Some questions about letterpress

hello all,

I love letterpress printing even though I do not know much about it, and I’m dying to get into the field. The proof is that I have acquired considerable Heidelperg red ball lately. While waiting to find a driver to start working, I’d like to know two or three things and I need your help.

1 / I wonder what I need to do embossing, photopolymer plates suffice it to themselves?

2 / To put my machine in the shop, how much minimum area outside will I leave behind? Also, I saw on the many pictures we posed a kind of very thin board, is that obliged?

3 / And to finish this long message (I do not know make short ones :) ), I’d like to know if I should prefer the old lead type to photopolymer plates ..

Thank you in advance for your answers, and excuse my bad English.

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I suggest that you take a 2-3 day class. this will allow you to ask your questions, and many more, and begin to learn how to print

good luck and enjoy your new avocation


That’s a heck of a press to start off with. Absolutely you must take a course and find a teacher. A Heidelberg can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

As to your other questions:
1) Not sure what you’re asking here. If you’re asking about deep impression, yes, photopolymer plates will do the job.

2) You should have enough to work around the perimeter. You’ll need access to all sides. At least a couple feet minimum around. And you’re probably seeing oil pans beneath the press. Heidelbergs bleed oil, so you need to protect your shop floor.

3) you can use both, but if you’ve never printed before, photopolymer is probably better. You’re likely to smash your metal type going for deep impression.

Hope that’s helpful.

lcosium, hire a professional press/person. Blackballs are just as dangerous as Redballs. It sounds like you should be
landing customers and letting a professional do its job. best james

Thank you for all your answers.

I am trained in offset printing, so I have an idea about dangers that can represent a machine we do not control, so I dare not venture to run my Heidelberg red ball alone.
I’m looking for a driver (and teatcher at same time) for my platinum, (of course I propose him a nice percentage of my income), I’d love to take courses in a specialized school, but this kind of school doesn’t exist in North Africa (I live in Algeria).

For questions I asked, it was just to clarify my projects, and adapt my graphic creations to my machine, I will start my business in June if all goes well, and I think to order die cutting formes and photopolymer plates right now.

Thank you again for your help, I think I’ll spend long hours briarpress ;)