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9470Re: [PPLetterpress] platemaking issues

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  • Cody L
    Mar 7, 2008
      For greater coverage I am posting on PPletterpress and
      Briar Press Discussions.

      UPDATE: Platemaking experience with a NuArc FT18
      platemaker.

      Ok, so here is a recap and an update. I removed the
      glass top on the vacuum and replaced it with KREEN by
      creating a frame to hold it in and using the original
      hardware that was used with the glass plate. Until my
      12 step gauge comes in I have a 14 step gauge that I
      tried to use but it really is no help

      TEST 1: (6 - 3" x 3" pieces of polymer were exposed)
      I started out with a unit of 17 which was about
      00:01:45 for the test and run that up to a 79 unit
      exposure that was about 00:04:30. The longer exposure
      time increased the hardness of the plate but there was
      absolutely no shoulder to the artwork. I doubled the
      time for hardening. Commas and thin lines are weak but
      at the 79 units the plate is getting almost hard
      enough. At 99 units (approx 6 minutes) the letter
      forms bleed to a bold but shoulder thickness is still
      at a 90 degree angle to the artwork surface.

      TEST 2: (6 - 3" x 3" pieces of polymer were exposed)
      I purchased a DRAFTING FILM from the local art store.
      It has a frosted look but it is a smooth piece of
      plastic like material. I first taped it to the outside
      of the frame with a 1” gap between the FILM and the
      KREEN. With a 12 minute exposure there was very little
      hardening of the plate. Some letter forms even washed
      out during the first 3 minutes of hand washing the
      plate. Next I placed it between the KREEN and the
      NEGATIVE in the vacuum frame. I set the exposure to 99
      and did another test. There is a very slight shoulder
      now and the hardness is getting better but it still is
      a bit soft even after the washout and hardening in the
      platemaker for 10 minutes without the film. The
      problems from test 1 are still there with the commas
      and thin ruled lines.

      TEST 3: (6 - 3" x 3" pieces of polymer were exposed)
      I added a second film for testing to see if it
      increased the shoulder angle. I did a timed exposure
      because the units stop at 99 and that is roughly
      00:06:00 to 00:06:30 minutes on the bulbs current life
      cycle. I times an 8 minute, 10 minute and 12 minute
      exposure. The 12 minute exposure produced acceptable
      art without having the fonts grow to a bold weight.
      The shoulder however did not increase from the test 2
      results with the increased addition of the extra sheet
      of film.

      I even added tinfoil to the interior of the exposure
      unit in an attempt to reflect more of the light into
      the plate and broaden the shoulders but with no
      success. All it effected was the sensor for the
      interpolated (automatic) timer in which it turned it
      off quite soon after it was started due to increased
      light readings picked up.

      I am at this point very open to more suggestions on
      ways to increase the shoulder width. Please let me
      know if anyone has heard of ways around this with and
      offset platemaker or if you know of someone I can talk
      to who has successfully converted one I would love to
      talk to them!

      cody


      --- Cody L <itsfancyletterpress@...> wrote:

      > Interesting. So it would just be a matter of
      > diffusing
      > the light source to hit the plate at a broader
      > angle.
      > I wonder if putting a curved sheet of plastic or
      > another material like mylar on the flip top might
      > possibly do the job to refract the light enough. The
      > platemaker was practically free so I want to explore
      > all of my options on this before throwing it out. It
      > is in excellent condition and is easy to adjust.
      >
      > What about increasing the exposure time? would that
      > possibly help.
      >
      > Or adding some reflective metal pieces inside of the
      > platemaker to bounce the light up at different
      > angles.
      >
      > cody
      > It's Fancy Letterpress Studio
      >
      >
      > --- Gary Mordhorst <gary@...> wrote:
      >
      > > Hello Cody,
      > >
      > > The issue is that the offset plate maker has a pin
      > > point light system. This type of light will cause
      > a
      > > letterpress plate to not have the shoulder, which
      > > provides strength to the type form. A commercial
      > > photopolymer plate maker uses a bank of high UV
      > > bulbs, exposing the plate with a variety of angles
      > > of light. This diffused light source creates the
      > > shoulder on the type, and provides plate strength.
      > >
      > > You are going to find that small items, such as
      > > periods and dot on lower case "i"s drop off during
      > > the course of the press run.
      > >
      > > The light needs to be diffused, but I do not feel
      > > that there is any safe way to diffuse the NuArc's
      > > lamp.
      > >
      > >
      > > Best Regards,
      > >
      > > Gary Mordhorst
      > > AccuColor Plus, Inc.
      > > 2134 W. Division
      > > Chicago, IL 60622
      > >
      > > www.accucolor.com
      > >
      > > (773) 227-7788
      > >
      > >
      > > Conventional Offset, Contemporary Letterpress,
      > Foil
      > > Stamping
      > >
      > > AccuColor Plus is a Certified Adobe Print Service
      > > Provider
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: itsfancyletterpress
      > > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 7:16 AM
      > > Subject: [PPLetterpress] platemaking issues
      > >
      > >
      > > I am super new to platemaking but things have
      > gone
      > > smoothly except for one issue.
      > >
      > > The kreen went on easily. I created a framework
      > to
      > > wrap it around and used the original
      > > hardware to affix the screen to the frame of my
      > > small Nuarc fliptop platemaker. I am hand
      > > washing out the plates and outside of the time
      > > spent with the nylon brush it is not too
      > > difficult.
      > >
      > > I have had fun exposing small sample pieces and
      > > recording the exposure times so I know
      > > what to expect from the platemaker.
      > >
      > > The problem is on all of my plates the side
      > walls
      > > of the letters are at a 90 degree angle to the
      > > letters top surface. The ones I purchase have an
      > > angled slope.
      > >
      > > My question is how do I get my plate to taper
      > > more? I am using a Jet plate 152 and a boxcar
      > > deep relief base on my C&P's. I would love to
      > get
      > > this problem fixed tonight because I hae
      > > spent a large fortune overthe years purchasing
      > > finished plates from vendors.
      > >
      > > cody
      > > It's Fancy Letterpress Studio
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
      > > removed]
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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