Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
1. When tacking the tissue to the print, as Greg Davis wrote above, tack only one spot in the center. Do not drag the tacking iron across the print--and certainly not in an "x."

2. When tacking the trimmed print and tissue to the mount board, tack two adjacent corners ONLY. If you tack all four and the print is not PERFECTLY taut, you will get a wrinkled print.

3. As Greg also wrote: Cut your overmat first. Then position the print in the overmat. No straight edge needed. No measuring needed.

4. When lining up the overmat with the mount board, make sure the top is aligned--not opposite corners, not the bottom. usually one hinges the overmat to the mount board, and since you will be hinging them together at the top, it is crucial that the tops are aligned.

There are probably a few other things, too, but these are the ones that come readily to mind.

Michael A. Smith
Wow, I naively thought of the effort as a "gift". I had not seen such a simple video anywhere before, and based on the number of recurring novice questions in threads, hoped a visual on "classic" mounting technique might be helpful. The video is intended, as stated, to accompany my text/photo article in which nearly all of your criticisms are addressed (including "overmatting"), albeit briefly. This 10 minute introductory video's intent was never to be the last word on archival methods, nor an hour long master class. Mounting prints does take some experience, rigor and care. Keep in mind that I'm not selling anything used in the video. In fact the print itself is a one-off gift, now winging its way to Stanley, Idaho.

1. The print/tissue tack can be anything you wish (and, I usually do use a single short line), but I have found a small tack simply will not hold the print securely enough to prevent its separation from the print during the rest of the process before actual mounting. Unfortunately, this first tack is crucial. If the print becomes separated from the tissue at the first tack, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to return to the print and be re-tacked. This can happen all too easily during the trimming of the print/tissue to size, perhaps necessitating destroying the print and starting anew with a fresh print. Suction between the working surface and the tissue, alone may pull an inadequately adhered tissue from the print. Making the center tack substantial, whatever that means to you, and with a tacking iron heated sufficiently to melt the tissue quickly, will adhere the print to the tissue securely, without wrinkling.

2. The video shows tacking 3 corners only, not 4. I tack 2 or 3 corners, depending on the size of the print.

3. I think your point confuses overmatting methods with dry mounting. Concerning dry mounting: As stated in the supporting article, I often cut windows and mats for any particular job all at once. I often keep a correctly sized window at hand to confirm positioning before/while tacking print/tissue to mount. Given that there may be slight differences between window and mount dimension, that the mounted print and window may become (purposely) separated, and that many people prefer the bottom window margin somewhat larger (for the purposes of adding a signature to the mount), I consider not establishing the print's position on its mount as accurately as possible before dry mounting to be professionally reckless.

4. True, if you are overmatting and hinge-mounting a method of presentation I employ with "plastic" prints, not fiber prints. Just not the subject of a video on dry mounting.

Using these techniques with the limited consumer-oriented equipment I have (I'm not a professional anything), I don't get "wrinkled" mounted prints, except during the mounting processs of very large prints, a subject and altered technique also described in my supporting article. I believe the supporting video and Techniques articles I write from time to time on my site are clear in their intention:

"These articles are geared primarily to the enthusiastic beginner/intermediate darkroom worker. It is unlikely that the information herein will be other than of casual interest to the seasoned darkroom artist, except as a chronicle of my particular methods."

I look forward to seeing "a few other things..." when you post your video.

BTW, my video was done with a 5 year old, point and shoot, obtained in a free promotion.