Buckled Poster/Lithograph


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Feb 23, 2004
Kennebunk, Maine

A client brought in an official Marvel Comics limited edition lithograph. In the lower margin of the print, there are signed pencil sketches of Spiderman and the Green Goblin. The mounting of choice in this case was T-hinging. It looked great when it left here and it went directly into an air-conditioned environment. The client called about a week later to inform me that the poster had gotten wavy. It indeed has and I can't really understand why. The waves begin at the top (where the hinges are) and travel downward. I feel quite confident that I didn't over moisten the hinge. I'm wondering if it's because I used 3 wide hinges along the top. I used 3 because of the large size of the poster. Can this be the problem? Or could it simply be the nature of the paper used? The stock is a light-mid-weight poster paper.

To fix it, I considered Artcare Restore with edgemounts for back-up but I can't get the whole thing in one bite in my small press.

Unless it was never rolled, which means it was shipped flat (and it hardly ever is) then the paper 'remembers' that it had been rolled and will revert to that wavy state occasionally (especially with the weird weather we have had this year...) I try to remember to warn every customer whose piece doesn't lie dead flat on the table of its own volition that there will be rippling, but this merely affirms the correct mounting procedures were used. Or sell them Restore mount.
I'd love to use Restore on this but is it possible to use Restore on projects requiring mulitiple bites in the press? The way I see it is that I'd have to do bite #1, remove it from the press and let it cool under weight for maximum bond. Then I'd have to stick it back in the press for bite #2... now wouldn't the bond release at the overlap because of second round of heat?

I very rarely cool my items under weight. Yeah I know the directions call for that, but I don't. I have not had one to return yet, I have been using the product since it came out.

I let them cool laying flat on their back. Within a few minutes you will know if the item bonded or not.

You can re-heat without fear of the item coming off. The release temperature is higher than the bonding temp.
I would re-mount it using 2 hinges first, and press it flat in your press before hand. Then refit as you usually do.

I would also ask if it was hung on an outside wall of the room...It has been very hot here and I assume it has been very hot there as well. It may have caused the buckeling as well with the heat behind the picture and the cool on the front...I know it can effect prints that way in the winter months with the cold on the back and warm on the front. And for all you know, they may have let the A/C blow directly on it...sometimes people just don't know how to care for their prints after they bring them home.
I would mount it as a last resort to the Restore...just because I would. Try the less invasive first. Maybe even hang it in your shop for while after you rehinge and refit just to see if it does the same thing and then choose your options from there.
Originally posted by Kittyfaces:
I'd love to use Restore on this but is it possible to use Restore on projects requiring mulitiple bites in the press? The way I see it is that I'd have to do bite #1, remove it from the press and let it cool under weight for maximum bond. Then I'd have to stick it back in the press for bite #2... now wouldn't the bond release at the overlap because of second round of heat?
You can do that. Like Jerry I'm in love with Restore. I do however weight the pieces, even in multiple clamps.
Thanks to all of your great input, I'm finally over my fear of using Restore for multiple-bite projects. I went for it (with back up hinges) and it looks gorgeous and feels sturdy. Thanks!
Restore might be a good alternative, we've taken multiple bites against suggestions but the release temperature is the same as the bonding temperature.... as in around 117 degrees it will start to bond or release with increased dwell time.

I recently have had some problems with Restore and have CEASED using it for many projects until I receive the results of the tests that Bainbridge is supposed to do on the samples that are in the mail to them. My most recent project which required a mount to be reversed appears to show the adhesive to be much more agressive than it was a year ago when I initially tested it. There was much of the artwork substrate left behind with the adhesive and no adhesive on the artwork because it tore the paper.

The last case of Restore alternated every other sheet out of Bainbridge published thickness spec. That, along with 6 mountings that released themselves that were directly against the glass for support and what appears to be a significantly more agressive adhesive are the concerns that have shelved it for use on customer's projects.
I've had one customer return so far because of a Restore failure, which was part of my hesitation to use it in this multiple-bite project. It was easy to fix because the print had been bonded for a year so when the bond broke, that baby was as flat as a pancake. So i just added hinges, reused the Restore board which provided a toothy grip and the fix looked beautiful. So on this project, I'm thinking if the bond fails, the T-hinges will take over and no one will ever know the difference.
I've done many multiple bite mountings with restore, but always use a release board with weights between mountings.

Jerry, I'm surprised you haven't had any problems without weighting. When I first started using ArtCare Restore and after recalibrating my press, I was a little negligent about letting the mount cool long enough under weights. The result was that I had 3 different jobs returned after varying degrees of mount failure. Popping them back into the press and letting them cool under weights until I felt no ambient temperature (usually about 5 minutes or so) eliminated the problem and I've had no problems since.

A customer brought in an old photo of a turn of the century Mexican refugee camp 48"X8" on very heavy photo paper. It had many sections ripped away, some missing, and rips throughout the photo. It had been rolled into a 2" diameter tube for many many years. I advised her to take it to a paper conservator, but she requested I do my best to mount it anyway.

I weighted the photo for over three weeks with little success in flattening and one day decided to boldly mount it on Restore. Bainbridge does not recommend mounting this heavy of a paper on Restore, but I went forward anyway.

Many of the damaged areas did not bond well and began to curl away. I took a warm iron with release paper and spot mounted the trouble areas immediately putting heavy weights on the areas.

Three weeks later (she has yet to pick it up!) it still is flat as can be and holding up well.

I'll advise her not to leave it in a car in the sweltering sun. I let her know when she left it that I offered no guarantees.

Restore is truly a marvelous product.
Bainbridge. I'm beginning to think like Jerry that I may begin using it for all dry mounting.

Dave Makielski
Cool under weight!

Here's why:
The heat-activated adhesive bonds as it cools. When pressure is applied during cooling/bonding, the bond will be as strong as possible.

During heating, all hygroscopic materials in the mount "stack" (mount board, art paper, release paper/board) all expand in size -- but at different rates and by different amounts.

During cooling the expansion process reverses, becoming a contraction process. Again, the materials contract at different rates and by different amounts. Without weight, some materials may warp or cockle, if only temporarily, creating areas fo weakened bond.

Applying weight during coolng provides these benefits:
1. Keeps all materials flat and in full contact with one another until bonding is complete.
2. Covering the "stack" insulates - slows and lessens the differential of contraction, strengthening the bond.

As usual, there is a reason for the instructions to specify cooling under weight.
In addition to the factors that Jim mentioned, when heat is being used to bond paper materials,
there will be a release of moisture, initially
as the paper dries and this may impede the bond.