Photopolymer Plates

Today, June 22 is was looking at a Jackson Photopolymer unit on Ebay. It’s $400 bucks. I think it can be used for Metal Back Polymer Plates for Letterpress. I have a Ludlow Polymer unit so I don’t need it, however maybe you Polymer Plate users can give us some feed back on these used machines for future use.

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This will only help you expose. You still need to develop it (with brushes, usually).
There’s no vacuum either. So it wouldn’t be a super great machine. For those functions you could build it your self for really cheap. Just a timer and UV lamps.

You are right. My Ludlow unit has a vacuum pump on it’s second level for making “daylight” film from a computer. But I prefer to use a offset printers vertical camera to “shoot” my films on matte litho film in my darkroom. I’ve been doing that for years now. And yes , you still have to scrub the polymer with a brush. I use the “Boxcar Brush” to scrub the polymer plate. I also use a ultra-sonic unit instead of the brush. But this stuff is for rubber stamps. For metal back polymer plates I use the brush. The ultra-sonic unit is not for metal-back letterpress plates.

I’d never heard before of washing photopolymer plates with ultrasonic cleaner.
Does it help with conserving finer detail that otherwise are lost with the brush? Does it work for plastic backed plates?

I think ultrasonic washout is used with liquid photopolymer, maybe detergent washout, which is for rubber stamp production.

@parallel_imp, so you don’t think it could work for plastic backed plates? Why is that?

Yes, the ultra-sonic washout unit is for liquid polymer rubber stamps - not for letterpress plates. Briar Press members have advised me NOT to use the ultra-sonic wash-out on metal back polymer plates. Use the brush. Also the plate must be finished in a convection oven for final hardness or durometer for letterpress use. I’m not sure you can do that with a plastic backed polymer plate. Double sided tape won’t hold out for long. Even worse, getting the plastic die off your chase base will most likely destroy the printing plate.

Regarding the ultra-sonic washout out unit: It’s advertised as holding finer details than the brush. However, I’ve never used thin type styles such as 20th Century Light or even worse Bernhard Fashion in my printing. Even using hard foundry type over the years I have always had a bad feeling towards these type fonts. I love Greeting Monotone - but too thin for my use. Any comments?