Opinions Wanted Vacuum Press VS Heated Roller

monkey

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My my Beingfang Vacuum press is about 10 yr old. I'm thinking of possibly replacing it with a heated roller but don't know much about it except for the videos on YouTube.

What I do not like about my vacuum press:
-Really Really difficult to keep clean, often get surface imperfection from debris in my drymount.
-Every time I close the lid I cross my finger and hope is comes out ok. Would be nice to see what's going on
-Often boards comes out warped and bowed.
-Large foot print, 44 x 68 press takes up a lot space. Would love to free up some space.

It seems with the roller it is a lot easer to clean and keep clean. From the YouTube videos, the drymount board comes out nice and flat. Looks like a smaller foot print where I can roll to my work table when needed and tuck it away when I don't.

Am I overlooking something? Was wondering if anyone out there has used both and share some info.

One thing I do like about the Vacuum press is that I can drymount photos for multiple window mat board openings. By tacking a small area at the bottom of each photo after it is aligned in each window than put it in the vacuum press. Is this possible with a heated roller?

Mostly use my vacuum press for drymount photos, posters, and Canvas.
 

Joe B

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I've heard good and bad about rollers. Dust problems seem to always be an issue and the mounting size limitation is the other.

I got rid of a 4468 because I wasn't mounting many large things, as soon as I got the smaller press I stated getting request for the larger stuff and I had to go elsewhere to get a lot of my jobs mounted. I ended up selling the smaller press and going back to the 4468 that I now have.

Lots of luck with your decision.
 

FramerInTraining

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My my Beingfang Vacuum press is about 10 yr old. I'm thinking of possibly replacing it with a heated roller but don't know much about it except for the videos on YouTube.

What I do not like about my vacuum press:
-Really Really difficult to keep clean, often get surface imperfection from debris in my drymount.
-Every time I close the lid I cross my finger and hope is comes out ok. Would be nice to see what's going on
-Often boards comes out warped and bowed.
-Large foot print, 44 x 68 press takes up a lot space. Would love to free up some space.

It seems with the roller it is a lot easer to clean and keep clean. From the YouTube videos, the drymount board comes out nice and flat. Looks like a smaller foot print where I can roll to my work table when needed and tuck it away when I don't.

Am I overlooking something? Was wondering if anyone out there has used both and share some info.

One thing I do like about the Vacuum press is that I can drymount photos for multiple window mat board openings. By tacking a small area at the bottom of each photo after it is aligned in each window than put it in the vacuum press. Is this possible with a heated roller?

Mostly use my vacuum press for drymount photos, posters, and Canvas.

I own two rollers and two mechanical and a 4466 vacuum press and we use them all regularly.

Keeping the roller part clean is very much a daily task. They are the most expensive part of the machine as well.

Also, the roller machine itself may take up less space but it using it does require full clearance on both sides of the machine at minimum twice the size of your substrate: Once for infeed and once for outfeed. For example, running a 4x8 foot board through a roller will require a 4x16 space at minimum.
 

FramerInTraining

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I've heard good and bad about rollers. Dust problems seem to always be an issue and the mounting size limitation is the other.

I got rid of a 4468 because I wasn't mounting many large things, as soon as I got the smaller press I stated getting request for the larger stuff and I had to go elsewhere to get a lot of my jobs mounted. I ended up selling the smaller press and going back to the 4468 that I now have.

Lots of luck with your decision.

Dust is a big problem for rollers and unlike vacuum preses they're not easy to use. There's a learning curve to using them properly as is in learning anything new.
 

CB Art & Framing

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Using a release board in press should help reduce surface dings.
Press can be used for fabric mounts, not sure if roller can?
 

Rob Markoff

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Why a heated roller vs a cold roller? Does your volume warrant the expense? What is your expectation of the benefit a heated roller will provide over a cold roller?
 

monkey

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Thanks for everyone's input. Sounds like a Vacuum press is a preferred choice. I was just wondering how a roller compares to vacuum press. I do not do a whole lot of drymounts. Just your typical posters, photos, and canvas.

Rob,
I was thinking heated roller for heat activated drymount Foamboard. My volume does not warrant a purchase of a roller, but if my vacuum press broke down. Is it better to replace it with a heated roller or another vacuum press? And which one produces a better drymount without warpping? And why cold roller over heated roller?
 

Hyperfocal

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I have been using a cold roller since I moved into framing and find them excellent. They're virtually fool proof, as long as you make sure your print or poster is clean and you wipe down your rollers. I generally use a self adhesive foam board.

The only area where a vacuum press would be more useful from my experience is for laminating canvases.
 

Rob Markoff

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Thanks for everyone's input. Sounds like a Vacuum press is a preferred choice. I was just wondering how a roller compares to vacuum press. I do not do a whole lot of drymounts. Just your typical posters, photos, and canvas.

Rob,
I was thinking heated roller for heat activated drymount Foamboard. My volume does not warrant a purchase of a roller, but if my vacuum press broke down. Is it better to replace it with a heated roller or another vacuum press? And which one produces a better drymount without warpping? And why cold roller over heated roller?

I think you are mistaken re: the ability of a heated roller on a roller laminator to activate the adhesive on a precoated foamboard that is intended for a heat press. (Non-tacky heat activated adhesive).

That is why I asked if you had the volume to justify the additional expense. The "benefit" of having heat on a roller laminator is the ability to increase the feed rate of the material going through the machine. On both the cold roller and hot roller, the adhesive is already active (tacky).

There are many pre-coated substrates available for cold roller laminators, however the adhesive is already "active" and the rollers apply even pressure to secure the bond.

All cold roller mounts are less likely to warp because heat causes contraction of the top layer and not the bottom.

Your most "warp-free" mounts will also benefit from the use of a more rigid substrate and an adhesive that requires the least/lowest temperature heat.
 
Last edited:

Rob Markoff

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Re: "imperfect" mounts with a heat press:

Here are some things to do that might help:

1. Use a siliconized cover board instead of cover sheets. You may have to increase dwell time. A cover board can also be wiped down (or a DRS can be used on them).

2. Use a DRS roller (also works great for roller laminators) http://www.drytac.com/drs-roller.html

I don't know why this tool is not better promoted. All the pro finishing companies use them. I have one and it works! Try wiping down a substrate with a rag and or foxtail brush and then going over it with a DRS - you will be amazed at how much debris are left on the surface by the rag/brush.

Please don't give me the "but it's SO EXPENSIVE" line. We are supposed to be professionals and we should have the tools to do a professional job.

3. If you mount on Gator, (or any rigid substrate) use a Gator Scraper before using a DRS roller. http://www.drytac.com/gator-scrapertm-1.html

Gator Scrapers are on sale at Drytac.

4. Use the right combination of substrate and adhesive along with the proper amount of heat and dwell time. Certain adhesives bond as they heat. Others bond as they cool. With adhesives that bond as they cool, it is imperative that the mounted items are cooled under weight. The best weight is also a heat sink that will more quickly absorb heat -(i.e. a large piece of plate glass).

5. Not all substrates and adhesive combinations work as well as others. With so many things being ink-jet printed, the lowest temperature possible is your best option. The higher the temperature, the greater the chance for warp.

6. Kool Tac makes a variety of pre-coated substrates using combinations of adhesive/substrate that will customize a mount.

7. The best pre-coated board I have used to date is Mount Cor by Gilman.

8. Chris Pashke's book is an invaluable reference, even if you have "been doing this a long time." You want the THIRD edition (with the green cover).
 

stcstc

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i recently bought a heated roller 1600mm wide laminator, having had a 1300mm wide drytac jet mounter and hot glass vacuum press

there are subtle diffs between the machines apart from the obvious

for example, when laminating, even with cold laminate i run the rollers warm - waaaaay better finish and virtually not silvering.

another is that almost all warm / hot roller machines will do roll to roll lamination.

so for example i have a show to do with 28 piece on dibond, all laminated, will print them none long roll and laminate in one long roll. which is waaaaaay quicker that heat press
 

Joe B

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7. The best pre-coated board I have used to date is Mount Cor by Gilman.

I agree with you post but I really have to say you are spot on with the Mount Cor comment. The pre-coated board has it's own release paper, a quick dwell and with the heated vacumm press only 130 degrees to adhere. It is great for photos and transfers. Gilman also has a canvas pre-coated board that is great.
 

graysalchemy

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Salford UK
I have a large hot press, but I find it to slow for contract work when you have a hundred prints to print and mount. So I am buying a cold roller and I am going to mount directly onto the backboard. I have sourced a supply of 1800micron self adhesive craft board. I will cut mounts in the cmc with a sheet of the back board underneath. This will kiss cut the self adhesive covering and the outside of the backboard when the mount is cut. An oversized print will fit in the release film which has been kiss cut then put through the rollers and finally peel away the rest of the release film and stick them until to the back.

That will save me loads of time in both drymounting and putting the print into the mount. It also works out cheaper when you are doing contract wall candy.
 

monkey

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Thank you everyone for all your input.

Rob,
Thank you for the info. and suggestions. I misunderstood the purpose of a heated roller, and it makes sense now. I've heard great things about the DRS roller and I'm going to look into getting one. And I have switched to Mount core, works really well. Thanks again.
 
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