Pressing Options


Im a bit of a newbie so I was hoping some people could help me. I have a few questions so I was thinking I would just list them and get them answered instead of spending hours on boards.

- Is it cheaper to use Poly Plates or Magnesium Wood based?
- Where do you order your poly plates from?
- What size Boxcar do I need for an 8x12 Chandler and price Platen Press?

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You answered one of your questions in your post.

You order poly plates from BOXCARPRESS.COM

I think Poly is cheaper cost wise, but it is especially advantageous due to it’s ease of use for the hobbits. You can cut the plastic backed plates up and mount them as you need, rather than having a bunch of mag plates to move around and you’re stuck with the design in block form at the end of the day.

Thirdly, I think they (boxcar press, makers of the boxcar base you mentioned) would recommend a 6X9 base for that press.

Great Thanks!

HavenPress - I think Hobbits get their plates in the Shire.

Naaah, that’s a myth.

I’m not sure I agree that PP is cheaper. In my experience the cost for the plates are about the same since most diemakers charge per square inch and have a minimum order. With PP you need to have your rollers set perfect, where as traditional mag mounted to wood cuts are more forgiving…which saves you in makeready time…and keeps you from pulling your hair out and screaming I hate this chit. With traditional cuts you don’t need a base. They are easier to move in your chase, especially if it is only a one point move you want, or if you need to cock the die to straighten it. Stored properly, mag cuts last a long time, and you don’t need double backed tape to reapply them. If you are printing a wedding suite you could make a nice shadow box with the cuts/dies to give to the bride & groom as a wonderful keepsake, that they will cherish forever. IMHO

How does one store magnesium cuts properly? I have some I just got recently - I gave them a good coating of oil before putting them in the drawer, but I am still seeing some corrosion. What else should I do?

A lot depends on how many plates you would purchase over time. I checked the price list of two major suppliers, and the difference in cost for a 6”x9” plate was $13.82 (wood mounted mag more expensive). You must, however, amortise the aluminum base over the number of plates you might use, also adhesive, adding to the full cost of the polymer plate “system”.

As a beginner it might be best to begin your journey with minimal investment, using metal plates, and see if you get along well with the process.

If, however, you will be using many plates, perhaps the investment is worth making initially.

Don’t use a water-miscible cleaner on the plates or any cleaner which when evaporating might draw moisture to the surface (acetone, xylene, lacquer thinner). A slow-evaporting solvent is best (mineral spirits or kerosene).

Also, use vaseline on the surface and edges of the plate before putting it in a poly bag for storage. You have to remember that it is oxygen and moisture which are the corrosive agents which work on the surface of the plate, and try to eliminate access of them to the surface. If there was moisture on the surface before applying the oil, or if there is a moisture component in the oil (such as some cooking oils) you have opened the barn door, as we might want to say in Iowa, to corrosion which will continue under the film of oil.

If longevity or reuse of the plate is a real concern, it might be better to use copper, which will last a very long time in ordinary air environments before corrosion starts.