The Skin-flint's Dry Mount Press

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Scott Edwards

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This starving artist has been dismayed over the prospect of purchasing a dry mount press and has, until just recently, been using cold mount adhesive from 3M. The cold mount has worked on smaller fiber prints, but I am using heavyweight J and C paper now and printing larger. I have been racking my brain for a much cheaper alternative and have come up with one that actually works. I picked up a slab of polished granite ($20 cut to 15" x 19" x 1 1/2" thick) and this just fits in my oven. I heat the granite to 225 degrees then apply it to the print/tissue/backing board sandwich with a piece of cotton chamois between that and the granite. I then place a 45 pound dumbell on top of that and open a window to let the granite cool naturally. Voila! Works like a charm.

Any similar experiences out there?
 

Doug Bennett

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So, the hot granite slab goes on top of the sandwich, with a weight on top of that? What goes under the sandwich? What if you need to do several prints in a session?

All in all, very clever!
 

Aggie

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Doug, Move to Az. You can put a second slab on the cement outside. it will warm from below in the hot months (which is most months). For a weight you can sit on the top slab and get a tan at the same time. Ok, gonna find a corner to sit in.
 

Jim Chinn

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Thank you Scott, As a charter member of the Cheapest Photographers in the World club, I offer you a membership. My membership application also included a dry mounting apparatus. I once used an old Hamilton Beach restaurant waffle iron. A surface thermometer showed it would reach about 220 and could be adjusted up and down about 15 dgrees for about 5 minutes before it would blow a circuit breaker. I could usually mount one print between trips to the electrical box. It worked pretty slick. one 1/8 piece of aluminium sheet on the bottom, another one screwed into the top plate and then put a weight on top to add some pressure. Worked up to 11x14.
 
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Eurika!!! what a clever Idea! I think I'm gonna try it.
 

Donald Miller

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juan said:
$9 clothes iron from Kmart.
juan

John,

I commend you on your frugality. However,Blansky will not be able to relate to us here since he married better the either you or I.

I think that Blansky has given up on some of the religions that he was engaged in...something about not being able to locate 72 virgins of suitable age in any one place on the North American continent. He considered moving to one of those desert countries but his wife raised the dickens...something about sand and thousand thread sheets. I understand that Blansky, after prolonged and careful consideration, agreed since he couldn't get his hockey skates to stay up on top of the sand even though the sand was softer then ice. The Koi thanked him....
 

Nige

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I have a dry mount press but was watching my wife make some lunch in the sandwich maker/press the other day and my thoughts turned to.. wonder if that would mount a photo successfully! I should try it just because... a bit like the coffee developer... (I should add that I better try it while she's not watching!)
 
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Scott Edwards

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Doug Bennett said:
So, the hot granite slab goes on top of the sandwich, with a weight on top of that? What goes under the sandwich? What if you need to do several prints in a session?

All in all, very clever!

Okay, from the table surface up:
Foam core, backing board, dry mount tissue, photograph, cotton chamois, hot slab of granite, 45 lb dumbell. I put a thermometer on top of the granite and when it gets below 130 degrees, I remove the granite and put it back into the oven for another go. Cycle time for the entire process is about 1 hour.
 

Adrian Twiss

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Just how heavy is this lump of granite? It must me quite a challenge lifting out of the oven with oven mits on. I have enough trouble with a caserole dish.
 
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Scott Edwards

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It feels like its about 25-30 lbs. I put on a pair of insulated leather gloves when handling the hot slab. I know it is a little ungainly, however, the cost savings outweighs the inconvenience.
 

kwmullet

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Scott,

Where do I report to get my $20 piece of granite? Is this something Home Despot is likely to have, or did you go to a special-order rock place?

Also -- if memory serves, dry mounting starts out by running the print and the matt through the press first to get rid of any moisture. Doesn't sound like the Granite Press permits that unless you're prepared with two pieces of granite.

-KwM-
 

Sean

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I lucked out, I got a mint condition seal press 110 off of ebay. A pharmacy had it for laminating items but never used it. They didn't list it as a drymount press so I think no one saw it. Got it for 120bucks..
 
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Scott Edwards

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The reason behind getting rid of any residual moisture is to eliminate bubbling. I have not had any issues with this using the granite press. I believe the relatively long cool-down (1/2 hour) time seems to dry out the board sufficiently.
Also, I purchased my slab at a stone and brick supply store that specializes in granite counter tops. You should have a vendor like this near you in any city of sufficient size.
 

Kate51

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Scott Edwards said:
This starving artist has been dismayed over the prospect of purchasing a dry mount press and has, until just recently, been using cold mount adhesive from 3M. The cold mount has worked on smaller fiber prints, but I am using heavyweight J and C paper now and printing larger. I have been racking my brain for a much cheaper alternative and have come up with one that actually works. I picked up a slab of polished granite ($20 cut to 15" x 19" x 1 1/2" thick) and this just fits in my oven. I heat the granite to 225 degrees then apply it to the print/tissue/backing board sandwich with a piece of cotton chamois between that and the granite. I then place a 45 pound dumbell on top of that and open a window to let the granite cool naturally. Voila! Works like a charm.

Any similar experiences out there?[Yes! I bought a 16X20 baking stone, sanded it smooth on the back, and then heat to 200`, add 10# flour. Excellent results/QUOTE]
 

kwmullet

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Kate51 said:
Yes! I bought a 16X20 baking stone, sanded it smooth on the back, and then heat to 200`, add 10# flour. Excellent results
Was this tongue-in-cheek or have you actually been able to successfully use a baking stone as a dry mount press? My initial google indicated that a baking stone large enough for 11x14 can be had for around $30.

If this was serious, are you mounting fiber or RC?

-KwM-
 
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