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Blotter Paper - Old Is Better Than New


FredRydr
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Colleagues,

 

I like and use my rocker blotters, and I have a few favorites. Generally, they use paper that is 2-3 inches (5-6.5cm) wide, and needs to be 8.5 inches (21.6cm) long, though 9 inches (22.5cm) or more is much better.

 

Modern so-called blotter paper from art supply shops blots very poorly. I was able to buy a pile of desk blotter paper that was produced probably 30 years ago, and I cut that into strips. Alas, it blots too slowly to be as effective as I'd like. I put felt behind the paper, but that didn't solve the issue.

 

The best rocker blotter paper I've had was taken off an old rocker blotter; the owner long ago had simply cut down paper from a free advertising blotter. Those were commonly distributed to the public. Alas, it was a smaller rocker blotter and even that hardly held the paper in place because of the short length. I've discovered those old free blotters are typically 6.25 inches (16cm) long, not long enough for the rocker blotter to grip the ends of the paper.

 

So...has anyone found a source for GOOD blotter paper from which I can cut strips at least 8.5 inches long, preferably more? In the alternative, are there longer old advertising blotters out there? The thicker, the better.

 

Fred

Edited by FredRydr
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I wish I could help, Fred, but I can only empathize. I can certainly attest that the current generation of desktop blotter paper, found in art supply stores, doesn't look or feel the same as the old stuff. And yet, it's what I use for my desktop blotter. And while I'm disappointed with its look and feel—even somewhat disappointed with its performance—in the end, much to my surprise, the stuff does what I ask it to do. It isn't great, but it's adequate. As to rocker blotters, I have a smallish one, mahogany and silverplate, something British Airways handed out to concorde passengers once upon a time, and the J. Herbin blotter paper (4.75 x 7.5) that came with it is likewise not-great-but-adequate for my purposes.

 

Good luck in your quest.

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

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Ray,

 

A Concorde rocker blotter? That just doesn't seem right...somehow. :)

 

A good friend sent a half-dozen old advertising blotters. Great paper, but they're all too short! :o I know a few were longer; I'll find 'em!

 

Fred

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You might try photographic blotting paper books.

here is one example: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=43039&gclid=CMjO2tjtjMwCFZE0aQodgqoAWg&Q=&ap=y&m=Y&c3api=1876%2C92051677562%2C&is=REG&A=details

 

http://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/Doran_bb912_Blotter_Book_9_x_1348090853000_43039.jpg

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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OCArt,

 

What does the Regal Photo paper feel like? In other words, was it soft to the touch or thick as felt?

 

Fred

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OCArt,

 

What does the Regal Photo paper feel like? In other words, was it soft to the touch or thick as felt?

 

Fred

 

I have not used this particular brand but other photo blotting paper that I've used is the same thickens as regular blotting paper-- not felt. I cut pieces from the book to use in my rocking blotter and was very happy with the results. As a side benefit the photo blotting paper should be free of any chemical residues or contaminates.

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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+1 for the photographic blotter books. When moving recently, I came across one I had forgotten I owned. Since I no longer spend hours in darkrooms, I now have a several-year supply of very safistactory 9x12" blotting cards that I can cut to fit any of my notebooks. The cover says it's chemical- and lint-free, it measures 9x12", and it looks to be about 3 times thicker than Staples card stock, and just stiff enough to hold its shape. (A little thicker than the old-fashioned, large -- usually 18x24" -- desk blotters that were common in offices back in the day. I still have a few pieces of one of those sheets lying around, way too small to fit the blotting pad I refuse to get rid of.) Happily, blotter books are still being manufactured; perhaps it might be possible to find out where they source their sheets.

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Thank you for this link. I am also dismayed by the modern equivalent sold as "blotting paper." so it will be nice to receive this.

 

I was a paper merchant for a few years and I think what some merchants sell as blotter these days is actually coaster board - the board they make drink matts out of. It is too heavy really for that purpose. I found some blue blotter on eBay a few years ago and sought out a FPN friend who purchased it for me and shipped it over. It is the real deal - superb quality. Glad I bought a ridiculous amount that will probably last me a lifetime.

http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/7260/postminipo0.png
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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't know if you've tried Fahrney's blotters (Fahrneyspens.com) but they have good blotter sheets. Sold in a packs of 10, their white blotter papers are on the thicker side and at 2 1/2 by 10 3/4 are likely more than long enough for your vintage blotter. The ten pack sells for $9.00 and I'm still using the pack I bought over 4 years ago. Good luck!

Lori

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use the sheets of my a4 Medioevalis Rossi 1931 writing paper block.

Every block starts with a sheet of blotting paper. It is fast enough for my unpatient style ;)

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Update. Based on OCArt's suggestion above, I bought a used photograph drying book off eBay for less than $10, and there are ten sheets in the book, enough to last me decades. (A bonus is another ten sheets of onionskin between the blotting pages; I'll have to test that for writing!) There were plenty of these new and used drying books on eBay, and they're cheap given the shrunken demand for traditional darkroom photography supplies. (I used to have one of these when I had a darkroom, but that was long ago.)

 

I used my paper cutter to slice a blotting page into the required shapes for my various rocker blotters. The result? The blotting performance is fantastic, superior to blotting papers sold by Nanami Paper and Herbin, and even better than my vintage blotters.

 

Thank you OCArt for a great idea!

 

Fred

Edited by FredRydr
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What about stamp drying paper? Has anyone tried using that?

 

You will be the first! Report here.

 

Fred

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Well, I'm also glad to have what appears to be an inexhaustible stock of old blotter paper.

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Stamp drying paper is expensive! I was hoping someone had already tried it.

 

 

An eBay search of "stamp drying paper" revealed it's cheaper than photo drying books. Let us know how it works out.

 

Fred

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  • 2 weeks later...

(A bonus is another ten sheets of onionskin between the blotting pages; I'll have to test that for writing!)

 

 

It appears to be onionskin, but it isn't. It's a thin waterproof sheet, so it sheds ink.

 

Fred

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