Dry Mount Press Questions

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Francesco, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I recently took delivery of a used Seal Jumbo 150 press. The felt on the base is very dirty (a damp cloth on it picks up black stuff - is this from previous heat sessions?) and I would like some way to either (1) clean it well or (2) replace or cover it. Any thoughts?

    Finally, I believe I will need a transformer of some kind so that I can use it here in Sweden. Anyone in Europe have one of these that they use with a transformer? Which transformer do you suggest?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    Are you referring to the felt on the sponge pad? If so, I know that you can buy replacement sponge pads, but they might not be available for every model. B&H carries them, as well as others I'm sure. I don't think the new pads even have felt.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    It would be my recommendation to use two 4 ply mat boards in the press. My pressed are not the cleanest in the world as they are both pretty old. I use the aforementioned mat boards and sandwich the print for flattening between the boards. I use the same method for dry mounting. I prefer not to use the release paper. I have never used it in 25 years and don't plan on starting at this late date. :smile:

    lee\c
     
  4. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Thanks Matt. I just checked their site and they only keep them for the current models. I am wondering if the 160 is the direct replacement for my 150.
     
  5. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    What are the measurements of your platen? B&H says the 160 is 18.5" x 15.5"
     
  6. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Hi Lee. You mean place a clean 4 ply board as a protective backing for the board the print is to be mounted on? In other words, cover the felt-sponge pad with a 4-ply board? Are you also suggesting to put one as well on the heat plate? Like a sandwich?
     
  7. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    Not meaning to speak for Lee, I believe your description is correct. At least that's what I do & I imagine most users do. I just keep the same mat board sandwich in the press at all times to minimize dirt & dust. If your sponge pad is rotting & producing dust, I'd get it out of there. Dust/dirt and prints in presses do not mix. It doesn't take a very big particle to dent & ruin a print.
     
  8. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    It might be a little bit of a waste but you can cut the felt and rubber pad to fit your press. I say change it, it must have been used for something other than mounting prints. I have used mine for 10 years and still looks like new, but it has been used only for mountig or flattening prints.
     
  9. lee

    lee Member

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    Yes, Francesco, that is exactly like I use it. One on top and one on bottom. Print and mat board BETWEEN them. IF the press is at about 200f then the time will be around one minute or so. It is no sin to reheat again if needed.

    lee\c
     
  10. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Thanks Lee. Sacrificing two matboards is a small price to pay. The sponge pad is very, very old and will perhaps just be cleaned a little to remove the dust and such. It is necessary that there is something in the bottom as the top plate needs that depth to make contact. I believe that with the sandwich I should be okay. These things look to be built like tanks - the only I can see wrong with it is the pad but otherwise it looks armoured.

    Thanks for the suggestions gentlemen. That was lightning fast!
     
  11. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I do exactly the same as Lee and have had no problems in 25 years
     
  12. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Any thoughts on my second question concerning transformer (US to Europe voltage and frequency)?
     
  13. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I use an extra 4 play mat board on top of and below the print/board. I also think it helps to distribute the heat more evenly. Maybe you could vacuum the pad. It might help a little. I have been using the same two "cushion" boards for about 50 mountings so far. If you can pick/borrow up a copy of "The Print" by Ansel Adams he explains in detail how to dry mount prints. Sorry I can't help with the transformer.
     
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  15. lee

    lee Member

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    what is the line voltage where you live Francesco? The US is generally 120vac and 60 cycle hertz. there should be a plate on the press somewhere that tells what it is set for. Anything different from that should probably used with a transformer.

    lee\c
     
  16. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Thanks for the heads up Gerald. I have the book and the illustrations are quite handy.

    Lee, I will be needing a transformer. Electricity here is 220v (the Jumbo 150 has a plate by the temp selector stating it to be 115v). No idea what the frequency is here but I shall check up on that too. Some kind of transformer is what I will need. I remember using one in London but for the life of me I cannot recall the brand name.
     
  17. lee

    lee Member

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    Francesco,

    I would bet that it is 220 volts and 50 cycle hertz. IF you call an electrician he can tell you exactly what it is and possibly recommend something for you to buy to correct this. A step up transformer is real easy to build but I don't know how to deal with the cycle rate problem.

    lee\c
     
  18. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Thanks Lee. Any idea what a mismatch in the cycle hertz would cause? Would it be unreliable temperature from that chosen?
     
  19. lee

    lee Member

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    I am not too sure. in 60 cycles there are 60 peaks in one second. in 50 cycles there are 50 cycles in one second I believe this to be true. Find a qualified electrician or a electronics house in the phone book and call and ask them. Is there some place like here in the states we have a low end parts place called Radio Shack? Somewhere like that might have the answer. Or you could maybe google.com the question and see what is there.

    lee\c
     
  20. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Francesco, the electrician should be able to tell you what problems the cycle rate would cause, but I don't think it will cause any. Cycle rate causes big problems with some electronic devices, clocks, etc. Other such devices are rated for either 50 or 60Hz. I can't see the cycle rate causing a problem with the simple heating coils of a dry mount press. Be sure to explain what the press does to the electrician.

    With an old press, you'll need to test to see if the temperatures are accurate anyway. I don't believe the cycle rate would cause unreliability - at least not more than age. Voltage, OTOH, is important.
    juan
     
  21. lee

    lee Member

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    I agree with Jaun's assessment. The cycle rate seems to be in play with motors and refridgerators and the like. Here is something I copied from a googled site.

    "Equipment with motors will rotate at a slower pace and overheat as they pull more current.
    Pumps and washing machines will spin at a slower rate
    Temperature rise in motors resulting in reduction in the lifespan of the equipment."

    again check with a qualified electrician.

    lee\c
     
  22. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Thanks gentlemen. I am on the case.
     
  23. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Found transformers here in Stockholm that handle conversion of US voltage and frequency (115 and 60) into Swedish voltage and frequency (230 and 50). Thanks for all the help everyone.
     
  24. edz

    edz Member

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    The Seal press is a simple heating unit. The thermostat is, I suspect, a simple bi-metal affair. The thermometer is non-electrical--- a mechanical dial-type. Should there be a timer it too is mechanical and nothing much more than a wind-up.
     
  25. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Francesco, I have the same basic press and it was built to last. Mine had a few wires which were not making proper contact after many years. If yours is slow to heat up, remove the cover with the lamps under it, tighten all connections and look closely at the terminal ends on the wires. I ended up replacing the on-off switch with a hardware store type as mine wasn't working well after too many years. With the new switch and tight connections it works like a champ now. Heats fast, presses nice & flat.

    I was fortunate to get one with a clean pad and platten. I don't use a slip sheet with mine or mat boards, so 15 seconds is sufficient to have a good bond. The extra mat boards are a good way to prevent problems with dust, dirt and contamination. I just used a kitchen type meat thermometer to set the correct heat on the press and I leave it alone (190f).

    How much was the transformer you had to buy and what was the power rating in watts?
     
  26. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Francesco, There is more to consider then whether the transformer will convert the voltages as required. There is also the electrical wattage to be considered. A transformer of too small wattage capacity will simply overheat and fail.

    Typically the wattage (as designated by the manufacturer) must be converted to the quantity of amperes that it will require. This is accomplished by dividing the wattage of your press by the voltage (American voltage) and this will give you the amperes the device will draw in American voltage. For instance if the wattage of the press were 1400 watts this would be divided by 115 volts and the result would be 12.17 amperes. This is necessary to know in order to properly size the transformer. Next the amperes are multiplied by voltage to arrive at the volt/amperes (VA) size of the transformer.

    Additionally what you will need is a "step down" transformer that would be to take your voltage in Sweden into the drymount press voltage. Not the other way around as you stated it. They do make both "step up" and "step down" transformers and it is important to know which you will be using.

    Insofar as the conversion of 50 hertz (cycle) supply that you have into 60 hertz (cycle) that the press designates, that should not be necessary since this is a resistance electrical device. The only time that a conversion of this type would be required is when an inductive load is being fed. This would be an electrical motor (for example).

    Good luck.