roll paper and extra large easel : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

hi, can anyone share the secrets of how you print a fiber roll paper with extra large easel. what kind of cutter you use? How do you store the papers? there is no way to find a light-seal box for 40x50" paper right? after cut down the paper (30x40" or 40x50"), how do you keep the paper as flat as possible? Do you custom make a easel or is there any other way to do it?


-- Jeff Liao (, January 21, 2002


Didn't Ansel Adams discuss this in The Print? I seem to recall a picture of a magnetic frame he used to hold the paper flat and that he used a razor knife to cut it.

I have a vacuum easel that will do 30x40 paper. I haven't used it yet as I've just finished my basement and don't quite have the darkroom up (I also don't have a wall big enough for a 30x40 print), but the graphics company I bought my darkroom gear from used it. It doesn't look like it would be too difficult to make one. However, getting the vacuum pump might be a bit harder. Feel free to email if you want to know about it.


-- Dave Willis (, January 21, 2002.

I use 25x50 pieces of Agfa Classic cut from the 50" roll. I don't worry about flatness until the print is done, because I roll the pieces to store them, then tape them with many short pieces of black Photographic Tape to the vertical wall easel, then roll them again to process.

I cut the pieces using a long metal ruler and a heavy-duty mat knife, face down on the counter so the safelight doesn't fog the paper. I store my rolled-up pieces, with a rubber band on each end, in a big garbage can lined with black plastic.

You don't say if you are tray-processing your prints but if so I highly recommend the rolling method. I can do these prints without an assistant. You'd need trays as long as the short dimension only (so I can get away with standard 20x24 trays which are actually 25" long).

-- Sandy Sorlien (, January 21, 2002.

I printed some images at 30X40 and a bit larger on Bergger FB paper, from 44" wide rolls. I would cut each piece of paper off the roll as I was ready to print, though could have probably rolled a few pieces around the roll and put them back into the big black plastic bag the roll came in. This meant that storing the big sheets of paper separately was not an issue. I found that a vacuum easel worked great for 30X40, had mine custom made so I could also use it for 8X10, 11X14, 16X20, etc. I have seen bigger ones for sale, often second hand, but they will not always let you print smaller sizes as well (the placement of the holes in the easel determines what sizes of paper you can use it for). My easel came with a set of magnetic frames to hold the edges of the paper flat, important for FB paper that has been rolled, esp if you're working with large sheets. I tray processed in 30X40 trays, a pain, but definitely doable without an assistant in a good-sized home darkroom.

Good luck, Nathan

-- Nathan Congdon (, January 21, 2002.

Oh, and I would cut the paper with a 40 in Rotatrim. I measured the length to cut under a safelight by using a long wooden T-square with duck tape at the proper length that I could feel. I found a metal ruler left marks on the paper. The Rotatrim lets you get a nice square edge, but that may not matter so much if you will end up matting these.


-- Nathan Congdon (, January 21, 2002.

In the old days when we made murals in-house, we were a little more low-tech than that...we used mostly kodak mural paper, and had an overhead garage door track mounted with a 4x8 sheet of plywood on it hanging vertically...there was a one inch sheet of foamcore on this that we'd use pushpins on to hold up the paper....we used a Beseler MXT turned horizontal to enlarge with...the "poorman's horizontal enlarger"....we cut the paper with case-cutters and just stored it back in it's tube/box. RC mural paper lies pretty flat on it's own, which is what we use now if we absolutely have to...but we send anything over 20x24 out now (99% of the time)...easier to pay a good lab to do this. Good luck.

-- DK Thompson (, January 22, 2002.

Oh, if you can afford them & have the wet space, check with California Stainless for over-sized trays. They carry some s.s. trays that will take a 40x48....we did it by hand-processing 4x8 sheets in 2 very large can probably get by with just 2, maybe 3 trays, although either way, it's -alot- of work.

-- DK Thompson (, January 22, 2002.

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