Tips & Techniques

  • Flush Mounting on Pre-coated Boards 
    Begin the actual mounting process by peeling the protective release paper back about I" along the short side of the pre-coated mount board. Fold back the release paper and crease it. Now position the print on the mount board. The fold in the release paper will keep the print from touching the exposed section of the adhesive. Once the print Is correctly lined up, press its edge down onto the adhesive. This tacks the print in position. The edge of the board that the print is tacked down to can now be I inserted into the laminator nip rollers. Set the speed control to a slow speed. Push the board against the nip rollers and turn the machine on just long enough to insert the edge of the board into the rollers. You may need to push the board into the press as you begin. 
    Once the edge of the print is inserted into the nip rollers, stop the press. Now wrap the print gently around the top nip roller. While holding the print in this fashion, peel all the release paper from the mount board. Now operate the motor until the board passes through the press mounting the print. Try to hold the print so it wraps around the top roller as this process is carried out. Always let the rollers do the mounting. DO NOT lay the print down on the mount board and then try to press it down with the rollers. Your understanding of this process may be helped by using the analogy of a squeegee. The Cold-Mount press is NOT being used to generate a great amount of pressure during this operation. Rather, the technique of letting the rollers apply the print to the adhesive works to prevent any air from being trapped under the print. The rollers "wipe" the print down onto the adhesive surface in one smooth motion.
  • Overlaminating Prints
    Overlaminating prints requires a good deal of pressure. Unless the adhesive is forced into 100% contact with the print image, air pockets may be created. Since you will be looking through the adhesive layer these air pockets can cause light to refract in them, giving a graying or mottled effect to the overall lamination.
    The solution to this problem is to increase the amount of pressure used during the initial application of the overlaminating film and to apply it slowly. These actions will cause the adhesive to run or flow as the nip rollers traverse the surface of the print. The amount of pressure needed will vary depending on the substrate used, the type of overlaminating film used and the width of the piece being laminated. We recommend that you overlaminate before mounting and use sheeted material slightly larger than the size of the piece being overlaminated. You can purchase sheeted overlaminates a size larger than your prints, or purchase the material in rolls and sheet it yourself. Run the print and the overlaminate through the press on an oversized piece of Coda's adhesive-coated Gatorboard with the silicone release liner still Intact. (For example, use a 16 x 20 Gatorfoam board with an 11 x 14 overlaminate for an 8 x 10 print.) The adhesive- coated Gatorfoam provides a stiffener as the material goes through the press, and the materials won't adhere to the release paper. (Be sure to have the white side of the board facing up - this is the side with the release paper.) Peel back about an inch of the release paper on the overlaminate film and tack it to the stiffener. Put the board and the overlaminate in the press until the rollers securely hold the overlaminate. Peel back the remaining release paper on the overlaminate and let the film drape over the top roller. Now slip your print in, face up, and wind slowly through the press without stopping. Peel the laminated print off the stiffener, flip over, and trim the excess laminate. You can then mount the laminated print to the substrate using less pressure.
  • Check out Coda's Viewpoint Column for more tips and techniques!

Do you have an interesting mounting or laminating tip that you would like to share? Send us an email explaining in detail your technique and we'll include it here! Be sure to include your name so you can receive proper credit.