Dry Mount Press

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Bruce Osgood, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I'm starting to look for a dry mount press and am wondering what temperature it should maintain and for how long, is necessary for it to work.

    I see some referred to as T Shirt Laminator & Press that seem to be less expensive and wonder if they have the ooomph to do the job. I realize shipping cost is an absolute consideration to the final cost as they are heavy.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    As I recall, the instructions for the dry mounting sheets call for 175 degrees, but I have had better luck at 200 for 2 minutes. As to whether a press designed for another purpose would work, I don't know. You'd probably be better off trying before buying, but I suppose if you're concerned with shipping costs, that option is unavailable to you.
     
  3. Terence

    Terence Member

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    I've been looking at them myself. Many of the Seal units have been used for shirts, etc. The problem with these is that the platens and pads are often a messy of melted adhesive, etc. T-shirt makers don't seemed to be concerned about archival quality . . .

    Unless you can visually inspect the unit, I'd steer clear of the ones used for purposes other than photography. These are often bad enough as it is.
     
  4. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Seal has a whole range of dry mount presses. Go to B&H Video and search on "Seal drymount" to see the range. Decide what size fits the largest you ever plan to print or can afford. These are very heavy so shipping on a used one can be as much as the press. Look on eBay for ones near you geographically. Craig's List is another possibility.

    Besides photographers and labs going from analog to digital, frame shops and schools making the switch are another source of used models. I found a model 210 on eBay and have a download of the manual. PM me with an email address if that will help.

    John Powers
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    temp depends on the adhesive and the press technique

    Kodak t2 - 180F, about 30 sec for me, with heated platten, release paper, the print, the dry mount sheet, then the mount board, then the sponge.

    Then there is some ancient stuff (likely 40-60 years old) I have for fibre based only prints that takes about 280F for almost a minute in the same arrangement.

    I did dry mount Fibre up to 8x10 for about 5 years with an ordinary laundry iron. Then I started printing bigger, and the iron didn't work on them as well. So *bay an 11x14 one for about $60m and had it mailed parcel post across canada for about $40. .
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The temperature and time depends on the dry mount tissue you are using, and the instructions usually come with the tissue. As long as your press will go up to about 300f or so, you should be fine . Most tissues require temps of between 180 to 220f or so. I highly recommend Bienfang Buffermount. It is the only "archival" dry mount I know of. (As archival as dry mount gets, anyway)
     
  7. palewin

    palewin Member

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    All the posts have given you good advice for temp ranges. The only other thing you may need is some sort of heavy plate (glass, steel, etc.) to put over the mounted print as it cools. Older dry mount papers "set" as they heated up (Seal MT5); the modern archival ones set as they cool, so you need a weight on the print for a few minutes after removing from the press.
     
  8. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I use a pizza stone for this. If you're not familiar with such a thing, it's a heavy, flat slab of smooth stone that one heats in an oven and then puts pizza crust on for even heating. It's waaaaay less expensive than, for instance, the enameled piece of steel sold by Light Impressions.

    As to temperature...it would be wise to run a few tests with scrap prints on scrap mount board to check your press's heat settings. Very few presses are spot on accurate with their dials, and it would be a shame to have problems with a fine print when mounting goes awry due to excess or too little heat.
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I use the Bienfang Buffermount and 180 seems to work just fine for me. I got a Seal because B&H sells lots of replacement parts - pads, etc. so that a used one can be repaired.
    juan
     
  10. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    I've used a Seal press for many years and never replaced any parts. I never used a setting above 250F, therefore, thermal stress was relatively low. Also, never had to clean the platten - using release paper (make sure release paper is clean though).
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    cheap release paper option

    Release paper, if you have never priced it , can give one a bit of a sticker shock. It does last a long time. I use empty label release sheets for mounts up to 8x10. These are generated from the pre-printed lable that I apply to the back of the print for the name of the print maker, and then used to hand write in any title or image indexing.
     
  12. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    I am using an old Seal dry mount now and got very good results. The temperature is set at 200 which works the best, but I have no idea what the real temperature is.

    You can look for it on Craig's list, they pop up now and then. If you lucky, you can get one around 200 bucks.

    Mike, you are right about the price on release paper, It just cost two much. I use two 4-ply board to sandwich my print when dry mount it.

    Alex W.
     
  13. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It took me a while to find a good used press, because I wasn't interested in paying to ship one. Be aware that a good price and shipping can cost more, than a more expensive one that is local.
     
  14. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I paid $9.95 for mine - plus $69.00 shipping. Still a good deal.
    You can check the temperature by sticking a meat thermometer into it.
    juan
     
  15. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    There is no need to buy release paper. Parchment baking paper will serve just as well and is much less expensive. It's not not 'wax' paper, but is coated with a non stick material that will withstand far higher temperatures than a dry mount press will generate. Here's a link I found when googling:


    http://www.budgetpackaging.com/dix24q.html
     
  16. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I use that too but I am still using my supply of the Seal MT-5 version.

    What about the dry mount tissue from Freestyle? I have some in 11x14 but have not tried it yet. I assume that it is archival. Is it not?
     
  17. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are several versions of "archival". Many things claim to be archival because they are acid free, however for fine photographic purposes "archivally" mounted generally means reversible. Many dry mountings can be reversed with enough heat, however the risk to the print can be high. As I understand it, Buffermount uses a wax instead of an adhesive. In any case, I have tested reheating prints mounted with Buffermount, and found that they can indeed be removed undamaged with a little care. Dry mounting is not really an "archival" process anyway, but I much prefer the presentation to other more classic methods, so I try to be as "archival" as I can. Weston mounted many prints on the cardboard his shirts came wrapped around from the laundry, so I don't get too up tight about it.
     
  18. Will S

    Will S Member

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    That is a fantastic idea. I might also suggest ordering one of these small irons http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXL499&P=7 for $16 instead of the $60 version I often see elsewhere. Since when did adding "photo" to something have the same effect as adding the word "sailboat?"

    Best,

    Will
     
  19. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Thanks to all that replied. I've agreed to purchase a fellow APUGer's older/used machine in December. He was very generous.

    And Will S., thanks for the tip of the Tower Hobbies tacking irons. As a side note they have a conversions table for wet, dry, area conversions which is really helpful.

    Thanks all,



    PS: Pizza Stone???? This I will have to look into later.
     
  20. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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  21. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Cold mounting with pre-glued transfer sheets.

    I've not seen the transfer sheet method mentioned.
    An article in Darkroom Techniques March 1982 details
    the method. Scotch Positionable Mounting Adhesive
    Sheets as well as others are mentioned. Is this
    method no longer practiced? Dan