Registration tips?

I know the traditional way (and best way) for registration of prints is by using gauge pins. Does anyone have any “alternatives” or their own little method besides using gauge pins, especially with boxcar base and PP plates? I’ve seen the painters/masking tape method used (which I used for my first set of prints last week), which works fairly well but not great for tight registration. The reason I ask is I am using a 4.5x7.5 boxcar base in my 6x9 Victor press and it’s mind-boggling on how to properly use my double-grip gauge pins without smashing them but also not printing on the far edges of the platen.

Log in to reply   13 replies so far

i’ve seen people cut strips of chipboard tape them down then fold the ends up they work fairly well but it takes some experimenting good luck

One of the drawbacks with PP plate bases is that they can smash gauge pins if a high base takes up most of the chase area. The best work around that I’ve found is to make little folded paper tabs that can be taped to the tympan. They work just like gauge pins, but it doesn’t matter if they get smashed since they are paper.

I will have to try the paper tabs! My previous run I used tabs made from masking tape (folded one end over to create the tab), but the tape would loosen at the edges. I’ll let you know how the paper tabs fare in my business card printing job next week.


I’ve used 1” photo mounting squares: they are double sided stick so you can use them more than once. Also, you can stack one square on top of another and slide a 12 or 14pt brass between with 1/8” of the brass sticking out as a paper guide. The adhesive tends to lose its tack if you pull them up and reposition several times. I’ve used scotch tape to secure them in place.

Also check out previous discussion here:

and photos of paper guide here:

Hi. I know absolutely nothing about platen presses, but that won’t stop me from commenting. Actually I’ve been looking for an excuse to share some videos I came across. The fourth video down shows some paper guides being used to print round coasters. I would think that with something round that has a border, registration would have to be pretty good:


I enjoy Bar-Plate brand low-profile Adjusto-Guides. They slide up and down and have a 1/32” scale for making fine adjustments without tape or guesswork.

I use bar plate low profile adjusto guides for 90% of our hand fed work. have 6 short and 3 long set screws wear out over time and need to be replaced. Some have been ground to keep the lip from being hit by stamping or embossing dies.Mine have also been drilled to accept paper clips for feed assist. will attach some pics later this am.

Low profile guides

image: lsbpguide.JPG


image: rsbpguide.JPG


Sweeet. Turn that C&P into a Heidelberg! The paper-clip holes are a fantastic technique. I must do this!

Ever smash one of these? I have. It hurts. It hurts bad.

Actually, what kind of machine is that? Looks very interesting. Why are those dies mounted to the platen?

Did some damage when first used hit with steel rule die no biggie to repair thats why now some have part of the lip cut away it allows us to get closer.Press is a Colt’s Armory Thomson 20x30 diecutter with foil attachment(my design and build) The 2 dies glued to the bottom of the platen are bearers(keep some of the die load low) they allow us to run small sheets up high to make it easier and safer to feed and deliver.

image: 20x30Thomson.JPG



Incredibly badass. Gotta get me one of those.