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Re: troubleshooting

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  • Gerald Lange
    Jessica 94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don t know if this is the culprit or not. I d recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
      Jessica

      94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don't know if this is the culprit or not. I'd recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might also think about switching to a higher grade plate brand.

      Gerald

      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring <springtide@i...>
      wrote:
      > Tom & Gerald--
      > The plates are 94FL. I do have the steel bar at the bottom, so I can try
      > taking that off, and for comparison I can try a steel-backed plate.
      The last
      > bit of the mystery: my vacuum has a simple on-off switch and half
      the time
      > the button won't stay on. I've replaced the button itself, but the
      problem
      > remains, which Jet attributes to humidity. Hmmmm. I have to let it
      sort of
      > warm up, then it stays on. As Charles suggested, I think the vacuum is a
      > stinker (AKA "wildly out of whack") and this plate happens to reveal
      that in
      > a way I hadn't seen consistently with type.
      >
      > Jessica
      >
      > > From: "Gerald Lange" <bieler@w...>
      > > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      > > Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 06:02:55 -0000
      > > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: troubleshooting
      > >
      > > Tom
      > >
      > > Interesting speculation but I doubt the vacuum is such, in any of
      > > these machines, to be able to pull a polyester-backed plate into the
      > > vacuum line. That would sort of be a major engineering flaw. I process
      > > both steel-backed and polyester-backed plates in my machine and I
      > > can't imagine this to be the case. While polyester-backed plates are
      > > certainly flexible (and a bit unnerving to those accustomed to
      > > steel-backs), they are not flexible enough to be drawn down into that
      > > thinly etched vacuum line, unless there is something wildly out of
      > > wack with Jessica's vacuum pump!
      > >
      > > Gerald
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, typetom@a... wrote:
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring wrote:
      > >>> there is now a subtle but visible "plaid" where the vacuum lines
      > > produced
      > >> more suction.
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> I'm guessing you are using polyester-backed plates and the vacuum
      > > is sucking
      > >> hard enough to distort the contact between the plate and the
      > > negative, by
      > >> pulling the polyester material into the vacuum lines. I use
      > > steel-backed
      > >> plates. Never seen any such effect. I wonder if a thin support
      > > layer beneath the
      > >> plate material might solve the problem?
      > >>
      > >> Pure speculation! but I'd guess it's such a subtle effect that it
      > > wouldn't
      > >> show on normal text or image areas. You wouldn't notice the plaid if
      > > the lines
      > >> had other irregular variations already! A solid pattern with thin
      > > rules
      > >> would test the limits of the system just about every way possible!
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> Best wishes. Let us know what you discover....
      > >> Tom
      > >>
      > >> Tom Parson
      > >> Now It's Up To You Publications
      > >> 157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
      > >> (303) 777-8951
      > >> http://members.aol.com/typetom
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
    • Harold Kyle
      ... Well you finally stirred me to write with this comment! Re: softness . The hardness of the 94FL is 62 shore D so I think you d have a hard time seeing the
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
        On 6/3/05 1:22 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...> wrote:
        > 94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don't know if this is the culprit or
        > not. I'd recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might also
        > think about switching to a higher grade plate brand.

        Well you finally stirred me to write with this comment!

        Re: "softness". The hardness of the 94FL is 62 shore D so I think you'd have
        a hard time seeing the difference between it and your recommended range of
        65-70. The difference is insubstantial. Also, should you want a harder
        plate, Jet makes a 94HFL that has 80 shore D. We at Boxcar Press have a job
        shop running the popular "deep impression" printing exclusively from the
        94FL. The plate's printing shows no evidence of "softness".

        Re: "Higher grade plate", Gerald, your opinion of Jet 94FL plates are of
        less quality will not be borne out in a side to side test of the material. A
        rep selling Toyobo Printight visited Boxcar Press' shop earlier this week
        and we proofed a test plate of Printight KF95 next to the Jet 94FL material.
        The Jet plate showed more detail and, at the same time, exhibited less gain;
        this is with a rep selling Printight monitoring the processing. After
        extensive testing, I've come to conclude that the only plate that gives the
        94FL a run for the money is the BASF WH95. The cost difference between these
        plates makes the 94FL much more desirable option. I would be happy, by the
        way, to scan a proof of the side-by-side comparison of Printight and Jet
        plates when I get a chance.

        Re: Jessica's platemaking "plaid" problem. I'm problem solving this with the
        manufacturer of the machine, who apparently can furnish a vacuum table
        adaptor to make the grooves less noticeable. I want to get more information
        before I promise you that this is possible. Apparently, the adaptor is a
        "diamond-plate" material that sits in the vacuum table. I'll post to the
        list to let you know when I have more information. The problems you're
        experiencing, though, appear to be from the platemaker and not the plate.

        Re: Jessica's platemaking button problem. I'm sorry I didn't touch base with
        you about this sooner. I remember calling you several months ago to let you
        know that I may have found the possible problem, but I guess we never
        touched base. Apparently, the powder-coating of the steel might have made
        the opening for the vacuum switch too small. The extra pressure on the
        switch causes problems in it working properly. You can file the opening to
        be a little wider see if the switch works better.

        Sorry not to be able to write sooner. I should be loading my trailer right
        now for a press move...

        Harold

        Boxcar Press
        Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
        Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
        315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
      • Gerald Lange
        Harold My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with Toyobo. Neither Jet or Toyobo are what I would consider top grade plates. But they are
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
          Harold

          My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with Toyobo.
          Neither Jet or Toyobo are what I would consider top grade plates. But
          they are both adequate for most letterpress applications. I've run my
          own comparison tests of these particular brands as well and my suspicion
          is that these differing plates need differing exposure and washout times
          to provide optimum detail and subsurface strength, so it is essentially
          misleading to compare them or any other plate brand in the manner that
          you suggest.

          But the hardness rating of a plate has less to do with how deep your
          impression can be than it does with ink acceptance and transfer. Any
          photopolymer plate, no matter brand or hardness or thickness or relief
          depth, is going to splay under increased printing pressure (that is self
          evident to any seasoned printer). And "gain" is a normal consequence of
          increased impression with the letterpress process. If folks need deep
          impression without splay they would be better off going with a copper
          photomechanical engraving mounted on a metal base. There is a technical
          reason for the limitation of thickness and relief (and hardness) in
          regard to letterpress formulated plates.

          Just out of curiosity, would you have switched brands if Toyobo had
          surpassed the Jet in your comparison test?

          Gerald
          Good luck with the press move.



          Harold Kyle wrote:

          >On 6/3/05 1:22 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >>94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don't know if this is the culprit or
          >>not. I'd recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might also
          >>think about switching to a higher grade plate brand.
          >>
          >>
          >
          >Well you finally stirred me to write with this comment!
          >
          >Re: "softness". The hardness of the 94FL is 62 shore D so I think you'd have
          >a hard time seeing the difference between it and your recommended range of
          >65-70. The difference is insubstantial. Also, should you want a harder
          >plate, Jet makes a 94HFL that has 80 shore D. We at Boxcar Press have a job
          >shop running the popular "deep impression" printing exclusively from the
          >94FL. The plate's printing shows no evidence of "softness".
          >
          >Re: "Higher grade plate", Gerald, your opinion of Jet 94FL plates are of
          >less quality will not be borne out in a side to side test of the material. A
          >rep selling Toyobo Printight visited Boxcar Press' shop earlier this week
          >and we proofed a test plate of Printight KF95 next to the Jet 94FL material.
          >The Jet plate showed more detail and, at the same time, exhibited less gain;
          >this is with a rep selling Printight monitoring the processing. After
          >extensive testing, I've come to conclude that the only plate that gives the
          >94FL a run for the money is the BASF WH95. The cost difference between these
          >plates makes the 94FL much more desirable option. I would be happy, by the
          >way, to scan a proof of the side-by-side comparison of Printight and Jet
          >plates when I get a chance.
          >
          >Re: Jessica's platemaking "plaid" problem. I'm problem solving this with the
          >manufacturer of the machine, who apparently can furnish a vacuum table
          >adaptor to make the grooves less noticeable. I want to get more information
          >before I promise you that this is possible. Apparently, the adaptor is a
          >"diamond-plate" material that sits in the vacuum table. I'll post to the
          >list to let you know when I have more information. The problems you're
          >experiencing, though, appear to be from the platemaker and not the plate.
          >
          >Re: Jessica's platemaking button problem. I'm sorry I didn't touch base with
          >you about this sooner. I remember calling you several months ago to let you
          >know that I may have found the possible problem, but I guess we never
          >touched base. Apparently, the powder-coating of the steel might have made
          >the opening for the vacuum switch too small. The extra pressure on the
          >switch causes problems in it working properly. You can file the opening to
          >be a little wider see if the switch works better.
          >
          >Sorry not to be able to write sooner. I should be loading my trailer right
          >now for a press move...
          >
          >Harold
          >
          >Boxcar Press
          >Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
          >Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
          >315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
        • David Wall
          ... Oh come on . . . I haven t been following this thread up until now, so maybe I ve missed something---but this sounds like a bunch of baloney. I consider
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
            > But the hardness rating of a plate has less to do with how deep your
            > impression can be than it does with ink acceptance and transfer. Any
            > photopolymer plate, no matter brand or hardness or thickness or relief
            > depth, is going to splay under increased printing pressure (that is
            > self
            > evident to any seasoned printer). And "gain" is a normal consequence
            > of
            > increased impression with the letterpress process.  If folks need deep
            > impression without splay they would be better off going with a copper
            > photomechanical engraving mounted on a metal base. There is a
            > technical
            > reason for the limitation of thickness and relief (and hardness) in
            > regard to letterpress formulated plates.

            Oh come on . . . I haven't been following this thread up until now, so
            maybe I've missed something---but this sounds like a bunch of baloney.
            I consider myself an appropriately seasoned printer and I've never
            found "splay" to be of any more consequence with photopolymer than it
            is with metal type---which is to say, no consequence at all. If we were
            using plates similar in durometer to hard rubber stamps I can see where
            it would be a factor, but I highly doubt that any splay in the plates
            that any of us use would be noticeable unless you were either
            deliberately abusing the plate---by which I don't mean simply "deep
            impression"---or you were somehow measuring in microns---in which case
            ink squeeze and the amount of ink on the rollers would obliterate any
            reliable evidence of splay. Perhaps this phenomenon is a factor in
            flexo printing of screened images in cases where precise color matching
            of prepress proofs and original artwork is important, but it certainly
            doesn't play any significant role in letterpress printing from polymer
            plates.

            Dave

            ________________
            David P. Wall
            The Applecart Press, LLC
            14 Maine Street, Box 43
            Brunswick, ME 04011
            Tel. 207-373-1690
            Fax 207-373-1691
            www.applecartpress.com
          • Gerald Lange
            David This kind of surprises me. I guess I ll have to respectively disagree. There are techical reports I could dig up concerning quantitative compression and
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
              David

              This kind of surprises me. I guess I'll have to respectively disagree.

              There are techical reports I could dig up concerning quantitative
              compression and pressure measures of photopolymer plates which I would
              assume have more weight than "our" experiential wisdom or ad hoc
              tests, but clearly, what a waste of effort that would be.

              Gerald


              --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, David Wall <applecartpress@y...>
              wrote:
              > > But the hardness rating of a plate has less to do with how deep your
              > > impression can be than it does with ink acceptance and transfer. Any
              > > photopolymer plate, no matter brand or hardness or thickness or
              relief
              > > depth, is going to splay under increased printing pressure (that is
              > > self
              > > evident to any seasoned printer). And "gain" is a normal consequence
              > > of
              > > increased impression with the letterpress process. If folks need
              deep
              > > impression without splay they would be better off going with a copper
              > > photomechanical engraving mounted on a metal base. There is a
              > > technical
              > > reason for the limitation of thickness and relief (and hardness) in
              > > regard to letterpress formulated plates.
              >
              > Oh come on . . . I haven't been following this thread up until now, so
              > maybe I've missed something---but this sounds like a bunch of baloney.
              > I consider myself an appropriately seasoned printer and I've never
              > found "splay" to be of any more consequence with photopolymer than it
              > is with metal type---which is to say, no consequence at all. If we were
              > using plates similar in durometer to hard rubber stamps I can see where
              > it would be a factor, but I highly doubt that any splay in the plates
              > that any of us use would be noticeable unless you were either
              > deliberately abusing the plate---by which I don't mean simply "deep
              > impression"---or you were somehow measuring in microns---in which case
              > ink squeeze and the amount of ink on the rollers would obliterate any
              > reliable evidence of splay. Perhaps this phenomenon is a factor in
              > flexo printing of screened images in cases where precise color matching
              > of prepress proofs and original artwork is important, but it certainly
              > doesn't play any significant role in letterpress printing from polymer
              > plates.
              >
              > Dave
              >
              > ________________
              > David P. Wall
              > The Applecart Press, LLC
              > 14 Maine Street, Box 43
              > Brunswick, ME 04011
              > Tel. 207-373-1690
              > Fax 207-373-1691
              > www.applecartpress.com
            • Harold Kyle
              ... I m sorry--I thought that was the plate that you preferred. Would a higher grade be BASF? Are there any other plates that you consider top of the line? ...
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
                On 6/3/05 5:45 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...> wrote:
                > My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with Toyobo.
                I'm sorry--I thought that was the plate that you preferred. Would a higher
                grade be BASF? Are there any other plates that you consider top of the line?

                > so it is essentially
                > misleading to compare them or any other plate brand in the manner that
                > you suggest.
                The test I did showed that the Printight plate gained more with less detail.
                To get more detail I would have had to increase exposure, causing more gain.
                I relied on the rep selling Printight to dial in the right numbers. But I
                agree that this is a slippery issue, and best left up to the printer's
                judgement. I'm stating my personal preference and standing up for it based
                on tests I've done. The differences between brands are minimal but when I
                print I have the attitude: "I need all the help I can get." I really wish I
                could afford BASF plates, and I might consider using them more if they
                didn't smell so much!

                > Just out of curiosity, would you have switched brands if Toyobo had
                > surpassed the Jet in your comparison test?
                We sell Printight plates alongside Jet and BASF plates, so we're very
                familiar with the Printight brand in relation to the competition. We prefer
                them for intaglio processing. The pricing is comparable with Jet plates, so
                yes I would be tempted to switch brands if I felt the plates were equally
                sharp on the letterpress. The Printight salesman hasn't given up--we may be
                troubleshooting the gain issues soon. For now, I'm sticking with the plates
                that I know are going to give the best results.

                I'll be back on Monday! The trailer's loaded up and ready to go.

                Harold


                Boxcar Press
                Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
                Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
                315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
              • LA. Book Arts
                All, the problem she has is with the machine, the machine doesn t seem to have a gage for vacuum pressure, so basically she has no way of knowing if she has
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
                  All,

                  the problem she has is with the machine, the machine doesn't seem to
                  have a gage for vacuum pressure, so basically she has no way of knowing
                  if she has enough or what.
                  The exposing of a plate with Film is a very critical stage of
                  platemaking, a good vacuum, a good piece of Film and it's smooth
                  sailing. I just made 65 9.5 x13 inch plates (WH 94) for a book project
                  the other day.
                  If you have no way of measuring your action it is very difficult to
                  repeat it over and over.

                  charles


                  www.custombindery.com
                • Gerald Lange
                  Harold I actually prefer the BASF, especially for halftones or very fine detail though I am not sure I have quite figured out the correct washout for them as
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
                    Harold

                    I actually prefer the BASF, especially for halftones or very fine
                    detail though I am not sure I have quite figured out the correct
                    washout for them as they never seem finished to me. The surface
                    texture is ideal, but yes, they do stink and crud up the bath. I like
                    plates that indicate by color, surface and subsurface, which both the
                    BASF and the Toyobo do. For some reason I think it helps clarify
                    things for me.

                    There are probably a lot better plates out there, BASF is getting to
                    be rather old technology I'd think (maybe that's not bad though).
                    Would appreciate any info you discover in this regard.

                    You might like this: When I first started buying photopolymer plates I
                    went to visit my processor and discovered a completely different plate
                    on his press (a BASF). I asked him why he didn't sell those to his
                    clients. He didn't miss a beat, "Because my customers are too f***ing
                    cheap."

                    At any rate, I keep profiles on clients as to their needs and
                    expectations and often process plates based on various formulas I have
                    used. I think the Toyobos require much less exposure and much more
                    washout (than the reps tell you) to get to finer detail and better
                    substructure. I've run Jets at the same formula and they are not quite
                    there. So I assume they have their own configuration. But I don't use
                    them or sell them so don't know what that would be.

                    Once again, good luck with the move.

                    Gerald

                    --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Harold Kyle <harold@b...> wrote:
                    > On 6/3/05 5:45 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@w...> wrote:
                    > > My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with
                    Toyobo.
                    > I'm sorry--I thought that was the plate that you preferred. Would a
                    higher
                    > grade be BASF? Are there any other plates that you consider top of
                    the line?
                    >
                    > > so it is essentially
                    > > misleading to compare them or any other plate brand in the manner that
                    > > you suggest.
                    > The test I did showed that the Printight plate gained more with less
                    detail.
                    > To get more detail I would have had to increase exposure, causing
                    more gain.
                    > I relied on the rep selling Printight to dial in the right numbers.
                    But I
                    > agree that this is a slippery issue, and best left up to the printer's
                    > judgement. I'm stating my personal preference and standing up for it
                    based
                    > on tests I've done. The differences between brands are minimal but
                    when I
                    > print I have the attitude: "I need all the help I can get." I really
                    wish I
                    > could afford BASF plates, and I might consider using them more if they
                    > didn't smell so much!
                    >
                    > > Just out of curiosity, would you have switched brands if Toyobo had
                    > > surpassed the Jet in your comparison test?
                    > We sell Printight plates alongside Jet and BASF plates, so we're very
                    > familiar with the Printight brand in relation to the competition. We
                    prefer
                    > them for intaglio processing. The pricing is comparable with Jet
                    plates, so
                    > yes I would be tempted to switch brands if I felt the plates were
                    equally
                    > sharp on the letterpress. The Printight salesman hasn't given up--we
                    may be
                    > troubleshooting the gain issues soon. For now, I'm sticking with the
                    plates
                    > that I know are going to give the best results.
                    >
                    > I'll be back on Monday! The trailer's loaded up and ready to go.
                    >
                    > Harold
                    >
                    >
                    > Boxcar Press
                    > Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
                    > Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
                    > 315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
                  • Gerald Lange
                    Hi Charles No vacuum gauge? How did you find that out? Geez, this was all sort of a big waste of time then wasn t it? If it does nothing else, a gauge will
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 4, 2005
                      Hi Charles

                      No vacuum gauge? How did you find that out?

                      Geez, this was all sort of a big waste of time then wasn't it? If it
                      does nothing else, a gauge will tell you when vacuum is iffy, and, if
                      it reveals release during exposure, your plate/s just went south. Kind
                      of an important feature.

                      Gerald


                      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, LA. Book Arts <livres@a...> wrote:
                      > All,
                      >
                      > the problem she has is with the machine, the machine doesn't seem to
                      > have a gage for vacuum pressure, so basically she has no way of knowing
                      > if she has enough or what.
                      > The exposing of a plate with Film is a very critical stage of
                      > platemaking, a good vacuum, a good piece of Film and it's smooth
                      > sailing. I just made 65 9.5 x13 inch plates (WH 94) for a book project
                      > the other day.
                      > If you have no way of measuring your action it is very difficult to
                      > repeat it over and over.
                      >
                      > charles
                      >
                      >
                      > www.custombindery.com
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