.021 Underlay for Deep Relief Base


I use KF152 plates but read on this forum that they are less capable of fine line details than the standard KF95. Therefore, I’d like to be able to transform my deep relief base into a standard relief base to accommodate standard plates without having to adjust roller height each time i switch from one kind of plate to another. Can anyone recommend a good underlay for this? I read about chipboard, but I’d like to know if others using a Kluge have tried this and whether there were any other recommendations out there.

I’d also like to know if anyone has had experience with both plates and noted differences in fine line fidelity.

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Newbie….. this is far simpler than you realize. Chipboard, aircraft plywood, or sheet metal can all do the job, depending upon how thick you need it to be. Since the load is carried over the entire base, even softer chipboard works fine.

In my shop we use a lot of greenish tagboard for underlays. Since I use .75 HDO plywood bases, one thickness brings our copper plates up very nicely. You can get green tagboard very cheaply at your local office supply house in the form of green file drawer dividers.

One thing I teach my students is to not try to figure out the numerical thicknesses… it doesn’t gain you much. “Let’s see…. I’ve got a .840 base and a 1/16 plate… so that leaves 4 gnat’s backsides in thickness to be made up… Now, how many gnat’s backsides make up a 2mm chipboard? ”

Instead, just shim the base and plate to type-high according to your type-high gauge and a ruler, or possibly your rails, and then go for it. Once you know what thickness you need, just cut a piece and keep it with the base. You won’t have to change your rollers or anything. Just add the shim when you change to that base. It’s so easy, even a caveman could do it!

As far as one PP plate being better for fine details goes, I’ve heard that often said, but have not seen it in real life. Your technique is far more important in producing fine details than the difference between 152’s and 95’s. If I were you, I’d stick to a single thickness and material…. it’ll make your life easier.