Do I really need a large press?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Boris, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Boris

    Boris Member

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    I am thinking about mounting photos using dry mount press. The book that I have suggests that press must be as large as the largest prints I intend to mount. Otherwise mounted sections where mounting overlaps will one day buckle. I print up to 20x24 and the press to do it cost over $2000 and weights 275 pounds. Any comments/experiences with smaller presses?
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I have a Seal 210 M and can comfortably mount 11x14. The 16x20's I mounted I had to do in two stages, but it worked fine. The seal 210 can be found on E bay a substancial discounts, and new should run you about $800. It is still heavy, but if you can find a used one in good shape you will not regret it. I beleive the opening for the 210 will be big enough for the 20x24 but you better check before you buy it. Light impressions as well as many other sites has them and the specs.
     
  3. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    I have an older Seal 210 that I regularly use to mount 16x20 prints to 22x28 board. It takes two passes. I use Seal Buffer Mount (formerly Archival Mount) which bonds as it cools and has fewer mismount problems than the conventional types of mounting tissues. Just make sure you use a thickness of (clean) mat board between press and work to make sure you get no mounting lines. With a little practice you could probably even mount larger prints, putting a quarter of the work at a time into the press for a total of four passes. Unless you are really planning to print a lot of larger prints, try the 210 or equivalent and see if it does the job for you. If you find you have need (and room for) a larger press, you can always sell the smaller one on eBay. Alternately, for the occaisional huge print, you can have a professional mounting shop do the job for you. Regards ;^D)
     
  4. Marsh

    Marsh Member

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    I also use an older Seal 210 press that I acquired from e bay and have not had any problems with mounting up to 20 x 24 inch prints. I would suggest getting the smaller press and trying it out. If you made a mistake, you can always re-sell the press on e bay and go for the larger one. But IMO you will probably do ok with the smaller one.
     
  5. vpfaff

    vpfaff Member

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    Could anyone tell me the difference between a Seal Professional 210 and a Biengang/Seal 210M. I am a high school teacher and need to get one for the classroom.
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    To respond to your question, it seems that Seal/Biengang is the current manufacturers trade name. The 210 M seems to be same as the press that I bought a number of years ago. They do also have a model 210 MX that has an electronic temperature control as opposed to the conventional thermostat that the 210 M incorporates.

    I don't see where the Professional 210 comes up in my sources. Perhaps I just didn't see it.
     
  7. John Cook

    John Cook Member

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    For really large mounting jobs where the cost of a press would be prohibitive, consider wet mounting.

    A damp fiber print can be mounted to water-resistant board such as masonite or gator foam, using wallpaper paste, Elmer's (slightly dilute) white glue applied with a paint roller, or an archival equivalent.

    Kodak's (now discontinued) single-weight mural paper could be squeegied, sopping wet from the wash tank, onto board coated with dry Elmer's glue. The wet print would re-activate the glue. Just leave to air-dry (horizontal - without weights) overnight.

    This method not only solves the two problems of bulky drymount press storage and high cost, but also eliminates the difficulties of drying fiber paper without curls.
     
  8. ron mcelroy

    ron mcelroy Member

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    Just a FYI....Biengang is a division of Hunt's corp. Last year Hunt's bought Seal and evidently they have placed Seal in the Biengang division. One thing I didn't like is Hunt's dropped MT-5 from the lineup of and recommends Colormount instead.

    I have a 30 year old Seal Commerical 210 press and it is little changed from the current model 210.
     
  9. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I have a Technal model 500 dry mount press. They can be acquired used for somewhat less than a similiar Seal press. Have mounted 16X20 prints by rotating them.
     
  10. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Boris - here is the secret (don't let anyone else in on it...)

    Put an ad in the local paper in the "wanted" section. You will be surprised what you can dredge up. I picked up a Seal 360M (26" x 34") for $100. I added about $60 in cleanup & upgrades (all new wiring, connectors, added a solid state relay, etc). The ad cost me $7.
     
  11. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Hey rexp... can we talk??

    Wow. That's a hell of a deal! And I thought I'd gotten a deal on a late model 360 masterpiece for $375!! But anyway - I'd like to know more about what you did. I've got mine all taken apart right now because it's got some superficial corrosion on it. Bitch to take apart those things! Anyway - I'm planning on getting some of the hardware freshly powdercoated. That'll happen in a few months. But at any rate, perhaps you could tell me about the SS relay. Presumably it offers superior reliability..? You're not concerned with it overheating (the chip, that is)? Did you do a rebuild on it? I'm just wondering if there's something I need to watch out for.

    thanks
    Jonathan
     
  12. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Jonathan - The only real problem with mine was that someone had "repaired" one of the connections to the heater with non-high-temp crimps, which melted. The triac (three wires connected to what looks like a pregnant bolt) had failed, and I think the "poof" from that made the owner think it was worthless. He was happy I paid him $100, I was ecstatic he sold it to me for $100.

    Anyway, I discussed rebuilding the press here
    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=13007

    and removing the platen here
    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=14123

    I suppose there is some cool method for including the links, but I don't know them.

    The solid state relay is an Omron G3NA-225B-AC100-120, DigiKey number is Z922-ND, $29.45. I am sure people will tell you this is overkill, but it will insure that the thermostat in your press lasts forever. When it comes time to wire things up, if you have questions just let me know. I would suggest using the factory wire unless there are spots which are frayed, or if any of the crimps are turning black and crusty. If you have to replace any wire, make sure you use nickel plated steel wire for all connections to the heating element and the thermostat, along with steel crimps. If you take a piece of the wire with you to the local appliance shop, they can fix you up. Better yet, take the heating element (leave it on the aluminum plate to help protect it from bending) with you and have them smash the crimps. They will have the correct tool.

    Let me know if you have questions, and have the neighbors help when you have to move the beast. Amazing what you can coax people into helping with if you have beer handy.

    rexp