U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: brush vs tray size for gum

Re: brush vs tray size for gum


So you are rolling the rod not pushing it along. As I recall the
illustrations I've seen for "puddle pushers" had handles so would not roll.
I would have thought that the rolling motion would pull up the gelatin
behind the rod. But apparently not. Thanks for the info.


> From: Sandy King <sanking@clemson.edu>
> Reply-To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
> Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 00:22:48 -0400
> To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
> Subject: Re: brush vs tray size for gum
> Jack,
> I use a 1"-12, 1/2" diameter rod for coating
> paper for carbon final support. This leaves a wet
> coat height of about 0.4mm.
> Before coating the rod is placed in a tube with
> hot water at about 130F. I spread the gelatin
> solution over the paper, usually about 22"X29",
> and quickly even the solution by hand or with a
> brush. Then, I roll the rod over the paper. As
> the hot rod passes over the surface of the paper
> it levels the gelatin coating, and at the same
> time, dissipates bubbles. I add the hardener to
> the paper just before coating, as Kerik described.
> The solid metal rod holds heat much longer than
> glass, either tubes or solid, and is much more
> effective for my use. I suspect the same would be
> true for coating papers for gum printing.
> Sandy King
> At 4:53 PM -0400 10/2/06, Jack Brubaker wrote:
>> Sandy,
>> What size rod and what thread do you use?
>> Jack
>>> From: Sandy King <sanking@clemson.edu>
>>> Reply-To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
>>> Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 17:42:26 -0400
>>> To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
>>> Subject: RE: brush vs tray size for gum
>>> I also size papers for gum using 3-5% solutions and adding just a bit
>>> of Formaldehyde to the solution just before coating. I used to use a
>>> brush, but this caused a lot of bubbles. I switched to a threaded
>>> rod, which I heat before running it over the solution, and this
>>> completely eliminates the bubble problem because the warm rod
>>> dissipates the bubbles on contact. This is a technique that I adopted
>>> from coating carbon tissue.
>>> I am using more solution per given paper area than would be required
>>> for gum printing, but I think this should not matter in practice.
>>> Sandy
>>>> Carmen,
>>>> The largest print I've sized is 20x24. But, if I was going to do 22x30, I
>>>> would make a 22" glass coating rod and apply the sizing with the rod, then
>>>> use a brush to fix any areas that were either too thin or too thick. This
>>>> makes the process go very quickly so the gelatin doesn't have the chance to
>>>> harden. I would also use formaledehyde rather than glyoxal to prevent
>>>> yellowing.  When using a glass rod, first place a towel on the table
>>>> underneath the paper. This will greatly help keep the rod in good contact
>>>> with the paper, especially for larger prints. I would guess about 30 ml of
>>>> 3% gelatin with 18 drops of hardener would do it.
>>>> Kerik
>>>> www.kerik.com
>>>> Original Message:
>>>> -----------------
>>>> From: Carmen Lizardo carmenlizardo@yahoo.com
>>>> Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 12:51:12 -0700 (PDT)
>>>> To: kerik@kerik.com, alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
>>>> Subject: RE: brush vs tray size for gum
>>>> Dear Chris and Kerik,
>>>> I would love to brush size my paper, specially because
>>>> use a full sheet of 22x30 inches when I print, and you
>>>> could only imaging how long that takes and how much
>>>> gelatin I need, but I can't seem to be able to get an
>>>> even coat, and mixing glyoxal and gelatin together is
>>>> out because I have to able to rise it off the gelatin
>>>> to prevent yellow stains.  Of course when I used Glut,
>>>> it was from black magic and that did not work. I also
>>>> felt it in ky eyes and throat and i not even the
>>>> sensitive type.  I am willing to try again, maybe with
>>>> a different glut?? Any pointers that you can give me
>>>> with the brushing??  I was thinking that it had to do
>>>> with the size of my paper. The gelatin gets hard
>>>> before I have time to cover the whole 22x30 sheet.
>>>> Thank you kindly,
>>>> Carmen
>>>> --- "kerik@kerik.com" <kerik@kerik.com> wrote:
>>>>> Chris,
>>>>> I agree that tray sizing is a lot of mess and hassle
>>>>> for no substantial
>>>>> benefit. Plus, why do the sizing in 2 steps when it
>>>>> can be done in one? I
>>>>> use either a glass rod (puddle pusher) and/or a
>>>>> brush.  I add the hardener
>>>>> (formaldehyde in my case) to the sizing just before
>>>>> sizing each print.
>>>>> Three drops of formaldehyde and 5 ml of 3% sizing
>>>>> easily does an 8x10 to
>>>>> 11x14 print.  In these tiny amounts, exposure to
>>>>> formaldehyde (or whatever
>>>>> hardener one uses) is minimal. I get very even
>>>>> sizing this way. A little
>>>>> bit of curl to the paper, but nothing that causes
>>>>> any problems.
>>>>> I tried B.M. glut and did not like the results. It
>>>>> resulted in slower
>>>>> development and considerably more staining than with
>>>>> formaldehyde.
>>>>> As for sizing with unhardened gelatin, that sounds
>>>>> like another in a long
>>>>> line of T King's erroneous hyperboles.
>>>>> Speaking of gum, I taught a gumover workshop in
>>>>> Philladelphia this past
>>>>> weekend for www.projectbasho.org. On sunday it was
>>>>> 80 degrees F and 82%
>>>>> humidity in the darkroom. That's the first time I've
>>>>> printed gum in
>>>>> sauna-like conditions and it created some hassles
>>>>> with very slow
>>>>> development and the need to intervene with some
>>>>> brute force measures
>>>>> (brushes, fingernails, sandpaper). Anybody have
>>>>> similar problems printing
>>>>> gum in high humidity?  The conditions seemed to
>>>>> cause problems with the
>>>>> sizing in particular because development was much
>>>>> closer to normal when I
>>>>> did a single coat of gum on unsized paper right out
>>>>> of the plastic bag. I'm
>>>>> speculating that the humidity either prevented the
>>>>> gelatin from hardening
>>>>> completely or it allowed the gum solution to soak
>>>>> into the sizing a bit
>>>>> rather than sitting on top. Despite the problems, I
>>>>> believe a good time was
>>>>> had by all. Although I always want things to go
>>>>> smoothly during the
>>>>> workshops, it's good for the students to learn how
>>>>> to deal with problems
>>>>> when they come up.
>>>>> Kerik
>>>>> www.kerik.com
>>>>> Original Message:
>>>>> -----------------
>>>>> From: Christina Z. Anderson zphoto@montana.net
>>>>> Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 08:08:22 -0600
>>>>> To: alt-photo-process-L@usask.ca
>>>>> Subject: brush vs tray size for gum
>>>>> Hi All,
>>>>> This weekend was time for sizing paper, and since I
>>>>> was doing small sizes
>>>>> (11x14's) I decided to tray size instead of brush
>>>>> size to see if it had any
>>>>> added benefits to brush sizing.
>>>>> I was sizing with gelatin glutaraldehyde as usual.
>>>>> I did use a piece of it
>>>>> right away, same day, and had no problem with the
>>>>> sizing not being hardened
>>>>> and producing "magenta squares" as did Carmen.
>>>>> However, I was using glut
>>>>> that I bought from a medical supply house (now
>>>>> available at the
>>>>> Photographer's Formulary) and not Black Magic.  The
>>>>> gelatin on my paper was
>>>>> not slimy in any way so I know it was hardened. I am
>>>>> still not sure why
>>>>> Carmen got that problem, and am wondering about the
>>>>> suitability of Black
>>>>> Magic, therefore, with its added sulfite. It sounds
>>>>> like the same result I
>>>>> had when I tried Terry King's advice to use
>>>>> unhardened gelatin and got
>>>>> black
>>>>> squares.
>>>>> With tray sizing and cautions with glut, I gelatin
>>>>> sized the paper first,
>>>>> and then the next day I soaked the sized paper
>>>>> OUTSIDE in a tray of 50ml
>>>>> glut to a gallon of water.  That worked well, but I
>>>>> would only tray size if
>>>>> the hardening part could be done outside to minimize
>>>>> fumes produced by the
>>>>> surface area of a whole tray of hardener, whatever
>>>>> type--glut, gly,
>>>>> formaldehyde. (When I brush size I keep the solution
>>>>> capped inside a
>>>>> thermos
>>>>> and pour out a cup at once.) The gelatin paper went
>>>>> in "slimy" feeling, and
>>>>> went out unslimy.
>>>>> The paper works fine but I learned a couple things:
>>>>> paper tray sized with
>>>>> gelatin will sink to the bottom, not float as does
>>>>> brush sized paper
>>>>> (except
>>>>> Arches) so if I am going to leave the paper soaking
>>>>> for a while it needs to
>>>>> be face up. I learned that the hard way. Back to
>>>>> floaters and sinkers, Mark.
>>>>> The paper does curl less than brush sized, but it
>>>>> doesn't seem worth the
>>>>> added trouble of trays. This is the only benefit I
>>>>> can see.  Oh, maybe more
>>>>> evenness of sizing?  I don't know this one
>>>>> yet...will have to print all
>>>>> papers.
>>>>> My husband set up an ingenious "clothesline" for
>>>>> me--a rung ladder on its
>>>>> side has plenty of hanger-ready rungs.
>>>>> I learned another thing the hard way:  I printed 4
>>>>> prints on the unsized
>>>>> but
>>>>> shrunk paper with a cyanotype layer, put the paper
>>>>> through the hot gelatin
>>>>> sizing process and didn't THINK that the
>>>>> 140-whatever degree gelatin would
>>>>> shrink the paper even more and make registration a
>>>>> B---H but you bet it
>>>>> did--warped and shrunk. Luckily only 4 prints
>>>>> ruined. DUH. Or, as Clay
>>>>> says,
>>>>> DOH.
>>>>> The bottom line is that brush sizing is sooo much
>>>>> easier and works well and
>>>>> uses way less gelatin--I sized 24 11x14s with a a
>>>>> liter of 3%, and normally
>>>>> I can do that many 16x20s with the same. I don't
>>>>> think even with small
>>>>> sizes
>>>>> I would tray size...
>>>>> That's all my truly exciting weekend experience!
>>>>> Chris
>>>>> CZAphotography.com
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