and the other end needs a hole in it so that you can enter and exit the chemicals.

    Hope this helps.

    Larry

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    That's a great tip.

    I found that pipe cheap, but not cheap caps.

    Any ideas? Wood plugs epoxy covered?



    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    You didn't share the size of your prints, so that could be helpful in getting some ideas.

    If you want to make 30x40 type prints, a 12 inch PVC gray air duct tube works very well and if you want to step up to 40x50, you will need a 14" tube. The air duct tubes are much thinner and lighter than the schedule 80 pvc used in plumbing.

    To calculate the circumference of your pipe, just multiply the diameter by the value of pi (3.14). For example, the 12" pipe has a circumference of about 37 inches. For a 30 inch prints that leaves a 7 inch gap between the ends of the paper. I leave that gap at the bottom of the tube when I load chemicals.

    You can easily build a manual roller base out of 6 wheels on a small sheet of plywood and roll the drum. I have done this method and it works very well. It saves a lot of chemicals and therefore a lot of money and also a much smaller amount of space to process your prints. For a 30x40, I only need 2 liters (1/2 gal) of chemical which is a huge savings and better for the environment too.

    End caps for the 12 inch tube are easy to get, but when you get to 14" and above, that starts to get more difficult and more expensive. You just need one end of the tube to be blocked at all times and the other end needs a hole in it so that you can enter and exit the chemicals.

    Hope this helps.

    Larry

  7. #7

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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    Long ago I used a sheet of stainless on a 55gal drum and swabbed dektol on mural paper using a sponge in each hand. All these suggestions sound so much cleaner.

  8. #8

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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    That is where I got my 12" pipe.

    For the 12" pipe I used rubber quick caps. They are light weight and work perfectly.

    Fernco Rubber Quick Cap - QC-112 12"
    https://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?p...n&ppinc=detail

    Finding caps that don't weigh more than you do is a real challenge for the 14" pipe. Finding an alternate solution for the bigger 14" pipe is the key and what is needed.

    I will do some more digging and see if I can find anything and if anyone else can find a solution, post it here so we can all learn.

    Larry




    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    That's a great tip.

    I found that pipe cheap, but not cheap caps.

    Any ideas? Wood plugs epoxy covered?

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    At the volume you seem to be thinking of, perhaps raw chemicals and making your own paper developer might be the cheapest way to go and worth considering. Fixer -- might find it cheap in drums from a pool supply company.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Paper Chemicals for Mural Printing?

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    That is where I got my 12" pipe.

    For the 12" pipe I used rubber quick caps. They are light weight and work perfectly.

    Fernco Rubber Quick Cap - QC-112 12"
    https://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?p...n&ppinc=detail

    Finding caps that don't weigh more than you do is a real challenge for the 14" pipe. Finding an alternate solution for the bigger 14" pipe is the key and what is needed.

    I will do some more digging and see if I can find anything and if anyone else can find a solution, post it here so we can all learn.

    Larry
    2022

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