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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Is there a simple, unthreatening way to mount prints?

    Most will readily agree that formal dry mounting represents the very best in presentation methods. I concur. But there has to be a way to mount that is simple,quick and inexpensive.

    Often I am tempted to buy double-stick adhesive and simply let it go at that. One would simply lay a few strategically placed pieces on the mounting board and carefully lay the print on such. But I am reminded that the archival aspects are not good with that method. I ask, is there a double stick adhesive that will allow this without worry? I am not looking for 500 year perfection but, instead, maybe a good 50 years.

    I know of 3M spray adhesive and starch paste. But the double stick tape sounds easiest and cheapest to me. Am I searching for a solution that had best be unfound? I appreciate comments. - David Lyga

  2. #2
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Double stick tape and spray adhesive are both EXTREMELY bad for prints. They'll cause the prints to deteriorate far earlier than 50 yrs. For archival mounting your easiest choice is LineCo plastic mounting corners. They're made of archival plastic and no adhesive of any kind touches the print (The sticky part, which is also archival, sticks only to the backing board). They're fairly cheap, easy to use, and the print slides out of them easily if you need to un-mount.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

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  3. #3
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information about the archival corners, Christopher, but I am really amazed to hear (by imputation!) that in this day and age there is no adhesive known to mankind that is truly archival. There HAS to be. That is why I placed this question on the forum. Perhaps there is someone who can answer this seemingly simply question more fully than I can. - David Lyga.

  4. #4
    semeuse's Avatar
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    Lineco has an archival self-adhesive tape - it's available at Freestyle

  5. #5

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    One advantage of not gluing the print down to a mount is that if necessary the mount is easily changed. And, it will be necessary at some point in time.
    If you use mounting corners properly so that the print can move a little, then put a window mat on top it's hard to tell that it isn't dry mounted, especially once it's behind glass in a frame.

  6. #6
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Thank you for the information about the archival corners, Christopher, but I am really amazed to hear (by imputation!) that in this day and age there is no adhesive known to mankind that is truly archival. There HAS to be. That is why I placed this question on the forum. Perhaps there is someone who can answer this seemingly simply question more fully than I can. - David Lyga.
    There are archival adhesives and archival tapes, but current practice in museums and other archives is to avoid all adhesives because if you need to ever remount a print (as happens if the mount board is damaged by dropping it or water from a roof leak, etc) then adhesives become a problem. Some are reversible, but none are totally removable...the paper is always affected by any chemical touching it.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  7. #7
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Archivists hate dry mounting. I know a museum archivist who literally shudders at the thought of dry mounting.
    Sandwiching between two pieces of archival matte board or mounting on photo corners are the two best methods I can think of which wouldn't cause Anita, the archivist, to have a fit.

    It's not for presentation but she would probably recommend storing photos flat in an archival box with pieces of glassine or archival polyester between.

    If you absolutely had to mount a photo to a matte board I would guess that archival wheat starch paste would be the thing to use because, if you had to, you could use steam to remove it from the backing. However, the problem I think you'll find is that, in any kind of fixed mounting, the photo emulsion, the base paper and the backing board will all absorb and release moisture at different rates which will cause the photo to try and crinkle and curl. Since the photo can't move when it's fixed to its backing board, it will eventually self-destruct.

    I have photos that I made in photography class 20+ years ago that were carefully dry mounted on matte board. When they were first made, they looked nice but, now that they have aged, the surface is slightly wavy. To make a photo to keep for a long time, whether it be 50 years or 500, I wouldn't dry mount.

    I vote with Chris. Use photo corners and sandwich between two pieces of matte board, the front piece, of course, has a window cut out.
    It's easy to do. It doesn't require any special equipment and, done carefully, the photos will last longer than you will.
    Randy S.

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  8. #8
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Double stick tape and spray adhesive are both EXTREMELY bad for prints. They'll cause the prints to deteriorate far earlier than 50 yrs.
    I'm tempted to report this as a troll. Do you have any evidence whatsoever for that statement? Any data or experience? Or did you just say it because you felt like it?

    I'm really tired of people saying that if you don't make prints the way they read about in the Word According to Ansel or something, that your prints will spontaneously crumble in a dramatic burst of accelerated aging at some point in the future (when they don't have any evidence to support that claim).

    I, like the OP, an actually interested in REAL information about wet-mounting and adhesive-mounting solutions, and am interested in REAL data and information so that I can make choices about materials. It doesn't help when people just parrot the standard tribal wisdom and wives tales of what is or is not "OMG ARCHAIVAL!!!!!"
    f/22 and be there.

  9. #9
    jp498's Avatar
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    I use some filmoplast p90 tape across the top of the print and attach it to the backing board, hinge style.

    http://www.archivalmethods.com/Produ...&Productid=147

    I've tried the 3m and other sprays and the real problem is overspray, and to a lesser extent odor. You really need ventilation to use them, and usually ventilation means open windows and dust or bugs coming in. They are great for non-perfectionist mounting for me, like for mounting images for trade shows, planning board presentations for work, etc... Just don't spray it on anywheres near my glass and picture framing stuff.
    Last edited by jp498; 04-15-2011 at 08:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    I'm tempted to report this as a troll. Do you have any evidence whatsoever for that statement? Any data or experience? Or did you just say it because you felt like it?

    I'm really tired of people saying that if you don't make prints the way they read about in the Word According to Ansel or something, that your prints will spontaneously crumble in a dramatic burst of accelerated aging at some point in the future (when they don't have any evidence to support that claim).

    I, like the OP, an actually interested in REAL information about wet-mounting and adhesive-mounting solutions, and am interested in REAL data and information so that I can make choices about materials. It doesn't help when people just parrot the standard tribal wisdom and wives tales of what is or is not "OMG ARCHAIVAL!!!!!"
    Look for a copy of the book "Conservation of Photographs". It is by the people at Kodak and the George Eastman House collection. It covers this topic well.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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

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