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Re: Flattening homemade steel backed plates

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  • s_milo_88
    Hi Gerald, Do you find a difference between different Kutrimmer models for this purpose? Specifically, do the different hold-down methods (manual, automatic,
    Message 1 of 22 , Mar 23 10:31 AM
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      Hi Gerald,

      Do you find a difference between different Kutrimmer models for this purpose? Specifically, do the different hold-down methods (manual, automatic, or handle) seem to affect the curling issue?

      Thanks,
      Milo

      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr" <Bieler@...> wrote:
      >
      > A major advantage of the Kutrimmer over shear type paper cutters is that it will hold the plate in position while cutting. No slippage. They are virtually indestructible and the blades can be re-sharpened. if need be, by your local blade sharpening service just like the blades on a guillotine paper cutter.
      >
      > Gerald
      > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
      >
      >
      > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr" <Bieler@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Raven
      > >
      > > The lower blade is adjustable. Adjust it to even level with the bed. I use metal type spacing below the blade and then tighten the screws. You will get a slight edging to the piece being cut off but this is easily trimmed smooth.
      > >
      > > Gerald
      > > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "heytrollop" <heytrollop@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hi Gerald,
      > > >
      > > > How do you keep your Kutrimmer from bending the plate?
      > > >
      > > > That's what I'm using, and it bends the edge, about a quarter of an inch in. And as I said I'm using it for intaglio photopolymer, but I assume they would have the same problem.
      > > >
      > > > I'm using the etching press before exposure because as you say it does distort the surface.
      > > >
      > > > best,
      > > > Raven
      > > >
      > > > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Gerald Lange <Bieler@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > A couple of comments on this thread:
      > > > >
      > > > > Actually, you should never ever put any pressure on unexposed
      > > > > photopolymer plate material as it can cause distortion to the surface.
      > > > > In unexposed state it is only a pliable resin.
      > > > >
      > > > > While somewhat expensive, a Kutrimmer works exceptionally well for
      > > > > cutting a clean edge on steel-backed plates. These are available from a
      > > > > number of sources, including eBay—I picked a large one up just a while
      > > > > back for about half the normal retail price (new, with free shipping).
      > > > >
      > > > > Gerald
      > > > > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > On 3/23/11 12:41 AM, heytrollop wrote:
      > > > > > Or you could put it between blankets and boards and drive over it with your car!
      > > > > > Works for printing linoleum with a steamroller right? :)
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Maybe a book press?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > ra
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "s_milo_88"<emilbong@> wrote:
      > > > > >> Hi raven,
      > > > > >>
      > > > > >> That's an interesting idea. I don't have access to an etching press, but maybe I could try leaving plates under pressure in my platen press...
      > > > > >>
      > > > > >> Thanks,
      > > > > >> Milo
      > > > > >>
      > > > > >> --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "heytrollop"<heytrollop@> wrote:
      > > > > >>> I've only done this with boxcar's intaglio photopolymer plates, but I would think it might work with the letterpress plates too.
      > > > > >>>
      > > > > >>> I run my plates through an etching press before exposing to flatten the edge. You do want to make sure you have something on both sides to protect your press bed and roller from getting scratched by the plate edges. You probably also want to experiment with the roller height to make sure you don't mess up the photopolymer by squishing it too much.
      > > > > >>>
      > > > > >>> raven
      > > > > >>>
      > > > > >>> --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, typetom@ wrote:
      > > > > >>>> Hi Milo,
      > > > > >>>> Several possible issues with warping of steel-backed plates. It sounds like
      > > > > >>>> your main problem is with how you cut them. There are cutters that will
      > > > > >>>> cut steel/polymer plates cleanly with pretty much a flat edge on both pieces
      > > > > >>>> of the cut. Lucky if you have one - my current excellent cutter has no name
      > > > > >>>> label on it, so I can't be specific; probably the "cut-trimmer" is similar
      > > > > >>>> and would work to solve the problem.
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> When I started, I used a tabletop paper cutter, one of those that was used
      > > > > >>>> in schools for cutting just a sheet or two of paper at a time. The blade
      > > > > >>>> swings down to shear the paper (or plate material) off the edge of the table.
      > > > > >>>> Trouble is, the blade is held tight only by a spring, so it's easy for it
      > > > > >>>> to wobble and just bend the material rather than shear it. Getting a good
      > > > > >>>> clean cut takes a kind of Samurai focus, to keep the blade tight to the
      > > > > >>>> edge. And even then the steel tends to have a burr on the piece that is cut
      > > > > >>>> off. So it was normal to have to turn that piece around and make additional
      > > > > >>>> trim-cuts to get the edges clean and flat. Some waste, but it can be done.
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> If you are using scissors or a hand-held clipper, you may need to develop
      > > > > >>>> other techniques, even perhaps flattening the edges with a hammer! You might
      > > > > >>>> note that the backing is much easier to cut by itself, without cutting
      > > > > >>>> through the polymer, so where you can do exposure and washout first before
      > > > > >>>> cutting everything out, that may help. Maybe allowing a little more wasted
      > > > > >>>> material will give you clearance for final trimming and flattening.
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> Ease of cutting the material is one of the clear advantages of the
      > > > > >>>> polyester-backed plates.
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> A different factor also can cause warping or curling of plates: old plates
      > > > > >>>> often curl and then might crack when flattened. I think this is from
      > > > > >>>> continued drying of the polymer as it ages, which may shrink enough to curl the
      > > > > >>>> steel backing. Especially a problem for plates that have a large polymer
      > > > > >>>> surface area. The main answer to this is more drying time before final
      > > > > >>>> exposure. I have a hand-held hair dryer and have learned to dry the plates until
      > > > > >>>> they are too hot to hold, and then some - Denver has very dry air and
      > > > > >>>> everything seems to dry quickly on the surface, but apparently the polymer still
      > > > > >>>> holds enough moisture to cause this curling as the plates age. As result, I
      > > > > >>>> don't count on saving old plates for future use, but instead save the
      > > > > >>>> negative and make a new plate when needed. Another answer, suggested by others,
      > > > > >>>> is to put the warped old plate in hot water again to flatten it. I have
      > > > > >>>> done this successfully on occasion, but find that the plate will curl again
      > > > > >>>> after I use it.
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> Hope this helps some, best wishes,
      > > > > >>>> Tom
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> Tom Parson/ Now It's Up To You
      > > > > >>>> 157 S Logan, Denver CO 80209
      > > > > >>>> (303) 777-8951 - home& letterpress printshop
      > > > > >>>> (720) 480-5358 - cranky cellphone
      > > > > >>>> _typetom@_ (mailto:typetom@)
      > > > > >>>> _www.froglok.com/typetom_ (http://www.froglok.com/typetom/) (way out of
      > > > > >>>> date website!)
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> In a message dated 3/22/2011 1:28:32 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
      > > > > >>>> emilbong@ writes:
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> Hi,
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> I'm getting started making my own plates at home with a homemade exposure
      > > > > >>>> table (with vacuum table + kreene). The photopolymer itself is exposing
      > > > > >>>> well, but the steel backing is warped, particularly at the edges. When
      > > > > >>>> printing on my Kelsey, the impression seems to be fine, but the warping gets in
      > > > > >>>> the way of proper inking. Part of the problem happens during cutting as one
      > > > > >>>> side of the unexposed plate will curl and the other will at least warp
      > > > > >>>> somewhat.
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> Does anyone have any suggestions either to avoid this or unwarp the plates
      > > > > >>>> after cutting or exposure?
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > > >>>> Thanks!
      > > > > >>>> Milo
      > > > > >>>>
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • bielerpr
      Milo I am only familiar with the table top and the floor models. I don t note a difference in the hold-down methods in regard to the curling issue as long as
      Message 2 of 22 , Mar 23 10:51 AM
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        Milo

        I am only familiar with the table top and the floor models. I don't note a difference in the hold-down methods in regard to the curling issue as long as you adjust the lower blade appropriately.

        Gerald
        http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "s_milo_88" <emilbong@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Gerald,
        >
        > Do you find a difference between different Kutrimmer models for this purpose? Specifically, do the different hold-down methods (manual, automatic, or handle) seem to affect the curling issue?
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Milo
      • bielerpr
        Clare The spacing serves as leveling. Thicker pieces toward the front, thinner to the back. Yes, it props the lower blade up. Once the blade is adjusted the
        Message 3 of 22 , Mar 23 10:57 AM
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          Clare

          The spacing serves as leveling. Thicker pieces toward the front, thinner to the back. Yes, it props the lower blade up. Once the blade is adjusted the spacing is left in place to ensure that the blade does not slip out of adjustment.

          Gerald
          http://BielerPress.blogspot.com


          --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Clare Carpenter <clare@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          > I'm pretty new to the group and am learning a lot already. Thanks for
          > the resource!
          >
          > We use a Kutrimmer at Oregon College of Art and Craft, and have the
          > same problem with the cutter bending the plate. Can you clarify what
          > you mean by "use metal type spacing below the blade"? Is that to hold
          > the blade in place while you adjust?
          >
          > Thanks!
          > Clare
          >
          > --------
          >
          > Raven
          >
          > The lower blade is adjustable. Adjust it to even level with the bed. I
          > use metal type spacing below the blade and then tighten the screws.
          > You will get a slight edging to the piece being cut off but this is
          > easily trimmed smooth.
          >
          > Gerald
          > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
          >
          >
        • erib8
          ... Clare and PPLers, In addition getting the lower blade at the right height as Gerald suggests, I use something (wood, metal, books whatever) outside the
          Message 4 of 22 , Mar 23 12:34 PM
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            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr" <Bieler@...> wrote:
            >
            > Clare
            >
            > The spacing serves as leveling. Thicker pieces toward the front, thinner to the back. Yes, it props the lower blade up. Once the blade is adjusted the spacing is left in place to ensure that the blade does not slip out of adjustment.
            >
            > Gerald


            Clare and PPLers,
            In addition getting the lower blade at the right height as Gerald suggests, I use something (wood, metal, books whatever) outside the Kuttrimmer blade to hold up the cutoff portion at bed height. I get little or no bending of the plate as a result.

            Bryce Erickson
            Saskatoon SK Canada
          • Clare Carpenter
            Thanks for your replies. - Clare ... thinner to the back. Yes, it props the lower blade up. Once the blade is adjusted the spacing is left in place to ensure
            Message 5 of 22 , Mar 23 12:38 PM
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              Thanks for your replies. - Clare

              --- In
               PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr" <Bieler@...> wrote:
              >
              > Clare
              > 
              > The spacing serves as leveling. Thicker pieces toward the front, thinner to the back. Yes, it props the lower blade up. Once the blade is adjusted the spacing is left in place to ensure that the blade does not slip out of adjustment.
              > 
              > Gerald

              Clare and PPLers,
              In addition getting the lower blade at the right height as Gerald suggests, I use something (wood, metal, books whatever) outside the Kuttrimmer blade to hold up the cutoff portion at bed height. I get little or no bending of the plate as a result.

              Bryce Erickson
              Saskatoon SK Canada
              keep up with Tiger Food Press




            • heytrollop
              Thanks for all the tips. I know we ve tried to adjust it but I ll give it another go with your advice. It would be great not to end up with a bent plate! raven
              Message 6 of 22 , Mar 24 6:19 PM
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                Thanks for all the tips. I know we've tried to adjust it but I'll give it another go with your advice.

                It would be great not to end up with a bent plate!

                raven



                --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "s_milo_88" <emilbong@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi,
                >
                > I'm getting started making my own plates at home with a homemade exposure table (with vacuum table + kreene). The photopolymer itself is exposing well, but the steel backing is warped, particularly at the edges. When printing on my Kelsey, the impression seems to be fine, but the warping gets in the way of proper inking. Part of the problem happens during cutting as one side of the unexposed plate will curl and the other will at least warp somewhat.
                >
                > Does anyone have any suggestions either to avoid this or unwarp the plates after cutting or exposure?
                >
                > Thanks!
                > Milo
                >
              • alandye@pacbell.net
                Milo, Tinsmiths or other metal workers (like rain gutter installers) have a tool that looks like a very small brayer but the roller is steel instead of rubber.
                Message 7 of 22 , Mar 25 7:45 AM
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                  Milo,

                  Tinsmiths or other metal workers (like rain gutter installers) have a tool that looks like a very small brayer but the roller is steel instead of rubber. The roller is only about 1 inch wide with a wood handle. They use this to flatten sheet metal after it has been cut and has a curled edge. They lay the sheet metal on a hard stone surface and then bray the edge down from the back side of the curl to flatten it.

                  Assuming you can buy one of these tools from a local metalworking shop or hardware store, and assuming you have enough lip on your plate after cutting to flip it over, put the curl on a stone and hang the raised image off the edge, you could bray down the curl using one of these. Don't use your aluminum base to bray down, get a scrap piece of granite countertop to use, or the edge of your composing stone if you have one.

                  Best,

                  Alan

                  --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "s_milo_88" <emilbong@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi,
                  >
                  > I'm getting started making my own plates at home with a homemade exposure table (with vacuum table + kreene). The photopolymer itself is exposing well, but the steel backing is warped, particularly at the edges. When printing on my Kelsey, the impression seems to be fine, but the warping gets in the way of proper inking. Part of the problem happens during cutting as one side of the unexposed plate will curl and the other will at least warp somewhat.
                  >
                  > Does anyone have any suggestions either to avoid this or unwarp the plates after cutting or exposure?
                  >
                  > Thanks!
                  > Milo
                  >
                • Eric
                  ... You can use a printmaker s burnisher in the same way, and they can be found at art supply stores, or from General Graphics, or manufacturers such as Lyons
                  Message 8 of 22 , Mar 25 8:48 PM
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                    --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "alandye@..." <alandye@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Tinsmiths or other metal workers (like rain gutter installers) have a tool that looks like a very small brayer but the roller is steel instead of rubber. The roller is only about 1 inch wide with a wood handle. They use this to flatten sheet metal after it has been cut and has a curled edge. They lay the sheet metal on a hard stone surface and then bray the edge down from the back side of the curl to flatten it.
                    >

                    You can use a printmaker's burnisher in the same way, and they can be found at art supply stores, or from General Graphics, or manufacturers such as Lyons or Muller.
                    --Eric Holub, SF
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