Mounting large photos

jbs44

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Posts
4
From
SE Pennsylvania
I am having trouble with bubbles appearing in some large photos (e.g., 20" x 30" Shutterfly prints) that have been mounted and framed for personal use. I've used adhesive foam core without much problem, but when I used 3M Photo Mount Adhesive Spray onto regular foam core, bubbles developed over a period of a week or so (although initially the bond was tight and no bubbles were evident - the directions for use were followed, of course).

I used a pin with rolling to remove most of the bubbles, but a bit more bubbling continued to occur.

Does this stuff experience some kind of outgassing, or did I fail to observe incipient bubbling that might have expanded with increased temperature or something?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I guess you pros use some kind of heat-setting pressure mounting, but I don't have that equipment; I assume it's not cheap.

Thanks, :confused:

John S
 

Matoaka

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
519
From
Albuquerque, NM
No, presses are not cheap. But you might look around for some used equipment.

In the meantime, did you leave your mounted piece under weights for a period of time? Like over night? Also, you might want to spray both the back of the photo AND the mounting board.

Just a thought. There are REAL pros here that can give you further insight.

Welcome to The Grumble!
 

Ruth

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 21, 1999
Posts
710
From
Mohnton, PA
You could also have another framer mount it for you. I mount things for other framers in my area sometimes.
 

Mick11

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Posts
211
From
East Yorkshire. UK
Hi John,
I mounted a picture the same size to mountboard some time ago using the same method and glue. I've had no problems at all with it.
I only sprayed the mountboard, and did leave the glue slightly longer than recommended before attaching the print. I then weighted it overnight.
Could this problem be a reaction between the glue and the foam core?
 

jbs44

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Posts
4
From
SE Pennsylvania
Thanks for your comments. I did spray both sides, but didn't weight it overnight. The directions caution to mate the pieces within 2-5 minutes, and I went closer to 5 minutes, but maybe waiting a bit longer, like Mick says, might give more chance for solvent evaporation.
For me, this has been the hardest part of framing, and I have much to learn. Your help is appreciated! - J
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
Spray mounting, especially without a vacuum press, is an unreliable process. Unless you have extraordinary ventilation, it's also dangerous for your long-term health.

I know there are framers here who have had good apparent success with spray mounting, but there's a reason framers spend thousands of dollars on mounting equipment. And it's not vanity.
 

wpfay

Comfort Badger
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 1, 2000
Posts
14,826
From
Jacksonville Beach, FL USA
Business
Sunshine Frames
The wait time increases with relative humidity. The expanding gasses from the vehicle cause water to condense in the spray as it is applied. The more water available, the more condenses and the slower the evaporation time.

Experiment with some smaller pieces. Down here in sticky Florida I could leave the pieces out for 10-15 minutes.

Get beyond sprays as soon as possible. They will all fail eventually as the adhesive ages and crystalizes. Your lungs will thank you as well.
 

wpfay

Comfort Badger
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 1, 2000
Posts
14,826
From
Jacksonville Beach, FL USA
Business
Sunshine Frames
Wrong button!
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
There was a framer in our town who was spray mounting large photos. Periodically, he'd get one back with bubbles and he bring it to me.

I had some success, though I suspect it was temporary, with putting the bubbled prints in my Vacuseal combo press at a moderate temperature.

The heat seemed to reactivate the adhesive, to some extent, and the pressure flattened them. The pressure without the heat did very little.

Eventually, he bought a press. I think that was a good investment.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 28, 2005
Posts
19,217
From
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
In mounting large photos without a press try using 77 spray. It's messy in the shop but has a long open dry time and is perfect for large items. Be sure to practice on some items of no importance. You will quickly come to recognize appropriate dry time. An easy tip is that if you touch the adhesise and it is still liquid as opposed to a filmy consistency it is not ready. 77 can always be reactivated with heat. To give you confidence in it's adhesive ability mount a photo to a piece of glass.
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
77 is exactly what the framer I mentioned was using, so I guess you're right about reactivating it with heat.

If it's so reliable, though, it shouldn't need reactivating.

So I don't sound like a mounting snob, I should mention that I spray mounted about a thousand prints in my early years. Most of them went into a cold vacuum press. I switched to Berto glue when I got tired of the blinding headaches and my shoes sticking to the floor. Then I bought the Vacuseal press.

Maybe it wasn't Berto. It had a consistency like petroleum jelly and came in huge buckets from the Corona Press Company.

Ironically, this is the company that later manufactured the Mat Maestro.
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
Actually, the Corona vacuum presses were pretty good. The Omega saws, I believe, were also well thought-of.

Then they got greedy and released a CMC before it was ready and sold more than they built.
 
Top