Seal Commercial 200 press

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Dave Starr, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I just got a Seal Commercial 200 press - not delivered yet - and am wondering if the 210 press accessories will fit it. It's the same size, and appears to be the forerunner of the 210. I'm wondering in case it needs a new pad or anything.

    Now, I've got to find a place to put it!
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,702
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Good Evening, Dave,

    I'll admit that I've never heard of a 200, but if it has a platen measuring about 23" by 18.5", it's probably very similar to my 210. There really aren't many accessories that I know of. If the pad is crumbling so badly that it needs to be replaced, I believe new ones are available but don't have a specific source. You could easily substitute a homemade pad of similar thickness and density even if not made of exactly the same material; a dry-mount press is not really a very high tech item.

    Konical
     
  3. jcausey

    jcausey Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Location:
    Bloomington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There's a lot you can do even with a run-down Seal press - for instance, if the pads are bad, you can always put in some mat board to protect your prints.
     
  4. edz

    edz Member

    Messages:
    685
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    Munich, Germ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The bottom pads can surely be replaced, if need be as a do-it-yourself. A bit of closed cell foam (seems suitable foam is available, at least in Germany, at all the foam and leather places) and felt--- the current one's leaving the factory I think don't even get the felt anymore.
    The main problem with the 200--- beyond age and the observation that replacement parts are officially no longer available for that model--- is that it used, as many items did in that time, asbestos as insulation material. At the time it made a lot of sense but is, these days, a significant liability and makes it, in principle, non-repairable (other than replacement of consumables such as pads) by commercial service companies--- the cost of decontamination would, I imagine, be many times over the value of the product.
     
  5. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I know it needs a new power cord, but beyond that I'll have to wait until it gets here. If it does need internal work, I have a friend that does asbestos removal work & he's willing to take care of that for me. I know it's the same size as the 210, so the pad will fit. As long as the heating element is ok, there shouldn't be a problem. If it's not, I hope the element for the 210 will work im it.
     
  6. rexp

    rexp Member

    Messages:
    168
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln, Neb
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Be careful before jumping to conclusions regarding asbestos. In the Seal 360 I recently overhauled, I first thought the heating element was embedded in a slab of asbestos. Closer inspection revealed that it is instead a compound made using mica. I presume there is some sort of binder in there, but definately the main material is mica. Probably only slightly better for your lungs.

    If you need to re-wire, make sure to use a nickel coated steel - heater style wire with the woven insulation in the areas that get hot. Ask if you have questions.
     
  7. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The press arrived today. The heaters work fine, and the wiring is SRML - Silicone Rubber Motor Lead wire - no asbestos. The pad is dark, probably from heat, but smooth and clean. The rubber is still firm, so I think I'm ok there. The platen is really dark - looks like varnish on it, but it's not. There also appeasrs to be some pieces of mounting tissue on it. I used some Photographic Solutions General purpose Darkroom Cleaner on one corner & it seemed to work quite well. Is there any reason this shouldn't be used? It appears to be a water soluble, very mild abrasive cleaner. I suppose I could just put release paper and a piece of mat board over the print to use it as is, but I think I'll clean it up on general principles.
     
  8. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,702
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Good Afternoon, Dave,

    I sympathize! The press I got free had a platen which also needed cleaning. The stuff which looks like varnish is probably residue from Seal MT5 mounting tissue. If you've found something which works well as a cleaner, congratulations. I used isopropyl alcohol, steel wool, and a lot of elbow grease. It did the job, but it took forever. This topic has been addressed before on APUG; a search should give you some additional information. One thing I think someone suggested is oven cleaner; I don't know how well it works, but it makes sense. Seal also makes a special platen cleaner. The last time I checked, Calumet had it at a price of around $30 for a small (8 oz. ??) bottle; I don't know what's in it or how well it works. Even if you use mat board over your prints, I'd still recommend that the platen be as clean and smooth as possible: you may someday want to use the press as a laminator.

    Konical
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2005
  9. msage

    msage Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    BTW, does anyone how to order parts directly from Seal?

    Michael
     
  10. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Konical wrote: "I sympathize! The press I got free had a platen which also needed cleaning. The stuff which looks like varnish is probably residue from Seal MT5 mounting tissue. If you've found something which works well as a cleaner, congratulations. "
    -----
    I ended up wet sanding with 240 - nothing else would touch the build-up. That took 2 1/2 hours. Now, I'll wet sand with 320, 400, & 600, then use the "Darkroom Cleaner". I tried the above in one corner & it really looks good. I'll wipe it down with alcohol or Pec-12 to make sure all residue is gone. I should have it up & running Saturday.
     
  11. davestarr

    davestarr Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IT'S UP AND RUNNING!
    Yesterday I wet sanded the platen with 320, 400, 600 & 1200, then used "Photofinish Darkroom Cleaner". After that, I cleaned it with wet rags until there was no black residue on the rags, then wiped it down with alcohol. I reassembled it & powered up. I had to do a bit of adjusting on the thermostat by bending the bi-metal strip a little, but it's almost right on now. It seems to hold 180 degrees within 3 or 4 degrees. The meat thermometer I have only goes to 190, so I'll have to find one that reads higher to check higher temps, but I think it'll be ok.