mount board material and fb paper curl : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am now contact printing my 5x7 and 8x10 negs on double-weight fiber based papers and am looking ahead to the mounting process. The plan is to trim the prints, dry mount, and overmat with a narrow strip of the board exposed. My questions: (1) My catalog offers buffered boards/mats in two materials, cotton fiber and purified wood pulp. Any comments on the relative merits of these materials? (2) The curling of the fb papers has me wondering how I'll be able to tack on the mounting tissue and precisely trim print-and-tissue on my Rotatrim *prior* to drymounting. I understand that the press (which I do not yet own) will flatten the print, but how can I get the print into workable shape before reaching that point? Any suggestions that don't involve expensive, specialized equipment? Thanks in advance for replies.

-- Nick Jones (, March 05, 2001


Nick, Typically when your dry mount, you first will use a tacking iron to position and tack the print down in the corners first., Light Impressions, has all the stuff you will need to start out with from archival mounts, presses, mounting tissues of all kinds and on and on... I know of some folks that use a regular iron for tacking but... I prefer the "specialized" stuff myself. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, March 05, 2001.

I bought an old 16x20 Seal press for $150, so expense won't be much of an issue. I stick my nasty, curled up FB prints between a couple matt/mount boards and flatten them in the press, though for handmade papers, I've used an old household iron (no steam, and always place your print between matt/mount boards) on the lowest temperature setting with good results. Tacking, trimming and mounting are obviously much easier once the print has been flattened using one of those methods. Of course drying drying the prints between screens would help prevent the curling issue to being with...

-- Chad Jarvis (, March 05, 2001.


It's a good idea to put the print in the press just before tacking on the tissue and trimming. This will not only flatten the paper, if it is curly, but will also drive out the moisture so that when you actually mount the print on the board, the paper will not shrink and leave exposed tissue along the edge. If your prints are super dry and curly, you need to be careful when flattening, especially if the curl is emulsion-in....this is an easy way to crack the emulsion.

I use the pruified pulp boards for "carry-around" portfolio prints and freebie gifts; the prints that I sell, however, are all on rag boards.

Good Luck, bw

-- Bruce Wehman (, March 05, 2001.

Nick, board is pretty much a personal preference thing if they are both high quality boards. I find rag board a bit easier to make good clean cuts on. From across a room you`ll have to be pretty darn good to tell which is which. As for print curling problems, I`ve minimized those by using a non-hardening fixer, and drying the prints face down on the screens. Steve

-- Steve Clark (, March 05, 2001.

Hi Nick, My fiber based prints have become a lot flatter now that I squeggee (spelling?) them dry (both sides) and dry them face down, on a drying screen. The first time I brought a print in for dry mounting, the guy insulted my curled up prints, now they lay pretty darn flat and I don't have to do anything except what I said above. As regards to keeping your prints from curling, I suggest printing on paper which is a good bit larger than the image size, so that the curly edges can be trimmed off. If you care about longevity, then the best thing I can recommend is ARTCARE board for dry mounting and matting. Good Luck- Keith

-- Keith Baker (, March 05, 2001.

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