Hardener After Toning (paper)?

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Many recommend using emulsion hardening bath after redeveloping toners. I am double-toning in thiourea followed by selenium. I use non-hardening rapid fix.

Does hardener only have effect while the print is wet?

If so, what's the point of hardening when all that's left is the final wash? Is it just so you can squeegee the face of the print (something I'm reconsidering anyway)? I found one thread on this, but it was not conclusive.

-- Victor Allen Simon (victor@victorallensimon.com), April 05, 2002


Victor, You are correct in assuming that hardening only affects the print when when, effectively shrinking the emulsion with an astringent. This protects the emulsion against rough handling, but also has the side-effect of increasing wash times. Unless you have real problems with emulsion damage from frilling or scratches, I would recommend not hardening. I havent used hardening fixer in years and have had no problems squeegeeing (I use a new windshield wiper of the appropriate size for a squeegee). Most papers are hardened somewhat at the factory, but a few seem to be less hard than others and more subject to damage. Bergger NB seems kind of fragile compared to the other fiber-base papers I use, (Oriental Seagull, Brilliant, Gallerie). and needs a more careful touch.

That said, hardening the print may have a small effect on the surface of the print after final drying. I'm not sure of this, but it seems logical. As far as washing efficiency goes, unhardened would be better.

Regards, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (ScudderLandreth@compuserve.com), April 08, 2002.

Don't quote me on this, but it might also have something to do with whether or not you were ferrotyping the prints afterwards or using heat dryers in some way....but yeah, I agree if you can get by without it, do so...

-- dk thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), April 08, 2002.

No need to use hardener unless you are having problems with paper getting damaged by your processing, drying or handling techiques. Also, makes spotting more difficult.

-- jennifer (photomatic99@yahoo.com), April 11, 2002.

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