Levelling impression and packing on small platen presses

I was wondering if anyone on here could help me with a few queries I have on levelling/adjusting impression and the best method to calculate packing for my three small platen presses.

I have two tabletop Adanas (8x5ā€ and HS/2 6x4ā€) and a Cropper Charlton & Co Peerless No.1 treadle platen press (8x5”) and I have always had issues with even printing and working out packing thicknesses and unfortunately they all need levelling.

I would like to print on stocks suitable for greetings cards/postcards and heavy stocks for coasters/invites. Ideally I would be looking to set all three presses up with the same base packing/impression that I could adjust accordingly for different paper stocks.

I was wondering if when initially levelling/adjusting impression on platen presses should the press be dressed with packing plus the thickest stock you intend to work with or with a bare platen?

I previously tried to adjust a platen to the bare platen and found myself with no room for a thicker stock to go in the press alongside packing without it being way too heavy of an impression. I also experimented with using an offset litho blanket and feel like it may have been too thick as my tympan was still picking up some ink when the throw-off level was down on my treadle press.

Any advice would be great as I have been reading through all of the impression/make ready guides I can find and Iā€™m still having issues.


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