Mounting Machine Woes/Recommendations


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Jun 14, 1999
Brooklyn, NY
Our 15 year old Seal 4866 (Vaccuum & Heat Press) fizzled out in the summer. We thought we would be able to get it fixed and had the diaphragm and control board replaced. Long story, but with all the problems along the way the bill kept on growing and growing to nearly $2,000. At some point we found out that a new comparable machine would be $4800 and I questioned the wiseness of spending so much money to repair the machine. However, we were too deep in to pull out.

Finally, everything was installed today....and it didn't work. The technician said it needed to be totally rewired and it didn't pay for such an old machine. I was horrified that we would be stuck with such a large bill and a machine that didn't work. The technician spoke to his company and they were very nice and said that we would not be charged anything. He took the control panel out but left the brand new diaphragm in. It doesn't do us any good as we obviously can't use a machine that doesn't work.

So, after suffering for nearly a month without a machine we must buy one quickly. Any suggestions? Pricing? We do need to be able to do up to 40 x 60 (wouldn't mind larger but no room). The technician told me that he had been to a few shops that started using mounter/laminators and it doesn't take a lot of space. Anyone know anything about it?

We know that it is not best to make a decision under pressure but we can't exist like this. We would very much appreciate any information anyone can give us as we are desperate.

Hope everyone is having a more succesful day than we are!
Ca Gallery,

Where's the question?

Let's see you had a machine that didn't work. They sent a tech who did over $2K's worth of work, and did it pro bono because it didn't fix the problem. (My mechanic charges me for work whether it fixes the problem or not!)

If it were me and I got service like that I'd buy from that company again! You know, bird in the hand and all that!
I have no problem with the company -- they were wonderful! The reason they ended up not charing us is because the tech felt that they should have been upfront with us about the possibility of fixing this machine. I would gladly give them the business if they sold machines, but they don't -- it was the first question I asked. They only service machines in many different states.

Since we haven't been in the market for over 15 years for a mounting machine we were just looking for recommendations on what machine to get. Of course if anyone knows where to get a good price on one that would also be very helpful.
Thank you Andrew.

We superficially looked into Drytac but are wondering about the glass plate top. What are the benefits of a glass top? If you use a release board on top of the work that you are mounting then you can't see through anyway. It would seem to me that there is no good reason to have a glass top unless we are missing something. Anyone care to comment on this?
One other thing. Although we mount a lot of things I would say that the a good portion of our mounting is actually fabric covered mats. Is one press better than the other for this?
Call The Print Mount Company, 800-531-9690. They make a fantastic machine that rarely, if ever, breaks down. Heats up in just a few minutes, pressurizes to a full grab in just seconds. If you have been using a Seal, you will be amazed at the difference. Great prices as well. I have been using my Print mount machine for years, very few problems.

I'll second The Print Mount recommendation. We have one over 20 years old.

The tech support is phenomenal -call them with a problem and you talk to Skip, the same guy who designed the machine and who will walk you through anything that comes up.

We bought our machine from a shop going out of business and over the years have replaced a controller, a diaphragm and some small parts. To be able to get parts and cheerful, competent & free technical support for an older machine you bought on the secondary market is no small thing in my book.

Peter Bowe
Saline Picture Frame Co.
We had the same problem with our machine. The company sent out a tech and he couldn't get it fixed. We had new diaphram and control board installed also. Come to find out Hunt Seal company sends out people with no experience in working on heat presses. The tech finally had to call and be talked through the repair. It took two trips but he finally got it fixed. About two hours on the phone also
Hi Jazan,

You are lucky that you were able to get it fixed. Just out of curiosity, how much did it end up costing you for the parts and labor? I am curious to know if the prices are uniform or if the vary from company to company.

We are not happy to have to buy a new machine and would have been thrilled to have it repaired. The tech we had came from On Site Repairs and seemed to really know his stuff. Of course that could be because he knew way more than I did ;) but he really did seem to have experience.

Back to my research on purchasing a new machine.
John & Peter - Thanks for the recommendation on the Print Mount. We are seriously looking into it. What concerns us the most is the weight of the machine. Right now they are manufacturing the black glass tops. The machine weighs in at 429 lbs. whereas the Seal machine weighs around 205 lbs. It worries me as we don't have the muscle power here to be able to handle that heavy of a machine (all women shop). I am wondering why it weighs double the amount of the other machine. Any clues?
Ca Gallery - The Seal machines of your vintage have sheet metal frames - the Print Mount press has a tubular steel frame. A square ridgid frame means better alignment between the top & body of the press and therefore a better seal and quicker draw down to vaccuum. I think the greater weight of the Print Mount press is part of why it is as durable and reliable as we have found it to be.

It is certainly not something you can slide around easily but once it is in place the weight is not a factor. We are a women majority shop and they dominate in that department. The top is well balanced with lift cylinders and no one has trouble operating the press. You may need to invite all your friends(and some of their friends) over when you install it.

I suggest you give Print Mount a call and talk to Skip - he is a honest guy and he will tell you why his press is heavier without any hype.

Peter Bowe
Saline Picture Frame Co.
I have to add my vote for Print Mount as well. My machine is over 20 years old and is still running strong, and I have known Skip as long - he is a straight shooter.

I also have a 51 x 100 Seal Press, and have owned a 4266 Seal Press and a 3244 Seal Press.

Print Mount is much better made and has a much more heavy duty bladder and gasket. Do not let the weight fool you, it is actually a benefit and the top has counter balanced gas cylinders so the top opens and closes easily.
One thing I would like to add is that if you place a plywood or particle board sheet under the rubber diaphram so that it can not sink more than about an inch or so, you will double or even triple the life of the the diaphram. Heck, for all I know, the new machines may be coming already set up like that. Ask Skip about it.

I appreciate all the information. It looks like Print Mount might be the way to go. I will call Skip tomorrow and go from there.

Thanks again.

I have the drytac hotpress machine with the glass top. So far, I have really liked it. I like that I can see what's going on inside and you can see through the release paper. The main think I think you see is the vacuum pulling inside and to see how it is progressing. I have had to stop it to adjust things (release paper caught in the seal, etc) I have also done stupid things and needed to stop the press (leaving a weight on top of that curling print, etc) So, for me the glass is an added feature that I have liked; I admit to not having used any other style of machine also, so I can't compare.

If you call after a show, they used to sell their used/new demo units for good prices.

my 2 centss


I just wanted to let you know that we received our Print Mount Hot Shot Machine last week and are just thrilled with it. It seems to be a great machine based on our one week of use.

One thing that is important for anyone considering this machine. Have the company fax you an electrical specification sheet *before* you make your decision!

This machine uses a lot more power than the Seal machine. We had to call an electrician who said that there wasn't enough power in the building and it would cost us $2,500 to pull more power into the building. We then called the electrician who had originally done all the work when we moved in and he said there was enough power but he still had to pull a line which cost us $675 - a very unexpected expense. But considering that we had heard $2,500 the day before it wasn't such a shock.

If anyone is interested in our old Seal machine (mostly for parts) or if you are handy it has a brand new diaphragm installed by a technician ($600) that we have nothing to do with. We also have a stand. I guess I should really put this information on the equipment for sale forum.

Thanks to all of you who helped with information and opinions.