Boxcar Question

Looking to maximize my print area for my 8x12 c&p; what are the downsides of ordering a boxcar base that is 7.5x11? Thoughts? *lets forget, for a moment, about the guage pins…

would I be in a direct safety issue (like the base popping out and committing a homicide)?

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I don’t have an 8x12 C&P in my own shop to measure, but you would want to leave enough room for the grippers (frisket fingers) to lie alongside the base on each side as they are thicker than the base would allow. I would push the grippers to the edges and measure the space between them, allow for that width minus a fair amount of clearance (i’d say at least 1/4”).

You would want ot make certain that the grippers were checked regularly to make certain that they didn’t vibrate loose and move into the base area.

I’d go for the base suggested by Boxcar. Your press would struggle to print anything larger, especially if you are trying to get a deeper impression.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

You would need a 6 x 9 so you can have enough room for your quoins and gauge pins.

The press really doesn’t have the impression strength to print really anything larger than that so the 6 x9 is a perfect size to print a 5 x 7 invite.

i don’t use bases, but if you get too big of a base when you want to print smaller things you would have to put the plate to the bottom of the base which would force you to reach too far into the press, if i were you i would have the base cut in half, then use both together for larger plates and one for smaller plates. Good Luck Dick G.

I’ve printed on my grandpa’s 8x12 C&P with my 6X9 Boxcar base. You can lock it up correctly and use grippers and gauge pins. If you did the 7.5x11 could you lock it up? Cut a board those dimensions and try it before you make your purchase. If you can lock it up good and tight then it shouldn’t be a problem.

I do a lot of printing without gauge pins and grippers by just gluing a template of card stock to the tympan and feeding my paper right into the template.

If the 7.5x11 doesn’t lock up - they can always cut it down for you. Say, 7x11… giving you an inch on either side.

Excellent advice folks! I should have given a bit more information: I currently have the 6x9 base for the press— and it works well, but I wanted to kick it up a notch for a specific project i’m embarking on— just didn’t want to outsource the work!

Cupcake press— great advice. I’m going to try and lock up a board this weekend to see if it would even work with those dimensions. I’m the same as you— I often forego the guage pins (and I don’t have grippers anyway) since I smashed my last set a few weeks back (ugh)… let me tell you, there is something to be said about having your printing space free and clear of all distractions such as my great dane Atticus- who thought it was a good idea to bring in his rubber ball and let it roll UNDER the press as I was registering stuff up.

In all honesty, I don’t believe impression would be an issue (in regards to size of the base, that is). I’m mostly concerned with it killing a chase or exploding out of the press (think of a very supernatural way with shards flying-pretty cool, right? not so much).

Thanks folks!

instead of buying a base for one special project you might think about buying a die from owosso graphics and print that one job, it might be cheaper than a new base. Good Luck Dick G.

dick— always coming through for me. Thanks! :)

evs….. if it’s for a one-time or limited use special project, why buy a Boxcar base at all? 3/4 HDO plywood makes an excellent base…. and you can cut it quite easily with tools you probably already have in your shop. All you have to remember to do is shim it up to type high.

HDO is an extremely stable plywood that doesn’t have a tendency to warp, and is made to extremely high tolerences of thickness. It’s actually as good or better than some of the aluminum bases I’ve seen out there. It’s primary use is for jigs and fixtures for manufacturing.

BUT… be sure to get real HDO…. not just any plywood will do. You can get it at Woodcrafters for very low prices, compared to aluminum bases. In fact, it’s cheap enough that you can afford to make special bases for each project.

I’ve got probably a dozen or so special HDO bases in my shop… some with cut-outs for grippers, some with notches for gauge pins, and a whole assortment of rectangles and squares for various types of jobs. I’ve even got a number of bases cut so that they fit in the press without a chase.

@ CupcakePress, How can I do the cardstock template? I’m having a hell of a time printing with the boxcar base and gauge pins. This would be a great time saver! Thanks in advance.