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  1. #1
    jovo's Avatar
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    Dry Mount Problems...Please Advise!

    I've been dry mounting my prints for several years now, and use Beinfang BufferMount tissue in a Bogen press large enough for 16x20 prints. (I only rarely mount prints larger than those on 11x14 paper.) I heat the press to the nominal 170ish degrees, and put the print in for a minute and a half. I preheat the mount board and print separately for a minute or so to be sure they're dry, let them cool, and then put them in the press. The studio is usually not humid at all, and in fact is quite arid in the winter. They usually come out quite well, although there are sometimes a few bubbles that I press out with the tacking iron.

    The problem that has arisen is that several boxes of mounted, framed prints that have been stored in the garage are showing significant bubbling that hasn't responded well to re-pressing to remove. Also, some prints that have not been framed, but kept in boxes that were open for a while in our bedroom that was being humidified at night with a humidifier have showed significant bubbling as well. However, mounted, framed prints from the same sessions that have been on the walls since being mounted are fine.

    What's wrong? Is there a limited range of temperatures that prints should be stored in? A limited humidity range? What if someone buys a mounted, and framed print for their vacation home that isn't heated in winter, or air conditioned in summer? Am I doing something wrong with my process?

    I'd greatly appreciate some advice as I have a show going up at the end of March and don't want to offer prints for sale that may not remain in the condition in which they were purchased. Thanks for your help in advance.
    John Voss

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  2. #2
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Have you ever thought about not dry mounting your prints? How about using mounting corners?

  3. #3
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I have stored prints in less than ideal conditions without issue... The only signifigant difference I see between your process and mine is that I mount at a little over 200 degrees F and use a release paper over top. I have never experienced bubbling.

    Sure hope you get this figured out, John!

    All the best. Shawn

  4. #4

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    I would also offer that when mounting prints I too use a temp of approx 190F.
    I live on the gulf coast where it's very humid and have never had a problem, even in the hight of summer.

  5. #5

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    You might give some thought to checking what the "real" temp. is inside the press. I checked mine the other day and it was off by 50 degrees. The dial read hotter than it really was. Could be, that you never quite finished the job in the first place.

  6. #6
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I have also had this problem due to the area inside the press being much cooler than the thermometer says it should be. I used a probe thermometer from my kitchen to measure the temp through all of the boards to see what setting I needed to use to reach a true 175 F where the print would lay.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    A little blurb I read about Beinfang BufferMount tissue is that "Activates as low as 175 degrees Fahrenheit." So it sounds like you might be a bit cool.

    Also it bonds while cooling -- not in the mount press. So I have a very clean flat surface I place the hot mounted print facedown on -- then rub the back of the matboard to provide pressure while it is cooling.

    If the glue on either side of the tissue fail to fully melt, and if the print/tissue was not in tight contact with the matboard as it cooled, it might easily unstick when print and matboard absorbs moisture and swells at different rates.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #8
    jovo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    Have you ever thought about not dry mounting your prints? How about using mounting corners?
    When I started printing with RC papers years ago, I used corners. But FB paper curls and looks ripply in humid weather when using corners for prints larger than maybe 5x5 or so. That's why I dry mount. When it works well, the prints look terrific.

    I'll try a probe, 'cause I've no reason to believe the temp gauge is necessarily accurate. I'll also try closer to 200 in case that's the problem.

    Is there a secret handshake, dance, or incantation I didn't know to do either?
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  9. #9
    jovo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Also it bonds while cooling -- not in the mount press.
    Oh, I thought that was Color Mount that bonded as it cooled, and not BufferMount. But, pressure as you describe is easy enough to do after the print comes out of the press, so I'll try that as well. Thanks.
    John Voss

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  10. #10
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    How are you cooling them? They should, ideally, be cooled under a weight. In graduate school we had a big enameled steel plate, now I use a scrap of granite counter top.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

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