initial die placement on honeycomb

When you’re setting up a copper foil die on a honeycomb, how do you get your initial placement on a Kluge?

I currently use masking tape to tape the die to the stock while it’s laying on the platen in registration. Put a slight amount of high temp double sided tape on the back of the die. Turn the press over with impression on and let the die stick to the honeycomb.

I then lockup with sterling toggles. The double sided tape makes adjustments a little more difficult than I’d like so I’m curious to hear how others do it.


Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Thanks for bringing up this subject, casmit, though I can’t answer your question since I’ve never operated a Kluge.

I’ve just designed something for which I’d like to use three 11-point magnesium plates on a honeycomb base. I’ve had the base for a long time, but have used it only once for a single plate. It produced outstanding results, which is why I’d like to start using it more regularly as opposed to wood-mounted plates. But I’m a little nervous about ordering the plates since two of them will need to be mounted rather close to each other and I’m worried that the lip required to accommodate the toggles will limit how close the images can be. Also, I’m wondering how to make fine adjustments in position since I’m printing onto a photograph and the registration needs to be spot-on. Are there other ways to mount the plates other than with the toggles?

I’ve searched the internet for a primer on using honeycomb bases, but all the hits lead right back here to Briar Press and they address specific questions like yours. I had to chuckle because Letterpress Commons has a heading called “Using a Honeycomb Base” with no content.

So does anyone know of a book that covers the subject? I know old timers may roll their eyes at this question since most procedures like this are learned on the job, and it would seem ridiculous to have a textbook on the subject.



We use sterling toggle base and, as you suggest, learned on the fly. So I googled Sterling Toggle base and they have a web sight which might offer some help. We use ours on Heidelburg platens and a cylinder so using a line gauge and knowing the gripper and side margins is enough to get close register on first strike.

How it was done a long time ago, but utilising Monotype mounting base material, first step, plates mounted on intermediate adaptor base, (paxolin) with D.S.A. and then onto low level honeycomb with register hooks in at least 4 thickness increments!!!…If close register for adjacent blocks was desired, the plates were mounted to virtually bleed and mounted on Monotype Low quads in any size configuration, adjacent plates down to zero clearance, to print?? or spaced with tissue, card, 1 point and upwards??? occasionaly using pre make ready galley with acetate graph sheet!!! F.A.G. Cornerstone, etc.
This worked even on 4 colour on a 2 page spread with no visible gap or margin(s) … Apologies if this is rubbish, but that (in essence) is how it used to be achieved.???