One of the common incidents while moving wet plates in the darkroom would be dropping the plate. Though bear in mind that most of the time I do wipe my hands dry before reaching the plate, it helps when there’s something to hold onto the substrate while moving it from the plate holder, or even into it if required.

Wood’s Powr-Grip Pick-up stick

As I saw Mike Robinson handled his dag plates between fuming with a small contraption, which he calls it as a power grip, or pick-up stick, which turned picking up the plates with clawing fingers redundant and it became an eased motion instead.

Looking around the internet for something like this in the UK proved that there’s very few selling such thing. Of course one could use any vacuum contraption to do the job, but I rather use a simple gesture of my pointing finger to seal the grip.

Instructions and usage 

I purchased the Pick-up stick from this local UK seller:

 http://www.ggrglass.co.uk/special-vacuum-cups/powr-grip-pick-up-stick/

There’s also a brief reference of this over at CDags here. Though it seemed that as I ordered only one suction cup instead of three sizes compared to the one offered at ggr glass. Though I am content with just one really.

And I had a video made to test the ability of it to endure the limit and the weight of the glass substrate, in which I felt it could accommodate at most 10″ x 12″ glass plate, 3mm thickness, weighting est. 580grams, which had me to move gently to turn the plate around rather than waving it wildly across the room.

It held other materials such as brass, silver, aluminium plates just fine as well.

This is a highly recommended tool for those making a lot of plate runs during their image making sessions.

Though I have not yet seen the effect of it being degraded due of it being in contact with silver nitrate solution, so far it seems to work as it should, just as long as I keep it clean and wiped after each use.

Note: please do have another pick-up stick if you plan to use it on dag plates as well. You would not want any cross contamination between these two types of image-making.

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