Alternative to Bienfang BufferMount
My dry mount tissue for many years has been Bienfang BufferMount, which sets upon cooling. It produced a good bond between a fiber-based print and archival mat board. I had previously tried their ColorMount product, which melts at a lower temperature and is evidently designed for RC paper, but it did not produce a good bond with fiber-based paper. I’m about to mount a solo show and want to re-order BufferMount and discovered that it is no longer manufactured. What dry mount product(s) do you currently use, and are you happy with them?
More on Beinfang Buffermount
My contact at D&K (the new owner of Seal/Beinfang) is Wendy Harris (wendy.harris at dkgroup.net ), who confirmed that BufferMount is no longer being made. She told me about an alternative called Ragmount, and sent me some samples. The sheets are considerably thicker than BufferMount or other dry mount tissues I have used. On some test prints, the Ragmount produced a good bond at 180 degrees between Ilford Multigrade fiber paper (my current standard paper) and 2-ply archival mat board, but the result was considerably stiffer than a conventionally dry mounted print. This is probably because the Ragmount is actually a 100% cotton rag tissue with the adhesive applied to both sides of it. The glue sets on heating, which makes it easier to use than BufferMount and other tissues that set on cooling since it is not necessary to immediately press the hot mounted print under plate glass to insure adhesion at the corners. The downside is it is not removable, but in my opinion a print that is removed after mounting with BufferMount would probably be ruined anyway. Also, because of the thickness of the Ragmount, the print stands a little more above the surface of the mat board, which might invite damage more easily if not stored carefully. The literature with the Ragmount says that it forms a porous bond, which as I recall is not necessarily beneficial to a fiber print since the idea is to keep contaminants away from the print. The company is clearly marketing this product to the digital photography market, and all of the “papers” they have tested it with are digital print media. No one there can tell me if the product is suited for B&W fiber prints (they say “probably”), and the company has not tested it with any traditional photographic papers. I’m especially concerned about the archival properties of Ragmount when used with traditional fiber-based photographs, and nowhere in their literature does the word “archival” appear.
Anyway, to solve my dilemma for now, I’ve ordered BufferMount from B&H, who confirmed in a phone conversation this morning that they still have some in stock.