Hotplate questions

We are new to foil and want to know if it is ok to lock up a hotplate chase with wood furniture or should I use metal furniture when working with heat. I was not sure how the wood will respond to the heat.

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don’t use wood if you can at all avoid it. the wood will expand and shift do to expansion of moisture in it. i have seen customer’s lockups “blow out” when adding heat to a die cut, (usually for plastic), and unless you are “right there, with you hand on the stop” the results are not pretty.
Contact me directly, as i am working on a foil unit for my press, and one of the things to be dealt with, is the hotplate issue. i am designing a way to lock up the plate without a full perimeter chase. this is allowing much more clearance for power and sensor wiring.
one of the problems has been that, i can’t have the typical “Heidelberg precision fit chase” on a cold plate as it will “lock in” once hot and expanded.

The whole idea is to conduct the heat and wood will not do that.


he is talking about locking up the hotplate in a chase with wood furniture, vs steel furniture. these are usually drilled and tapped for the use of different types of “Bunter Posts”. The dies are mounted directly onto the hotplate this way, rather than using a “honeycomb” with a fixed-in-place hotplate.
the windmill has room for either a hotplate and die, or chase with die. not both, like a kluge.

Thank you all for the feed back. Our hot plate is locked inside a chase with wood furniture. It is setup to work with bunter posts. As mentioned, we had a problem with the wood shrinking and almost dropped a lockup into the press. I am also wondering about using aluminum for lockup, will it work? It is the same material used for the base we use for Photopolymer printing. We are going to have strips cut and use them for lockup much like the wood we are using now. We are hope to find a source for steel but no luck so far.

aluminum will be fine. metal expands and contracts also, so check for that during heating. but, most importantly, it won’t change it’s shape. try to use the biggest possible piece for filler rather than “something and a bunch of strips”. the fewer the pieces in there, the better.

ericm, Thank you for you input. When I saw how close I got to a blowout using the wood I knew needed a better way. I went to the scrap bin at a local metal supplier and grabbed an assortment of 5/8 steel and aluminum in various widths and overall lengths. For $12.00 I have a great start and they were will to help if I needed anything cut from regular stock.