Opinions Wanted DRY MOUNTING DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS

stevekos

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I'm framing some sizable (32 x 44) digital photos for a photography exhibition and the artist doesn't want glass, so I'm going to mount them. My options are dry mounting with a heat press, or pressure mounting with PMA. I'd prefer to dry mount, but I'm concerned about the effect of heat on the ink. All I know about the prints are that they were printed at a professional lab. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I do not want to have to replace a single one of these prints. Thanks.
 

tedh

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If I have to do it, I won't do it without laminating the piece because of the possibility of damaging the surface with whatever I use as a slip sheet. I've seen ink transfer to the slip sheet, and damage or change to the surface texture.

Laminating removes these risks.
 

stevekos

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Thanks for quick reply, tedh. I would use a fresh sheet of release paper, with a sheet of matboard above it. I'm not so concerned about a textural imprint since the prints are matte, and the paper is heavy stock. Have you ever seen ink transfer to release paper? What about discoloration?
 

tedh

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Cheap prints have been damaged. Never have I seen discoloration.

How about working with the customer, asking him/her to bring in a test photo, and see what happens? Somewhere, somehow, whoever printed it has a mistake photo you could use as a test.

It could happen also that the shinyness of the release paper could add gloss to the photo.
 

stevekos

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Cheap prints have been damaged. Never have I seen discoloration.

How about working with the customer, asking him/her to bring in a test photo, and see what happens? Somewhere, somehow, whoever printed it has a mistake photo you could use as a test.

It could happen also that the shinyness of the release paper could add gloss to the photo.

The prints are high quality. Unfortunately, the photographer doesn't have a spare I could test on, and his lab isn't local, so he'd have to have one shipped. I'm not going to take any chances. I don't love using PMA because of the liner that gets thrown out. It'll be a little tricky since I'll have to apply two bands of it, but I'm sure I can manage it.
 

tedh

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What about calling the photographer, getting the ink/paper used, and picking up a test print from your local printer?
 

stevekos

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Double-checked with the photographer, and he's got a couple of smaller prints he's going to let me test on. Will post results.
 

DVieau2

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In all probability the lab used pigment inks or RA4 paper and the image should easily stand up to heat.

May I add......

Any professional lab that prints 32x44 would also be equipped to mount the prints. They would likely have a protective laminate available.

It's so much better to mount in the same facility that does the printing.

Top reason being to liberate your liability against a speck of dirt.

If that's an option make that suggestion and be there for the frame.
 

stevekos

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I own a printing company, and do a fair amount of mounting for large prints. Mountcor, heated rollers, done.

I don't do enough dry mounting to warrant buying a whole case of this stuff. Also, I don't like the fact that there's a disposable liner for each sheet.
 

Joe B

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Doug, I don't understand what you are saying - I can assume that you are more a photo person than an art person.

I don't want the print facility to mount anything that I am going to frame, but the majority of the time I don't have a choice. By the time I get the item it is already mounted. 90% of the time the print company will leave specks, finger dings, off center mountings, or cutting the the quick - nope, haven't found a printing facility that does it right yet, sorry but I'm downright picky.

Give me the photo or the art and if it justifies mounting I will do it and I will do it right. Leave the photo printing, photo processing, and photo finishing to the photo companies but leave the framing and framing process to the framer.
 

stevekos

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In all probability the lab used pigment inks or RA4 paper and the image should easily stand up to heat.

May I add......

Any professional lab that prints 32x44 would also be equipped to mount the prints. They would likely have a protective laminate available.

It's so much better to mount in the same facility that does the printing.

Top reason being to liberate your liability against a speck of dirt.

If that's an option make that suggestion and be there for the frame.

Good to know that the inks will probably hold up. As I said, I'll post the results of my test mounting.

I couldn't agree more that the mounting should ideally be done at the lab, and in some cases in the past, I've insisted on it. Unfortunately, it wasn't an option here, primarily because the lab isn't local, and the prints are being shipped.
 

Prospero

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I'm usually a bit iffy about printers who don't (or won't) mount their own work. Often when people bring in
prints to be mounted (or stretched) there can be problems. Flaking ink or very delicate surfaces that a cross
look will mark. I know it can be done right. A good customer of mine gets his prints done ready - mounted and
never had problem. Others have brought me prints that they have got done 'on the cheap' and although they
appear fine, when it comes to mounting it's me that inherits all the shortcomings - and the blame. :(

When all is said and done mounting is a fairly violent business and if the prints aren't up to scratch, grief will ensue. :confused:
 

DVieau2

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.........Give me the photo or the art and if it justifies mounting I will do it and I will do it right. Leave the photo printing, photo processing, and photo finishing to the photo companies but leave the framing and framing process to the framer.

We should try and get a tour of White House or Digi Graphics for our local framers group.

What ( I hope) you would see is a clean room type environment with the mounting equipment right next to the printer to minimize handling.

All labs have had to upgrade their skills because face mounting prints to acrylic is now a standard offering and it is unforgiving.

The other little advantage is if a ultra small piece of lunch lands in the wrong place you get to redo the print.

For those who don't know.... Joe is a legend.... the kind of guy who drinks beer, smokes cigars, eats Cheetos, and listens to loud music while he frames.....and produces perfect work. :)
 

DVieau2

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I don't do enough dry mounting to warrant buying a whole case of this stuff. Also, I don't like the fact that there's a disposable liner for each sheet.

Yeah, that's a tough place to be because your going to need the oversize.

Try talking to your LJ rep and see what they can do about a few sheets. I thought I heard they had smaller cases available.

Mountcor is such a good product and I consider the liner to be a big advantage.
 

framah

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Had to pop back on for this.
Just a little fact for you...

PMA will not work on pieces that large. The company... 3M states that the largest size is about 24x24. The adhesive can not withstand the stress of the paper that large expanding and contracting, thus over time, it will release... you know, those areas that bubble up and you keep trying to press them down?
Call 3M if you want.

Drymount tissue will work and anything printed on an Epson will take the heat.

Popping back off.
 

stevekos

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PMA will not work on pieces that large. The company... 3M states that the largest size is about 24x24.

Good to know, thanks, although I have mounted plenty of larger pieces over the years with PMA and never had anything come back.
 

KevinAnnala01

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90% of the time the print company will leave specks, finger dings, off center mountings, or cutting the the quick

I love hearing this. Makes it so much easier for me to stand out as someone that does not leave any of that stuff!

I don't like the fact that there's a disposable liner for each sheet

Nor do I. I repurpose mine as much as I can.
 

Shayla

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I don't do enough dry mounting to warrant buying a whole case of this stuff. Also, I don't like the fact that there's a disposable liner for each sheet.

Hi, Steve. Where we are, there's an option to buy a 5 pack, which is the only way the 40 x 60 Mount Cor works for me. I've found that the disposable release liners come in handy for other uses once the project is finished.
 

CB Art & Framing

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I don't like the fact that there's a disposable liner for each sheet
That is my favorite part.
Can be used to:-
-Separate art.
-Small pieces used with tacking iron.
-Cover table when painting.
-Under matt or foam when applying adhesive for fabric mounts.
-Cut along grids for templates.
Also, I've never quite got the "Reversible" mounting boards.
 

skye

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We should try and get a tour of White House or Digi Graphics for our local framers group.

What ( I hope) you would see is a clean room type environment with the mounting equipment right next to the printer to minimize handling.

All labs have had to upgrade their skills because face mounting prints to acrylic is now a standard offering and it is unforgiving.

The other little advantage is if a ultra small piece of lunch lands in the wrong place you get to redo the print.

For those who don't know.... Joe is a legend.... the kind of guy who drinks beer, smokes cigars, eats Cheetos, and listens to loud music while he frames.....and produces perfect work. :)

I want to be Joe when I grow up...

I have used Mountcor and like almost everything about it.. including those handy reusable sheets . The grid comes in handy sometimes, as well... as long as nothing shifts, my cut is perfectly straight and the moon is in the last quarter. (hopefully not in retrograde Mercury)
 

Shayla

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Larson Juhl is the only distributor, so far as I know. We're in Washington state, but they're everywhere. (Does that make them tribbles?)
 

echavez123

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We cold mount using Drytac mediatac or multitac and a Bienfang roller press. Our press max width is 42 inches. We mount Epson papers and Kodak metallic papers often with a very high success rate. Small prints can be mounted by hand, but larger prints go into the roller press. Need to be sure no debris is trapped under the paper. This is a permanent bond.
 

Jim Miller

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If these are art-quality, valuable photographs, keep in mind that it would be best to keep them in pristine condition, and any change, including permanent mounting, may reduce their value. On the other hand, since glazing will not be used and their surfaces will be exposed to open air, they probably will deteriorate quickly or be damaged anyway.

As mounting adhesives go, aerosol sprays make the weakest, least-durable bonds, and PMA is not much better. I would avoid it.

Heat-activated, low temperature adhesives are easy to use, make very good bonds, and you have choices. MountCor is thermosetting, which means the adhesive can be activated only once, so if removal becomes necessary, use a solvent. Kool Tack is thermoplastic, which means that the adhesive can be reactivated by reheating, so if removal becomes necessary, reheat it.

Both of these products operate at temperatures safe for almost any inkset or art medium. Kool Tack offers several substrates including aluminum composite material (they call it Competition Plate), and maybe MountCor does, as well. If you want to avoid buying a full carton of the low-temperature, pre-adhesive dry mounting board you choose, perhaps you could buy only what you need from a friendly framer in your area.
 

stevekos

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Mounting was a success. Used United Mfrs. Clear Bond 2000 (Fusion 4000 knock-off) on Bainbridge Artcare. Press was set at about 160 degrees. I'd just recently sold my Seal 500-TX because I'd hardly been using it for years (go figure), so I had to use my 210-M which required four bites per print. Bit of a nuisance, but no adverse effects.

Jim Miller - These prints are in fact art quality (although, of course, reproducible), and are going into an exhibition, but the photographer wants to create an immersive effect, which he feels the glass would interfere with. Budget-wise, AR isn't an option. I duly warned him of all the reasons against mounting as well as leaving the prints exposed, but this was his choice. Part of his thinking is that anyone who buys a piece can add glass afterwards. Ultimately it's on him to handle and store the pieces carefully. I'll be very relieved once they leave the shop.
 
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