Using Photopolymer Plates with Honeycomb Base

Dear Briar Press,

Apologies if this falls into the “stupid question” category.

Has anyone ever used photopolymer plates with honeycomb base? I read on Briar Press that some photopolymer plates have aluminum (?) or metal backing. Would this kind of plates have the correct height for a honeycomb base.


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Most honeycomb bases were made for 11 pt metal plates and the holes are for toggle clips I don’t think the holes will support a thin plastic plate very well. But if your plate + adhesives+ a metal shim + base = .918 you should be okay. Another point many HC bases are sectional so you may have problems if you can’t get the register with your guides alone and have the adjust your lockup inside the chase.

Newbee Press

I think Mike is correct in his response. I don’t know how you would be able to hold the plates in position on a honeycomb base. The floor structure of a steel-backed plate is just too thin. And yes, the plates are not thick enough by themselves to work out to type high.

A while back, there was an Australian firm that had developed one-sided magnetic thin “floating” bases that could be registered on a honeycomb base and would accept steel-backed plates; but it seems the industrial market did not accept it and I have not heard of it since.

I thought it a good idea.


Years ago AWT sold backing material for use of 16-gage original plates (around .059”), on honeycomb base (backing was about .085” I think). With plate adhered to it, there was proper height and enough body for the toggle hooks to hold (not true of any photopolymer plate, even the thick aluminum-backed molding plates). Special low-jaw hooks were made for original plates but for proofing purposes only (say, on an adjustable bed press).
Some on the lists have mentioned using plexi sheet as a backing, and other found materials may work.
For example, I used to make a sandwich of 6-pt slugs on their sides and offset plates, spray-glued together, and bevelled for the hooks. OK for kiss impression but solids etc would show weak areas over the honeycomb holes as the lead beat down; problem partially solved with wooden dowells plugged into the holes.
From one printshop I got a piece of copper-faced circuit board. Nice rigidity and .085” thickness. I wonder if it is the actual backing from AWT. But magnetic base is a lot easier to use.

I use honeycomb base with photopolymer plates. I use a mid-base made of polycarbonate which brings the image surface up to .918”. I use adhesive to mount the plate on the mid-base and cut an angle on the edge of the sub-base so it will mount securely with the standard honeycomb base hooks.

I don’t think I would go out and buy a honeycomb base for this purpose, but I made use of it because I already had it available for use with 11pt. mag and zinc plates.

I regularly use honey comb bases on all of my presses.
They work especialy well on table top presses where you want to avoid smashing guides.
Mine are set up tp accept 1/4 inch Mag dies with togglehooks.
The 1/4 dies can be provided by any photoengraver and while a little more money your make ready will be so fast it will make your head spin.
We also use a lot of photopolymer plates but prefer to mount them to aluminum bases. The problem is that if you are going to fill a form to press capacity you will have to watch your pins.

Thanks all for the comments and suggestions.

It seems a lot of work for a newbie such as myself to get PP working with honeycomb. I was hoping there was a ready-made flexible solution that would allow a PP plate to be used on differing bases.

Thanks again everyone.