sterling toggle type honeycomb base

i have acquired some of these “L” shaped inserts. a lot of them. As you see in the pic the holes are much smaller than the standard sterling type. does any one know where to get hooks for this size or does someone want these?

image: IMG_20131115_093329_826.jpg


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They are Blatchford honeycomb. The hooks aren’t made anymore but I’ve seen them on eBay.

not sure if this is the right stuff but check this link?

Since they don’t have pictures of the hooks, no way to know, but it is highly unlikely anybody would make new Blatchford hooks when Sterling/PMC hooks have always been more widely used.

It would be more instructive to know how thick the base system is, as there are a number of different thicknesses for different application/plate systems.

Sterling owns Blatchford but stopped making any of that material some years ago. The sectional L shaped base parts have been discontinued. Sterling continues to make their base hooks and base systems, usually custom bases that serve also as a chase for what ever press is specified. Sterling also makes Bunter Posts for that style of mounting plates. They have competition from a Chinese copy but the body is a casting and does not have the same level of quality of the original Sterling or PMC products. Sterling is the outgrowth of the Printing Machinery Corporation, thus PMC, and many older toggle hooks are marked PMC.

Being a dealer for letterpress items, I am hit all the time with inexpensive copies of all sorts of supplies. They do very effective email advertising but as long as we have the original products available, I’ll stick with them.


All these patent bases were made for .1522” duplicate plate height (stereotype or thick electrotype), whether Sterling honeycomb PMC, Warnock groove PMC or Blatchford honeycomb. These are still compatible with deep-etch foil stamping and photoengravings, but even the thickest photopolymer is not suitable by itself: must have a thick enough backing sheet to work with the hooks.

Hmm, thought I saw somebody somewhere (hey it’s the Internet!) that other sizes existed (though I can imagine why).

I have the predecessor to the toggle base system, in the form of the Challenge/Climax sectional base system with brass catches and the really slow hooks that must be turned with a small square tommy bar. Works great though, just slow. It does have the advantage of allowing regular metal type to be used in conjunction with plates though, as the narrowest segments are 4 x 10 picas. You can also use the base as floored furniture and just tape down cuts.

Darned scarce though.

Mike you’re right, Sterling also made honeycomb base for 1/4” stamping dies. I think Blatchford was just shell height.