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Large map coming back

J Phipps TN

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jul 14, 2004
Kingsport TN
I have a customer who came in with 5 very large "Laminated" maps he wanted to frame.

Right up front I informed this customer that since these maps where already laminated that dry mounting them may or may not be effective. I warned that they could possibly bubble up later. He said he didn't care and to go forward with it. His wife was with him and understood everything I was saying. Before taking a deposit I went over the risks again and again he said to go forward with it.

I ended up spray mounting them because of thier size with the customer "understanding" that I could not guarantee that they would not bubble the frame(because, again, they were already laminated).

They framed up beautifully and all was good.
Now he is calling and saying how 2 of them are already starting to bubble up. He wants me to fix them.
I again reminded him of our discussion before we even started but he still wants me to look at them and see what can be done.

What would you do and did I do anything wrong ?

Buy the way the maps were 63 1/2 x 35 1/2. We did them in medal frames with plexi glass.
They really were pretty.

I told him the only thing I could do was to have him re-order the maps unlaminated and I would dry mount them and put in the frames. But this will cost me time and oversize foamcore.

What are your thoughts?

Did you rough up the backs? I always sand the backs with sandpaper to give the surface more tooth for the adhesive to bond with. I've never had any come back. But then I am in a very dry climate that probably makes a difference.
Why did you spraymount? They were alrelady "mounted" since they were encased in laminte material. Take them off the mount, Use Sintra, Gatorboard or some such=-=call Piedmont Plastics here in Knoxville for help on which substrate--slap 'em down on that and then plexi. Won't do anything--bubble or nuttin'

Do it all the time. They'll just be sandwiched between the sintra/gator substrate and the plexi
If you can get them off the substrate, you might try to roll on contact cement such as used to adhere formica. You roll on both halves and after setting for a few minutes you lay the map down and then roll it down or if you can press it in the press.

This process is a one shot deal. You can not reposition it at all. Once the two sides hit each other, that's it!
Try the adhesive on a small area of the laminate to see if it reacts.
You also need alot of ventilation when doing this unless you like being REALLY high!!
If your desire is to actually mount these permanently 77 spray is the only spray adhesive you can rely on to hold. You must spray both the piece and the board. Use an oversize board since you will not be able to reposition them. Make sure you allow the adhesive time to set up before bonding. In order to be sure the adhesive is set, touch with your finger untill the adhesive is no longer wet but more like a sticky film (like ATG).
You didn't say which spray adhesive you used, but if you used 3M SprayMount, it is meant to be a temporary adhesive. 3M SprayMent or 77 are permanet.

I agree with Jeff... Scotch 3M 77 spray adhesive for laminated maps, etc. However, don't let the adhesive set up too much or you won't get the adhesion.

I usually spray the back of the laminated piece and immediately adhere it to fom-cor. Put a cover sheet over the surface or put it face down on a clean surface and weight it. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes and you're done.

If it isn't going into a frame, you need to countermount or put lathing strips on the back to stop it from bowing.

Dave Makielski
I'm sure I'll get flack for this, but...didn't you tell the customer very clearly at the time of the order that you couldn't guarantee it wouldn't bubble? And since it did bubble, if you "fix" it, re-do an unlaminated one (your valuable time and oversize foamcore) at no charge, aren't you, in fact, guaranteeing it? I realize it's a matter of keeping the customer happy/not losing them, and wanting your work to be your best, but at no charge, after saying you couldn't guarantee? Did I miss something?
I would still suggest fixing the problem, but realize the others may come back with the same problem down the line. You live and you learn and you'll come out as a real winner if you stand behind this one.

They ought to come off relatively easily if you used SprayMount so that no new materials would be used.

I always say that the best advertising is doing great work and standing behind the work you do. Any cost associated with fixing the problem you can caulk up to advertising expense and you can be sure your customer will sing your praises to others.

Dave Makielski
Sorry it has taken me slong to get back to this.

I was very clear at the begining and end of the design process.

The spray adhesive I used is a product called "Stick It". I was sold it over the phone by the manufacturer. It has always worked well in the past. 4 1/2 years of use. It is by AVW in Florida.

Anyway, As far as to why we mounted these, they are so big that they would just slide down in the frame. And since we used plexi there would not be as much pressure against them as glass. Because as we all know plexi tends to bow.

Anyway, I haven't heard from him since he called and said he would bring them back after Christmas.

I dread it. I want to make him happy, but I feel I was a plain as I could be.
I think people only hear what they want to. I'm lucky his wife was here with him to hear it, But I still should have had him sign something!

Live and learn, I will be ready next time.

Thanks for all your advice,
You guys are wonderful,