Tympan sheet alternative

This is just my curiosity speaking, but has anyone ever tried using other materials aside from tympan paper? If so, what did you use and was the outcome the same, better, worse?

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

Mylar works pretty well — it’s tough and uniform thickness and easy to wipe clean. I have a Mylar tympan sheet on my Poco. I’ve never used it on a platen press, though — it would probably be OK for some kinds of gauge pins but not for the McGill’s that you stab into the tympan.


I use a coated sheet for tympan on my kelseys and my c&p’s, for my windmills i use a foiling board with a sheet of 110 lb index taped over it. The coated stock can be wiped clean if printed on and is easy to set your pins in. My poco has a rubber blanket on it, my first job as a linotype operator back in 1966 the company had this poco and i changed the top sheet to this rubber blanket which is still on it and works fine, i also use thin rubber blankets on my windmills and c&p’s from time to time. Dick G.

I like Mylar. I use it on my Poco and my C&P…however it’s been my experience that you have to be careful how strong a solvent you use if you ever need to clean it…if you accidentally print on the tympan, for instance. The only time I ever had to clean a mylar tympan on the Poco, I used Type Wash and it melted it somewhat. Mineral spirits is a little milder and I’ll try that the next time.
I don’t see why you couldn’t use Megill “stabbers”…maybe poke a hole with some type of sharper point first.
I typically use Megill double grip gauge pins, and they only require cutting a slit with a razor blade.
I picked up a couple of good sized rolls and some odd pieces that had some mechanical drawings on them. They came with some deal some where along the line.

It seems that any decent smooth paper stock would work well for a tympan paper substitute also…maybe a coated stock. I don’t know if this would be advisable for a Heidelberg or other auto-feed press though.

Tyvek housewrap works well.