Scoring with a Boxcar Base?

Any suggestion to scoring with a Boxcar Base? Is this possible using a photopolymer plates?

10x15 C&P Craftsman


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Hello Bob,
Take the base out of the chase. Get some scoring rule and matrix and lock it up. I can’t see how the base would help!


You will need to have a plate made. A two point straight line will work just fine. You can either use matrix or tape.

I can’t see how a line on a plate would be better than a piece of scoring rule and a matrix, but to each his own…


i have heard of scoring with a mag. plate but i never saw it done, i agree with dan i don’t think you can beat a steel rule and matrix.. Dick G.

thanks for the suggestions…

windmh2000 - have you had good luck using just a 2 pt. line? I am very new to letterpress and I need to learn scoring. I will try both ways…

I know nothing about using a matrix and scoring rule…


Perhaps secondbob doesn’t have furniture and creasing rule. He/she asked if it was possible…yes it is….and can be done very successfully.

I’d second Dan and Dick. Scoring rule and matrix is the best way to go; with different types of matrix, you have the flexibility to use the same scoring rule for different types of paper and varying capacity levels.

The plastic back matrix is the easiest to use (vs. the steel back matrix), especially since you can easily snip the ends of the matrix at an angle with scissors, which is essential for tight-fitting or irregularly shaped scoring jobs.

I’ve attached some photos to show you an example of using .4 x 1.0 mm matrix, on a steel rule die. The end result is a pop-up moth wings.

Logos Graphics
San Francisco

image: Moth steel rule die with plastic-back matrix applied (note mitered corners)

Moth steel rule die with plastic-back matrix applied (note mitered corners)

image: moth.jpg


A $6 folding bone will work james

I must admit I’ve never tried creasing / scoring with photopolymer so I can’t attest to it working or not.

I can not, however, fathom why anyone on this forum would be supporting you to try it. It’s a waste of a negative and a plate, and simply isn’t “the way it’s done.”

Metal creasing rule can be reused ad infinitum - all you need to do is to pop down to your nearest cutting die-maker and ask them to cut you some creasing rule to fit your chase either vertically or horizontally, depending on the job. Lock it up with furniture (even just bits of wood!) like you lock up your boxcar base.

You’ll also need to get yourself some creasing matrix (like this: from a graphics or binding supplier. The ‘locator’ fastening part is squashed onto the creasing rule. You then remove the backing tape to expose the adhesive before taking an impression (probably not on tympan - on a die-cutting jacket or even bare platen) so the matrix sticks to the platen. Then peel away the rubber locating thing - and discard - to expose the metal creasing channel.

The paper is impressed between the creasing rule and the creasing matrix. This will give you the best crease you can achieve on a platen.


I’d have to agree with Nicolas, if you’re going to do it, do it right.
While many people post good shortcuts/tricks for the press, I think it’s only fair to let ‘newbie’ printers know when it’s a good idea to ‘get by’ and when to do it the right way.

Can someone recommend a good online source for a channel / creasing matrix? Another thread suggested Pace Punches, but it appears it is out of business.

For scoring something like a notecard and the like I don’t think there is anyway better than using scoring rule along with creasing matrix. You can get both from NA Graphics. Good to have around. We do a lot of notecards and we keep a rule locked up in a chase along with the tympan / registration pins and we just plop them into our 10 x 15 C & P. I usually use new creasing matrix each time.

“Scoring Rule, 2 points, 0.918 inch, per 30 inch strip” $2.55

“Creasing Matrix, per 30 inch strip” $2.85

Before buying the creasing matrix read this page on NA Graphics site about different widths for different paper thicknesses.

I’ve attached a photo of a German Bell we print as a holiday card which we print on our Vandercook. One of the runs is a blind deboss which serves as the scores for the piece so I’m sure the Boxcar base would work. Just always have to keep in mind that you don’t want registration pins hitting on top of the base.

To me a 1 or 1.5 point rule on a piece of photopolymer applied to a Boxcar base would work OK. I would be sure to include at least 1/2” on the sides to help keep it straight as well a to make sure it stays in place and gets good adhesion.

image: 026-german-bells.jpg


I would be interested to know if anyone had any luck with the 1-2pt plate on a boxcar base and a matrix. I can see the benefit in that if you have had just printed plate on the base you can then use the “grid” on the base to get your 2pt plate in exactly the right spot for the fold. Would save a fair amount of mucking around with a second chase.

Bless the boxcar grid.

I ended up getting a “scor-it” ( ) It took me just about an hour to score/fold 250 cards. It was easier than I thought.

Have any of you had issues with creasing matrix on a windmill? My gripper arm caught on it (AFTER the plastic locator was removed) and moved the die jacket out of position after a couple sheets went through. Tape was suggested, anything else? Is my jacket too bent out of shape? I haven’t had issues previously with the gripper arms being out of alignment.

Hey goomis,
You don’t really need to use a die cutting jacket to score, I’ve never used a cutting jacket to do anything other than die cut. You can just put the matrix down on the platen and you’re good to go.

Yep, I was taught just to put the matrix straight onto the platen. Much higher than that and you risk catching it on the gripper arm.

We use a scorit also like secondbob. Love it and have never had cracking issues. We have had ours for years and done thousands of cards, etc. on it. Ours also came with three perfing rules. Not cheap, but well worth it.