Issues with base plate

Hi, i bought a aluminum base plate that is suppose to be 7/8th plus the photo polymer plate should put it all type high. Apparently its now too high. It needs to be the photopolymer highter thinner (meaning 7/8th total). I know this because its now inking over the whole plate and base.

Long story short, i dont want to buy anothe metal plate nor can i find one at a reasonable price at the right height.

Would i get good results using a pvc base with a thin metal surface (glueing them together after i got them routed to the right heigh)? My sign guy can do it for a good price but cutting the metal down he said he cant do and it seems to be a mission to get the right thing without spending hundreds.

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Hello try this. Mount your plate and measure the total height. Find a local machine shop to flycut the base to whatever you need. Your plate as it is may be over the. 875
Ted Lavin

Photopolymer plates come in different thicknesses. It is possible that the plate you have is for a deep impression base which is not .875” thick. You can check on boxcar website about the thickness of various plates.

Even if you ordered the correct plate, it is possible that the wrong plate was used. This has happened to me/us. Look at the invoice for your plate to see was supposed to be used. Note: boxcar and other plate processors charge the same price for both regular plates and deep impression plates.

Grinding your existing plate down is not going to be cheap and unless you find someone really good, you want wind up with a consistent thickness. I have a friend in the aluminum processing business and he declined to make a base for me because he could not accurately mill it to within the nearest 1/1000th of an inch.


What size base do you need? I make bases for regular polymer and they are in sections and can be added to or made smaller depending on size of plate. Let’s talk, Bob 705-489-2036.


1. What thickness plates are you using? By my estimation, you SHOULD be using the .043” plates. However, if you’re using- for example- the .065” plates, you’re going to see problems with both inking and impression. This should be obvious but it may not be so.

2. How large is your base? You could have it ground down, but honestly, if it’s a smaller sized base you’ll probably be able to have it cut on a bill by a capable CNC machinist and the flatness tolerance will be good enough for printing. Anyone with a FADAL or a HASS or similar of a certain size should be able to improvise a clamping system or even use a vacuum system and get your base milled down to the proper height. My guys next door to me have been useful in trade over the years though probably not in your budget ($$$) or I would recommend them.

The fact that the base is getting inked suggests the base itself is too high. Alternatively, and you don’t say what kind of press you have, your rollers could be set too low and may need adjusting. Easier done on a Heidelberg and Vandercook, not so much on a C&P or similar press.

Definitely measure the base carefully and see how thick it is. If it’s not up to spec with what you ordered, can you go back to the manufacturer and ask that it be remade? I’d do that before incurring the expense of having it milled down.

Double post…oops!

A few other options that seem to have been lost in the dim and distant past.!!!
Mounting virtually anything remotely Letter Press to .918 height (long before the modern opportunist,s saw a lucrative opening???) from the top.
*ELROD* strip *Girder furniture* to accept Copper, Zinc, Water soluable plates inc .002/3” D.S.A.

*MONOTYPE* mounting quads, 3 em x 3 em (+ subdivisions = 3 em x 18 Pt. 3 em x 12 Pt. 3 em x 6 pt.) meaning a base could be made up to suit the smallest Adana 3 x 2 up to and beyond Quad Crown Meihle size, completely universal from standard in house stock.!!

*HONEYCOMB* Base as used with adaptor backing plate i.e. 100% accurate aluminium sheet (or Paxolin).
The plates, cuts etc mounted on the backing plate with D.S.A. and positioned for register on Full 4 colour formes.

*DOWEL* Mount,! normally in denominations of 6 em x 6 em, 6 em x 12 em, and 12 em 12 em, again completely universal, but with the facility to accept .064” thou plates inc Adhesive OR with the Pegs at 2 em grid Tacked down as with regular Flanged copper plates, etc

All 3 as above, still in use here in the U.K. ???.

Sad that nobody seems to remember and virtually ever-body pays *through the nose* including all the relevant problems.


Well done Mick, I have been using all your suggested mounting options and have just been given some linotype blanks which are ideal for mounting metal backed polymer plates using double sided tape. Like you say it must be that we are lucky here in the UK

Hi There!
I encountered the same problem when I first started printing with photopolymer plates and was totally baffled by the fact that my rollers were inking all of my boxcar base. At the studio where I was an apprentice, in the year I was there I don’t remember having to a adjust the roller height (as my mentor didn’t use photopolymer plates at the time, only hand set type). I found that you can either adjust the roller height on your C&P, OR you can use a little more of a DIY option of adding layers of tape to the truck rails until it is inking correctly. I have only tried this on a C&P 10x15 and can’t speak for any other presses, however. If you ARE using a C&P, I would suggest adjusting the roller height properly rather than the tape thing; It’s more consistent and also looks a little less unprofessional. :) Hope this helps!