C&P pilot 6.5x10 question

I have a C&P pilot table top press that I am trying out. I’ve noticed that I can get an even impression with metal type but when I use the boxcar base with a sticky plate the impression is way off. One corner is defined while all other areas are very faint making a weak impression. The metal type is significantly deeper than the plate on the base… Is it possible to get a clear punch with the sticky plates?

Thanks in advance!

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I have the same press (it was my first one) and I had the same problems. you need to adjust the platen (the big 4 bolts on the outside) to make sure the calibration is correct. You may also have to try different levels of tympan and packing. The best way to calibrate is to put something (type, polymer plate, etc) in each of the 4 corners of the press and adjust the bolts until you get even ink coverage in all 4.

Then, give it a good crank and you should be able to get a nice deep impression using the Boxcar base.

If you’re in Dallas, I can help you. Not sure where you are….

Good luck!

Jason is correct. I have the same press and with the right packing and the minor adjustments needed to the bolts is exactly what you need to get a great impression. I also use the boxcard plates and they look great after I adjusted my press and added the right amount of packing.

I’m in Austin Jason. If you’re ever in Austin, I’d gladly use your help! I did put type in all four corners but it’s still such a vast difference once I change to the boxcar. I’ll keep trying! Another worry I have is my designs are usually designed with fills of color inside outlined shapes. I’ve printed them on a Vandercook, no problem, but so far I think this will be a real pain on the C&P. My site is http://www.roundrobinpress.com if you would like to see what I mean. I am waiting on gauge pins to arrive so I haven’t tested this out yet. Is tight registration possible with the C&P pilot?

Thanks to both of you for being so quick to reply.


Try putting your boxcar base in, THEN put a polymer plate in each 4 corner. That’s how I calibrated mine (however, I don’t switch back and forth with metal type and polymer…I really only use polymers.)

The gauge pins will definitely help. Just BE CAREFUL and don’t crush them! It’s easy to forget that they can get in the way of your base.

I’ve seen your website (thought your name was familiar!) and you should be able to register the solids inside the outlines. But, be aware that the C&P has a much smaller “sweet spot” than your Vandercook (I have one of those, too) and it’s hard to print large areas on the C&P. Honestly, I use the Vandercook more b/c I can get more consistent prints out of it. The only thing I’ve been using my C&P for lately is running envelopes b/c I can really crank ‘em out faster on there.

Haven’t been to Austin in several years, but if I get down there I’ll look you up. Feel free to call me if you need more help. 214-673-8857


You say the metal type is “deeper” than the plate on the base - are you sure you have the correct base and plate combo?

It’s my understanding (and I could be wrong) that for a platen press you need the “deep relief” base and plates. I would call Boxcar and describe your problem. There shouldn’t be a big difference between the type and the photopolymer plates.

Also, you may indeed have a problem getting the solid areas to print nicely on your C&P. (I LOVE your cards btw!) I have an C&P OS 8x12, and I have a tricky time getting solid areas to print without double-inking, dampening the paper, and elaborate packing schemes.

I had to radically change my designs after I got my first few plates last year. Halftones are now my friend.

Hope this was helpful. Good luck!

Thanks to everyone who commented and for the nice words about my cards! I think I’ve made the decision to let the C&P go and wait for a Vandercook. A hard decision since the C&P is staring me in the face but, seems the best decision for the long run.

Your comments were super helpful.