Alternative to Dry Mounting : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been gradually weening myself from the local university darkroom facilities. Currently, the only thing left that I do there is dry mount my prints. I don't really have the room for my own dry mount press right now and am wondering if any of you have successfully used other methods. I am not interested in the various museum techniques with tape. I want my prints attached to the matt and perfectly flat. Some of the things that I know about but haven't tried are YES paste and pressure positional mounting adhesive. I don't think the paste will work unless you are NOT going to show the edges of the print, which I prefer to do. Any suggestions?

-- Paul Mongillo (, January 09, 2001


I have used and still do use at times the 3M repositional adhesive to mount my images. It works very well and has a long life though I don't think it is archival in the least. My first prints from years ago are still in very good condition and show no degradation. And repositionable adhesive is easy to use. James

-- lumberjack (, January 09, 2001.

You can dry mount using a clothes iron.

-- Charlie Strack (, January 09, 2001.

The repositional film can be purchased in an acid free form. It's actually not repositional tape (just acid-free two-sided tape) but the weak tack allows it to be easily repositioned.

I use this sometimes, but nothing beats the flatness of dry mounting. Adhesive sprays work but can be tricky and may bubble if not done properly. Like you, I don't have access to dry mounting all the time and it's hard to find a substitute for it.

-- Dave Anton (, January 09, 2001.

Paul: I have had good results with the Super 77 spray adhesive. I use the non - removable type, so you have to get it right the first time. I have never had a print come loose with Super 77 and mat board. I had a print or two come loose mounting directly to foam core, but I seldom mount on foam core anyway. Charlie's idea of using a clothes iron works well. Use a thickness of mat board on top and bottom and it will work well.



-- Doug Paramore (, January 09, 2001.

Paul, years ago I used the method the above poster [Charlie S.] suggested. it works just fine. the way it goes is; first you locate the adhesive the photo on the board with your tacking iron,then the photo to the board with the tacking iron. Next you get out the handy clothes iron set it on a moderate setting and place a towel over the photo and and apply the hot iron to this combination in the same fashion as if you were ironing a shirt..etc. The adhesive material will stick to the photo first and then to the mounting board. adjust the time and temp setting as needed. Somewhere between 2 and 3 minutes as I recall. If enough heat does NOT reach the board the photo will seperate from it, just continue the process. It's pretty difficult to overheat as long as you keep the iron at a moderate temp. This was done with photos on fiber based paper, it will work for RC but you have to be watchful. Needles to say experiment firt prior to commiting an important photo to the process. Hope this helps.

-- Richard H. (, January 10, 2001.

Thanks for the suggestions. The iron method intrigues me and I will surely try it. I think I will also experiment with the positional adhesive (not repositional). A friend of mine uses it sometimes in her framing business. They sell it by the roll in the Light Impressions catalogue. A bit pricey for an experiment though, but way less than a dry mount press.

-- Paul Mongillo (, January 10, 2001.

You might want to check out wheat paste from Light Impressions, I have used it for years to mount color prints and have never had one come undone, and it is not all that messy to work with. Pat

-- pat krentz (, January 10, 2001.

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