I wanted to find out what you all recommend for use in packing. I have been using standard printing press blanket packing sheets I used for my GTO. I had .04 and .10 but are running out. I don’t know if I want a hard pack material which I would think the press packing is or a soft packing material or a combination of both. Any ideas would be a big help. I have no clue if I am on the right track or not

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It is generally agreed that a hard packing is best to give you the best image using good type and or plates with a variety of substrates. Softer packing will forgive older, worn or uneven type forms or wood type. A soft packing will quickly round the face of handset type, so is not recommended.

Your under-blanket packing sheets are good. You might also seek out various calipers of film. Used imagesetter film has been my go-to for packing for many years.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Thank you for the feedback. I never thought about using old neg film, thank’s that is a good idea. The neg film will work a spot area adjustment or minor packing change when needed. I normally only use a full sheet when packing. Other than the fact it might move is there any reason not to only pack an impression area and is there any advantage or dis -advantage to doing so. Or should I always pack the full platten as I do now.

Hard packing is the best. I pack the full platen area, but at times I will tape a smaller piece in, to level the impression or to makeready. I always pack my Heidi 10x15 the same, I start with a standard tympan sheet, then packing immediately under it is a sheet of 80# coated gloss text, then a sheet of .016 Genuine Pressboard (from Bar-Plate), then 3-5 more sheets of the 80# coated text. (isn’t this the same paper we used to call book?) I keep plenty of this pre-cut, so I can change packing quickly. I also use the same text to pack the diecut plates. BTW, years ago we used litho film to pack our 12 x 18 C&P. It worked great. Now, I print on windmills only, so no more film, the coated text works as well.

I print on a motorized C&P and I agree that hard packing is best for most things. I tend to push a lot of impression with a Boxcar deep relief base and corresponding plates. To achieve that, it depends on paper. Many stocks like cotton papers and card stocks are great with hard packing, like the Genuine Pressboard, or I even use cardstock depending on how much packing is needed. For thin cotton like Lettra, or handmade papers, I use a softer pack beneath the print. Beneath handmade, I find that placing a sheet of handmade below the print area makes a great print…but it can smash a plate. But then you can boost the smashed type with a piece of scotch tape behind the plate. It’s a continual battle on the press I use, doing the wedding work we do.

Thank for the feedback. I want to try the Genuine Pressboard. I checked out what it was and found some good feedback. Correct me if I am wrong but, it seams to be a harder board yet not so stiff it damage a plate. It seams like a good product for under a soft cotton or even a light weight sheet when I want to raise the level of compression to a higher point in the packing. Does the Pressboard scar from impression like packing will? Can I reuse it again?

I also found a good spot to get press packing sheets both in cut sizes and colors so I can keep straight which thickness is which. Here is that info

bppayne - I used your film idea on a foil job I was fighting. I needed a little more contact on some small text but changing the whole area was not helping. I slipped a small spot piece of film under my poly glassboard and sure enough it was just the right change in pressure. Either I got lucky or you and dang smart.

Western, there’s a lot of knowledge and luck involved in this trade, but thanks for the compliment. Regarding the pressboard, it will wear down after time, and you will want to rotate it depending on the impression area. I’ve rotated 2 sides front, and 2 sides back per sheet and that’s worked well. It will leave an impression like packing, but it’s sturdier. Sorry to see the .016 is no longer available, but the .020 should work.