Even printing on magnesium line art

I recently ordered a magnesium “wood cut” of line art from Owosso. No matter what I do, I can’t get the detail in the middle of the piece to print heavy enough. I’ve tried “packing” a bit under that spot on the platen, but that throws off the evenness of the rest of the image. This becomes worse when I try to print a caption under the piece.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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What press are you using and what size is your cut?


try a small patch under the cut, sounds like a low spot in the wood its mounted on. if you are trying to get a deep impression you can create low spots in the wood. i always get 1/4 inch mag dies from owosso, have them shipped unmounted, then mount them on my furniture (a harder wood) 2 pieces of chipboard under the furniture and you have type high. Good Luck Dick G.

When I order wood mounts from Owosso, I receive a proof that they pull from the engraving. I’ve never had any problems with their dies but I don’t go for the deep impression.

I’ve had this problem with most dies I got from Owosso. I’ve since switched to photopolymer and not had any more issues.
It happened with an impression or without. Sometimes it was because the wood wasn’t flat (which would cause problems both with inking and with impression) and often times it was because their adhesive didn’t stay stuck. The edges of the plates would be lifting which caused problems with inking, but not with impression.
If its the adhesive, you can call and they’ll remake it.
If it’s the wood, you need to tape the back of the die the same way you would do packing on the platen, but do it after you have already locked it in the chase. If you do it before, the die will just sit higher and you’ll get the same problem. I f you do it after, the tape behind the low spots on the die will have enough pressure to push those low spots up, but not enough to actually push the whole die higher.

The wood is junk. You can get them unmounted and mount them to a better base.

Any cut or page of type is going to have to have makeready, unless it is very tiny. The way a form distributes the impression is always with a harder impression on the edges. Learning to bring the center of a cut or form up to printing height is all part of the process. I don’t know what Owosso is using for base wood, but if it is a soft basswood it can indeed be a problem. I tend to save the wooden bases of of old cuts so that I have some quality wood for mounting, when necessary. The glues used by the trade to adhere the cuts can be re-activated by brushing some lacquer thinner or acetone on the glue, and re-applying the the cut under pressure.


I use Hodgins Engraving and have had very few problems with them. I get my mag plates mounted on wood type-high and even with very fine stippling or lines they print nicely across the plate, even when pushing the limits of my 8x12 chase.

I don’t know who posted it, but the suggestion to use a section of offset blanket covered with a piece of mylar on the platen was spot-on. I had to use very little pressure on the impression screws to get a nice even image throughout the line art.

Super thanks.