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Klucel G

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I have a project that may require the use of Klucel G. The instructions tend to call for mixing it with 95 - 99% isopropyl alcohol. I can get 91% no problem, but any higher concentration than that and it's treated like rocket fuel. My question is obvious- does mixing the Klucel with the lower concentration completely mess things up?
 
888

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Until your post, I had never heard of Klucel G.
Reading the instructions is confusing, as every site selling it has different instructions.
Some only list water to dissolve it.
Some list alcohol, but not the percentage of the alcohol.
Some list using 100% alcohol.

That being said, here is a link for 99% Alcohol on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Brand-Isopropyl-Antiseptic-Technical/dp/B07NFSFBXQ/ref=asc_df_B07NFSFBXQ/?tag=&linkCode=df0&hvadid=344089820809&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15218755463655886383&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1022672&hvtargid=pla-723488297267&ref=&adgrpid=68456165919&th=1
 

IFGL

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Until your post, I had never heard of Klucel G.
Reading the instructions is confusing, as every site selling it has different instructions.
Some only list water to dissolve it.
Some list alcohol, but not the percentage of the alcohol.
Some list using 100% alcohol.

That being said, here is a link for 99% Alcohol on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Brand-Isopropyl-Antiseptic-Technical/dp/B07NFSFBXQ/ref=asc_df_B07NFSFBXQ/?tag=&linkCode=df0&hvadid=344089820809&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15218755463655886383&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1022672&hvtargid=pla-723488297267&ref=&adgrpid=68456165919&th=1
I am gonna get so hammered!
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Klucel is soluble in alcohol or water. The reason alcohol is better is that it evaporates more quickly so is less apt to cause cockling. (There are other chemical reasons too, but they are above my pay grade.) Anyway, I think you would be fine with the 91% version. I have experimented a bit with the Klucel, but not yet enough to be fully confident with it. Like Methyl Cellulose, the bond may not be as strong as that with starch, but it depends on the circumstances of use. I believe the proper proportion for mixing is 1:1 with the alcohol. Stir well and let it gel. Hugh talks about it in an article in the latest PPFA newsletter.
:cool: Rick
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Thanks for the info, Rick.

I'm going to make this a two for one question. I have two life-size graphite portraits (so they're big) on what appears to be 100 lb drawing paper. I hinged the first with 22 gram mulberry hinges and wheat starch applied as thinly as I could. The hinges are leaving slightly raised areas.

Would the use of Klucel G solve the problem?

I showed the problem to a local conservator and he felt the most likely explanation for the problem was the paper hasn't acclimated to the present environment. He was taking the paper still being slightly rolled as evidence.
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Here's what I've found out so far by just dinking around with Klucel G. Lineco says to mix it 2:1 alcohol to powder. That appears to be (at least on my first try) too strong a mixture. I got translucent lumps that aren't "spreadable". I'm trying about 5:1 to see if it's easier to use. I will say this- at 2:1, it is sticky as all get out. A barely perceptible film holds like a tiger and doesn't cockle at all.
 

Frances M.

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
With it being dissolved in alcohol, how fast do you have to mix and apply to hinge and then art work? Can you pre-paste hinges and then re-activate with alcohol to apply hinges to artwork? Very interesting product.
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
You have to move pretty fast with the 2:1. I'm going to try the 5:1 today. I'll let you know how that works.
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Tinkering update- 5:1 seems like a good ratio. The resulting gel is thicker than wheat paste, but still spreadable. The higher alcohol content gives you a little more time to get the hinge placed. The alcohol doesn't evaporate quite as quickly as I expected although it does so more quickly than water evaporates. I put some hinges on a test piece of 80 pound watercolor paper. You have to put on a layer of paste which is way thicker than you would want to try with wheat paste, but it sticks with good strength when dry. The area where Klucel G seems to excel is sticking hinges to poor quality, thin paper. I stuck a 50 gram hinge to a piece of note paper without being terribly careful and it stuck with no ripples.

I like this stuff (so far, at least).
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I'm just trying to stick hinges on every kind of paper I have floating around the shop. Can't get hinges to stick to tracing paper for some reason. I just stuck hinges on a paper towel and a piece of Kleenex with no ripples. That's significant.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Some kinds of tracing paper have coated surfaces. Maybe the coating is incompatible with the adhesive properties of Klucel.
:cool: Rick
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
That's what I'm thinking. It doesn't seem to work as well on hard, coated surfaces. I think the paper needs to be porous. Klucel forms a kind of rubbery film when it dries. It seems to either work immediately or fail miserably. If it doesn't stick, it just peels right off with all the adhesive sticking to the hinge.

Frances asked if you can reactivate it with alcohol. You can, but you have to be careful to get the hinge evenly wet with the alcohol or the hinge will only be sticky in spots. You can also dissolve the Klucel right off the hinge if you use too much alcohol.
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I've been using the Klucel G on small lightweight items with good success. It is particularly useful on thin papers. I just mounted hinges to a paper placemat from 1957 with nary a ripple. I would have been sweating bullets if I had tried to do that with wheat paste.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
For making hinges, I bought two kinds of paper that Hugh recommended in the class at WCAF. These are from University Products.
741-0810 Interleaving tissue
159-0810 Photo Tex paper

:cool: Rick
 

Louise B

Grumbler in Training
Thanks for the info, Rick.

I'm going to make this a two for one question. I have two life-size graphite portraits (so they're big) on what appears to be 100 lb drawing paper. I hinged the first with 22 gram mulberry hinges and wheat starch applied as thinly as I could. The hinges are leaving slightly raised areas.

Would the use of Klucel G solve the problem?

I showed the problem to a local conservator and he felt the most likely explanation for the problem was the paper hasn't acclimated to the present environment. He was taking the paper still being slightly rolled as evidence.
Are you using Reemay and blotter to dry your hinges? I think that the 22 g hinges with starch paste would be fine for this and I have not heard of Klucel being used as a hinge adhesive. The problem with the hinges showing may be solved with careful drying. I use rectangles of blotter, with Reemay where there may be excess damp paste, on each side of the hinged area. After the hinge is applied top with Reemay and blotter. Rest for 30 seconds to a minute then shift the blotter sandwich forward, away from the hinge. Shift every 30 seconds to a minute then change to new dry blotter and rest until fully dry.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
In my experiments so far, I have not used blotters. I simply let the hinges dry under weight. One advantage of the Klucel being alcohol-soluble is that it avoids the water content of past that tends to cause cockling, and it evapoates somewhat more quickly. I have only hinged fairly small and lightweight papers- nothing as big as what you are describing.
:cool: Rick
 

Louise B

Grumbler in Training
In my experiments so far, I have not used blotters. I simply let the hinges dry under weight. One advantage of the Klucel being alcohol-soluble is that it avoids the water content of past that tends to cause cockling, and it evapoates somewhat more quickly. I have only hinged fairly small and lightweight papers- nothing as big as what you are describing.
:cool: Rick
Yes, I forgot to mention to dry under weight. It is essential though to use blotter to remove the paste moisture from the artwork as quickly as possible. A good art material store should sell blotter or try Talas. Cut the blotter into rectangles around 6 x 4 inches and use strips of Reemay to prevent any paste from attaching the hinge to the blotter. Make this blotter sandwich around the wet hinges, put a weight on top, move the blotter sandwich away from the art initially after 30 seconds or a minute, then keep moving it until you decide that most of the moisture is gone then change the blotter on both sides of the hinged area and weigh, rest and dry. I use home made lead shot weights similar to those available from conservation material suppliers like Talas. (If you would like to see a photo I can try to attach one in another message.

I'm reading a little about Klucel now. If you use it for hinging it is best for very lightweight papers. It is described in one conservation paper as tacky enough to hold tears on fragile papers but weak enough that it will not cause tension in the repair.

If you are careful with the application of starch paste (thin layer) and attentive to the drying of the hinges you should not see cockling and curving of the artwork.
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Here's a kind of "if I knew then what I know now" wrap-up on this whole mess.

Louise's and Rick's tips on the drying process are well taken. I was very, very careful on the first piece. I put little enough paste on that I had to reapply on many of the hinges because they weren't sticking. I still got ripples. I then got a sheet of paper as close to the type the drawings were on as I could find and tested my technique. I got no ripples and, so, thought I was home free. I treated the second drawing like a live baby girl. I applied a minimum of paste. I changed the blotters at frequent intervals. I prayed over each hinge. I gave a cigar to the local Juju priestess. I did everything I knew to do. I still got minor cockling. It wasn't bad. The customer didn't complain, but it was there.

On to the Klucel question. I've used it on a good number of small pieces with no problems. As I stated above, it appears to either stick or it doesn't. The adhesive strength isn't as great as wheat paste as far as I can tell, but I can't get it to make paper ripple. I mounted a piece of 42 gram mulberry paper to both a Kleenex and a paper towel with no ripples. Could I have used it to hinge the huge pieces? I will probably never know. I think I could .have if I had used wider hinges than I did. I'm confident there would have been no cockling. I just don't know for sure if the hinges would have held.
 

Louise B

Grumbler in Training
This is an interesting article by Phibbs but I'll stick with starch paste and Japanese 100% kozo tissues. A bridling traditionalist cooking paste every few days!
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
This is an interesting article by Phibbs but I'll stick with starch paste and Japanese 100% kozo tissues. A bridling traditionalist cooking paste every few days!
Me too - this is a bit of a step too far for me, plus I'd really need a physical demo to get my head around it all properly. In that article Hugh says "Having long been troubled by the edible nature of cooked starch"! Well I don't ever recall that concern being voiced here, so how long?

This is a quote from Hugh, here on TFG "The only adhesive that is suitable for use with art on paper is cooked starch paste, which is chemically equivalent to the paper, itself... "

So, if the paper is edible, why worry?

Plus ..... PLUS - for things that really matter there's a pretty good chance I can mount them with no adhesive in contact or none whatsoever, so if I have to downgrade to an adhesive/hinge method, pure kozo hinges and freshly cooked starch paste is a pretty good downgrade!!

.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
...This is a quote from Hugh, here on TFG "The only adhesive that is suitable for use with art on paper is cooked starch paste, which is chemically equivalent to the paper, itself... "
Was that a quote from years ago? Hugh has always been a wise experimenter and researcher of better ways. He has brought us plenty of great advice about attaching paper to a backing board for framing.

Go ahead, Robo...try Klucel G. Live dangerously!
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
It was from 2011 but Hugh hasn't been here on TFG since Feb 2015 - was he concerned about the edible nature of starch paste then? It's not that long ago!

Anyway - firstly show me some horror stories about art ruined by hinges being eaten and secondly, simplify the recipe and method for the new stuff, pref with a vid or an article with photos and diagrams - and I'll think about it!
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Hey Mike! What types of items has Andy been using the Kucel G on? I get a lot of small pieces of artwork done on "questionable" paper and have found the Klucel G to be a godsend. As I've stated a couple times previously, I'm still not using it on large pieces or pieces on heavy, good quality paper.
 
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