Honeycomb base & other options?

Does anyone have any photos of what they look like and how a honey comb base works? Any other good plate mounting ideas? I have been buying mounted plates from Owosso but I am interested in other (hopefully more cost effective) options.


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I curious about this too. The last few times I’ve ordered from Owosso, the plates have been not quite type-high.

I haven’t had issues with the blocks not being type high but im very interested in what other options are out there! But now I will have to go check my blocks to see how close to type high there are.

I did have some issues with the way they cut my blocks — two color blocks designed to be the same size (so one block had a lot of “white space” and they took the liberty to cut it to a tiny little block making registration very very complicated! I just ordered another one and I hope that wont happen again, I had to have to them remake the last one 3 times. I also had some blocks where the plate came off the block..

The same thing happened with me (cutting close registration dies). The next time I ordered, I specified that upon cutting the finished wood block needed to measure a certain amount for reg. purposes and they did a good job. Still not exactly type high, tho.

Hello…honeycomb base users…

Is the 16 gauge or a different size that was coming not quite type high? I was in a such a frantic hurry this weekend to finish a big job (which I didn’t finish after all) that I forgot to check mine…

The magnesium portion should be fine, it’s the wood that is used. Maybe when they are planing it down they’re taking a hair too much off. So far it hasn’t been a huge deal, I just build up the back of the block until it’s type high. And as I’m constantly reminded, it’s good to check everything before printing. Not a bad habit to get into.

There are other problems with the wood as well as the ‘type high’ thing. The grain can affect printing as can humidity, from what I’ve heard.

I too have had problems with Owosso but that is a different thread. I use the honeycomb base all the time. The only mounting system I like better is the magnetic base for photopolymer plates. Problem with using those plates is that you do not get enough pressure that folks seem to like about letterpress. Seems like most people really want that debossed pounded look. The honeycomb base uses sterling toggle hooks. The base is made of steel with holes drilled in a honeycomb pattern. The holes go completely through the base. The top part of the hole is a slightly smaller diameter than the lower portion. This creates a lip for the toggle to lock on to and not pull up and out of the base. The toggles come in different sizes so that you can lock up a die or plate in any place or position no matter where the hole pattern is in relation to your die edge. Here is a pic of the honeycomb and toggle with the key inserted.

image: Toggle partially expanded with key inserted

Toggle partially expanded with key inserted

Where did you get your base? And what thickness of magnesium plates do you order? Do you have the edges beveled?
I see the sterling Toggle hooks in the crocodile industries catalog (along with some others, Cam-o-lok, clamp slide locks, and aluminum die mounting clamps. among a few others.) So with the sterling do you need to buy several different toggles to get the different sized hooks so you can lock up any size die?

I have a honeycomb base now and am finally beginning to use it. I bought the base on eBay, but I understand Dave Churchman has some, as well as Don Black in Canada. I have a small collection of toggles, size 0-2. It does help to have the different sizes to get the full range of use with the base and plates.

The plate thickness I use is 11pt. Owasso Graphics makes this thickness, as well as 1/4” and others. If you have their price sheet you can see how much they charge for the 11pt. I haven’t have the edges beveled yet. I’m trying it without first, since it is an extra fee. I figure I can always bevel them myself if it becomes an issue.