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Author Topic: Photography Mounting Equipment  (Read 2851 times)
hacimd
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« on: November 21, 2012, 10:48:13 AM »
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I'm looking for some advice on purchasing equipment for mounting large format ink jet prints.  Yes, I know this is a very expensive process and mistakes are costly.  I've never done any large format mounting and hope that someone can point me in the right direction of a quality manufacturer.  Ideally, the machine would be able to mount photographs that are 30"-44" in width.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  Thank You.
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mstevensphoto
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 11:59:40 AM »
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for canvas I couldn't be happier with miracle muck on gator board.
for prints I have NEVER found a spray on solution that doesn't make me irate (some immediately some after a few years when they bubble and delaminate).
I am growing to like the Coda laminates, their shipping is ridiculous so order a lot. last time they sent me three boxes of stuff and I ended up with almost $80 in shipping fees, the packages could easily have come in one paper ream sized box for less than half that even taking into account that their warehouse people need to be paid. I'm not convinced that for mounting the expensive Coda roller machines are any better than the hand crank knockoffs on ebay for coating yes, for mounting I'm not sure.

let us know what you choose!
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mstevensphoto
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 12:02:29 PM »
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p.s. I'll share this too since it took me a while....for mounting big canvas on gator I like to tape my canvas to a perfectly flat table (granite kitchen island in my case) with just a little stretch to it so it's perfectly flat - I wish I had a vaccum table for this. then I coat the board and flip it over on the canvas. flip all that back over and roll it on with careful pressure and a j roller. Every time I try to unroll a canvas onto a coated gator board I end up crooked, with a wrinkle or some other pain that doesn't work out right. last one was 42x96 and worked perfectly. At the sizes you're talking you want 1/2" gator board. that much muck on a thinner board warps it.
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Justan
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 01:03:47 PM »
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^Iíll have to try that. I roll out a foot or so of canvas and use the bottom edge of the canvas to align with the gator (which is mighty core in my case). This works flawlessly but Iím always happy to learn an easier or quicker way.
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hacimd
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 02:44:45 PM »
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Thanks for the information.  I'm actually looking a press.  I've heard people mention the Bienfang Vacuum Dry Mount Press.  The press would be used to mount ink jet photographs to acrylic, dibond and cintra for photography exhibitions.  Any other suggestions?  Thank You.
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Johnny_Boy
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 04:03:28 PM »
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I am not sure whether dry mounting press will work with dibond or other slippery surface? For dibond and sintra backing I've used double sided adhesive film over a laminator. The laminator can do a bigger job without taking too much floor space. Vacuum Dry Mount presses are huge and take up a lot of floor space. So something to think about.

Are you mounting paper or canvas? 
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hacimd
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 04:33:13 PM »
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Various photo papers, not canvas.  I'm starting to think that a laminator might be the best route.  Is there one that you suggest? Thanks.
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Johnny_Boy
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 05:37:54 PM »
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Drytac and Seal are the better known pro level laminators. Buy them used, so you don't pay so much for the units. Ask Dan Berg on the forum as he has a couple units.

I have a cheap 42" chinese made cold press laminator from eBay. It was a lot of headache as the initial quality was low (did not work out of the box), but it does what I need to do now.

How big of prints are you planning to make? 30"-44" on the long side or the short side? 
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davidh202
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 05:43:52 PM »
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  A  Bienfang-Seal(now D-K) hot-cold Vacuum press is the best all around machine for all types of mounting and laminating chores with many options for adhesives, lamination films ,and substrate usage.If you are located in the US Eastern area, I have been doing business with MM Distributors in New Jersey for many years and they will give you all the advice you need.
They are pretty pricey in the large sizes, and take up a lot of real estate in the shop.

http://www.mmdistributors.com/Hot-Cold-Vacum-Press-p/bien%20hot-fslash-cold%20vacum%20press.htm

David
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 05:47:33 PM by davidh202 » Logged
Dan Berg
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 06:46:53 PM »
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Drytac and Seal are the better known pro level laminators. Buy them used, so you don't pay so much for the units. Ask Dan Berg on the forum as he has a couple units.

I have a cheap 42" chinese made cold press laminator from eBay. It was a lot of headache as the initial quality was low (did not work out of the box), but it does what I need to do now.

How big of prints are you planning to make? 30"-44" on the long side or the short side?  


As a starting point go to YouTube and watch Drytac's video series on laminating,quite comprehensive.
A cold roll laminator would be good for gatorboard,dibond and acrylic face mounting.
We also use ours for limited over laminating but find it to be a little plasticky for photographs.
The price range can be from under a thousand to over ten. The cheaper ones are all cold roll and manual. (Crank)
When purchasing new or used the first thing to check is the nip opening which is the thickness of material your machine will accept. I tell folks to look for at minimum a 1/2".
You can then run 1/2" thick gator or multiply through the machine.
My smaller machine can accept 3/8" material which is good for 90% of what I do.
The other option that Dave has mentioned is the vacuum press,again go to YouTube and search for videos.
Drytac and D&k are the bigger players in the field.
For roll laminating and mounting you will find out the learning curve will run the gamut for some from easy to making you take up drinking. This is where the vacuum press shines much easier learning curve.
Dust free environment is a must when facemounting.
Good luck and do not get discouraged
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 06:48:45 PM by Dan Berg » Logged

petermarrek
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 12:20:26 PM »
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I have an old Sallmetal 44in. roll laminator from a different lifetime and still use it successfully to mount paper prints using Drytac double sided mounting film, have also had good success wet mounting canvas onto masonite using yellow carpenter's glue, a bit messy but it works great. Peter
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Roscolo
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 11:48:15 AM »
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I am not sure whether dry mounting press will work with dibond or other slippery surface? For dibond and sintra backing I've used double sided adhesive film over a laminator. The laminator can do a bigger job without taking too much floor space. Vacuum Dry Mount presses are huge and take up a lot of floor space. So something to think about.

 

What specific double sided adhesive film are you using?

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Johnny_Boy
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 01:21:00 PM »
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Seal Print Mount Ultra for back mounting. Seal Optimount for face mounting to acrylic. Those are for papers that I've been using, which I don't print a lot any more.

For canvas print, majority of my prints, I use glue to mount it to gatorboard. I still use the cold press to mount canvas rather than doing it by hand.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 01:31:07 PM by Johnny_Boy » Logged
JohnBrady
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 08:16:53 PM »
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I have two presses, one is a 64 inch Daige and the other is a Coda. I use the Daige a lot even though it is of a lower quality but I like the fact the adhesive doesn't stick to the roller.

I would strongly recommend regardless of what press you choose use Coda Cold Mount One adhesive. I have tried several other manufacturers and they are all inferior. The cold mount one come in rolls up to 300 ft long and of varying widths.

I press images onto mightycore and gator board up to 4x6 ft. I have a love hate relationship with this system but I haven't found a system for mounting inkjet photography that I like better.

www.timeandlight.com
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Johnny_Boy
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2012, 01:16:51 PM »
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I would strongly recommend regardless of what press you choose use Coda Cold Mount One adhesive. I have tried several other manufacturers and they are all inferior. The cold mount one come in rolls up to 300 ft long and of varying widths.

Hi John, thanks for the above tip. I've only used Seal version of these type of adhesive. What is the reason why you think Coda is better? What source do you use for the best price on Coda adhesive rolls? thanks.
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JohnBrady
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2012, 06:17:48 PM »
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I'm not sure if I tried Seal but I have tried several over the years, always trying to find a less expensive alternative.

The coda is white, archival, heavy weight and once you adhere an image to it it stays stuck. On the downside, once your image makes contact with it you can't reposition it.

You buy it directly from Coda, they have a website and distribution on both coasts.

www.timeandlight.com
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Johnny_Boy
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2012, 04:19:34 PM »
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The coda is white, archival, heavy weight and once you adhere an image to it it stays stuck. On the downside, once your image makes contact with it you can't reposition it.

Thanks John. Have you tried this on anything else besides paper?

I would live to give it a try for canvas. Their description say " The white center to this adhesive is somewhat spongy, allowing it to bridge over the high and low spots in substrates. This yields a smoother finish than can be achieved with other adhesives. "

It could work pretty well for canvas. Thoughts?
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JohnBrady
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2012, 04:41:15 PM »
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Yes, I have used it with canvas and it works quite well. You can coat foam board, gator board, Masonite, acrylic, etc. one advantage is that it creates an acid free barrier so Masonite becomes safe to mount on.

You still need a very smooth surface to mount to, that is the problem with cold mounting, any imperfection will jump right out at you.

Good luck!
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orchidblooms
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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2012, 03:47:37 PM »
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....
The other option that Dave has mentioned is the vacuum press,again go to YouTube and search for videos.
Drytac and D&k are the bigger players in the field.
For roll laminating and mounting you will find out the learning curve will run the gamut for some from easy to making you take up drinking. This is where the vacuum press shines much easier learning curve.
Dust free environment is a must when facemounting.
Good luck and do not get discouraged


dan is it possible in your experience to facemount to lexan or acryllic  using a vacuum press?

after seeing the youtube vids with the release film... used - i do not see how this could be done - i would like to tru to figure a way to do this...

huge thanks

p.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2012, 10:00:45 PM »
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No acrylic face mounting with a vacumn press.
The heat is one reason and their may be others as well.
I was not referring to a vacum hot press for face mounting,sorry if I was not clear.
A manual laminator is not expensive and is the cheapest way to get your feet wet on face mounting.
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