Boxcar Base

I can’t seem to find the height of the boxcar bases anywhere. I know I’ve read it on this site before, but I can’t find that thread. Would anyone happen to know the height of both of the bases made by Boxcar Press (


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for the standard base.

dont forget to anodize


I think that’s what they do.

It changes or puts something on the surface so it has a fine bobble?? kind off effect. Basically if you used just milled steel the surface would be too flat for getting the adhesivee plate off easily. Apparently it’s what boxcar do.

I had a deep reliefe base made by a family friend, yet to try it out though.

and mine wasn’t anodized so will report back soon.

I don’t think Boxcar’s bases are anodized. Anodization is a process used to increase the oxide layer on the outside of metal parts, often to colour them.

The grid on the base is laser-etched, not anodized.

There is a finish on the top of the base most likely achieved with abrasion blasting, maybe bead blasting.

One more pointer: I have a Boxcar base, so I haven’t tried this out, but for a standard height base it seems no machining is required. Aluminium is available in 7/8” plate, which is .875”. As Atelier Domino points out, the Boxcar bases are only .001 higher. I don’t think this would be totally noticeable.

Yes, Boxcar’s bases are anodized. Here’s a blurb from their website:

“We’ve anodized a grid of .25” black lines on top of our bases for registration ease; because plastic-backed plates are transparent, you’ll be able to see the grid through your plates for convenient positioning on press. The base’s anodizing protects the metal surface from scratches and wear with a permanent coating that’s harder than a sapphire.”

The sealing of the anodized layer provides a very permanent image of the lines and makes the surface more easily cleaned of any adhesive residue and ink. Perhaps some providers use a laser to etch the surface of their mounting bases, but I do not believe that Box Car does. If you exposed the bare aluminum surface, it would oxidize and would provide too good a bond with the adhesive, so that the plates would not be as removeable or repositionable without leaving residue.

In my “real” job, I deal with imaging unsealed anodized aluminum and sealing that image within the anodic layer — a very permanent means of marking aluminum surfaces.

John H.

Stand corrected. Someone try out some 7/8” plate that’s ground to a reasonable tolerance—wouldn’t be that expensive, there is some listed on my local

I bought a 7/8” aluminum from the scrap section of Industrial Metal Supply in San Diego and it measures under the caliper to be a little bit above .875. But it at least measures the same all the way around. It was about $50 for a 13x18 of aircraft quality aluminum so I think it was a good investment.
Dolce did an article on this exact subject: