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Re: [PPLetterpress] response to inquiry

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  • flywheel@premier1.net
    Gerald Thanks so much for the information. I ve talked to the sales rep for A/V and will probably go visit them in the near future. It kinda seems like a no
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 18, 2001
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      Gerald

      Thanks so much for the information. I've talked to the sales rep for A/V and
      will probably go visit them in the near future. It kinda seems like a no
      brainer to go with A/V. Everything I've heard about them is very positive,
      and they have an office/outlet outside of Seattle. They told me to come on
      down and they'd fire up a machine and make some plates and I could see how
      they work. And they do traffic in used machines on a regular basis...folks
      trading up.

      I knew the Bunting bases were expensive, but I had no idea they were that
      much. Jeez. I'm thinking maybe I could post a note to the PP list and see if
      I couldn't get six people together as you suggest. Would the savings be that
      significant? And should we purchase them through you?

      As I mentioned earlier, we're still in the planning stages. The design firm
      wants to have everything in place by May of next year which will coincide
      with the NY Stationery Show. So we will probably start producing sample
      books around January. There will be lots of work to do for those. Have you
      ever seen the sample books that Julie Holcomb Printers produces? BIG THICK
      binders full of heavy impression. Not very inspired designs, but hey, I'm
      just the printer in this gig.

      So I'm working in the shop and the foundry trying to make room. Just
      dismantled an old spare caster and keyboard for parts (what a greasy mess
      that was), sold a 23x30 sign press, and am stacking things yet higher and
      higher. The foundry is getting down right spacious. But that of course will
      not last. Some folks in Seattle (Day Moon Press/Maura Shapley and Jack
      LeNoir) are slowly letting me cart away some of their Monotype stuff. It's
      been sitting quietly rusting for over fifteen years now, and they're
      beginning to think that they'll never use it. Another few tons of equipment.
      But at least I've got the space...and I've now got 14 pt Bembo 270 in
      composition. I'm thrilled.

      Anyways, thanks again for your help and advice. I hope that you and your's
      are well during this trying time.

      Best wishes

      Chris
    • Gerald Lange
      Dear Chris Happy to hear you have a A/V rep close by. That will help a lot. Re: the Buntings. At that size they run 667 each single/617 each at 2 to 5/578 at
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 18, 2001
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        Dear Chris

        Happy to hear you have a A/V rep close by. That will help a lot.

        Re: the Buntings. At that size they run 667 each single/617 each at 2
        to 5/578 at 6+. I always try to do the group disc thing. Only problem,
        I believe, is that the bases may all have to be ground to the same
        height, but maybe not. Bunting can be flexible, when they smell the
        dough re me (they have no problem with separate drop-ships, so might
        not have one with separate grindings). Other known distributors (to
        me) are A/V itself (at least, in So Cal), Bay Island Press, Gene
        Becker, NA Graphics. (None of whom, of course, would deign to join
        this group). Swing the best deal you can. Phone numbers etc are all in
        the Bookmarks area.

        Keep those Monotype machines oiled. Let me know how this all works
        out.

        Ger



        --- In PPLetterpress@y..., flywheel@p... wrote:
        > Gerald
        >
        > Thanks so much for the information. I've talked to the sales rep for A/V and
        > will probably go visit them in the near future. It kinda seems like a no
        > brainer to go with A/V. Everything I've heard about them is very positive,
        > and they have an office/outlet outside of Seattle. They told me to come on
        > down and they'd fire up a machine and make some plates and I could see how
        > they work. And they do traffic in used machines on a regular basis...folks
        > trading up.
        >
        > I knew the Bunting bases were expensive, but I had no idea they were that
        > much. Jeez. I'm thinking maybe I could post a note to the PP list and see if
        > I couldn't get six people together as you suggest. Would the savings be that
        > significant? And should we purchase them through you?
        >....
        > Anyways, thanks again for your help and advice. I hope that you and your's
        > are well during this trying time.
        >
        > Best wishes
        >
        > Chris
      • dpwall@hotmail.com
        I am interested in hearing some of the pros and cons of the various machines as they compare to one another. Can anyone offer opinions in this regard? Thanks,
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 21, 2001
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          I am interested in hearing some of the pros and cons of the various
          machines as they compare to one another. Can anyone offer opinions in
          this regard?

          Thanks,

          David Wall
        • Frank Cabral
          Hello David, We use a Anderson Vreeland orbital washout unit. It is very simple and does not have many variables. It is basically exposing the properly dense
          Message 4 of 14 , Sep 21, 2001
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            Hello David,
            We use a Anderson Vreeland orbital washout unit. It is very simple and does
            not have many variables. It is basically exposing the properly dense
            negative, (4.0 at least, I like them digitally output of at least 1200 dpi)
            emulsion side down on the plate material for about 2.5 minutes, this is one
            of the areas where you can affect the plate. I find the MLD 145 plate
            material the best for type and where you need crisp edges I will use the
            softer plate material for printing solids. Once exposed the plate is
            attached to the magnetic orbital part of the unit and washed out with water
            for about 4 minutes. At one time I would wash it out for 2 minutes put the
            plate in the oven and dry it for 10 minutes and then wash it out for 2
            minutes then complete the drying for 20 minutes with a final exposure 4
            minutes to harden the entire plate. I have used this process with film that
            is not as dense or with very fine lines or small dots or where there is a
            lot of space between images. When I make a bad plate it is generally that
            the film was not dark enough, I exposed the wrong side of the film or the
            suction holding the kreen in place was not sufficient, all of this
            allowing to much light in to harden parts of plate that should be washed
            out. At one time a representative of AV suggested we put in vinegar in the
            washout water, at that time we had treated water, that worked fine until we
            put in a well and had the water filtered and softened which reacted with
            the vinegar and produced unstable plates, granular edges. I stopped using
            the vinegar and the problem vanished. It took a long time to figure that
            one out. I have only used this machine and have no comparison. I feel very
            confident in being able to produce excellent plates. Last summer I made
            about 230 8"x 10" plates of 16 pt text and had two bad plates, one I should
            have replaced the kreen sooner the other there was a speck between the
            negative and kreen which produced some broken letters. I will be interested
            in the experience of others with this and other machines.

            Frank
            cabral@...
            Nevada City

            dpwall@... wrote:

            >
            > I am interested in hearing some of the pros and cons of the various
            > machines as they compare to one another. Can anyone offer opinions in
            > this regard?
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > David Wall
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
            ADVERTISEMENT
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            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Gerald Lange
            ... Dear Frank My A&V rep told me the same thing, and I always put vinegar in the wash (he said a cupful). He said it would keep mineral deposits from
            Message 5 of 14 , Sep 30, 2001
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              > Frank Cabral wrote....At one time a representative of AV suggested we put in
              > vinegar in the washout water, at that time we had treated water, that worked
              > fine until we put in a well and had the water filtered and softened which
              > reacted with the vinegar and produced unstable plates, granular edges. I
              > stopped using the vinegar and the problem vanished. It took a long time to
              > figure that one out....


              Dear Frank

              My A&V rep told me the same thing, and I always put vinegar in the
              wash (he said a cupful). He said it would keep mineral deposits from
              accumulating (it also apparently helps suspend the waste material—
              techanically termed inspissation!!!).

              When a BASF sales rep came in to try and sell me the new water-washout
              plates they are making for flexography he said the only requirements
              for conversion were extremely high temperatures and a soft water
              hookup. I didn't bother to didn't ask about vinegar.

              It just might well be that a certain acid/akaline balance is somewhat
              important.

              Gerald
            • Frank Cabral
              Hello Gerald, I think you are correct about that balance. Yet another variable. The A&V rep also suggested to have the water temperature at 110 F. for
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 1, 2001
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                Hello Gerald,

                I think you are correct about that balance.
                Yet another variable. The A&V rep also suggested to have the water
                temperature at 110 F. for processing the MLD 145. I have found better
                results keeping the water about 85 degrees (as with the KM 152 plate
                material). With the higher temp. it was to easy to wash away fragile
                isolated dots or the edges of fine type.

                Frank
              • Gerald Lange
                Dear Frank Since we are using the same machine I have some questions I hope you will address. I also keep the temperature down a bit. 90 to 100 max for KM 95s
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 1, 2001
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                  Dear Frank

                  Since we are using the same machine I have some questions I hope you
                  will address. I also keep the temperature down a bit. 90 to 100 max
                  for KM 95s (.038).

                  But I would like to know your exposure times for KM 152 (.060). You
                  wash these out for four minutes right? What are your exposure settings
                  here for say reverses,/solids, then type, then fine lines/halftones?

                  And a curious question, why MLD 145s for text? These aren't even on my
                  spec sheet for letterpress!!!! Aren't the MLDs for molds, hot
                  stamping, flexography, rubber stamps, etc.? How did you get to this
                  choice?

                  Gerald


                  --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Frank Cabral <cabral@j...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello Gerald,
                  >
                  > I think you are correct about that balance.
                  > Yet another variable. The A&V rep also suggested to have the water
                  > temperature at 110 F. for processing the MLD 145. I have found better
                  > results keeping the water about 85 degrees (as with the KM 152 plate
                  > material). With the higher temp. it was to easy to wash away fragile
                  > isolated dots or the edges of fine type.
                  >
                  > Frank
                • Frank Cabral
                  Dear Gerald The exposure for the KM 152, depending on image, the more solid the shorter, is for about 2.5 minutes and wash out about 3 minutes. I have found
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 2, 2001
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                    Dear Gerald

                    The exposure for the KM 152, depending on image, the more solid the
                    shorter, is for about 2.5 minutes and wash out about 3 minutes. I have
                    found that this material is easier to wash away. After about two and half
                    minutes I will check with a loupe every 15 to 30 seconds until the bevel on
                    the edge is correct and that the periods, dots over 'i' and end of lines
                    are not undercut. The arrangement of positive and negative space on the
                    negative will affect this.

                    I will use the KM 152 for solids, when the general image is large
                    (backgrounds, large block type etc.) While this material is capable of
                    holding fine lines I find when printing that it is a softer, more generous
                    and will spread more than the MLD. The 152 is great for printing on plastic
                    and responds best to soft packing.

                    MLD after the final exposure is quite hard, but brittle, and holds up to
                    the letterpress look (deep impression) that is so popular today. I have
                    found it holds fine lines and dots with a longer washout than the 152. The
                    longer washout is important, it reveals the edges of the typeface, washes
                    away the shoulder and makes the printing more accurate as to its design.
                    Especially on the different surfaces and thickness of paper. Printing is
                    primarily on 10x15 Heildelbergs' and 21x28 Heidelberg cylinder presses.

                    I don't remember how I got to this choice but it has worked so well I
                    haven't found a reason to look further. Most problems are operator error
                    either in how I made the plates, my make ready or some mystery that is
                    plainly obvious to everyone but me.

                    I think the spec sheet I have for MLD recommends it for all the
                    processes you mention but I thought it also included letterpress. I will be
                    at the shop tomorrow if it is any different I will send you a note.

                    What material do you use?

                    With regards
                    Frank


                    Gerald Lange wrote:

                    > Dear Frank
                    >
                    > Since we are using the same machine I have some questions I hope you
                    > will address. I also keep the temperature down a bit. 90 to 100 max
                    > for KM 95s (.038).
                    >
                    > But I would like to know your exposure times for KM 152 (.060). You
                    > wash these out for four minutes right? What are your exposure settings
                    > here for say reverses,/solids, then type, then fine lines/halftones?
                    >
                    > And a curious question, why MLD 145s for text? These aren't even on my
                    > spec sheet for letterpress!!!! Aren't the MLDs for molds, hot
                    > stamping, flexography, rubber stamps, etc.? How did you get to this
                    > choice?
                    >
                    > Gerald
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • typetom@aol.com
                    Hello Gerald & others, With such variations apparent in different plates, it would help my perspective if you might label the brand or source of the various
                    Message 9 of 14 , Oct 2, 2001
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                      Hello Gerald & others,
                      With such variations apparent in different plates, it would help my
                      perspective if you might label the brand or source of the various plate
                      materials you are describing. I am using Gene Becker's Miraclon MS152 plates
                      in a home-made, handwashed system, getting good results (within a long
                      process of adjustments and fine tuning and experimenting). But I am
                      continually amazed at how divergent everyone's answers are: I hardly ever
                      hear the same instructions, exposure times, washout times, proceedures, etc,
                      despite how certain and enthusiastic we all are about our results. I have
                      projected the same certainty at times, only to realize later that I had
                      misinterpreted some factor or another. Correctly diagnosing problems in this
                      technology remains a humbling mystery, despite my being able to use it
                      successfully for numerous commercial and artistic projects.

                      Another request: I wonder if someone might describe the machine washout. Does
                      the machine fill up with water and soak before brushing? Or maybe pause
                      brushing and soak occasionally? For how long? Or is it all continuous action?
                      And is there any method used for observing/evaluating the progress, or is it
                      just a timed setting? In hand-washout, I am continually checking, and choose
                      to halt early or continue washing down to clean metal backing according to
                      the specific details of the plate. I have wondered how this could be possible
                      in the machine.

                      Any rate, thanks for carrying on so -- I'm listening with interest.
                      Best wishes, Tom

                      Tom Parson
                      Now It's Up To You Publications
                      157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                      (303) 777-8951
                      http://members.aol.com/typetom
                    • Gerald Lange
                      Dear Tom Don t really know how to address the first issue. Economics is a big factor here. If you are not doing industry standard (and to do so requires
                      Message 10 of 14 , Oct 3, 2001
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                        Dear Tom

                        Don't really know how to address the first issue. Economics is a big
                        factor here. If you are not doing "industry standard" (and to do so
                        requires owning variously expensive equipment; processing machine,
                        bases, etc., all of which have their own uniquely varied
                        requirements) you are doing "alt," and in alternative processing the
                        techniques and materials employed are so varied, subjective, and
                        discontinuous one to another that to speculate on their relative
                        merits or demerits is foolhardy.

                        I'd like to think this must be somewhat akin to the problems that
                        Monotype must have faced. Now that they've potentially put a possible
                        foundry into every printshop, how do they regulate it? Their answer
                        seems to have been, to not regulate. Give the caster the ability to
                        alter character positioning, metallurgy, type height, etc. Hmm, maybe
                        not the best analogy after all.

                        Maybe I can do better on machine washout. Well, the machine should
                        fill up with water to some point just above the brushes. My rep says a
                        quarter of an inch, and I believe every word he says. The machine has
                        a cyclical pattern that seems to brush, halter, and brush again. It
                        could be reversing the pattern, I do not know. The machine is closed
                        during the process. The halting is only for a second or two. The
                        machines are timed-set. It is initially a matter of trial and error to
                        find the correct timing though there is certainly enough info out
                        there to get you on the right track quite quickly. This of course
                        various with different configurations of plates. Nothing but variables
                        in photopolymer I'm afraid. Trick, I quess, is to find your own here.

                        Regarding the checking. I never do this. I don't know what I could
                        tell by what I was seeing anyway. This may probably be a good idea,
                        whether you are doing this by machine (as Frank does) or by hand (as
                        you are), but I assume you need the eye for it. If I've had problems
                        (other than the purely mechanical) they have generally been in exposure
                        because I have knowingly taken shortcuts, specifically, ganging plates
                        or running different weights of text or formats together or, the worst,
                        saying yes to the client who prefers to furnish their own plates. I do
                        a certain amount of hand washing out for a specific kind of plate and
                        I try to mimic what I believe are the actions of the machine. I have a
                        little contraption built for this that I use in the machine, against the
                        brushes; I think I may have mentioned this in a very early post. Personally,
                        hand-washing scares the crap out of me. I do a lot of bookwork mainly so
                        consistency is quite crucial to me. I'm under the opinion that seconds
                        count here and I don't trust variables in regard to processing.

                        Doubt if this answers or resolves anything. But it was a good question
                        and, since no one else jumped at it, I thought it worth a shot.

                        All best

                        Gerald

                        > Hello Gerald & others,
                        > With such variations apparent in different plates, it would help my
                        > perspective if you might label the brand or source of the various plate
                        > materials you are describing. I am using Gene Becker's Miraclon MS152 pla=tes
                        > in a home-made, handwashed system, getting good results (within a long
                        > process of adjustments and fine tuning and experimenting). But I am
                        > continually amazed at how divergent everyone's answers are: I hardly ever=
                        > hear the same instructions, exposure times, washout times, proceedures, e=tc,
                        > despite how certain and enthusiastic we all are about our results. I have=
                        > projected the same certainty at times, only to realize later that I had
                        > misinterpreted some factor or another. Correctly diagnosing problems in t=his
                        > technology remains a humbling mystery, despite my being able to use it
                        > successfully for numerous commercial and artistic projects.
                        >
                        > Another request: I wonder if someone might describe the machine washout. =Does
                        > the machine fill up with water and soak before brushing? Or maybe pause
                        > brushing and soak occasionally? For how long? Or is it all continuous act=ion?
                        > And is there any method used for observing/evaluating the progress, or is= it
                        > just a timed setting? In hand-washout, I am continually checking, and cho=ose
                        > to halt early or continue washing down to clean metal backing according t=o
                        > the specific details of the plate. I have wondered how this could be poss=ible
                        > in the machine.
                        >
                        > Any rate, thanks for carrying on so -- I'm listening with interest.
                        > Best wishes, Tom
                        >
                        > Tom Parson
                        > Now It's Up To You Publications
                        > 157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                        > (303) 777-8951
                        > http://members.aol.com/typetom
                      • Harold Kyle
                        Tom, I had thought, much like you do, that hand-washing would be accurate than machine washing--until I recently switched over to a machine washout. I
                        Message 11 of 14 , Oct 4, 2001
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                          Tom,

                          I had thought, much like you do, that hand-washing would be accurate
                          than machine washing--until I recently switched over to a machine
                          washout. I purchased the machine for better exposure and for
                          convenience, but didn't anticipate better washout.

                          In fact, the machine washout produces noticeably better plates. The
                          main advantage to the machine is its evenness of pressure. You don't
                          need to check the plate periodically for unwashed areas because the
                          whole plate washes out at the same rate. Corners took notoriously
                          long to wash out by hand; now, I don't have to worry about overdoing
                          the washout in the center. This isn't such a problem on type, but a
                          10% or 5% screen in the middle of your plate will suffer from
                          excessive washout. Because its pressure is constant, it doesn't tend
                          to wash away isolated dots as easily.

                          Since the machine brushes are larger, they also get the plate out of
                          the water sooner. Some plates, especially the large (say, 11x17)
                          ones, had to remain underwater for 10+ minutes to wash out with a 4x8
                          brush. Leaving them underwater so long can cause delamination of the
                          plate. Oh, and the machine brushes don't have hard plastic corners
                          that can scratch the surface of your plate.

                          Handwashing works. Telling the difference between a machine washed
                          plate and a hand washed plate (by someone who has excellent
                          technique) would be impossible on most small plates. But for large
                          plates or ones with isolated dots, light screens, or very small text,
                          machine washing works much better.

                          Harold Kyle
                          www.boxcarpress.com
                        • typetom@aol.com
                          Thanks Gerald, Your description of the washout machine action is about as I imagined, having only seen one not in operation. My washout time is presently quite
                          Message 12 of 14 , Oct 4, 2001
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                            Thanks Gerald,
                            Your description of the washout machine action is about as I imagined, having
                            only seen one not in operation. My washout time is presently quite a bit
                            longer than others have mentioned, perhaps because I use a very soft brush
                            and only very gently agitate. Obviously still some room for experimentation
                            here, but my results now are quite consistent and it seems possible to
                            control it by hand washing.

                            My first question was probably simpler than your answer: just that the plate
                            references (such as MK or MLD) don't tell me much unless I am using the same
                            source for plates, I think. Would the MK152 be the same as the MS152 I get
                            from Gene Becker? Maybe I just need to go back to the various notes Gene gave
                            me to see if the answer is there. Similarly, I have had some difficulty
                            making comparison with materials supplied by NA Graphics, because the names
                            differ. So I thought it might help if I say Gene Becker's Miraclon MS152
                            rather than 152 or MS152....

                            Regarding toxicity, it sounds like it's a question of skin sensitivity rather
                            than poison or carcinogin. I have hand-washed maybe 40 sheets (A3 size,
                            297x420 mm = 11x15? cut to innumerable smaller plates) over six years or so.
                            No gloves. No noticable skin reaction, no other problems at all (except an
                            occasional cut from the sharp edge of the metal backing, of course). I do
                            keep the water running slightly (to keep the temperature constant) so maybe
                            the concentration is low. Or maybe I'm just not sensitive. So far, it seems
                            to me remarkably benign. The very slight odor from unexposed material also
                            seems inconsequential to me. UV light, of course, is bad for the eyes (and
                            skin as well, I think).

                            Best regards, Tom

                            Tom Parson
                            Now It's Up To You Publications
                            157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                            (303) 777-8951
                            http://members.aol.com/typetom
                          • Frank Cabral
                            Hello Tom, The orbital washout unit has been the only way I have been able to produce consistently good plates efficiently. The time factor is very important.
                            Message 13 of 14 , Oct 4, 2001
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                              Hello Tom,
                              The orbital washout unit has been the only way I have been able to produce
                              consistently good plates efficiently. The time factor is very important.
                              About twenty years ago, when the photo polymer was just entering the
                              market, I was told by salesmen that the plate could be exposed in the sun
                              and washed out in a sink with any brush. I spent what seemed and endless
                              amount of time discovering only that there are many variables. I built
                              things, converted things, nothing I did seemed to have the same results
                              twice, or that the plates were just not good enough. I like process, but I
                              was always off task trying to find a solution.
                              While not quite a glorious epiphany, the machine allowed me to make
                              accurate plates, in a short time with not so much guess work. I only had to
                              pay attention to the orientation and density of the negative, the suction
                              of the vacuum table, cleanliness of the kreene, monitor the wash out, water
                              temperature, drying and final exposure to harden the material. The process
                              is simple and consistent (generally).
                              I like to examine the plate during washout to check that as much
                              material has washed away as possible but not so much as to weaken its
                              structural integrity , (small bits of the design, or letters that break off
                              during printing that you don't notice until you are finished).
                              Gerald has a good explanation of the washout process.
                              I think Monotype had much more exacting details built into their
                              production, and while success at times seems atmospheric the documentation
                              they provided would allow you some success. There are just so many pieces
                              to pull together and each one requires complete attention to detail.

                              If you contact me off list I can send you some plate processing
                              instructions for Miraclon/Rigilon, this is the MLD made by Toyoba. They
                              also recommend it for crash printing, hot stamping and for pantograph
                              masters. I have only used it for letterpress printing.

                              Regards
                              Frank
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