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Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: Exposure/washout units

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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