Large plate

I need to have a plate made for a large graphic that’s approx 15x20, to be printed on my SP-20. I don’t have a base large enough for that, though. What do others typically do for something this large? I’ve previously mounted polymer plates to MDF and then shimmed it up with chipboard, but that’s not an exact science. The image is all linework. Has anyone tried a laser or CNC routed plate for something like this?

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When I only had a smaller boxcar base, I just had a mag cut made instead of photopolymer. However the size limit from Hodgins is 12 x 16. I don’t know if Owosso or other engravers have the same limit. If the design permits it you could split the image up onto two magnesium plates.

Hi jonsel
You can purchase plywood base material that is milled flat, and to your specs to be type high when mounted at Universal Level. I think their sheets of plywood blocking material are 18x36 so you can cut down to the size you need. They sell it glue coated or uncoated. The glue is heat activated intended for mounting metal plates in a blocking press so if your using polymer I would get un- coated and use a spray adhesive. This is a very stable, flat product designed and intended for exactly this purpose which people have been using for many, many years.

Do you have a source to recommend for this kind of plywood and for getting it milled to proper height?

I have a 13x19 patmag, but I find the magnet is too weak to withstand the pressure from the Vandercook. I thought about breaking the plate into parts to fit on my base and printing it in separate runs, but I’m concerned the color might not exactly match if I did that.

I think getting some plywood milled to the height I need is a good idea. Any recs for sources (preferably in NJ area) would be awesome.

I get it from Universal Level 1-800-236-6446. They are in Wisconsin I think so add a few days for UPS.
To know the proper thickness of your blocking wood you need to know the thickness of the plate material that you are using which you could get from the data sheet that the manufacturer supplies or you could use a micrometer and measure. Then subtract that from .918 and a thousandths for adhesive. So if your polymer or metal plate is .064 then; .918 minus .064 minus .001 equals .853 which is a normal height for blocking wood.
When I mount my polymer cuts I use #77 spray adhesive which I get from the local hardware or arts & crafts store. When the plate and base are cut out and ready for mounting I spray adhesive on the back of the plate, let it set for 3 or 4 minutes and then line it up on the base and lay it down and rub out any air. With a large plate you might want to practice a few time how you will lay it down and you might want to use a brayer to roll out any air.

These guys?

I would just use the standard boxcar adhesive. I’ve done that with MDF and plywood before.

That’s them but I always call them on the phone and discuss exactly what I want.

Thanks, I’ll give them a shout.