U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gum Sizing Brush, Roller, Tray

Re: Gum Sizing Brush, Roller, Tray


Like you I used to immerse paper in gelatin solution (often twice) and then
in dilute formalin. Nasty fumes, as you say, though not too bad with all the
windows open. However the whole process was tedious and messy, with drips of
gelatine and having to wait for paper to dry twice or even three times.

Then I tried brush sizing - ten times easier and just as effective. I make
up gelatine at 3.5%, take 200 ml of that in a jam jar, stand that on an old
hot tray (hostess tray?) to keep it at about 130-140 deg F (55-60C) and add
6 ml of 30% formalin. Then coat generously on one side of the paper, lay it
flat (face up, of course...) on newspaper until cool, and finally hang to
dry. I use a two inch decorators brush, and borrow the domestic clothes rack
and plastic pegs for drying.

Compared to the immersion way, this is economical in gelatin, formalin and
time, and seems to produce just as good results.

The fumes aren't bothersome (though I keep windows open and a fan blowing
outwards) and I shut the room and keep out for the rest of the day, just to
be sure.

Best wishes


On 7/4/08 16:11, "Robert Newcomb" <newcombr@uga.edu> wrote:

> Hello,
> When it comes to putting size on paper for Gum prints, have you found
> brushing it on, using a small paint roller or dipping the whole sheet
> in a tray of size to be the preferred method?
> When I first tied gum printing several years ago, I would immerse the
> entire sheet in a tray of warm gelatin and then carefully drag the
> sheet over the edge of the tray to remove some of the excess, hang
> and dry.  I believe this is the method in the "Gum Bichromate Book"
> which was my only guide at the time.
> I also vividly remember having to endure the burning eyes while using
> large amounts of formalin - maybe thats why my hair is white?
> I saw Christina's post "I have not yet tried Kerik Kouklis' handy
> method of adding 6 drops of formalin per 10ml hot gelatin at time of
> brushing it onto paper which would probably be the ticket."
> So, have more experience people found brushing smaller amounts to be
> a better way?
> After some time away from printing, now that I have my darkroom back
> again, I'm ready to start again.
> thanks for the help!
> Robert Newcomb