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How to Post Photos to Plywood?

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by MSP, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. MSP

    MSP Grumbler in Training

    Hi folks,

    I’m brand new here, but I’ve been reading a lot of the threads and I need some advice.

    This isn’t strictly framing related, but I see you folks have tons of experience in mounting, and so I’m hoping you can offer some guidance.

    We are mounting images to plywood to create puzzles.

    We have a vacuum press, and are currently using drymount tissue that is supposed to be permanent.

    The problem is, results are inconsistent. The image is peeling from the wood in places.

    We need a product that is truly permanent (no one wants the image peeling off their puzzle), but also works in a laser cutter (some of the products contain PVC which causes gassing when laser cut).

    We have been considering Fusion 4000, but reading the specs it gives me pause as they state it is easily removable, and we don’t want that.

    Do you have any thoughts? What would be your best advice for mounting to plywood using a vacuum press? Dry mount tissue you would use? Heat settings? Vacuum time? Anything else we should know?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    My apologies if this is addressed in a thread somewhere else. I couldn’t find one, so please just point me in the right direction.

    We’re getting desperate, as this is like a game of whack-a-mole!
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  2. snafu

    snafu MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    show us a picture
  3. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    More specs please. Thickness of plywood, number of plys, texture of finish you are mounting to.

    My quick thought is wallpaper paste.

    I also think you would have much better results with a roller press regardless of adhesive.
  4. MSP

    MSP Grumbler in Training

    Here’s a picture of what’s happening.

    It’s 1/4 inch plywood, 3 ply.

    We would really like to stick with sheet adhesive, as this will be production work, so pasting individual images to boards might not scale very well.


    Attached Files:

  5. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Call Drytac. If they can't help, call Drytac Canada.

    I'm bonding prints and canvas to HDF (Fibrex) using Trimount, 92 Celsius, 3 to 5 minutes, in a Hot Press. Once in a while, for reasons I can't figure out, there's a separation, so I give it five more minutes. In 25 years I have not had any returns for faults.
  6. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

  7. MSP

    MSP Grumbler in Training

    Thanks for all the responses guys. Keep ‘em coming :)

    @tedh We are currently using Trimount. I have been on the phone many times with the folks in the US and they are try to help us. We had a bad roll and so they sent us a replacement, but we also seem to be having issues with the new roll, so it may not be the right product for this. We usually process it at 93 celcius (200 Fahrenheit) for 5 minutes, but we have found even increasing it to 10 minutes doesn’t seem to help.

    @shayla Thanks for that thread. It’s interesting. We’re not having any issue with the plywood, though. We have a powerful laser and a good source for wood, and it cuts great. The issue is just trying to get the image to adhere to it.

  8. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I wonder if the 3 ply substrate is the problem? I made a few jigsaws for the kids using 3mm MDF and sticking the pics down with contact adhesive in the vacuum press. They lasted until the images wore off.

    That method would be too slow for production work but maybe the smoother finish of the MDF would offer a better surface for the film adhesive to grip?
  9. MSP

    MSP Grumbler in Training

    Hi @artfolio,

    Thanks for the suggestion. We looked at using MDF, but customers tell us they prefer the plywood. We also tried testing the the images through the vacuum press using the MDF and it won’t adhere to that either so I don’t think the issue is the wood. The issue seems to be the drymount.

  10. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think your next step is to find the right paint to seal the surface, giving the Trimount something less absorbent, and finer, to stick to. Can't help you here, though.
    alacrity8 and CB Art & Framing like this.
  11. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would use film rather than tissue. Release paper/foam blanket and cook it for about 20+ minutes. ;)
    You can't beat over-engineering.

    MDF should be OK stickwise, but the cut edges would tend to be a little crumbly. Plywood is better for this job.
  12. Lafontsee

    Lafontsee CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I would experiment with heating it for a longer time then cooling it under weight. Plywood will take longer to reach the activation temperature of the drymount tissue and will hold the heat longer. The bond will be stronger if it fully activates and cools under pressure.

    prospero likes this.
  13. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    How about printing directly to the plywood?
  14. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    A local company we deal with makes signage and display fixtures. They use a pressure sensitive PMA sheet and a cold roller press.
    prospero likes this.
  15. bobtnailer

    bobtnailer CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Howdy, MSP!

    Welcome to the Grumble! We've got fun and games! (I don't even like that song, so I'm not sure why it popped into my head.)

    We added framing to our awards / engraving business a few years ago, so I can lend a little help with the lasering end of things.

    THANK YOU for pointing out the fact that the print contains PVC. As you mentioned, you should never put PVC in a laser engraver/cutter. The gas created by engraving and cutting will irreparably damage your engraver, and can eat your lungs from the inside out. Bad, bad stuff.

    As for the image lifting...there's almost always more than one way to skin a cat. (My apologies to "cat people", but I love that phrase!)

    Depending on the overall size of the puzzle, you **might** be able to UV print the image onto a pre-cut board. Of course, you'd need a way to keep the puzzle intact during the move from one machine to the other, but you should be able to fashion some sort of good solution for that (I'm thinking about a Seklema mat that would stay under the workpiece until it's ready to package. As long as you don't use too much power when cutting, it'll last a long time before needing to be replaced.)
    shayla likes this.
  16. alacrity8

    alacrity8 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I may be reading it wrong, but I think MSP was saying that some of the adhesives may contain PVC, which they are worried about.

    Plywood is not an even surface. That may be contributing to your problem.
    Sealing and sanding the wood may help. I believe that was what Tedh's suggestion of paint was about.

    I hate to ask a dumb question, but have you made sure that your press was getting a good seal?
    Have you tried mounting on foamboard or matboard to determine if the prints will mount fine with other material?

    bobtnailer likes this.
  17. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Looking at the picture, it looks like luan, a perfect medium for a puzzle. I'm curious how you are cutting out the pieces. I remember that that my wooden model ship kit plywood frames are now laser cut, die cut pieces would have a slightly rounded face edge for easy assembly.

    RGBCMYK Grumbler

    Pressure Sensitive Adhesive - www.codamount.com
    We sell the adhesive on rolls of various widths from 12" to 54" or pre-coated sheets of hardboard, Gator Board, Foam Core etc. Give me a call 847 831 3535
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