Dry mounting for beginners
I'm not a pro, but you guys really seem to know what you're typing about, so i thought I'd try my luck.
I'm stuck in Norway, where pricing for prints and frames is absolutely, positively insane. I was twice quoted more than $3000 for 10 frames with fitting for basic posters. I come from australia, where you can drop a zero on that price and still get top notch, dry mounted prints in quality, custom frames.
So now I've got to do it myself, or find an online dry mounting service, hence the request for advice. I have several pictures and posters, of various thickness and size. Some as thin as magazine paper and A4, others on high quality card and 2m x 2m.
I absolutely positively hate the look of a rolled poster flattened out and popped into a standard frame with matte. Wrinkles are a certainty with this approach, and every time the light hits them the wrinkles are clearly evident. I want a perfectly smooth result, and days of reading has led me to believe that dry mounting is what I'm looking for.
- Is it dry mounting I'm after, or am I misinformed?
- Is there a DIY alternative that produces similar results? (I don't care about archiving - if it looks good for 10 years I'm happy)
- Can anyone recommend a european based mounting service I could send my prints to? Framing them locally in standard frames is no problem once they are mounted.
Good Afternoon, Wellspokenman,
For a neat, flat look, dry mounting is, indeed, what you're after. In the situation you describe, however, there are some substantial impediments. Posters are typically rather large and would best be mounted in a correspondingly large press. (Dry mounting by sections can be done, but that can be very unsatisfactory; even when done with extreme care and experience, overlapping sections are often obviously visible.) The other alternative is a VERY large press which will be almost prohibitively expensive if new or nearly impossible to find in used condition. Any dry mount press is heavy and awkward enough to make shipping generally impractical. Even a common Seal 210, which will take 16 x 20 prints whole, weighs a lot--enough to make it very difficult for one person to move any significant distance.
I can't offer any comment on alternatives, except to say that you may find something other than dry mounting to be the only practical approach.
Yes, dry mounting is a craft unto itself. I can still find ways to screw it up, and potential problems multiply with increased size of print. Perhaps it is an adhesive you are after, for the posters.
Also, for larger stuff like posters, you can only get one overmat from a 32"X40 matboard. The most economical is 16X20 mounts (say for 11X14 prints) as you can get 4 overmats from a single sheet.
I don't know if you cut your own mats. Something to consider, you get to keep the cut-out pieces for other uses. Mat cutting is also a craft in itself, and necessitates some period of frequent failures.
Being on the wrong side of the pond to have any experience for a company I would recommend trying to make friends at or taking a class at a local university. Perhaps a part time job at their print shop? Colleges and universities (some times even high schools) are great resource for specialized stuff like a large dry mounting press.
Not the best solution but, all you need is dry mount tissue, release paper, mat board, and a regular clothes iron. With a little practice it works well.
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Wow - there really is no place like home....
Alright, I'll get in touch with some friends at the local university, and also research the other DIY alternatives.
Rich; do you think an adhesive could really flatten out a poster that has wrinkles? Any brands or accessories to recommend?
I use an old t-shirt print device got it from an advertising company (40x40cm). Bought some tissue (roll from freestylephot) and bakerypaper at the local supermarket. Follow the tissue instructions and it works fine.
After pressing i put the matboard with the print between two large wooden plates while it is releasing the heat so that the board is still flat.