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Tin Can
21-Dec-2018, 16:25
I find the thread about drying wet prints in a Hot Press a very bad thread. The question is ... off...

20 years ago I took one semester of a College Film Photography class. I am still good friends with that instructor.

He insisted we carefully follow his written, spoken and lively show/tell presentations. He made a real big deal of Hot Press Mounting. Thank you Michael!

I would like us to discuss how to do it correctly from washed Fiber Print to mounted presentation for critique.

I will start with two things I don't see talked about in the other thread.

Usage of Release Paper. What is it? Why use it? Is Baking Parchment Paper a good substitute?

How to cut mounting paper exactly to size and adhere it.

Or not :)

Mark Sawyer
21-Dec-2018, 16:38
As a former high school photography teacher whose students used a dry mount press, I can convey with a high degree of confidence that re-heating Jack-in-the-Box tacos in a dry mount press is not a "best practice"...

Keith Pitman
21-Dec-2018, 16:40
As a former high school photography teacher whose students used a dry mount press, I can convey with a high degree of confidence that re-heating Jack-in-the-Box tacos in a dry mount press is not a "best practice"...

Very inventive though.

Tin Can
21-Dec-2018, 16:44
Winner!

All I can say, is Michael had more than few Hot Presses damaged.

I have a very clean one, originally bought new by a woman Professional, I am very careful with it.


As a former high school photography teacher whose students used a dry mount press, I can convey with a high degree of confidence that re-heating Jack-in-the-Box tacos in a dry mount press is not a "best practice"...

Peter De Smidt
21-Dec-2018, 17:35
Fred Picker had very good instructions, but I can’t remember where.

From memory:
1) Flatten dry prints between two mat boards in the press.
2) Dry the mount boards in the press.
3) Tack mounting tissue onto back of photo.
4) Put photo with tissue between two pieces of release paper, and put in the press. (I wrap to mount boards with release paper and use the same release paper over and over. The boards keep it from being damaged.) The mounting tissue will now be fused to the back of the print. If you're off, some will ooze out onto the release paper, and if you miss the very edge, you'll still be ok.
5) Trim the print. The result will be a print with the back completely covered with adhesive tissue.
6) Position the print on the backing board and tack in one place.
7) Put the print in the press between to sheets of release paper for the desired time.
8) Take the print out and immediately flex both corners towards you a bit.
9) Place press under weight until it cools.

faberryman
21-Dec-2018, 18:10
Does it really need to be said: using a dry mount press is not rocket science. Nevertheless, we should be able squeeze out 100 or so posts.

LabRat
21-Dec-2018, 18:10
As a former high scho,ol photography teacher whose students used a dry mount press, I can convey with a high degree of confidence that re-heating Jack-in-the-Box tacos in a dry mount press is not a "best practice"...
At a college lab, a student came out of the B/W lab with a print covered with white spots, and wanted to know what happened... I took a close look at it, and it looked like shadows from somewhere in an enlarger light path... I asked him to show me the enlarger he used, and it was one of the Omega D2V's... I opened the variable condenser door, and there was a palm full of cookie crumbs and melted chocolate chips, and some had worked their way down between the main condensers, and some even worked their way down to the lens....

Difficult to scrape and clean the light path entirely clean, but I had to marvel how someone could re-purpose an enlarger into an Easy Bake oven cookie warmer, but then I thought of all the fingers that had been inside there and thought ICK!!!

Happy holidays!!!

Steve K

Peter De Smidt
21-Dec-2018, 18:13
Does it really need to be said: using a dry mount press is not rocket science.

Neither is taking a photo.

interneg
21-Dec-2018, 18:20
I find the thread about drying wet prints in a Hot Press a very bad thread. The question is ... off...


I will start with two things I don't see talked about in the other thread.

Usage of Release Paper. What is it? Why use it? Is Baking Parchment Paper a good substitute?

How to cut mounting paper exactly to size and adhere it.

Or not :)

I've seen someone singe damp prints in a dry mounting press before...

The stuff you need is silicon release film (or similar) - it stops any dry mount adhesive from sticking where it shouldn't. Buy a roll, replace the sheets you cut if they get dented or creased (it can and will mar prints). Don't skimp here

You'll also want a tacking iron (essentially a low temperature soldering iron that should never, ever be used for soldering).

Trimming: use a rotatrim or a handheld rotary fabric trimmer - scalpels raise burrs, even with fresh blades

Test your dwell time needed for your choice of tissue to melt, otherwise you won't get a good bond.

If you want to mount certain RC darkroom papers, be very, very careful about tissue choice, otherwise you can melt them. Edit: I should say here that the paper I use is what is branded in the US market etc as Colormount (as per Drew's post), so disregard what I said about inkjet papers & dry mount tissue if you read what was here before. The stuff I use works fine with all the major inkjet materials I've extensively used it on.

Finally, be anal retentive about cleanliness & dust & lumps of cutting mat getting between surfaces that need to be bonded. Wipe away dust all the time before making bonds, putting into press etc.

Otherwise it's just simple assembly. Once you've done it a few hundred times in a couple of months it becomes automatic. None of this is difficult, just don't cheap out or use crap tools.

Drew Wiley
21-Dec-2018, 18:26
Release paper is siliconized. Never use wax paper or other kitchen papers; and never use silicon paper adjacent to the face (emulsion) of the print. Both mounting board and the print need to be briefly pre-dried in the press, with the press closed but not tightly locked. Two sheets of appropriate dimension museum board (in addition to the mount itself) should be on hand for all steps of the sequence, and themselves first pre-dried about 30 sec (depends on the amibient humidity - you'll typically see steam going off). Be careful not to overdry the print itself or the emulsion might get brittle. After that, my proven protocol, which I've taught others, is significantly different than what you'll read in Picker, AA, or the traditional mfg manuals on the subject. I happen to prefer Colormount, which needs a press temp of around 200F. Allow ample warm-up time, and always keep the press closed to retain the correct amount of heat. After pre-drying the print, which will somewhat flatten it, I take a trimmed sheet of Colormount, which is sold oversized, slightly larger than the image area, but a tad smaller than the full nominal paper size. This is briefly tacked to the center back of the print at just one point using a tacking iron at the medium heat setting, with a bit of release paper between it and the tissue, for about 15 sec. Then take a sheet of siliconized release paper distinctly bigger than the print, cover the tissue tacked onto the print, place these between the two sheets of matboard previously mentioned, to cushion the print from the hot press platen above and the foam rubber below. Put the sandwich in the press and close it to full tightness (assuming the tightness knobs on the top of the press have been correctly adjusted in advance - things will feel film if this is correct, without the press being too hard to close shut). After 30 sec pull out the combined sandwich. Allow the print to cool for several minutes before peeling off the release paper from the tissue. After this, trim the print to the exact size or composition you have in mind. When that is done, precisely place the print in the position you want it to be on the mounting board (itself pre-dried). Measure if necessary (it will be necessary). Briefly tack the print at the center into final position using the iron, onto the face of the print itself, gently with no release sheet in this instance. Then put your mount and print between the two larger sheets of board, insert them in the press, and clamp it firm for 40 sec or so. Pull it it out and place your mounted print under a flat weight for awhile. I use a large heavy sheet of plate glass. Colormount achieves its permanent bond while cooling, so this is a vital step. After a bit of practice, you develop a rhythm doing this and it becomes second-hand. But it's actually easier, more precise, and more predictable than the ordinarily published method.... What Interneg just posted previously is also important, so I won't repeat it myself. "Dwell time" is the time the print sandwich
remains in the press: slightly low temp, and you use a little longer time, slightly high less. Colormount can be used from about 180F to around 250, but that upper range can be risky to some emulsions. Other types of tissue might
have different temp parameters. Old presses might need to be tested for thermostat performance or thermometer accuracy; or just practice on unimportant prints to see if things work predictably.

Bob Salomon
21-Dec-2018, 18:30
Fred Picker had very good instructions, but I canít remember where.

From memory:
1) Flatten dry prints between two mat boards in the press.
2) Dry the mount boards in the press.
3) Tack mounting tissue onto back of photo.
4) Put photo with tissue between two pieces of release paper, and put in the press. (I wrap to mount boards with release paper and use the same release paper over and over. The boards keep it from being damaged.) The mounting tissue will now be fused to the back of the print. If you're off, some will ooze out onto the release paper, and if you miss the very edge, you'll still be ok.
5) Trim the print. The result will be a print with the back completely covered with adhesive tissue.
6) Position the print on the backing board and tack in one place.
7) Put the print in the press between to sheets of release paper for the desired time.
8) Take the print out and immediately flex both corners towards you a bit.
9) Place press under weight until it cools.

Those instructions are for presses like a Seal that have a metal platen on the bottom and a foam or rubber platen on the top.
However, these instructions are incorrect for a press like an Ademco that has a metal platen on top and the bottom!

Keith Pitman
21-Dec-2018, 18:39
You need to learn to edit your work, Drew. One loooong paragraph is unreadable! :-).




Release paper is siliconized. Never use wax paper or other kitchen papers; and never use silicon paper adjacent to the face (emulsion) of the print. Both mounting board and the print need to be briefly pre-dried in the press, with the press closed but not tightly locked. Two sheets of appropriate dimension museum board (in addition to the mount itself) should be on hand for all steps of the sequence, and themselves first pre-dried about 30 sec (depends on the amibient humidity - you'll typically see steam going off). Be careful not to overdry the print itself or the emulsion might get brittle. After that, my proven protocol, which I've taught others, is significantly different than what you'll read in Picker, AA, or the traditional mfg manuals on the subject. I happen to prefer Colormount, which needs a press temp of around 200F. Allow ample warm-up time, and always keep the press closed to retain the correct amount of heat. After pre-drying the print, which will somewhat flatten it, I take a trimmed sheet of Colormount, which is sold oversized, slightly larger than the image area, but a tad smaller than the full nominal paper size. This is briefly tacked to the center back of the print at just one point using a tacking iron at the medium heat setting, with a bit of release paper between it and the tissue, for about 15 sec. Then take a sheet of siliconized release paper distinctly bigger than the print, cover the tissue tacked onto the print, place these between the two sheets of matboard previously mentioned, to cushion the print from the hot press platen above and the foam rubber below. Put the sandwich in the press and close it to full tightness (assuming the tightness knobs on the top of the press have been correctly adjusted in advance - things will feel film if this is correct, without the press being too hard to close shut). After 30 sec pull out the combined sandwich. Allow the print to cool for several minutes before peeling off the release paper from the tissue. After this, trim the print to the exact size or composition you have in mind. When that is done, precisely place the print in the position you want it to be on the mounting board (itself pre-dried). Measure if necessary (it will be necessary). Briefly tack the print at the center into final position using the iron, onto the face of the print itself, gently with no release sheet in this instance. Then put your mount and print between the two larger sheets of board, insert them in the press, and clamp it firm for 40 sec or so. Pull it it out and place your mounted print under a flat weight for awhile. I use a large heavy sheet of plate glass. Colormount achieves its permanent bond while cooling, so this is a vital step. After a bit of practice, you develop a rhythm doing this and it becomes second-hand. But it's actually easier, more precise, and more predictable than the ordinarily published method.... What Interneg just posted previously is also important, so I won't repeat it myself. "Dwell time" is the time the print sandwich
remains in the press: slightly low temp, and you use a little longer time, slightly high less. Colormount can be used from about 180F to around 250, but that upper range can be risky to some emulsions. Other types of tissue might
have different temp parameters. Old presses might need to be tested for thermostat performance or thermometer accuracy; or just practice on unimportant prints to see if things work predictably.

Drew Wiley
21-Dec-2018, 18:41
Yeah, thanks ... I know I should have numbered the steps, but am in a bit of a hurry to get some prints out of the washer as soon as there's a break in the news. Need to find out tomorrow's weather - a shoot day.

ic-racer
21-Dec-2018, 18:49
As a former high school photography teacher whose students used a dry mount press, I can convey with a high degree of confidence that re-heating Jack-in-the-Box tacos in a dry mount press is not a "best practice"...

I have used my press for some odd things. Like flattening the back of this 1937 Gibson. I also used it to flatten an vinyl LP from Amazon that was stuffed in a box too small....didn't work, the LP melted :(
185670

Peter De Smidt
21-Dec-2018, 18:58
Those instructions are for presses like a Seal that have a metal platen on the bottom and a foam or rubber platen on the top.
However, these instructions are incorrect for a press like an Ademco that has a metal platen on top and the bottom!

Good to know, Bob. I have a Seal.

Joe O'Hara
21-Dec-2018, 19:30
I used a digital oven thermometer to check and set the temperature on my press.

Before doing so I verified it was pretty close to accurate by putting the probe into boiling
distilled water. It was within 1 deg. F of the expected value.

My press is ancient. I removed its thermostat control and replaced it with an electronic
temperature control kit (comprising thermocouple, controller, and solid-state relay). I could
never get the old rusty mechanical controller to act predictably. This setup, once calibrated
with the oven thermometer, is spot on.

Mark Sawyer
21-Dec-2018, 23:12
Does it really need to be said: using a dry mount press is not rocket science...

Oh, you haven't seen some of our high school rocket scientists. Something as basic as a hot press with two big flat surfaces offers so many creative possibilities...

DHodson
22-Dec-2018, 00:24
I recently picked up a used Ademco 2226. Actually, picked up is a figure of speech since they're not a small machine. I think it weighs around 300 lb and ended up having to break it down into three pieces to get it into my workspace.

Anyway, I found David Vestal's "The Art of Black and White Enlarging" to be a great help. Not a huge section on dry mounting but enough and well written. There's a bunch of Youtube videos as well. Like was mentioned earlier, it's not rocket science but you do have to follow the steps as well as the temperatures recommended for your mounting adhesive. I use release board rather than release paper but that's just my preference.

Good luck
Dave

Bruce Barlow
22-Dec-2018, 03:16
In the good ol' days we had Seal MT-5 tissue, which bonded in the press. I can only find Colormount now, which says in the instructions that the bond forms while it cools. I think it uses a cooler temperature, too. Yes?

While I have experienced no problems, how is this different? Should I be doing anything special?

Fred Picker, Richard Ritter and I used to laugh about selling "Zone VI Bricks" for weighing down prints after they came out of the press. Butcher-paper wrapped plain old bricks. $29.95. Each. And you should have at least 2. I made my own and saved shipping costs. Besides, we laughed about it but never actually did it.

thornhill
22-Dec-2018, 05:25
Those instructions are for presses like a Seal that have a metal platen on the bottom and a foam or rubber platen on the top.
However, these instructions are incorrect for a press like an Ademco that has a metal platen on top and the bottom!

Bob.

May I ask what the different procedure would be with an Ademco?

Thanks!

John Layton
22-Dec-2018, 07:03
Bruce...while I did not know Fred as well as you guys did (obviously!)...I knew him well enough that I the idea of his bricks would not have surprised me!

John Layton
22-Dec-2018, 07:11
...and I like using siliconized "release boards," (over and under) which I get from Blick. I keep these whole at 32x40...slightly oversized for my Seal MT-500 press - which gives a good zone of transition for when I'm dry mounting oversize (30x40) prints in two "bites," leaving me with a smooth print surface. Next up is 40x60, which will take four bites...and I've got my fingers crossed!

I also use a low temp (175f) tissue... and am also suspicious of the properties of retouching fluid when heated even this much - so I always retouch after I dry mount (yeah...I know, but it works for me).

scheinfluger_77
22-Dec-2018, 07:49
Fred Picker had very good instructions, but I canít remember where.

From memory:
1) Flatten dry prints between two mat boards in the press.
2) Dry the mount boards in the press.
3) Tack mounting tissue onto back of photo.
4) Put photo with tissue between two pieces of release paper, and put in the press. (I wrap to mount boards with release paper and use the same release paper over and over. The boards keep it from being damaged.) The mounting tissue will now be fused to the back of the print. If you're off, some will ooze out onto the release paper, and if you miss the very edge, you'll still be ok.
5) Trim the print. The result will be a print with the back completely covered with adhesive tissue.
6) Position the print on the backing board and tack in one place.
7) Put the print in the press between to sheets of release paper for the desired time.
8) Take the print out and immediately flex both corners towards you a bit.
9) Place press under weight until it cools.

This is the way i learned in school, with the exception of #4. Guess I thought once the dry mount was heated once that was it. But further reflections makes me see how silly that is.

Tin Can
22-Dec-2018, 08:09
I have not yet tested Baking Parchment Paper but it sure sounds like Release Paper. I will test soon.

Quote from Martha Stewart website, (https://www.marthastewart.com/269281/parchment-vs-wax-paper)

'Parchment paper is treated with silicone, so it is nonstick; it is also heatproof and grease-resistant. It's available bleached (white) or unbleached (brown).

It protects pans, aids cleanup, and prevents food from sticking. It also makes a handy funnel for transferring dry ingredients. You can bake fish or chicken in it for a low-fat cooking method.

Rolls of parchment paper are available in the baking section of most supermarkets. Precut sheets and rounds can be found in baking-supply stores.'

If it's not ruining baked food...

nmp
22-Dec-2018, 09:36
I have not yet tested Baking Parchment Paper but it sure sounds like Release Paper. I will test soon.

Quote from Martha Stewart website, (https://www.marthastewart.com/269281/parchment-vs-wax-paper)

'Parchment paper is treated with silicone, so it is nonstick; it is also heatproof and grease-resistant. It's available bleached (white) or unbleached (brown).

It protects pans, aids cleanup, and prevents food from sticking. It also makes a handy funnel for transferring dry ingredients. You can bake fish or chicken in it for a low-fat cooking method.

Rolls of parchment paper are available in the baking section of most supermarkets. Precut sheets and rounds can be found in baking-supply stores.'

If it's not ruining baked food...

I use it occasionally....works fine. The problem is it wrinkles up after the first use - at least the brand (not Martha Stuart...:)) I tried. So I use a new one every time.

nmp
22-Dec-2018, 09:57
This is the way i learned in school, with the exception of #4. Guess I thought once the dry mount was heated once that was it. But further reflections makes me see how silly that is.

I don't do the #4 as well, i.e. pre-fusing the tissue to the back of the photo. Instead:

3) Tack the tissue at a single place on one corner after aligning the print with the tissue at that corner and two adjoining sides well. Now trim the other two sides removing the excess tissue over the print.

4) Place the photo/tissue combo on the mat board with photo facing up. Lift the photo at the other corner (non-tacked) and put a tack between the tissue and the mat board. This will keep print/tissue/board in place in the press.

5) Put the release paper/board of you choice on the print and dry mount away.

jon.oman
22-Dec-2018, 10:31
I don't do the #4 as well, i.e. pre-fusing the tissue to the back of the photo. Instead:

3) Tack the tissue at a single place on one corner after aligning the print with the tissue at one corner and two adjoining sides well. Now trim the other two sides removing the excess tissue over the print.

4) Now place the photo/tissue combo on the mat board with photo facing up. Lift the photo at the other corner (non-tacked corner) and put a tack between the tissue and the mat board. This will keep print/tissue/board in one place in the press.

5) Put the release paper/board of you choice on the print and dry mount away.

I have basically done it this way for decades......

Doremus Scudder
22-Dec-2018, 15:22
Yet another method; one I've been using successfully for 30+ years.

First, I make sure all prints to be mounted are flat and dry. Some have to go into the dry-mount press for a few seconds first. I have two pieces of clean cotton rag board that are dedicated to the dry-mount press. Everything gets placed between them. I have never needed to use release paper.

The board I am mounting to then gets dried in the press for a 20-30 seconds (also between the "sandwich" boards). I don't need to do a lot of drying if the relative humidity is low.

The print is placed face-down on my clean work surface and gets dusted with a draftsman's dust brush. Keeping the work area clean and dust free is essential. I wear cotton gloves for the entire process

I then tack a piece of BufferMount removable dry-mount tissue to the untrimmed print, tacking at two opposite corners using a standard tacking iron. (I think BufferMount now has a different name... not sure what it is now). I like the removable tissue and prefer it to ColorMount. I have been able to remove prints from damaged mat boards and re-mount them onto new when needed.

I then carefully trim the print and the tissue to the chosen borders. I've never had to mount the tissue to the back of the print completely before trimming, but I'm really careful to make sure that the print and the tissue get trimmed to exactly the same size. I use a well-aligned professional RotoTrim trimmer. Don't skimp on the trimmer or you'll be disappointed.

The print then gets positioned on the mat board (I have made a jig for doing this quickly). When correctly positioned, I place a shot bag on the center of the print and tack the two loose corners of the dry-mount tissue to the board. To do this, I carefully peel up the corners of the print and tack the tissue directly to the board. I never touch the surface of the print with the tacking iron, with or without a cover sheet.

Everything gets dusted and cleaned. I then place a sheet of one-ply archival cotton rag paper over the print and the board (same size as the mat board) and place this between the two pieces of rag board that are dedicated to the press.

The whole sandwich then goes into the press and is pressed for the (predetermined and tested) proper time at the proper temperature.

When the print comes out of the press, I quickly pull it and its one-ply cover sheet out of the sandwich boards, lay it on the flat work surface and quickly weight it with a print-flattening weight; basically a sheet of steel with a handle welded to one side. BufferMount and other removable tissues bond when they cool, so they need to be quickly weighted and the weight needs to stay on till the bond is cool and complete. Flexing the board when it is hot will pop the print from the board. I do test the bond after cooling by flexing the board. On the rare occasions when the bond is not complete, returning the print to the press for a bit more time always fixes the problem.

After mounting, the prints go into archival storage boxes with one-ply cotton rag interleaving paper.

Over the years, I've only had a couple of bonds fail. Of these, most were easily repaired by simply re-pressing. Once or twice I've had to remove a print from its mount board and remount it on another board using another piece of tissue. Removing prints from the old boards is easy with BufferMount; simply heat the print in the press for the usual time and instead of weighting, carefully peel the print from the board. This leaves some of the adhesive on the back of the print and some on the board (which gets discarded). The print then gets a new sheet of tissue, a careful trimming (being really sure that the tissue is exactly the same size as the print - sometimes I have to trim a sliver of the print to make sure, but most of the time I can follow the existing edge with the blade), and is re-mounted on a new board.

Best,

Doremus

Pieter
22-Dec-2018, 15:45
Those instructions are for presses like a Seal that have a metal platen on the bottom and a foam or rubber platen on the top.
However, these instructions are incorrect for a press like an Ademco that has a metal platen on top and the bottom!
The Seal press I have has the metal, heated platen on the top and foam on the bottom. So do most of the other Seal presses I have come across.

Bob Salomon
22-Dec-2018, 15:48
The Seal press I have has the metal, heated platen on the top and foam on the bottom. So do most of the other Seal presses I have come across.

Yes, they donít bond in the press. That is why the mounted print needs to be weighted out of the press.
Hard bed presses bond in the press and have a metal plate on the top and the bottom, not foam.

Tin Can
22-Dec-2018, 16:30
I wish I had bought a made for it, steel weight with handles when they were cheaper and bigger. I wasn't using dry mount for 15 years.

Hard to find now.

Maybe buy a hunk of steel from https://www.mcmaster.com/1388k379

Fit handles and have it ground flat if necessary.


Yes, they donít bond in the press. That is why the mounted print needs to be weighted out of the press.
Hard bed presses bond in the press and have a metal plate on the top and the bottom, not foam.

interneg
22-Dec-2018, 16:44
After that, my proven protocol, which I've taught others, is significantly different than what you'll read in Picker, AA, or the traditional mfg manuals on the subject.

You might be interested to know that your method isn't far off what Drytac recommended for their Artsafe 200 product, which has a built-in release paper - they suggest bonding the board, then attaching the print - I'm pretty sure your approach would work just fine with it too. Not sure if it's still available - I prefer to float mount on unbuffered board if real archival reversibility is essential.

cowanw
22-Dec-2018, 16:47
What someone has suggested and it is a great idea if the size is ok, is to go to a marble store and get the cutout for a sink that is otherwise waste. Handles could be glued on such as the tabhandler.

https://www.tabhandler.com/

Drew Wiley
22-Dec-2018, 18:00
Randy - I don't know if your intent to use kitchen materials endorsed by Martha Steward is the best idea. Strawberry sorbet might be sticky enough to bond a print, but might attract ants afterwards.