Coaster Printing Problems

So, we’ve been using coasters from American Coaster for a number of years now with great success. They’ve always been great quality and inexpensive. The last batch we ordered arrived and is made from a different type of pulpboard that cracks terribly with any impression. They claim that the new material is “better”, but I’m trying to explain to them that it’s not better for letterpress!

Has anyone else run into this yet? It’s a pretty recent switch, so I’m just curious. If anyone else does run into the problem, please reply here and also take the time to call them and let them know. We need them to bring the old stock back!

Anyone know of another source for good precut pulpboard coasters in the meantime?

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I am new at letterpress and have only tested the samples sent me and I noticed the same thing. I did get some from Holyoke Fine Papers that worked much better but were more expensive. [ ].

Those American Coaster Co. coasters always crack for me. Sometimes one will print well, and the next one will crack.

I’ve also printed on sheets of the same material from another supplier, and I had the same results. It’s just cheap stuff.

It’s priced right, though, and works well with a moderate impression.

I like American coaster. The solution is to moisten the coasters before printing. Mist them liberally and let them absorb the mist, and print in small damp batches 25 or so at a time. Just like if you were to print with a very thick cotton rag paper.

Also, and I could rant on and on about how your impression is too deep if the coaster cracks but to each their own I suppose. I’m not a fan of the super deep impression especially if it makes my pint glass unsteady! :)

Thanks for your comments. The problem is that the NEW stock they’re using cracks even with little to no impression. They have very recently switched coaster stock. We always had great results with the old stuff. I’m trying to get them to make us a batch on the old stock…it had a much longer grain which helped to keep it from cracking. The new stuff has not real visible grain, so it seems that could be the issue…the new batch is also a grayish color instead of off white.

for what its worth we ordered several hundred sheets of their parent sheets ( they worked just fine.

jenny73 is absolutely right. I lay 25 coasters out on the floor arranged in a square, use a spray cleaner bottle (thoroughly cleaned and filled with fresh water, of course) to mist them (10 trigger squeezes), wait 5 minutes, and print. It doesn’t entirely eliminate cracking, but it lessens it considerably. Your per-hour is going to drop drastically, but it’s better than the client bouncing the job!

It’s not better than, you know, having a reasonable hourly requirement for a job. I can run 1,200-1,500 coasters an hour feeding by hand.
The way you guys are doing it, sounds like I could do about 250 pieces. Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope.

I just noticed you’re talking about “American Coaster”; I’ve always used Katz and have never had issues when using proper amount of impression/not hitting too hard, even when I print dry.