Hello, i acquired a windmill from 1957 recntly and I have a question concerning the polymer plates or metal plates, what is the recommended thickness to have the best printing for business cards and greeting cards ?
I have been printing on a Letterpress machine from 1923, Foulon and Langehagen for a few years.
We usually use a range of papers from 250 to 600 gr.
Thanks again for your help and thank you BriarPress, your website is just a gold mine.

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Hello Ducosje! A lot of printers prefer the 0.037” thickness (plastic) if their form rollers can be adjusted to an even height across the plate, so the form rollers give the plate image a kiss of ink as they roll across the plate. If your press can not be adjusted this way, then the thicker plates will give your form rollers a little leeway for this. The 0.037” plates can hold a little finer detail than the thicker plates…you may not notice this on jobs that do not have a lot of fine detail though.

Hi, I run a Windmill in the UK. The key to my mind for the plates of any kind is the magic number .918 ie type high. The way I am lucky enough to work with polymer plates is by using Cornerstone honeycomb base, a shim plate, polymer plate and double sided adhesive. Here are some thickness figures shown in inches,
Base.. … 0.748
Shim .. .. 0.098
Plate .. .. 0.069
Adhes .. 0.004
… —————-
Total .. 0.919

The plate in this instance is a 1.75mm polymer. From this you can see I am almost spot on for type height and paper thickness is adjusted with the packing. Sticking to .918 will also mean you only need to set your rollers for type height and leave them well alone after that.
Hope this helps.

Thank you for your comments and help.

Just as an example using 1.75 polymer is this wood engraving reproduction size 4” x 3.5”
I have been told that with the thicker plate the trade house can get a better etch that is deeper than the thinner plates and helps with roller problems/

image: woodcut reproduction.jpg

woodcut reproduction.jpg

Frank has some good feedback. Part of the plan of what plate you print with is the base you plan to use and how long the press run is. It might also help to know where you are located, some of the advice may be distance related. I use a laser cut photopolymer that is made by Crown Flexo. I can get very small text and fine detail with very good results. We use CNC cut hole bored copper dies for foil but could print with them also but need a base to attach it to for ink printing. You have track adjustments for ink roller contact control on the Windmill. It is amazing to see what happens to inking coverage and density with very minor changes in track height. It can be a huge help and make you crazy at the same time getting it just right, but you can and will.