Aluminium base

A few months ago, I mentioned something about standardized aluminium bases for blocks, that were colour-coded, and was met with some disbelief. I finally got some of my stuff out of storage and took a few photos. The bases were sold in sets and could easily be assembled to make up any size desired. I bought this case with two full sets in it and have been using them with metal backed photo polymer plates.

image: Unterlegstege_Blau.jpg


image: Unterlegstege compared with furniture.jpg

Unterlegstege compared with furniture.jpg

image: Assortment.jpg


Log in to reply   4 replies so far

This base system is also made of cast iron - and it works!
Gott grüß die Kunst

Thanks so much, Thomas, for resurrecting this topic. I think these would work for the 16-gauge copper dies made at Owosso Graphics if you use the adhesive film sold by Boxcar and a very thin underlay of some sort. Here’s how I figure it. All measurements are in inches.

Thickness of Owosso copper die = 0.064
Thickness of Boxcar adhesive = 0.004
Thickness of Jens’ base = 0.8488 (Is yours the same, Thomas?)
TOTAL = 0.9168

If this is correct, then I would like to know where to procure some Unterlegstege. The last time the subject came up, someone kindly sent me a link to an auction on German eBay, where a new-looking set went for what I recall was a very reasonable — actually cheap — price. But I was too unsure of all the measurements back then to bid on it.

I suppose one could have a machinist make some from aluminum. If they were made to a height of 0.8500 inches, they’d be perfect for Owosso’s 16-gauge copper dies using Boxcar’s adhesive. I’d only have to figure out what length and widths to get. I suppose that should be in pica increments, like regular furniture, which might be a little tricky since an inch isn’t really 72 points.



Barbara, for years i’ve mounted 1/4” mag dies on my wooden furniture, 2 pieces of chipboard under the furniture and you have type high, for the thinner dies i would tape a 6 point slug flat on thefurniture then mount the die to that, no problems. If i remember right, elrod had moulds for making 18 point slugs that you could mount your 16-gauge dies on, might be worth checking out. Good Luck Dick G.

Barbara, you’ve seen the pictures of Jens’s stuff (metal) and my aluminium blocks. Indeed, a good machinist wouldn’t have a problem making you a set. My blocks are all based on the European Didot point, and based on regular furniture 4x8, 4x12, 4x16 and so on. It’s more flexible than a large base, it allows you to combine type and blocks as well. The late Georg Kraus in Germany had some for sale recently, but I don’t know what’s going to happen to his Preussisches Bleisatz magazin.