Hello, Happysnapper,

Two minor items regarding your post--

First, your point about the Seal Indicator Strips is well-taken; however, they're really used just for the Colormount tissue. (With MT5, exact temperature is not a critical issue; as long as it's hot enough to activate the tissue, a few degrees too much doesn't seem to cause any damage.) With Colormount, once you know where to set the temperature dial, it's probably unnecessary to use the test strip each time, assuming that your press doesn't get jarred or moved around between uses. I've found that the temperature of the press isn't always congruent with the setting of the control knob, but, once a setting is established, it tends to remain steady and consistent indefinitely.

No test strip? Just mount sections of a waste RC print onto small scraps of mounting board. Put the first one in the press for a minute or so at a low temperature, say 170 degrees. Move the temperature control knob up in about five-degree steps (allowing time for the press to stabilize between steps) and repeat the process with a new sample at each temperature until one comes out with obvious damage (melting). That should happen at 200 degrees or something a little beyond. Then back off five to ten degrees and in the future use that setting for Colormount . It won't take long to find the correct setting between the activation point of the tissue and the point where the RC paper suffers damage. Use release paper each time, of course, to avoid melting anything onto the platen.

Be careful also about the setting on the tacking iron. I've never ruined an RC print in the press, but I've had a too-hot tacking iron cause damage.

Why mount RC prints? I suppose there could be various reasons. In my case, I return regularly to the school I retired from to do presentations on photography. I find it handy to take black and white, 11 x 14 RC prints as illustrations. I mount them, with Colormount, back to back on fixed and washed outdated RC paper. The sandwich is sturdy enough to be handled easily and without much chance of damage, while being less thick and bulky than a mounted print. The slight opposing curl action of the two RC sheets makes for a very flat package. Don't forget that most paper for color prints is RC, and color prints are often mounted.