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Re: Photopolymer

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  • Gerald Lange <bieler@worldnet.att.net>
    Casey Do you intend to make your own plates or have someone make them for you? If you are not going to be doing an awful lot of work, I d say, making plates
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 27, 2003
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      Casey

      Do you intend to make your own plates or have someone make them for
      you? If you are not going to be doing an awful lot of work, I'd say,
      making plates every other day or so, I can't imagine that you want to
      buy a platemaking machine as they are quite expensive. Even if you
      went into platemaking semi-commercially and provided plates for other
      folks it would take you several years to generate enough profit to
      cover the initial cost of the machine. And you'd have to layout chunks
      of cash on a fairly regular basis just to maintain a stock of raw
      material. Not exactly a high-profit margin in this.

      The cost of buying plates from plate processors ranges from about 45
      to 65 cents a square inch (from what I've seen). Plus there is usually
      a set up charge and a cutting charge.

      In the Database here, I have a list of just about every platemaking
      machine manufacturer and/or distributor that I can find (or
      recommend). You can check these out and compare costs. I also have a
      list of most of the known plate processors who tend to cator to
      studio-letterpress folks.

      Besides the platemaking machines and plate processors, of course,
      there is alternative processing. There are a number of folks on this
      list who are quite proficient at it. You might want to check the
      Messages archives here as this has been discussed at length in the
      near past.

      I hope I've interpreted your question correctly. Good luck.

      Gerald



      > What kind of cost estimate could someone give me to start printing
      out my
      > own photopolymer plates for letterpress? What output size of plates
      do these
      > machines have? I want the flexibility to design on the MAC and make
      plates
      > and print using my letterpress. I've heard it expensive and it may
      now even
      > be within my budget.
      >
      > ::
      > Casey McGarr
    • cmcgarr1957 <casey@mcgarrcreative.com>
      Gerald, Thanks for the great information, you ve been very helpful. I think I may just start out with having someone output the plates for me and if there is a
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 2 2:10 PM
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        Gerald,

        Thanks for the great information, you've been very helpful. I think I may just
        start out with having someone output the plates for me and if there is a need
        to purchase then I may think about it. Your right it is a huge expense, I called
        Anderson Vreeland and spoke with a sales person for 20 minutes or so and
        he gave me the scoop.

        Does used equipment ever become available and how much price difference
        is there usually? Where can I see the database of people that output and
        manufactures? Do you recommend magnetic bases?

        How long have you been doing this? I see your name on the Letpress forum
        as well.

        Thanks Gerald!!!

        Casey McGarr


        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Gerald Lange <bieler@w...>" <
        bieler@w...> wrote:
        > Casey
        >
        > Do you intend to make your own plates or have someone make them for
        > you? If you are not going to be doing an awful lot of work, I'd say,
        > making plates every other day or so, I can't imagine that you want to
        > buy a platemaking machine as they are quite expensive. Even if you
        > went into platemaking semi-commercially and provided plates for other
        > folks it would take you several years to generate enough profit to
        > cover the initial cost of the machine. And you'd have to layout chunks
        > of cash on a fairly regular basis just to maintain a stock of raw
        > material. Not exactly a high-profit margin in this.
        >
        > The cost of buying plates from plate processors ranges from about 45
        > to 65 cents a square inch (from what I've seen). Plus there is usually
        > a set up charge and a cutting charge.
        >
        > In the Database here, I have a list of just about every platemaking
        > machine manufacturer and/or distributor that I can find (or
        > recommend). You can check these out and compare costs. I also have a
        > list of most of the known plate processors who tend to cator to
        > studio-letterpress folks.
        >
        > Besides the platemaking machines and plate processors, of course,
        > there is alternative processing. There are a number of folks on this
        > list who are quite proficient at it. You might want to check the
        > Messages archives here as this has been discussed at length in the
        > near past.
        >
        > I hope I've interpreted your question correctly. Good luck.
        >
        > Gerald
        >
        >
        >
        > > What kind of cost estimate could someone give me to start printing
        > out my
        > > own photopolymer plates for letterpress? What output size of plates
        > do these
        > > machines have? I want the flexibility to design on the MAC and make
        > plates
        > > and print using my letterpress. I've heard it expensive and it may
        > now even
        > > be within my budget.
        > >
        > > ::
        > > Casey McGarr
      • Gerald Lange
        Hi Casey Since you ve found the database (as you noted in your subsequent post) you have pretty much found your way. So you ve probably found the processors as
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 2 3:12 PM
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          Hi Casey

          Since you've found the database (as you noted in your subsequent post)
          you have pretty much found your way. So you've probably found the
          processors as well.

          I believe there are a couple of used platemaker equipment dealers
          (including A&V) in the Links section under Supplies, and then probably,
          Platemaking Equipment or something. (I'm mentioning this here for
          everyone). Used machines are running $600 to $3000. Only real expensive
          component to replace, if need be, would be the brush unit, I suspect.

          I do recommend magnetic bases; the kind that are traditionally used by
          the printing industry. There are also alternative bases (in terms of
          cost), both magnetic and non-magnetic. These are listed in the Database
          as well. You can also make your own, but I wouldn't recommend it. Sort
          of defeats the purpose of photopolymer to use a non-precision base. It's
          a bit sensitive and will readily reveal inaccuracies.

          I started experimenting with photopolymer in 1990 (with digital type).
          Started using it for bookwork in 1992. Bought a platemaking machine (as
          the result of contracting for a large project) in 1995. Haven't used
          metal type for bookwork since 1998. Mainly an economic consideration for
          the business.

          Despite what some folks might assume, I do not recommend abandoning
          metal. There are still some excellent sources for it. Michael Bixler for
          Monotype, Theo Rehak for foundry, etc. There are also links to
          traditional letterpress sources on site.

          Best in your endeavor

          Gerald



          cmcgarr1957 wrote:

          >Gerald,
          >
          >Thanks for the great information, you've been very helpful. I think I may just
          >start out with having someone output the plates for me and if there is a need
          >to purchase then I may think about it. Your right it is a huge expense, I called
          >Anderson Vreeland and spoke with a sales person for 20 minutes or so and
          >he gave me the scoop.
          >
          >Does used equipment ever become available and how much price difference
          >is there usually? Where can I see the database of people that output and
          >manufactures? Do you recommend magnetic bases?
          >
          >How long have you been doing this? I see your name on the Letpress forum
          >as well.
          >
          >Thanks Gerald!!!
          >
          >Casey McGarr
          >
          >
          >
        • Harold Kyle
          On 3/2/03 5:10 PM, cmcgarr1957 ... Our non-magnetic bases have sold well among letterpress printers because they offer easy,
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 4 6:28 AM
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            On 3/2/03 5:10 PM, "cmcgarr1957 <casey@...>"
            <casey@...> wrote:
            > Do you recommend magnetic bases?

            Our non-magnetic bases have sold well among letterpress printers because
            they offer easy, reliable registration. My experience with magnetic bases is
            that--especially on cylinder presses such as your Challenge--multiple colors
            and tight registration is difficult because plates tend to move our of
            register. Printers often spray-mount plates to their magnetic bases to hold
            them in place. Our system is detailed at:
            http://www.boxcarpress.com/photopolymer-supplies/boxcar-base.html

            As the sole distributor for Boxcar Bases, I tend to jump into the breach
            frequently. We guarantee satisfaction with our bases (or your money back),
            and our customers often share their positive experience after using our
            bases:

            We have general FAQs about photopolymer plates and our system at:
            http://www.boxcarpress.com/photopolymer-supplies/faqs.html

            Thanks,
            Harold


            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
            Boxcar Press
            Fine Printing and Binding ~ Digital Letterpress Supplies
            640 Fellows Avenue ~ Syracuse, NY 13210
            315-473-0930 ~ phone and fax
            www.boxcarpress.com
            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
          • Harold Kyle
            I didn t mean to send the last message without the URL for our customers comments: http://www.boxcarpress.com/platemaking/comments.html I also intended to
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 4 6:31 AM
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              I didn't mean to send the last message without the URL for our customers'
              comments:
              http://www.boxcarpress.com/platemaking/comments.html

              I also intended to mention that we would be happy to supply a small sample
              base and plate for printers who would like to try a Boxcar Base before they
              purchase one.

              Thanks,
              Harold


              ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
              Boxcar Press
              Fine Printing and Binding ~ Digital Letterpress Supplies
              640 Fellows Avenue ~ Syracuse, NY 13210
              315-473-0930 ~ phone and fax
              www.boxcarpress.com
              ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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