I am considering purchasing an old Seal 150 Jumbo drymount press. The seller has listed a few problems with the equipment....
1. It is missing the bottom rubber mat, replacements seem to be available... are these easy to install?
2. The platen is not shiny clean.... There is apparently some kind of 'newspaperlike printed material' permanently adhered to the platen surface. The seller says this is not a problem because release papers or mat boards are used between the platen and the artwork.... is this so or is this a circumstance where billowing smoke, shooting flames or other unexpected disasters are a possibility?
I have never seen or used a drymount press and I am wondering if the above mentioned deficiencies are such that it should be avoided no matter how low the seller will go with the price? Is it even worth going to have a look and make an offer?
Thanks for your kind assistance.
Annie, I have one of the Jumbo 150 and it is nice. Yes you can get a replacement pad (I think Calumet carries them) and they also sell a platen cleaner. I have read of others using oven cleaner to clean the surface, but can not say one way or the other. Mine needs a good cleaning and a new pad would not hurt either. I have done some mount work with mine and had very good success with it, just using the mat board sandwich, and release paper to keep it from sticking to the board.
Depends on how 'good' a deal the seller wants to make you, these show up pretty often at e**y, do a search from the main page, they are used for many different purpose, so they show up in many places.
Sorry, mine is a 160 the later version, the lastest is the 160m...the pad should just lift out and you place the new one in.
I have the 150 and i like it a lot. I don't have the bottom mat either, so I just use a stack of mat board and it works fine. If the price is reasonable then I'd go for it.
Good Evening, Annie,
Dropping in a new mat should be about a three-second operation. There's ordinarily nothing but gravity to hold it in place. I believe that replacements are available from Seal or perhaps from Light Impressions, Calumet, or Dick Blick. You could probably also fashion a substitute from any material similar in density and thickness. Something a little thinner than the original would work fine if it's backed up with some plywood or Masonite.
I doubt that the material stuck to the platen would be a hazard, but you should plan to get rid of it anyway; the platen should be as smooth as possible, even when used with release paper and/or mounting boards between it and the target of the operation. Almost any imperfection has a way of transferring its impression to the face of mounted prints.
A couple of years ago, I was given (yes, given!) a Seal 210 press. It had a considerable amount of mounting adhesive at various places on the platen because the previous user(s) had neglected to use release paper or been careless in doing so. I spent seemingly endless hours cleaning the platen, using nothing but steel wool and isopropyl alcohol. It is a messy process; the old adhesive will come off, but a lot of elbow grease is required. Still, with a press as small as the one you're considering, the time and effort would be a lot less than with my 210. Seal makes a special platen cleaner; Calumet lists it at $31.99 for a 2 oz. jar! Perhaps it's more effective than alcohol, but isopropyl alcohol/steel wool seems like a better thing to try first.
You don't mention anything else, but I would check that the press is OK electrically (nothing frayed or obviously damaged), that it heats up OK and across the whole platen, and that the thermostat holds the temperature steady as selected. I would not pay big dollars for a press with the deficiencies you have noted.
I've used Seal presses for almost forty years; please feel free to send me a PM if you have other questions.
The lower mat on my 210M has a felt upper layer that is bonded to a very dense rubber foam. The foam is helpful since it's compression resistance is a part of the equation (heat and pressure).
I would ask if the thermostat maintained temp. I use Seal Colormount and it requires 190 degrees. Too much temp. will cause as much problem as too little. Cleaning the platen is a pain in the rear. I spent hours with 600 grit sand paper. Release paper is important and also a clean mat board above the print when mounting. The smallest foreign matter will dent the surface of a print.
You wrote, "...Cleaning the platen is a pain in the rear. I spent hours with 600 grit sand paper. Release paper is important and also a clean mat board above the print when mounting. The smallest foreign matter will dent the surface of a print."
What IS the best way to clean the platen. I have spoiled several prints with dents, which one can't remove afterwards, right?
The best way to clean the platen is to not allow it to come in contact with dry mount tissue. In other words prevention is the best course of action. However, should cleaning be required then the platen cleaner that others have mentioned is good. Dents if very small can sometimes be corrected by using a drop of distilled water applied with a spotting brush. This will swell the gelatin and allow it to even out. If the emulsion is broken then no corrective action will correct it. Good luck.
Not in possession of my own dry mount press, I utilize the one at my local museum/art school. Unfortunately, art students use the press extensively for mounting their art work, which results in mayhem and up-mucking of the platen.
So until I can afford my own, I shall need to continue cleaning this one.... hence the WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN THE PLATEN question.
I shall try the distilled water spot solution.
Well, considering the nature of the replies it appears that the deficiencies are minor and can be remedied. The chances of finding another one close to home are doubtful so I think I shall go and see 'Jumbo' in person!
Peculiar.... I bought my house last year around the same time I started making photographs. I had very few possessions when I moved in, basically just a few cases of camera equipment. Now the cameras have acquired more 'stuff' than I have and my photographic endeavors take up more space than I do!! One of these days I must start living like a 'real adult' and get some furniture!
I would carry my own 4 ply mat board to use with the the drymount press. That way I could spend more time mounting photos and less (much less) time cleaning the platen. I put one board below the print and one above the print and then close the whole thing.