The Snipe Hunt


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Aug 30, 2005
Fremont, California
I here by declare that "Static Mounting" is merely another form of a snipe hunt. I needed to mount 2 large ilfachromes and read up on static mounting in various unpublished places (magicaly you can't read PFM's article on the subject at their wewbsite for some reason). Long story didn't work at all. I even went to the extent of super charging my plexi with static to the point that everyone in my shop was getting shocked by me after it wasn't working at first. So is the joke on me now or is this just a fluke?
Just how coastal are you??? Maybe there's just too much humidity in the air! Bring your projects to Phoenix where the dew point has been -2!!!! You'll get a charge!
Oh, Brian, you weren't supposed to TELL! PS: It always (OK, the two times I used it) worked fine for me.
Originally posted by brian..k:
I needed to mount 2 large ilfachromes
How large?

I've had success with static mounting up to a point (about 16x20 is my limit).

Also, make sure it is indeed an Ilfachrome Classic. I say this only because I've had people tell me that is what they have, and it looks like that's what they have--one even had a paper from the photographer that said it--but it wasn't.
Check the back. (I know you've probably already done that, but just in case....)

Can you feel the static on the plexi when you remove the protective paper?
If you could feel the static on the acrylic sheet and the photo didn't adhere to it, then I suspect you probably did not have a genuine Ilfochrome photo, which is printed on a plastic sheet. Plastic-to-plastic bonding with static is easy to recognize, and it works every time a static charge is present.
Originally posted by brian..k:
I here by declare that "Static Mounting" is merely another form of a snipe hunt.
I haven't heard of a "Snipe Hunt" since I was a kid! You must have been a Boy Scout!

As for the static mount, how about cutting the mat to come over the edges a bit more, and using sills, or photo corners? I have used sills for them instead of static mounts for a long time. Works great for me.
The photo is definitely printed on plastic. And there was some static crackle between the photo and plexi when I rolled the print off so there was a shared charge. Part of the problem probably was the fact that it rained yesterday but if rain is all its gonna take to make this fail I don't want to be doing this. So looks like I'm going to have to find a local company to do a presure mount for me.
Static charge is variable -- it comes and goes with the weather. Sometimes it may be very strong (dry air), and other times it may weaken to the point that a static mount would fail (wet air).

I recommend reinforcing static mounts with hinges or a shallow sink mount to help the static during its weak moments.

Remember that a static mount depends on conditions within the frame. So, it helps to seal the frame after all of the hygroscopic materials have been dried. That maintains the static charge better. Of course, that can work against the mount, if moist air invades the frame by whatever circumstance, it stays in there.

BTW, I've never seen a permanent mounting method for Ilfochromes that does not destroy that slick, wet-look surface texture. Is there one?