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Author Topic: Laminating Canvas  (Read 4174 times)
JP
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« on: December 19, 2012, 11:56:23 AM »
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I was hoping someone knows a bit about laminating canvas by film in a heat and vacuum press.  I've researched the Drytac hot press a bit and it seems like a pretty straight forward process.  What are the advantages/disadvantages of it as opposed to spraying the canvas with varnish? Is it more or less expensive on average than spray varnishing?  Is it a complicated process?  Do the corners of the canvas hold up when you stretch them? What problems do you run in to?

I stretch about 10-20 canvases a day, and I just don't enjoy spray varnishing.  Are these machines worth it?

Any insight would be great.

Thank You,
Jared
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framah
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 01:21:45 PM »
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Yes, yes, and yes.

It is a much better way to protect canvas than any spray could, it helps keep the edges from cracking when stretched and even tho it would cost more than spraying, it is worth it to go that route.

You can also then heat mount the canvas to any substrate and keep it from sagging on stretcher bars. You could also mount it to a hard surface and then glue that to a stretcher bar and gallery wrap it.
Having a heat mount press is worth it  at the level of work you do.
Check out other machines as well as Drytac... check out Beinfang which used to be Seal. I have an old one that keeps on going after almost 20 years.

Also look for used ones.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 02:33:42 PM »
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Yes, yes, and yes.



He asked a lot of questions, so just confirming what you are saying yes to.  Obviously you like the vacuum presses (we have a 60" Beinfang and use it for a lot of things.)

So I assume you've used this process to laminate canvas and like it ... I've never found a laminate that I thought looked good and didn't give the canvas sort of an artificial look.  What laminate are you using?
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Craig Murphy
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 03:25:39 PM »
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Laminating using a vacu-press?  Good luck with that.
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framah
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 03:31:06 PM »
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Finish Guard ultra matte lamination.

 I personally, don't like spraying and don't/won't do it. The laminate is a much better form of protection from scratches and scuffs and such.  A few layers of spray isn't enough to really protect it.    I guess if you roll on enough of  that gloop, it would buildup to a thick enough layer but why mess with all that mess.

So my yeses were fairly general but I think I got my idea across.

My other no to spraying is having to have a specific room for spraying so as to not get it all over the store. When you aren't using the press, is can still be used as a work table of sorts.
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framah
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 03:32:35 PM »
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Laminating using a vacu-press?  Good luck with that.

We are talking about a heat/vacuum press not a cold mount press. So with that in mind, what is the problem you seem to have?
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bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 07:12:11 PM »
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When you aren't using the press, is can still be used as a work table of sorts.

Hah!  That's the problem with those things!  Have rarely seen a frame shop with one of those babies that wasn't piled high with crud.  And they take up as much floor space as a smallish paint booth.  I wonder if you could mount a Canvas Stretching Machine to the hinge side of the cover, that might make some sense.

I actually considered an 8 foot version of one of those vacuum/heat presses many years ago.  $11,000 (then).  Ouch.  But the real ouch was that I needed to spend well over $2,000 to bring enough power into to my leased shop run the darned thing.  The electrician pointed out that it needed as much juice as three big machine tools running simultaneously.
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 01:27:31 AM »
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Thank you Framah.  You confirmed what I was hoping to hear.
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framah
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 08:24:38 AM »
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Bill... that's not crud!!! That's important stuff I have been meaning to get to! Grin


Actually, before I go home, I usually set up the fixin's for 5 or 6 jobs on top of the press so when i come in the next day, I'm ready to go.

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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 12:22:09 AM »
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How much do these machines run?  $$$?
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bill t.
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 01:04:09 AM »
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They run anywhere from $5k to $10K depending on size.  But they depreciate fast.  You can almost always find a used Bienfang press for about $1500 somewhere.  Most also require an external vacuum pump.  They run off 220V single phase, and consume anywhere from 2 to 6 kilowatts.  You may need to do electrical work to get one installed at your desired location.

The Drytac HGP's are manufactured in the UK, so if you're in those parts you can probably get a better deal!  Those have a metalized glass surface, which lets you see the artwork package as it's being compressed.  I guess that's a good idea.  I think those may have a built in vacuum pump, not sure about that.

In the US you mostly find Bienfangs AKA Vacuseal or something like that, which have a different design that includes an opaque cover that is ever so tempting to use as a table.  Definitely requires an external pump, which is actually not that big a deal.

You might want to research those things a bit before jumping.  They heat up the room during the cycle, and there is a fairly lengthy duty cycle which could theoretically become a bottleneck in a heavy production environment, but not for most users. They have many advantages over a normal drymount press, particularly if you are mounting RC media.  One of the main disadvantages is that the physical size of the diaphragm is your absolute size limit, whereas you can mount really big pieces in sections with an old fashioned drymount press, but not without some pain.  Could go on.  Did I say they take up a humongous amount of floor space?

Check out the used equipment section at thegrumble.com, and of course good old ebay, and of course your friendly local failing framing shop, how sad that is.
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