Attempting to buy a Dry Mount Press in the UK
Hopefully a UK member could give me some ideas,
I am looking to get a Seal 210M Dry Mount Press (or something similar), however these seem impossible to come by. I have tried looking for both new and used sources and have come up short. I should point out that I'm not really an "eBay person" and am looking for new or very good used condition. Getting hold of this stuff seems very much more involved than buying another lens for my Bronica.
A second point: If I decide to get the press new from BH Photo, (price a reasonable $1,049 USD + unreasonable $360 shipping charge), what kind of power conversion would I need to go from the 115V American system to my 230V UK supply? I think the power consumption is approaching 2000W.
It would be pretty terrible to get a press sent over and then discover that it can't be used.
Any inspiration would be very much appreciated.
B&H some times lists 220V stuff to so you might want to check that.
A step down transformer is the other choice but better to get a 220V.
Try calling this guy:
The Space Place
Alphin Brook Road
Exeter EX2 8RG
Tel. 01392 270717
Fax 01392 272234
A very nice person to deal with, is very likely to know where to get a press even if he hasn't got one himself. Mention my name (David Bebbington)!
Thanks for the information.
I think I've decided to at least investigate the BH Photo further.
I've discovered that I can get a 1500W 115V - 230V converter for about £80, and this somewhat encourages me towards the new option. There obviously isn't the market in the UK or Europe for these smaller presses, and surprisingly little on the second hand market. I discovered that expensive vacuum presses are manufactured and sold in Britain, but these things are several meters long and cost £10k.
Edit: Are there any problems I'm missing with the voltage converter?
One option for stepdown transformers are the big yellow "site transformer" ones intended for building site use - usually 3kW. You'll need an adaptor lead as they use splashproof shrouded sockets. Ademco is the UK manufacturer you will find mostly (I think they went out of business years ago). Ebay may be your only practical choice for used ones if all else fails: http://search.ebay.co.uk/mounting-press.
Good luck, Bob.
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These 220/110 step down transformers can be brought from any builders merchant or electrical wholesaler, or most DIY centres. As BobF said they are generally rated at 3Kw although 2Kw units are available. The source that sells they will also sell the 110v (yellow) 16A plugs for the outlet. Much better however to order the 220 volt version of the press.
You don't seem to be able to get a European voltage version of the same thing. The European voltage version is a more sophisticated model with electronic temperature control etc, and is $550 more expensive.
I was looking at the following power supply (the 210M apparently consumes 1350W):
Does this look OK?
What do other (UK) people do about mounting their photographs? Where I live I suspect I could find a framing company to mount my work but I have some reservations about costs, efficiency, and also loosing control.
He's also a superb camera repairer!
Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
The spec for that transformer looks fine for a 1350W load, especially as it will be intermittent once the press warms up.
Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw
I have a 17"x23" Ademco - be warned if you go this route: an Ademco press this size is heavy: two of us just managed to get it into the boot of a car (via a wheelbarrow...) - four would be needed to lift it to workbench height. Mine's on the floor and it's staying there - I don't own a workbench strong enough to safely take it. It certainly weighs more than 100kg. The Seal presses I've seen pictures of look a much lighter design.
I would just say to make sure you really need one before going to the expense and trouble. I don't use mine for mounting (hardly ever) - its main use is for flattening fibre prints. Once flattened, I mount using archival corner mounts.
Interesting point about the weight. The press would be used in a first floor room, so ability to be hauled up stairs is important. The Seal is 34kg so should be OK with two people, also I am currently limited in terms of space for its use but this may well become less of an issue. I'd be interested to know what kind of surface is suitable considering the heat generated. I was planning on some kind of strong wood worktop support connected to supports on a wall in an alcove.
I have started to produce 16 x 16 inch prints so I think that dry mounting is probably the best option in terms of flatness.
The cost is somewhat intimidating when you factor in the shipping charge, but I figure it should last a long time.