copper die for printing

hi there. will a 1/4” copper plate of type be suitible for letterpress print? going to try it, i know i need to bring it to .918” with a proper base. i have some super sticky 3m double sided tape for attachment, but could drill and tap base for bunter posts.
basic black ink, image is an address on an envelope. pretty simple job, but my experiance has mostly been numbering.

Log in to reply   9 replies so far

You should have no problem printing from your copper die.
Actually you will have better quality than a magnesium or photo polymer. Good luck my friend.

Double sided tape should work fine. I use plastic carpet tape for all sorts of materials, usually mounted on MDF, and have never had a problem.

thanks gize. it is centered on the envelope so there will be multiple layers of glued flaps involved. i will use a soft urethane counter. i just really don’t like magnesium because it is, so soft. maybe that it just my experiance heating it for foil, but it is soft no matter what. for this size image, the two metals are almost the same price.

I would suggest having it mounted by the photo-engraver if you can afford to do so- They can usually mount on wood or magnesium and at this size either should be fine.

Hi Eric; I’ve printed with 1/4” copper engravings for years; the image is as good as mag and lasts far longer. I’m using a sterling toggle base for mounting. Owosso Graphic Arts can mount it on a magnesium base. They do a great job. I have copper engravings that have over a million impressions with no sign of wear. Owosso is reasonably priced.
Good luck,

I’ve used 2 sided tape to mount dies, and eventually, it either comes loose or starts to shift. I had a copper engraving that started to shift after 100k or so. It’s one of those cost/time savings things that isn’t worth it. Sterling toggle base is the best solution for me. You can even adjust position while the chase is still in the press. The base can be expensive, I’ve found some pieces used and even had one base made at a machine shop. Fritz has it listed also.

hmmmm. i think i have a piece of honeycomb some place. forgot about that. have to see what it adds up to height-wise.

This is what we have been using. For counter to platen, counter to bed, for die to wood block and photo polymer to wood. Never had a shift or pull off failure.

image: 50147D81-86C4-4532-93C4-31838F805815.jpeg


We have used the same tape we use for photopolymer plates on the dies. When we needed a bigger base for printing we went to a local metal seller to create a quick fix. We bought a scape piece of large flat stock for $35.00. They also sell a lot of aluminum flat bar stock. They had a lot of trim waste scraps for cheap prices in their waste bin for sale and for $20.00 I bought some for locking up my hot plate. Depending on the size of the die you could take something like that and either use tape only or tape and a couple of bunter post ( drilled and tap to fit ). It is like a mini base you can drill and adapt until it wont work any more and use another piece.