100% cotton CRANE’S LETTRA® Paper

I wanted to try my hand in printing Invitations. So I purchased all three colors of Lettra to print samples to show people.

I had two makers ofpolymer plates make me plates with the 18 and 30 point script type face. This why I could see who’s plates are better.

On Classic Crest the polymer print sharp and clean. No the Crane it print filled in and look like trash.

I cleaned the press and put Van Sol ink and cleaned the plate and tried again.

The same thing, the Crane paper prints like trash.

Is it that I am using a 8x12 C&P ?

The lowercase letters like “e” “s” “a” are all filled in on Crane paper, but not on Classic Crest.

The amount of ink is very little, the amount you would use to print a form in 8 point type.

Boxcar told me clean the press and the polymer and do a few impression with no ink. I did an everything looked sharp and
not filled in.

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Not sure what you have going on. I use Lettra as my house letterpress paper without any problems.

I’d bet you are inking the shoulders of the polymer and need to adjust your rollers to only ink the face. You can tape up the rails or the trucks or maybe use type high roller bearers. A less likely cause would that your plate is over type high.

The harder Classic Crest doesn’t allow the plate to sink in so the inked shoulders can’t print. Lettra is very soft so you’re getting more impression and the inked shoulders show up.

Think about the Lettra as being like a stretch fabric — as you push the inked surface into the paper it stretches, dragging the ink with it. Evidently the Classic Crest either doesn’t stretch as much or doesn’t punch as deeply. I would also run the rollers over the block to ink it and then stop and examine with a magnifier to see whether the ink is getting spread onto the beard of the plate — it should only be on the top surface. Roller settings are critical.


Thank you I put tape on the roller bearers and move the roller higher.

I thought by using a Boxcar Press Deep Relief Boxcar Base it would correct the problem on inking.

I put 8 strips of masking tape and 2 point lead on both rails to keep the rollers from touching the base of the polymer plate.

Still the same problem, on the 110 Crane text filled in and looks like trash. On the Classic Crest good image.

Anyone wanting to buy the 600 sheets 5x7 Crane please contact me.

It sounds like maybe the trucks are significantly smaller than the rollers. If so the scuffing of the rollers across the plate would make messy inking. If you make the trucks the exact same diameter as the rollers you may be able to ink just the top of the plate.


OK, I’ll see if I can change out the rollers.

Can you post some images of the prints? That might help in diagnosing the issue. Inking and impression are very different for Lettra vs. Classic Crest.

Images of the plate after inking might be helpful as well.

Some times you can be in the forest and you do not see the trees!!!

Tonight I checked the old truck on my 8x12. Not one was the same size.

I replaced all 6 and guess what, the ink problem has been corrected.

This is what great about talking to others on this website. Your brain some times is not seeing the real problem and it takes another person to remind you what is right in front of you the whole time.

Thank you, AdLibPress and everyone for helping me see the real problem.