Gauge pins with aluminum base

This is a cry for help.

I have not been able in a year printing figure out what’s the best thing to use as gauge pins with an aluminum base.

I have used foamy, cardboard, cotton paper, and nothing has served me enough. Somehow my registration seems to jump all over the place.

I wish there was something to make it more straight forward.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for me.

Thanks a lot guys.


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Enrique- In my experience, I have found that the plastic backing from polymer plate material works quite well with fresh double-stick adhesive. You can make it pretty steady if you use about 1.5” wide strip by slightly longer than your sheet.

You’ll need to stick it to the top sheet, but this can be a tricky situation if you use oiled tympan. Especially if it’s still got residual oil on it- the adhesive may not hold. Conversely, if it’s not too oily, sometimes the adhesive can stick… a little too well in the case that you need to move it later to make adjustments; so usually I face my topsheet with a bit of adhesive back mylar sticker sheet to make it get along with a sticky ‘lay strip’ like I’m suggesting. If you cover the entire topsheet with mylar sticker, it’s pretty easy to move and adjust this sticky ‘lay strip’.

Good luck.

I think Alan at Excelsior Press in New Jersey sells a gauge pin that works with the aluminum bases. Check out his website.

I second what DickG said. Alan has a bunch of Megills Flexible Gauge pins for sale.

I get the impression he’s busier than the average internet seller, so don’t expect amazon prime treatment. For me anyway, it took a few emails and some waiting, but well worth it. It’s a great product. I don’t even bother with kort quads now, even when I can.

20 mil PVC Pipe Wrap tape works for me. Get it at your hardware store.

image: PVCregister.jpg


image: PVCtape.jpg


image: PVC-RegisterGuide.jpg


Always a potential problem.
Often you can avoid the problem and use standard gauge pins if you trim your plate very close to the image and attach it at the bottom left corner of the base. If you are trying to do a bleed to the paper margin, this won’t work. It should work fine with 1/4” margin. Use a short tongue.
If you can’t do this, an arrangement as shown by Sharecropper Press will work. I would add a piece of index or chipboard below the tongue. Without this, the paper might get caught in the pinch under the tongue. With the added piece, it has a shoulder to come against.
Analyze, improvise, overcome.

Let me add my experience with Alan and his flexible gauge pins. While he’s so busy he’s hard to get a hold of, he’s an excellent and very knowledgeable printer and his flexible pins are great. Very low, and they only have about a millimeter of overhang on the paper, but the edge the paper hits is about an inch wide so you can get very consistent positioning. You can see mine in action in the below picture. To give an idea of their size, the piece being printed there is 8.5 x 5.5 inches.