From: Phillip Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 04/20/03-06:33:08 PM Z
I recommend that you keep your apparatus as simple as possible.
1) Determine what your largest final plate size will be and build your
equipment based on the largest size. Masks can be made to
accommodate smaller plates. Yet, if you decide to go larger after
making your apparatus for small plates, you'll have to build all over
2) Begin with Becquerel development. Most of your skills will be
needed in cleaning and polishing your plates initially. These skills
will carryover as the basis for Mercury developed Daguerreotypes
when you get there. No need to complicate things in the beginning.
3) Use daylight for your exposures. If you work in the studio, as
I often do, find a room with plenty of North light and if you are
very lucky, a room with a skylight. Some current Daguerreotypists
use powerful studio strobes in their work. I don't recommend it.
4) For Becquerel development, you only need a light-tight box
with an opening in the top that is covered with Rubylith film.
Any graphic arts supplier will have this. Ulano makes it and they
also have Amberlith which is an amber colored acetate film.
I've used amberlith successfully with the light from an incandescent
bulb, however, if you use the sun to develop your plates, I recommend
the Rubylith film. Both are easy to judge exposure through. On
cloudy days or overnight, you can place the plate in the developing
box under an incandescent lamp. I use a fan blowing over this
setup to keep things from heating up too much which will cause fogging.
Developing Y88P. 150 watt
,' `- Lightbulb
/ .|\ `.
.' \ |
| ( ) |
\ ' /
/ / | \
| | \ \
/ / | |
/ \ \
__ Rubylith or
__,,...---'''' `.. Amberlith
-.=-''' `-._ Film on top
| `._ `..
'. `._ `-._
| `-. `..
| `-. __ `-.
| _i..--'' `-. _ .
|_ -'' `-._ `-._ ;.,--'' |
`._ `-. `.__,,.;-`:: |
`._ `-. | _i- |
Film Holder `._ `-. |__..--'' |
or a `._ '-'' _
Photographic `.. | __..--''
Film or Paper Box `-. ' __,,--'
I hope that drawing makes it without distortion.
Some email programs will distort ASCII drawings.
I would recommend a buffing wheel that gives low rpms.
Garret Wade sells one online.
You'll need to purchase tapered spindles from a jewelry supply house
to replace the grinding wheels for your buffing machine. The buffs
required are of cotton with the softest nap you can find. Be sure that
you buy buffs that fit your spindles. Final buff sticks can be made
from fine cotton velvet that is un-dyed and un-bleached.
Sensitizing boxes are easily constructed from wood. Seal the joints
with silicon adhesive and allow them to cure completely before using
them. Varnish the wood before assembly. Use the traditional designs
from the early literature. A jar is unnecessary, just remove the iodine
and store it away. Instead of a jar, use a glass petri dish at the base
of your coating box to contain the iodine. Cotton gauze is useful over
the petri dish to even out the fumes, however, I don't use it and
always get even results. The trick is rotating your plate several times
during the sensitizing cycles.
Keep everything as simple as possible. Complicating things
in the beginning only leads to more variables to tame and ultimately
Once you begin gilding your plates, you'll have plenty to concentrate
on. That in itself can be tricky to master. I would recommend that
you only begin Mercury development after mastering all of the
skills necessary to produce Becquerel plates successfully.
> Phillip. It´s me again.
> I finally got the money I needed to get the whole equipment for
> daguerreotipy and start my own "studio". I´ll buy the back for the Rollei,
> I´ll order the sensibilization and developing boxes (just in case I need to
> use hot mercury or if I plan to use bromide or hot mercury in the future),
> I´ll buy the buffing wheel and the correspondent buffs and rouges, the
> Iodide and mercury, the silver plates, I´ll make my own Uv soucre, and the
> filter for the bequerel development.
> I´d like to know what your recomendations are.
> First of all, what filter should I use for bequerel?. Where can I get
> Would you recomend a flouorescent bank or an incandescent one?. wich lamps
> or tubes should I get? How many?. The possitive part of flouorescent
> lighting is that they don´t get as hot as incandescent lamps do, but I don´t
> know if the Uv spectrum and intensity is smaller.
> Do you recomend any kind of lighting for studio shots (budgetwise please).
> Then, is there any recomendations you can give me related to the design of
> the sensibilization and development boxes?. I´m planning to make them in
> wood, and to leave room for a thin silk (from what I read in the
> www.daguerre.org articles). In that site, they recomended a 45º angle for
> the plate to sensibilize and develop, but I´m not shure if thats important
> or not (my teacher doesn´t use that technique not he uses the silk between
> the iodide and the plate).
> And last, but not least, what kind of buffing wheel should I buy?.
> I think those are all my doubts.
> I´ll be more than gratefull if you or anyone in the list could help me with
> my doubts.
> Oh! and the budget is short (and in argentinian pesos).
> Agustin Barrutia.
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