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Author Topic: Gold Fibre Silk Scratches on Epson 3800  (Read 9006 times)
Conner999
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2009, 07:59:11 AM »
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Interesting tidbit. Took some older scratched FB AL prints (13x19) I'd kept for reference.  I marked the location of the scratches on the top white border, opened the printer cover, lined up the print (face up) with how it would feed thru printer via rear feed and bingo - all marks lined up perfectly with the single pizza wheels.

My guess is that the singles, for whatever reason can hang a hair lower in the tray (lack of tension/lift from rubber drive belt?) than the doubles (all my scratches are single hairlines) and the swelling sections of paper just 'crest' enough to skim an exposed tooth/teeth. Some prints (same photo) have 1 scratch, one as many as three - but ALL line up exactly with the single wheels.

The scratches, to the normal eye look like hairlines as opposed normal pizza tracks - suggesting a tooth/teeth on the wheel is only hitting paper with enough force to scratch the fresh ink layer vs. hitting the paper itself and getting rotated by it.  It's possible that how a particular wheel settles after the last print to go thru (e.g. tooth at lowest apex closest to paper path) might also effect if it contacts the inked surface.

I dislike it and it's a PITA but if you get the manufacturing tolerances between the printers and the papers plus humidity, etc all going against you.... larger sheets of FB AL tend to get very flexible when freshly inked and it wouldn't  take much to flex an inked area that extra 'thou needed to hit a low-handing wheel tooth. 8.5x11 FB sheets and larger sheets of GFS, EEF, etc - no marks.

I don't do much FB AL printing any longer (prefer the stiffness of GFS), but if I start again, the single wheels are coming out.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 08:03:47 AM by Conner999 » Logged
AaronPhotog
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2009, 05:02:46 PM »
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Conner999,
Why would you let the paper warp in the first place if there's a simple way to reduce it?  I've found a good and easy method to do just that, tested it, and it works.  
Also, if you read my last post, humidity doesn't work for or against you, unless there is a sudden drastic change.  It will only cause the sprayed back to settle down faster or slower (very slightly).

You'll also recall that this post started about GFS (Ilford Gold Fiber Silk).  Same thing.  Fiber back, glossy layer of whatever on top.
Leave the screwdriver in the tool box (and the warranty intact) and give the technique I recommend a try with your large prints.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  If not, then fine.  Go for broke.

Good luck,
And Aloha,
Aaron
« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 05:04:47 PM by AaronPhotog » Logged

Aaron Dygart,
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Conner999
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2009, 06:03:38 AM »
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The problem is specific (for me) to Fb AL, larger sheets.
While your method does appear to work, it's quite frankly not something I think I should need to go thru to print (in my case) FB AL because of $0.10 worth of pizza wheels that quite frankly shouldn't be there in the first place - or be redesigned to be better suited to glossy papers. Neither should I need to remove the pizza wheels.

As for humidity - it is ink swelling/induced warping on the glossy side causing the issue. My comment (IIRC) was that given manufacturing tolerances within the printer, the paper and the possible impact of humidity (or ANYTHING else that could cause swelling within the paper or to cause it to warp in the slightest), it wouldn't take much to cause an issue - given the design of the 3800 (and many other printers with these idiotic wheels).

No law says I won't try your method. I also may not remove the PWs as I prefer GFS vs. FB AL and (in my case) GFS has no issues. There is also the option of removing the wheels, dulling their tips and re-installing.

I was more curious that while I knew the cause of the warping I now know the %^&*'s that are causing the fine steady scratches in the ink surface.

Cheers

R
 
Quote from: AaronPhotog
Conner999,
Why would you let the paper warp in the first place if there's a simple way to reduce it?  I've found a good and easy method to do just that, tested it, and it works.  
Also, if you read my last post, humidity doesn't work for or against you, unless there is a sudden drastic change.  It will only cause the sprayed back to settle down faster or slower (very slightly).

You'll also recall that this post started about GFS (Ilford Gold Fiber Silk).  Same thing.  Fiber back, glossy layer of whatever on top.
Leave the screwdriver in the tool box (and the warranty intact) and give the technique I recommend a try with your large prints.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  If not, then fine.  Go for broke.

Good luck,
And Aloha,
Aaron
« Last Edit: March 23, 2009, 06:08:27 AM by Conner999 » Logged
Mr. Capp
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« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2009, 06:22:19 PM »
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Aaron,

Your advice has been the only thing that has helped. I made 2 perfect prints last night, no scratches. My question now is that the paper seems to take on a bit of a curl having wet the back of the paper, even after a day it's still a bit uneven. It usually dries perfectly flat. Have you noticed this? Do you matt this paper? flatten it
at all?

On another note I did the mistake of taking a flashlight to all of my prints I've used so far, GFS and RC lustre, and there's Pizza wheel marks all over the place. Perfect lines where ever a pizza wheel touched the paper. It's totally unnoticable uner normal viewing conditions. The only paper to not have it was a matt surface.

Conversely do you have a preffered matt surface, or better yet all rag paper? I'm interested in Museo Portfolio rag, or one of the hahnemule rags. Just thought I'd get your expert advice.

-Michael

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AaronPhotog
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« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2009, 10:59:53 PM »
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Michael,

I certainly don't claim to be an expert, just a guy who tries things to find some things that will work and a lot that don't.  I think you'll find that the fiber based papers will lose their slight curvature within a short period of time.  My prints usually flatten on their own in a day or two at the most.  I use 20"x30" foamcore board with little strips glued to the top and bottom to lift the next board up the thickness of the foamcore and to keep each one in position side to side.  That leaves enough air gap at the ends so that the prints can breath for as long as I leave them in the stack without picking up a lot of dust.  Always put an empty drying board on top of the stack.  I find that with the 17"x25" Fiber Based papers, I can put the next foamcore board on top almost immediately without the print touching it.  After you take the prints out, you can stack them in a flat place, a used print box, or whatever with good acid-free interleaving paper, such as Westminster paper, between prints.  They will be totally flat for mounting in short order.  I don't think it's a good idea to frame them behind glass or plexiglass before at least a week or two have passed, as you might still get offgassing and have to take them out of the frames again to clean the inside of the glazing.

If your machine is new, the pizza wheels will eventually polish down so that they won't leave marks.  At least that's been my experience.  Try running a sheet of 17" wide fairly stiff stock through the printer upside down repeatedly.  Don't print on it, just advance it through multiple times.  It didn't take very long for me to totally eliminate the little fine pizza wheel marks by doing that.  Maybe a half dozen passes once or twice.  The back of the paper should be calendared smooth, and not something that will leave fibers behind.  A thick glossy paper like your GFS run upside down should do the trick.  Yes, you should use the sheet feed, not the rear feed on large paper.  See my post above for how to use it for best results.

Settings of Wide (not Wider) and 5 work well for me.  Even Auto seems to work OK.

For selecting papers, I subject them all, whether glossy, matte, luster, or whatever, to the same initial test.  I print the calibration file from Quadtone Rip and read the patches on the black, gray, and light gray ramps and then plot the densities as curves in a single Excel graph.  All that calibration file does is push ink in 20 steps from minimum to maximum.  No possibility of screwing up a setting.  It just pushes ink.  That test tells me very quickly how well the paper takes ink.  A lot of highly touted papers block up in a hurry and then lose density!  Some produce bumpy curves while others take ink in very smooth curves and get decent dMax numbers.  Several matte papers can't get a decent black to save their souls.  If you get clean, smooth curves and a good dMax, you can be assured of a relatively easy time of linearizing or profiling for the paper.  Otherwise, all bets are off.  Subjectively, too, you can compare their colors, surfaces, reflective qualities.  You'll immediately spot bronzing and gloss differential problems, and you can tell which papers are loaded with brightners (even if they say they aren't), and which ones are not (not that I think brighteners are all that bad, but that's another story).  For matte papers that I've tested so far, I find one to be outstanding in many respects, and that is Epson's Velvet Fine Art, though I wish they'd go ahead and put out a version with some brightener, or a better bleach job, but it's a very fine paper with few faults.  The dMax is the best of the matte papers I've tested.  I haven't tried Hahnemuhle's William Turner, but some say it's hard to match the depth that you can get from that paper.  For a very white paper, Red River 60# Polar Matte has a fairly decent black, excellent curves, and they even make a nice dual sided version.  If you compare it with VFA, though, the blacks will look weak.  Just don't blast it with light that's too strong, and it will be very impressive.  Yes, it has OBA's.  You have a right to worry about them if you wish.

Good luck and Aloha,
Aaron

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Aaron Dygart,
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Conner999
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« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2009, 07:23:15 AM »
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Aaron

You're advice about dulling the pizza wheels looks like a great idea - will try.

Also second the recc for VFA. Tried a couple of sheets when I was in a "what the hell" mood as I don't normally prefer matte paper. Tied all the usual suspects. but found them dull, with weak blacks, lousy saturation. The VA The results blew me away. The texture of the paper vanishes in any area with detail yet gives the image a notable 3D effect. The amount of detail retained is amazing as well. Great color and saturation and DEEP, almost glossy-level blacks. As been my main color paper since. Also does a mean job on B&W - especially higher contrast images (suing Eric Chan's ABW profile).
« Last Edit: March 28, 2009, 07:25:02 AM by Conner999 » Logged
Mr. Capp
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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2009, 10:46:42 AM »
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Aaron,
One other question for ya!

When I started using GFS I had white banding due to the platen gap set too wide(I used "wider") SO initially I set the DPI to 2880 and it cleared
everything up. Then I set the platen to "wide" or auto and it's all okay and I can print at 1440 no problem. Today I ran GFS through with your awesome
wet backing solution, no problems. Then I ran some lustre rc paper through and it had the banding in some areas. I ran the nozzle check but it didn't seem to indicate
a cleaning or anything. I upped the DPI to 2880 again on the RC and it had no problems.

So, have you ever had any weird banding issues, either due to platen gap settings, or nozzle stuff. It's a white banding.

Just curious. This 3800 is such a great machine once the settings are properly fine tuned to the paper and curvature of the earth.

-Michael  
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AaronPhotog
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« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2009, 11:41:11 AM »
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Michael,

No, I haven't had any banding problems at all.  When I got the machine I ran a paper "thickness pattern" and adjusted it.  I don't remember whether I had it set for "standard" thickness or wide, but I haven't used the "wider" setting at all.  The instructions are in page 45 and 46 of the printer manual under "Creating a Paper Configuration."  This configuration adjusts the paper feed to correspond with the thickness setting.  You run a pattern and note which pair of lines is closest without overlapping or leaving a gap, and then select the corresponding number and save the setting.  That's probably all you need to do.  There's also a "Paper Adjust A" and a Paper Adjust B" that can help, particularly the "B."  You set a lower value if you have white banding.  If you don't have the instructions, let me know.  You can also do automatic or manual head alignments (see page 87 - "Aligning the Print Head"), but I don't think that is the problem from what you describe.

Aloha,
Aaron
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Aaron Dygart,
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