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Author Topic: Thoughts on dry mounting photographs?  (Read 7731 times)
Anil Kalagatla
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« on: May 06, 2012, 08:26:16 PM »
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Hi:

What are the downsides of using dry-mounting for matting and framing prints?  In the episode on mounting in the CPS-2011 video, dry-mounting was mentioned as something to avoid.  Is it mostly because of the irreversible nature of the process or is there something wrong with the process from a preservation point of view?

Thanks
Anil

PS:  Great video BTW!  Spent several enjoyable hours watching most of the videos (and I plan to watch some of them a few more times).
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 09:35:18 PM »
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As any framer will you, there is a growth industry in dry mounting largish prints that were initially hinge mounted.  For anything larger than about 8x10 the darned things will start to ripple, and it drives people crazy.  Dry mounting makes them flat.

Bad dry mounting is bad.  Properly done dry mounting is good and will last pretty much indefinitely.  I could lecture for about 2 hours on what comprises good and bad dry mounting, but #1 on the list is that bad dry mounters don't pre-heat the art and backing to drive out water, and then don't use the correct temperatures and dwell times.

I'm a very practical person.  My view is that dry mounting is practical, and hinge mounting (for anything larger than about 8x10) is wishful thinking.  Amen.  You're going to hear a lot of opinions and I'll cut this short because these discussions come up too often and are too tedious to continue.

Personally, I like to glue my canvases, that's where I'm at.  I have glued prints that are almost 40 years old, and dry mounted prints that are more than 50 years old.  Both done correctly, both still more than OK.

Would also like to remind people that hinge and/or corner mounting was originally used my museums for the TEMPORARY display of prints.  After the show they would then remove the prints and return them to flat-on-their back storage in the archives.  They recognized that over time leaving a print hinge or corner mounted in the frame would result in damage from rippling.  What's archival and what's safe for long term display do not have an "equals" sign between them.

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datro
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 10:07:43 AM »
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What Bill said.

If done properly, dry mounting will last forever and for me is the ideal way to display my B&W prints.  The prints are perfectly flat on the board and you never have to deal with any ripple or waves.

I dry mount my Harman Glossy Baryta prints using Colormount tissue and a Seal Dry Mount press.  My typical presentation is dry mounted print on Rising 4-ply White, Rising 4-ply White window mat with about 1/2 inch reveal around the print, abrasion resistant acrylic glazing, in Nielsen 117 Black matte frames.  It's a clean, classic look that really presents the print in the best possible way (my opinion of course).  As Bill suggests, you need to be disciplined about your procedures.  Important things I've learned:

1) Establish your procedure and temperature by testing; get some of the wax temperature strips and run a series of tests using your cover boards and a test print of the paper you will be using.
2) Make a checklist (max one page) of your steps and times...this helps ensure you ALWAYS follow the same procedure each time...once you have a working procedure, you must follow it EVERY time in order to get consistent results with no waste
2) Make sure your tables and workspace are CLEAN - get a drafters brush and dust your space before starting on a dry mount
3) Pre-dry the cover boards, mount board, and print (doesn't take long, typically 30-45 seconds in the press closed but not clamped)
4) Use a Rock-It air blower or better yet, get a small air compressor to dust off boards and print - NEVER use a brush (no matter how soft) on the print...it will scratch.
5) You can mount in sections if your print is larger than your press - just overlap about 25% for each cycle in the press.

Good luck.

Dave






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Anil Kalagatla
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 09:58:29 PM »
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Thanks for the responses Bill and Dave (for some reason I did not get email alerts when this thread was updated, sorry about not getting back right away).  Thanks for the great suggestions about having a consistent and predictable process as well as the great advice which I'm sure was hard earned  from experience.  I'm looking forward to learning and using the press.

Anil
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 10:18:35 PM »
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Bill, I tried a test gluing of a 40X24 scrap print to masonite using plain old carpenters glue.  It worked well, adhesive-wise and remains well adhered a month later.  I applied glue to both the masonite and the print with a wide, flat knife like drywallers use and got an even, flat, thin coat.  I had a lot of difficulty aligning the print on masonite (it's long and narrow)  and the resulting shuffling around resulted in some glue on the print and other badnesses.  In fact, the print was quite forgiving of the glue.  I wiped it off with a damp rag with no ill effects.

Any advice on actually mating the print to the substrate?

I'm thinking that I should make the substrate undersized with respect to the print and then trim the print once it's dried.

thanks!

Peter
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 10:30:04 PM »
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What Bill said ditto. FWIW I have over 200 prints in museum collections and a few hundred more in private collections. The vast majority of them are dry mounted-all silver prints and all inkjet prints over 8x10. People will tell you it is a no no with serious collectors and museums. IME this is utter nonsense-no one even asks, collectors or museums.
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Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
Architecture and Landscape Photography
WWW.GITTINGSPHOTO.COM

LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)
bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 11:31:27 PM »
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Peter, yes a substrate that is smaller than the print will solve almost every possible problem with glue mounting prints.

For canvases leave excess canvas all around the print area.  Cut the substrate to the finished size for the mounted print one three sides, leaving the fourth short side of the substrate much longer than the prints.  Align the print carefully on the dry substrate, then tape down the (short) side of the print to the excess substrate length.  Roll up the print on an old roll core tube.  Roll glue onto the substrate, 0.003 ounces per square inch (plus 3 oz to prime the roller if dry), then roll the print onto the glue.  Then pat down the print with a cotton-gloved hand, or preferably run it through a roller.  If it's a tough surface like canvas, feel free to swipe your hand across the surface.  The overhanging print will protect the top roller or glove from the glue, but you need to check the bottom roller for ooze after each print.  Then trim the overhanging edges with a matte knife.  The biggest trick is applying just enough glue to get a good attachment, but not so much that it oozes down the sides.   Spreading the glue out from the center of the board towards the edges, and then only hitting the edges after the glue is well spread out in the center helps a lot.

If you're using Gator, the mounted package will warp for about 8 hours, then straighten out perfectly flat.  So Don't Panic.

On you first attempts, use scrap prints and try to rip them up after a day or so.  It should be really difficult and if you're using Gator you should be pulling off quite a bit of the laminate if everything is AOK.

PS, if you're using Miracle Muck or LaminAll, the prints are theoretically removable by heating in a hot press for a few minutes, then immediately peeling them up.  It really works, although I'm not sure how the passage of the years affects that.


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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 10:08:10 AM »
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Beautiful, Bill.  Clear and simple.  Thank you.

My mistake was even thinking about mating finished-sized components.  After I complete my current stucco project (don't ask  Cry )  I'll try again.

One other thing I did learn from my test is that the workspace has to be absolutely spotless.  I did the test in my shop without a lot of prep and I trapped a couple of bits of grit between print and substrate.  Baaaaaad.

Oh, one more question.  Do you coat both the print and the substrate?  Or just the substrate?

Again, thanks

Peter

« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 10:18:56 AM by Peter McLennan » Logged
bill t.
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 06:12:43 PM »
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I apply glue to the substrate only.

As I roll the canvas up on the tube, I pat it with 2" masking tape to pick up any crud on the back of the print.  I roll up the tape into a 3" diameter circle with the adhesive facing out, wrap it around 3 fingers, and then kind of roll it like a tank tread over the rolled up back of the print.  Takes practice.

Once the print is rolled, I wipe down the substrate with a very slightly moist paper towel before applying the glue.  Be cautious of dried glue clots in the rolled out glue, remove them by gently touching with the tip of a finger.  Almost never have any grit issues.  And if I do get a bump, canvas is flexible enough that I can push it down with the rounded end of a Sharpie marker.  Both flat tip and cross tip screwdrivers can be useful push-downers as well, and can be used to impress canvas texture if needed.  Or if the bump is within a couple inches of the edge, I just peel up a few inches of the print, remove the dirt, and pat the print back down.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 08:07:13 PM »
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Bill, you are a force of nature.   Grin
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RDoc
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2012, 11:34:53 AM »
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I use the 3M clothing lint rollers, the ones made for getting cat hair off your suit, to clean up the print, board, and work area. They're cheap and convenient.
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