I have used these plates for miniature books and have goine as far as 4pt. type with good results. I do have an powered washout unit, but I would think careful hand washing would give similar results. Proper exposure is the key to good plates, say I.
The idea of testing out a variety of faces and sizes is a good one. It may help you hone your techniques as well.
Cedar Creek Press
--- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Belle & Whistle Press" <bwletterpress@...> wrote:
> We haven't made our own plates, but have just started using Elum for plate
> processing. Their metric is that all lines and spacing between lines should
> be greater than .2 points for standard thickness and .35 points for deep
> relief plates. Although I don't know if that is an absolute minimum of
> their set up or if it is inflated at all to keep them out of trouble with
> customers who like to walk the line. So it would seem that the issue is not
> an issue of the "smallest size type", but rather the size of the strokes
> used to compose your artwork or text alike-- a large but script-y font may
> give you more problem than something small and thick (which is going to be a
> pain have to check, but I am sure you'll get the hang of it).
> What you could do is to create your plate with a system of lines
> incrementally varying in thickness, from 1 point down to .05 points for
> example. Take notes of the whole process and *report back*-- was your
> printer able to even accurately produce the smallest of lines, was there any
> visual degradation of quality when creating your negative film and again
> when exposing the plate, and how they appear when actually used on the press
> with ink. It would be a neat process to understand what your limits are as
> well as finding out which part of the process causes the greatest loss of
> quality-- which you can then use to improve your process with more testing
> (moving the exposure lights closer of further away, applying more pressure,
> using more lights for less time, etc.).
> I'd love to read the results from such an endeavor-- perhaps that means I
> should build one myself and give it a go. Did you use specific plans to
> build yours?
> Belle & Whistle Press
> Philadelphia, PA
> On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 12:56 AM, rwarnoldjr <rwarnoldjr@...> wrote:
> > I am trying to find out peoples experience with printing type on plates
> > exposed and processed at home. I built an exposure unit and am using the
> > Printight plates in both metal and plastic backed. What is the smallest size
> > type anyone has been able to get on a plate and have it print cleanly with
> > good sharp edges. I am printing on a C&P 10x15 press.