Base for photopolymer

Hi all!

I’m looking to buy a base, but it looks like Boxcar is all out of the deep relief bases, and Elum isn’t selling them any more. Does anyone know any other places to get one?

I have a couple feelers out for just getting an aluminum slab, but I’d like to be sure that its exactly the right height…

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Just use a piece of 20mm perspex or Delrin and underlay with a thin piece of card.
Repeat jobs can stay mounted. If a press has oversize rollers the plate is inked without playing around with taping trucks and tracks and extra packing is added. I have a small base and it lives in a drawer.

Huh, I didn’t even think of branching into the world of plastics. Does the adhesive on the backs of the plates release cleanly?

Do you think something like MDF would work for the short term? I have a garage full of wood scraps, and I’ve been using 3/4” MDF to mount linoleum.

Perhaps a more permanent (cost-effective) solution is to mount a thinner piece of aluminum/steel to wood. The metal could be etched with a grid for convenience. I’d have to do some research, but wood + metal + plate should be pretty darn close to type high

Recently, I’ve been setting up a Vandercook 325 for the Royal Academy of Arts, here in Amsterdam. Dutch type height is 24.85 mm. The technician ordered a piece of milled 20 mm aluminium (the size of the bed) and we fixed our polymer plate with standard double-sides adhesive. Brought it up to height with good quality chipboard. Works fine. He opted for milled aluminium as the rolled sheets of 20 mm will have uneven areas in them. I’ve been using plywood, MDF and even for some jobs used left over IKEA shelves from the smaller Billy bookcases.

Try Rolly at Crownflexo. 925-206-4030

McMaster Carr sells precision ground aluminum sheets, 8” x 12” x .875”, +/-0.002” on all dimensions, for the paltry sum of $242.78 each. Also available in a bunch of other sizes. The 3” x 3” is only $79.53.

How can it be, that in this day and age that the Much acclaimed XXX, XXX mounting base suppliers are quoted as being *all out of deep relief base* this for probably the second time in just a few comparatively short months..
Surely from Coast to Coast (U.S.) there must be 101, Aluminium Foundries that can cast (machinable) aluminium blocks for milling down to whatever size, ?
There must surely be 1,000 and one, machine shops with Milling Machines capable of milling, pip squeaking blocks of aluminium down to Mounting base height(s)

In Woody Guthrie,s *The Grand Coulee Dam* as long ago as *33 He sings about factories making, Chrome & Maganese & Light ALUMINUM.

Seem to remember the previous time that Mounting Base was >out of stock< was when Supplies were unavailable from CHINA ! What went wrong. - Stateside?

I have small ones listed on Etsy craft web sight.
I can make bigger ones set up for the common
KF152 plate. click on my name to send message

You have to remember that the Boxcar bases are anodized aluminum. This hard surface resists scratching and allows for very easy cleaning of adhesive and ink from the surface after use. The image of the grid is actually protected by the anodizing to make it a very permanent part of the base.

This extra processing could be the reason for the temporary delay in supply.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Anodized Alu is a electro chemical process, as about as complicated as glazing Donuts :)
a Dipl.Ing. (FH) Mechanical Engineering


Sure, a base could be cast at a foundry in the USA, and machined at a machine shop in the USA, but nobody would want to pay for it.

There aren’t many foundries or machine shops interested in the tiny volume of work that the burgeoning market for letterpress bases demands, and they will charge accordingly.

There is no need to cast anything, a Base can be made from 6060 Aluminium, Blanchard gound, even laser etched and anodized at any competent Machine shop or Metal Company, I have about 3 Companies here in Southern California who made bases as large as 28x42 inches for me.