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432Dampening

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  • Arthur Graham
    Mar 10, 2002
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      I read Yehuda Miklaf's suggestion on dampening. Note that what I have to say may refer only to the small runs that I do, usually 40-70 copies. I do the same as Yehuda--soak one sheet, then add a number (1, 2, 3 depending on the paper) of dry sheets, add another soaked sheet, and so forth.

      The number of dry sheets may be different for different papers. Sometimes I will do two dry sheets, a wet sheet, three dry sheets, a wet sheet, then back to two dry sheets. Also, I give consideration to the bottom and top of the pile. If the top and/or bottom sheets are wet, the top and/or bottom of the pile will end up damper than the middle sheets, and it will take a much longer time than necessary to achieve even dampness. I vary the order and number of wet and dry sheets (at the top and bottom of the pile) to avoid this problem.

      The amount of time the paper is soaked is different for each variety of paper. Some are more like blotters and should soak for a very short time. Others need more time to absorb the water. It is necessary to shake off most of the water before placing the dampened sheet over the dry ones. I alternate the placement (e.g., upper right corner, lower left corner) of the more watery corner of the sheet. Also, using a weight, if it does not press evenly on the entire surface of the top sheet, it may create a permanent dent. I do not find it necessary to place a weight over the papers I use.

      Sometimes, to save time in achieving uniform dampness, after an hour or so I rearrange the pile of paper--turning over every other sheet and reversing the top to bottom placement of every other sheet. As to how long it takes to dampen evenly--some papers take a few hours, some are ready overnight, and some take longer than that.

      Arthur Graham


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