mounting pictures on low temp board


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Jul 16, 2002
Wadsworth, Oh
Ok forgive for not knowing the official name of the board. It is a low tempature board that you use in the heat press for mounting things that can't tolorate the heat. Now for the question. We were mounting those cheap group school photos
. We had the temp at 150 and put it in for 3 minutes. When I opened the press all the pictures curled up. We put it in for 1 1/2 minutes longer and the same thing happened. We called the manufacturer and they had no solutions except try longer. We put them in for 6 minutes and they attached a little more but the edges still curled up. And one of them was showing signs of discoloration so we had to stop. Any one else have any problems with these kind of photos and have any solutions?
It's probably SpeedMount.

Some people absolutely LOVE the product, but I've had mixed results. There are some materials that just refuse to mount with it.

(The last time I mentioned that, I got a call from a Bainbridge product development guy who tried to talk me through it. Are you reading this, Miles? Thanks for trying.)

If I am mounting something that I suspect won't tolerate 185-190 degrees, I cold mount it using Crescent Perfect Mount.

With the Speedmount, the bond forms while cooling, so it's extremely important to cool it under some weight.
Today we tried using the fusion 4000? I think that was what it was called. Anyway we tried using it with a newspaper article on black foamboard and the same thing happened. The fusion was attached to the article but the article wasn't attached to the foamboard. Then we tried the same thing on regular foamboard and it worked fine. I finally used pma to mount to the black foam. I'm really not impressed either with this heat press. But it's not my choice.
Is this a new or used heat press? Maybe the temp is not what it says. Maybe the pressure settings are not what they should be. I used fusion 4000 for years, but I did not use it on black foam board. I used it on the back side of a black core board.
I've used Fusion hundreds of times for newsprint on black fomecore and have had no problems.

Honestly, I don't remember if Fusion is supposed to be a low-temp adhesive. I use it at the same 185-190 I use for my other adhesives, and I don't normally cool it under weight.

Hunt/Seal/Beinfang/Whatever used to have Temperature Indicator Strips to check the platen temperature of your press. If you can get your hands on some, they are a very good idea.
We used the low temp board on the pictures and when I opened the press they curled up right away. The press is new and only used about 10 times. We used the fusion on the black foamboard and the white with the newspaper. Using the same procedure for both. Even though it was obvious that the article was not attached on the black foamboard we put glass on it and let it cool. It came off completely by itself when the glass was removed. This same process with the white foam attached with no problem. Help!!
ps All the pictures were taken by different group photographers and they have a shiny Kodak paper back to them. And still confused on why the pictures wouldn't adhere on the low temp board. The temp was 150 and we kept putting them in for longer.

We do notice that the black foam does not have a shiny side like the white. We thought this might be why it's not adhering to the black but does the white. The temp on that was 180 for 5 min
Black fomecore is typically uncoated, like the "acid-free." In fact, my preferred black fome is ArtCare, and I buy it by the case.

I would think that its more porous surface would bond better, if anything, than the coated regular white.

I can't explain your problem with the low-temp board, since I've had the same problem, but my experience with Fusion is that it bonds nearly anything to anything, so I think you really need to check your press for temperature and pressure.

Is it a combination heat/vacuum or just heat?

It's been a while since I used a "non-vacuum" press, but I think some framers find it necessary to pre-dry the board before mounting, expecially during humid weather. I've never had to do this with my Vacuseal press.
If you can't get fusion 4000 to stick to the board at 185 or so with moderate pressure you should get some new board. However, the photographs might be dye subs with a plasticote or silicone layer on the back. If so, you shouldn't be using heat and you will have a hard time getting a good bond with a spray or heat activated adhesive. Best luck will be an aggressive cold adhesive like Print Mount.
Newspaper stuck to white speedmount @ 150 deg.
Photos will not stick @ 150 deg.
It appears that the particular paper on which the photos are printed is not compatible with the low temp adhesive OR the pressure is not calibrated (assuming a mechanical press). That is an unanswered question. I have seen up to a 15 deg difference between the temp setting knob and actual temp on my mechanical press.

Newspaper will not stick to Black F/C w/fusion 4000 @ 150 deg. Fusion 4000 is not low temp. Try Black FC w/Fusion @ 185 deg w/newspaper. This is assuming that it is Black FC and not Black Speedmount.

As Ron mentioned, the Seal temp strips are great for checking temperature calibration @ 200 degrees. I just bought a 144, 150 & 156 deg crayon use in the low temp range.
We mounted the pictures on speed mount plus at 150 for 3 minutes then 3 more minutes and no luck. We used the black foam with fusion 4000 at 180 for 5 minutes. If I put the white foam and the black foam both in at the same time the black will not take the fusion and the white does. The black is an ordinary foam board just black with a matted finish on both sides. Still sound like a temp problem? It is a combination heat and cold vacum press. Will look into the heat strips though. I'm really beginning to hate this thing.