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11760Re: [PPLetterpress] fine lines breaking up on press?!?

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  • Scott Rubel
    Jun 9, 2010
      Could it be defective plate chemistry, where it just will not get hard enough? If the first impressions are pleasing and then it breaks down, then it just must be the hardness of the plate.

      That's barring any other chemical situation, like if the plates are getting moist somehow, even from freakishly high humidity.

      The only way to know is have a set of plates made by someone else, or order new plate stock, I guess.

      How awful. Sorry this this happening.


      On Jun 9, 2010, at 5:54 PM, Katelynn Corrigan wrote:


      We were having a frustrating plate problem and ended up throwing in the towel for the day.

      It's a buisness stationary suite which uses some fairly, but not terribly, small sizes of Bodoni (or a similar, high contrast modern face.) Some characters- actually, it's worst on glyphs like "/" and "#", and lightly-less-than-worst on caps like "N"- are breaking down on press after a few dozen impressions.  It is happening most dramatically on the business card, which is being printed on 90 lb Crane's Crest cover.  (There were NO problems with this same size and style type on the letterhead, oddly.)

      The plates (Nyloprint, high relief) were initially burned ganged up, on two large scraps of plate material. When the "/" and a "N" on the business card went wavy, I reburnt it by itself, thinking that perhaps I hadn't dried the original one long enough, or forgot to post expose it, or something. I burnt it for an extra 30 seconds, was very careful that it was not overwashed, and thought everything would be fine. However, the same problem repeated itself. We burnt the plate a third time- this time with a five minute exposure and deliberate under-washing (a nice 'pool' of polymer around the type area) to be extra safe. On the first few proofs, it looked great. However, again, after a few dozen, the lines are breaking down.

      The plate maker is a Jet, about 10 years old. The bulbs and starters are only a few months old. The vinyl cover sheet is also new. The brushes were replaced last year.  The water was changed today. 

      I think part of the problem is (of course) the amount of impression I'm giving the type (oh, we've also tried soft packing vs hard packing too- problem d oesn't go away) but this is a big money job and it needs to scream letterpress from across the state line, apparently. Not my aesthetic, but it's how the bills get paid. Its sure going to look silly if I have to kiss this part of the card when the other 3 passes on it are punched through, that's for sure.

      I'm really hoping to be able to figure this out and not have to tell the designer that I can't print type that small, because I know I should be able to. I'm out of ideas at the moment. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to have something to start with tomorrow morning.

      Thank you,


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