Help with flattening and storing.

Information on shipping, storing and repairing your art, plus your reviews on products for art collecting, making, storing, etc..
MaseWiN1
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Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:25 pm

Hi I recently purchased one of those picturesque portfolios 24x36 to store my prints after I have flattened them. I am still searching for the right deal for a flat file. I have a few questions on what to do.

How many pieces of foamcore do I need?
Does it matter if they are white or black as long as they are acid free?
Do I just require the foamcore when flattening or will I need it to separate prints in the flat file down the road?
Once sufficient time has elapsed I am under the impression that I flattened the print using some sort of weight. I have read that you can sandwich a print between two foamcore boards. How long do I wait after using weights to use a second foamcore board and make a sandwich?
Do I need glassine along with foamcore when I am flattening them out?

Now onto the hard part, I have 4-5 prints I have left in tubes for at least 6-8 months. They are standard mondo 24x36 prints. Once I remove them from the tubes I know I am supposed to leave them rolled up. How long after do I start to flatten them using weights? I have read different posts that some people leave them rolled up for the same amount of time the prints were in the tube. Is this a must?

Thanks.

Mase
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Cragars
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Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:37 pm

Yeah that portfolio is a PITA if prints aren't fully flat so...

Go for white foamcore just so you can see if anything has gotten on it or not that the poster could be affected by. You could save 5 pieces of foamcore to line the bottoms of the flatfile drawers down the line. For storing already flat prints in a foamcore sandwich you could stack a few with like dimensions on eachother, just keep them separated by glassine paper. That type won't stick to prints and you can reuse it for separating prints in a flat file.

I typically let the poster stay rolled outside the tube for a few days, it'll relax on it's own and adjust to the new humidity level. If it's been in a tube for months, it's already acclimatized but won't relax much. No point in letting it sit rolled for another few months. Weight them down until they either have minimal curl or don't curl in on themselves, then slap a foamcore on top and add a few books on top or just use binder clips around the edges and lean it up against a wall. If it's curl makes putting foamcore over the poster troublesome just keep it weighted, put the foamcore over it and then lift the weights a little and slide them out.

I used to not separate the prints from the foamcore but I had one stick to it after a month. Play it safe and use glassine.
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wonkabars7
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Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:42 pm

Leaving prints open and 'breathing' for the same time they have been in tubes seems a bit overkill. I have had stuff in tubes for up to a year, and letting them naturally expand after removing from the tube for a couple weeks does the trick for me. The flattening part may take a bit more, but just keep pressure all over the print. Good luck.
Particle
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Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:48 pm

Someone here can correct me if I'm wrong but I think you are overthinking it.

This is what I do

Before I owned a flatfile.
I get a print in the mail and I unroll it on a flat surface on top of my piece of foamcore. I use weights to hold it down. I leave it there for maybe like, an hour, sometimes shorter if the curl on the print is not too strong. Then I put the top foamcore piece on it (making the sandwhich) put the binder clips on it and put it safely away in storage. Hours, Days or weeks later when it is totally flat I put it with my other flat prints in my "Master" foamcore sandwhich.

Now that I own a flatfile.
I do the first party of the above and when the print is pretty flat I put it in the flat file. I do not use a piece of foamcore to seperate each print. I use kraft paper and tissue paper to seperate each print and then one piece of foamcore on top of each drawer.
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woodrowgus
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Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:04 pm

wonkabars7 wrote:Leaving prints open and 'breathing' for the same time they have been in tubes seems a bit overkill. I have had stuff in tubes for up to a year, and letting them naturally expand after removing from the tube for a couple weeks does the trick for me. The flattening part may take a bit more, but just keep pressure all over the print. Good luck.
^ In total agreement here.

The following method may be a bit controversial, and it needs constant monitoring, but I've had luck allowing tight, long time rolls a chance to breathe in a room containing a humidifier. I'd reference the thread where it was discussed if I could find it. I used this method to relax a set of prints that had been in the tube for two years by the time I received them; I let them sit on their own for about a month, then used the humidifier shortly before/while flattening. You certainly don't want to allow them to become damp, and I always use tissue paper atop the prints to prevent to much moisture from getting in, but it certainly seemed to help the process along.

I imagine there are some that would absolutely discourage this practice, and I'd certainly be open to hearing their reasons. Discuss!
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rockbridge
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Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:34 pm

Particle wrote: I use kraft paper and tissue paper to seperate each print and then one piece of foamcore on top of each drawer.
Most kraft paper isnt acid free....you might want to invest in a bulk order of glassine. It is ph neutral and works much better than kraft and can be purchased for about the same price as tissue.

Once you discover glassine, you will wonder why you ever drymounted around with tissue paper.
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rmoore
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Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:45 pm

rockbridge wrote:Once you discover glassine, you will wonder why you ever drymounted around with tissue paper.
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dav36
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Thu May 21, 2020 10:11 am

This might be a dumb question but do the prints have to be completely flat before you put them in your portfolio?
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Kramerica
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Thu May 21, 2020 11:38 am

dav36 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:11 am
This might be a dumb question but do the prints have to be completely flat before you put them in your portfolio?
That's probably gonna depend somewhat on the portfolio. I think the new Baroque pages are a little more roomy than the old Picturesque. I have an old 24x36 picturesque as well as a few smaller Itoya models and I get the prints pretty flat before I put them in. There might be a slight curl on either end but nothing significant, otherwise it is difficult and risks damage. I can't really speak on the Baroque or other similar models. I would say you at least want the print to lay on it's own without rolling up on itself before trying to put it in any portfolio.
When I'm done ranting about elite power that rules the planet under a totalitarian government that uses the media to keep people stupid, my throat gets parched. That's why I drink Orange Drink. - BH
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uknowit
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Sat May 30, 2020 12:31 am

Hi. So I’m getting a flat file tomorrow, Just wondering if I’m reading everything right....recommendations to store prints is acid free foam core on the bottom then glassine in between then acid free foam core on top? Thanks for the education
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Grateful69Phish
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Sat May 30, 2020 6:08 am

I've used plexi glass and poly bags for decades

leaving posters in tubes is not wise - makes flattening 100 x more difficult and some posters never recover
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ygolohcysp
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Sat May 30, 2020 2:39 pm

Step 1: open tube and let print stand on its end for a few days to relax the roll before you try to flatten.

Step 2: use some weights (baroque has nice ones) to hold down the 4 corners, inside of the roll up, i.e the least resistance from the print. Let that stay flat for a week or two. Then if you need to, you can flip the print over and do the same thing again.

Step 3: it's all about the glassine when you store in the flat file. Get a big roll and cut a piece for between each print. Storing paper on metal I think is fine but someone please inform me otherwise if there's really an archival consideration.

If you have a nice flat file with the things in the drawers to hold prints down then you'll be good. If not, as others have mentioned foam core on top or plexiglass (I actually use Masonite) should be good. Worst sound is when a print edge is dragged across the bottom of the drawer above it when you open it.

If anyone needs any pointers on flattening many prints at once just let me know :D
A public relations nightmare

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Codeblue
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Sat May 30, 2020 2:56 pm

Hermetically sealed room or gtfo.
RupertPupkin wrote:I live by this rule and this rule alone: people are drymounting idiots.
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theperfecttree
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Sat May 30, 2020 6:05 pm

Codeblue wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 2:56 pm
Hermetically sealed room or gtfo.
and gloves.. gotta have the gloves

Image

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really though as long as it's in a flat file IMO you're fine. Though I've been very happy with these sleeves for larger pieces. Gives me peace of mind when moving things around that I won't nick a corner in the process. Anything that's in my smaller flat file (20x26 or smaller) I just stack on top of one another, no glassine or anything.
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ygolohcysp
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Sat May 30, 2020 7:08 pm

theperfecttree wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 6:05 pm
Codeblue wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 2:56 pm
Hermetically sealed room or gtfo.
and gloves.. gotta have the gloves

Image

--

really though as long as it's in a flat file IMO you're fine. Though I've been very happy with these sleeves for larger pieces. Gives me peace of mind when moving things around that I won't nick a corner in the process. Anything that's in my smaller flat file (20x26 or smaller) I just stack on top of one another, no glassine or anything.
Mondo scratchy inks in the those sleeves is a game changer for handling them. I converted everything I had about a year ago and for storing/pulling/flipping through 24*36 it's really the best. Wish I had done it sooner, could have saved me a few scuffs and dogged corners over the years.
A public relations nightmare

SLAPPED WITH FLIPPING
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