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Re: Plate making

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  • bielerpr
    Dear Katie ... This is the most current I ve been able to find. Very elementary, but has photos. There is also a URL to this in Bookmarks under Tech Info.
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 6, 2002
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      Dear Katie

      Katie Harper <knharper@f...> wrote:
      > Go hand washers!

      > I would love to be converted to the hand washing side. The only
      > documentation about hand methods I have found usually consists of
      > handouts given out by printmaking professors who admit that results
      > are "unpredictable" and are mostly for intaglio and not letterpress.
      > Is there a better source of information on the hand methods???

      This is the most current I've been able to find. Very elementary, but
      has photos. There is also a URL to this in Bookmarks under Tech Info.

      http://www.printstudio.com.au/Poly3.htm

      There is also a book called _Printmaking with Photopolmyer Plates_
      by Dianne Longley, the owner of the above webside. I have this listed
      here in a Database table called References. I've never seen it so I don't
      know into what detail it goes.

      Gene Becker also has a one-page sales sheet on hand methods at his
      website.

      www.photopolymerplates.com

      All best

      Gerald
    • edinman
      I do the hand washout thing with very good results--it took a little practice but it s really not hard. I think the main thing besides adequate exposure under
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 6, 2002
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        I do the hand washout thing with very good results--it took a little
        practice but it's really not hard. I think the main thing besides adequate
        exposure under a tight negative is to be patient and gentle.

        The unexposed polymer will almost just wash itself off the plate under warm
        water--just don't get impatient and try to brush too hard--that is when fine
        detail will start to break up.

        I can't really say that I typically use such plate for 6 pt. type,
        though--mostly just line artwork. I usually set or cast all type in
        metal--much cheaper that way (at least in terms of material cost).

        Just my .02,
        Ed
      • typetom@aol.com
        edinman@earthlink.net writes:
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 6, 2002
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          edinman@... writes:
          <<I think the main thing besides adequate exposure under a tight negative is
          to be patient and gentle.... just don't get impatient and try to brush too
          hard--that is when fine detail will start to break up. >>

          I would add to this perhaps some refinement. Too much patience also can
          result in loss of serifs and details. How so? As the plate is soaked and
          washed, the unexposed parts absorb water and dissolve. This can occur under
          the hardened surface of exposed lines, so that the serif or thin line may
          lift off and be brushed away. I think it's not so much that the brush is
          damaging the surface image but that it is separating it from softer material
          below. So, fine lines benefit from slight over exposure, which allows more of
          the polymer to harden down the shoulders below the surface of the image. And
          similarly, fine lines would benefit from somewhat faster washout time, thus
          not allowing the supporting material to absorb so much water, but leaving the
          surface image better attached. So the success in preserving a delicate image
          is not just dependent on delicate brushing -- in fact it may help to brush a
          bit more aggressively, as odd as that seems. These factors can be felt by
          considering differences in hand-brushing a small versus a large plate. Using
          a small brush, it takes longer to work over the whole surface of a larger
          plate, so the larger plate takes longer to wash out. The result is that,
          while small plates may easily come out fine, larger plates may develop broken
          lines. A quicker washout may help. A parallel answer might be to halt the
          washout a bit earlier, before all the unexposed material has been cleaned
          away (and then trust the drying and the second exposure to reduce and harden
          that material).

          One thing I have found very useful is to keep an eye on the clock. If I have
          been gentle and patient but the plate isn't clean after about 10 minutes (in
          my experience, with the small brush and water temp I use) then I know it's
          probably time to stop anyhow. For me, it has been hard to stop cleaning --
          just as it is difficult for me to leave an irregular pile of freshly printed
          sheets as they sit rather than jog them straight. Naturally compulsive about
          straightening and finishing details, I guess. I've had to discipline my self.
          Watching the clock has made a difference.

          It seems there are several complex factors at work, and analysis of these
          things may produce contradictory conclusions about what's best to do. I am
          still puzzled how these various decisions can be made in the machine washout
          process. And it may be that the success of the machine process suggests to me
          that exposure time and washing time may be more important than the delicate
          touch. But mostly, I think, no one of my conclusions is the whole answer, and
          surely a gentle and patient touch must be a goal and a process for us all.

          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
          ... You are certainly correct that trial and error is expensive. I think that the cost of the plate material should give any novice second thoughts about
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 7, 2002
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            On 1/6/02 5:28 PM, "Katie Harper" <knharper@...> wrote:
            > This may be
            > because they need consistent, reliable results and it's cheaper and easier
            > in the long run to order plates rather that go through the trial and error
            > experimentation required to get good results themselves.

            You are certainly correct that trial and error is expensive. I think that
            the cost of the plate material should give any novice second thoughts about
            diving into the hand washing of plates.

            That said, I purchased a machine-washout platemaker after years of "trial
            and error" and consistent success with hand-washout. The volume of work in
            my shop convinced me because the commercial units are efficient and save
            precious time.

            Although I was pleased with my results while hand-washing (and didn't expect
            any improvement was possible), the results from the machine washout are
            superior. This came as quite a surprise. With eighteen 40W bulbs I'm getting
            much more even exposure than the eight 20W I used to use (now there are no
            light corners or banding). The evenness of the brush pressure and repeatable
            functions of the new platemaker mean sharper detail and noticeably crisper
            appearance.

            Larger (and, needless to say, more expensive) plates are particularly
            improved, because I don't need to submerge an 11x17 plate for fifteen
            minutes of scrubbing with a 4x8 brush. Remember that the adhesive which
            holds the polymer on the backing eventually dissolves in water--small
            details are the first to go when washout times increase.

            Hand-washing often works on medium to small-size plates, but a machine will
            always do a superior job and can process the biggest plates just as well as
            the smallest plates.

            Harold Kyle

            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
            Boxcar Press
            Fine Printing and Binding ~ Digital Letterpress Supplies
            640 Fellows Avenue ~ Syracuse, NY 13210
            www.boxcarpress.com
            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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