Question about Crown Vacuum Presses

Dan Serra

Grumbler
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Posts
22
Location
Los Angeles
I have found a Crown Vacuum press for sale in my area and the chap is selling it for about $600 and its a Hot/Cold system in very clean condition.

I am concerned about two things, one that I can't find any info on the model (GM 4262) and that they may be out of business. Two it may be a 3 phase 220 unit? I know that they are 220 units but 3 phase? Its marked 220 x 18 amps but it has a 3 phase plug. Is three phase an option with these machines? Any opionions on the Crown would be appreciated.

I guess if the rubber back ever leaked it would make a nice work table.

Thanks

Dan Serra
Arteast
Redondo Beach Ca
 
Dan, I wonder if that might have been made by Regal Crown Industries in Seattle. They made the Corona cold mount presses and may very well have made combo presses as well.

They're not making anything any more, having filed bankruptcy about four years ago (and not too gracefully, if such a thing is possible.)

A company that was/is offering some support and supplies for the RCI products is:

Framing Adhesive Specialties
430 S. 96th St. Unit 12
Seattle, WA 98108
Phone: 206-763-9420
Fax: 206-763-9419

Products:
Adhesives: All Corona Adhesives, & Mounting Accessories
Mat Cutter Acceesories: Mat Cutting Blades for Mat Maestro & Wizard Mat
Cutters, Cutting Pad for Mat Maestro (HP) Vacuum Table
Omega Saws: Blades, Belts and Brushes

I'd check with an electrician about the wiring requirements for the press. I just had a new location wired for my Seal combo press, which is 230v, single phase, 4-wire. It cost about $400, but I had a long run of conduit installed and a new service box since there weren't any open circuits available.

[ 02-03-2005, 08:40 PM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
 
Dan

This is most likely as Ron said a press made by Corona. Most of the early presses of this type were made by a man named John Robinson who did an excellent job of building them. Later presses had poorly attached wires which caused the connections to overheat and fail or crack the glass.

We installed several of the 42x62 at least one of the 52x102 presses, and the early ones are still working ten years later without problems. If this one has been in use and has survived it is likely a good one.

The three-phase plug was probably just a convenience for whoever wired it, there is no advantage to three-phase electrics on a heating load, so it is seldom used. It is almost certainly 220v single phase. The vacuum pump is probably 110v and runs off one side of the 220v line.

The design of the Sight Mount press infringed on a worldwide patent on the glass heating element technology and a desist order prevented their further production. (About 8 years ago, if memory serves) Corona made a conversion kit to change them to an opaque top with a conventional element, then moved on to design and produce the infamous Mat Maestro.

I may still have some old pictures and specs in my files, I will let you know if I can find anything interesting.

Mark
Superior Moulding
Minneapolis
 
Thanks for all the info. I agree that it is more than likely a 220V single phase unit, the electrician just used what he had.

My concern is with the bed if it develops any leaks. Is the heated platen in the glass? Here is a picture of the front.

I'm a newbie is $600 - $700 a good buy for obsolete equipment?

Here is a picture of it.

corona.JPG
 
Dan

The only thing that cannot be repaired on this press is the glass heating element. The lower sheet of glass has a conductive coating on its top to which power is supplied by wires soldered on the edges. Take a look at those connections, if they look sound then your press will probably give you many years of service. If there is a potential problem with the connections it will look like a "cold" solder joint, with a dull finish caused by poor flow of the melted solder. The rubber blanket and diamond pad can be serviced or replaced, and last time we needed control parts they were available. Your electrical control unit is modular and easily changed. Vacuum pumps are readily available. One further test is to check the time it takes to pull up the blanket when you turn the press on, it should be about 30-40 seconds or less. If not you might examine the edges for leaks.

At $600 I would buy this press in a minute. Mounting is the second most profitable thing you do in a frame shop, and this would pay for itself within a couple of hundred simple mounts. If you haven't used vacuum/heat before you are in for a treat. It astounds me that more framers don't have this type of press. Even at the $4-5000 price of a new Hot Press there are few investments that pay back as quickly. The see-thru glass top will save you from that one out of two hundred prints you put in with the edge curled over. Yes, they're heavy, and take a lot of space, but the top glass is not very fragile (it is just a plain sheet) and you can use the surface for fitting or other operations that don't put a lot of weight on it.

Good Luck

Mark
 
Dan, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking you indicated on another thread that you were primarily interested in framing your own original art.

Mark is absolutely right. I've mounted at least 12,000 prints or posters with my Seal combo press and, while I use it much less these days, I was happy-enough to pay someone several hundred dollars to move it recently and pay someone else another $400 to update the wiring to accommodate, instead of selling the 20-year-old press.

But, if you expect to be framing primarily original art or fine art prints, it may become a big, clumsy work bench.
 
Thanks Mark and Ron this is probably overkill for my operation.

I'm buying an Epson 7600 wide format printer that uses Ultrachrome inks on fine art paper. This was what I was primarily going to use the press for for, but probably some alternative means might be more practical. I just didn't want to be slapping myself in 6 months, shoulda, woulda, coulda and pay $4,000+

Thanks

Dan
 
Dan -
I believe that Ilford (and others) manufacture fine art papers (and canvas) already mounted to a substrate that will run through the 7600/9600 printers. We too have been considering the Epson for some larger format prining.
 
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