Exposure Unit Vaccum

Hi all, I know there has been lengthy discussion on wether or not one should make their own plates etc etc.. In a nutshell, I do not have a local plate maker, The shipping costs, wait times have added up to the point where I have decided to do this on my own.

I have found several UV exposure units, most sold under screen printing etc. Reading on the boxcar press site, there is no mention of a vacuum bed being required. I have a lot of dark room experience. Is it fine to tackle this the same way you would a contact print? Good negative and a heavy piece of glass? or do you have to have the vacuum due to a requirement on the side of the photopolymer plate?

thanks in advance for the endless pool of wisdom I often find here and also for the sure to follow snide remarks on why I should not do this.

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Having had the benefit of experience with both, I know both will ‘work’, but the results to be had through the use of an actual vacuum system are far, far superior.

Tighter dots and lines, typography is crisper and less flattened out/expanded in the exposure, and generally you’ll waste less plates once you devise the best way for you to get the plates to sit flat.

a Nuarc fliptop platemaker- if you have the space for it- can be had for very, very cheap if gotten from the right place.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty simple thing to actually fabricate if you have woodshop or metalshop experience and are handy with tools/measurements and know what Mcmaster Carr is for all the vac hoses and fittings.

Feel free to write me off BP if you want some more lengthy tips and tricks, mark at havenpress dot com
I use an Anderson and Vreeland unit now, but I’ve done it multiple ways.

Best of luck,