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Re: Exposure/washout units

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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