Flattening with a Seal Press

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by PVia, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Hi all...

    Just picked up a nice Seal Press Commercial 200.

    I'm not interested in dry mounting, just flattening fiber prints. Up until now, I've pressed prints between heavy books and after a few days it works fine with just a slight bow remaining in the paper.

    I understand that after pressing in a Seal at approx 200 degrees for 30-60 sec, I should immediately weight the print down while it cools.

    My question is: Should I separate the prints as I add each one to the pile after pressing? I was thinking of getting a large pad of acid-free smooth bristol board to separate the prints during a pressing session, all the while having a large book or weight on top.
     
  2. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    not a bad idea - although maybe use something even thicker like masonite - and get some interleaving tissue to protect the prints. If you had a stack of masonite or 1/4-3-8 mdf sheets - that would work super well, methinks. In the past - I've used a steel platen with a handle on it designed for the purpose - but if you gang up prints underneath it, even with interleaving tissue - you'll leave ridges near the edges unless they're EXACTLY aligned!
     
  3. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    I use a Seal Press 200 for both dry mounting and flattening and it works very well. I usually leave the print in between the acid free matting board for a minute to cool down and it stays pretty flat after that.
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I use a drymount press to flatten prints also. I make "folders" out of glassine, a material that looks a little like wax paper, but is a material used in conservation for it's property of not imparting contaminants to material it is in contact with. I insert a print into each folder, then stack the folders into the press, heated just enough that I can feel the heat with my hand under the platten. I place the folders so that the prints inside line up to each other, to ensure that there will be no edge marks from one print to the other. I also lay the prints face to face, and back to back (even though, with this arrangement, they have two layers of glassine between each one).
    Then I clamp down the platten, as if drymounting a print, and leave it alone until it cools to room temperature. All prints are flat. However, even if stored under weight, I find that on the day that I take them out to frame them, the temp/humidity of that day will be the determining factor of how the prints are curled - or not.
    Glassine is cheap and available at art stores, and can be reused over and over.
    Check out the sticky at the top of the Film Paper and Chemistry forum for an extensive discussion on this topic.
    It is called, of all things, "Getting Fiber Based Paper Flat"
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Dry your prints between two clean screens. This will prevent some curl and make the flattening easier. I have seen some curl crack on prints 16x20 or larger when the curl was too much.

    If you bought the press used, clean the platens and/or use a sheet of acid free paper on top and under the prints until you are sure everything is cleaned up from the previous owner. I use it all the time as a buffer in case something has gotten in there.

    John Powers
     
  6. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    A trick I use is to always use a piece of acid free matte board between the platen and the foam, but I clamp the press down for a few minutes to get rid of any moisture. Where I live there times that steam actually comes out when I open it to check on how dry everything is
     
  7. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Wouldn't hurt, but not necessary. I do it this way all the time myself and never use interleaving.