Can I mount photos on MDF blocks myself?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by orat_taro, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Hi, I'm new here so I don't really know how this goes but here it is anyway...
    Is it possible that I can mount photos on MDF blocks or any similar material
    (much thicker than paper anyway)myself at home? If possible, what will I be
    needing? I am not necessarily going for top-quality but it would be great if
    the images were presentable and clear. Isn't there anything that can roughly
    work like T-shirt printing? Thanks
  2. Here in NZ we sometimes use a material called "coreflute" - it's very light - very inexpensive, and very sturdy - perhaps that's what you're needing?

    MDF does work, but it's a hassle to work with.

    Essentially the photos are just glued gown to it - possibly a good place to start might be to ask a shop that does framing or crafts?
  3. The quick answer to that is yes - you can mount a photo onto pretty much any surface you like.

    What matters is the type of adhesive you use, both the MDF and your photo being non-porous (effectively) you don't want one that needs to dry.

    Some of the aerosol adhesives might be ok but these are messy and not very environmentally friendly, the best bet would be double sided adhesive sheet like this -
    You may be able to get this in smaller amounts from craft shops - avoid using tape that is smaller than your print eg just taping round the edges since this will show through the print.
  4. Here is a similar item in small size/volume from a US source -
  5. Thank you both for your immediate response. However, and I apologise for not clarifying this, I am not looking into mounting paper on MDF blocks but rather transfering the image itself onto the block, almost like printing directly onto it so that the paper's edge doesn't show. Is it possible to do this in anyway? I have searched for equipment that does what I want but is waaaaaay too expensive as is getting my images mounted by professionals (34GBP for one 15x15cm block!) Would it be possible for me to simulate this kind of equipment? (
  6. You could use something like InkAid to print directly on the MDF, if it'll fit in your printer. I don't know whether MDF comes thin enough, but I know you can get rolls of wood veneer that should fit in any consumer printer than can take CDs.
  7. I have successfully done whay you are trying to do (sort of). There is a paste/glue call
    'Image Maker' made by Dylon (links below). This looks just like PVA glue and you spread it
    all over your printed out image (from inkjet, but i think a laserjet or photocopy is best)
    then 'glue' it face down on to your surface (i have done it on wood, but it's advertised for
    TShirts). Then you let it dry. Then you use water with a sponge and your fingers and rub
    like crazy for about 20 minutes to rub off all the paper. (we were doing a whole 8ftx4ft
    board - took a few hours!) This then leaves the image attached to whatever surface you
    stuck it too. Just remember to print it back to front!
    When i did it we were used a B&W laser print out (two A0 prints) and it wasn't a photo but
    lots of text. The result was impressive. No screwed up image (well not noticable). but you
    do have to rub for ages. You think you rubbed enough. But you haven't.
    Hope it helped!
  8. Just beware of MDF itself if you're not familiar with painting it etc - the stuff is full of some oil or such, so you need to wipe it very thoroughly with distilled petrol/coleman fuel/naptha. Best done outside too unless you want to kill your brain! Talk to your local paint store staff if you need advice on this. If you don't do this, anything you put on it glue, paint, ink transfer resins etc will dry horribly, giving you a very patchy result you will get terrible performance from.

    Good luck.

    Rupert Witherow
  9. I have been doing it with great success. I buy either 1/4" thick or 1/2" thick Lite MDF from a lumber company. I've only done it with canvas prints because I varnish them with Timeless then put them in a frame. I use either Dry Tac's Laminall or Raphael's Miracle Muck applied generously and evenly with a foam roller. Both provide an acid free barrier between the print and the MDF.
    Once the adhesive dries on the board, I position the canvas print with a little overlap on all sides. You need to make your print about 1/4" larger than the board. Then I put the sandwich in my Dry Tac vacuum heat press for about 5 minutes at 200 degrees. The head activates the dry adhesive forming a strong bond. Then when it cools I varnish with Breathing Color Timeless Matte.

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