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Re: [PPLetterpress] platemaking system

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  • Brian Allen
    My homemade platemaking system was an attempt to mimic the expensive machines as closely as possible. The fluorescent units I used were single bulb ones, wired
    Message 1 of 26 , May 13, 2002
      My homemade platemaking system was an attempt to mimic the expensive
      machines as closely as possible. The fluorescent units I used were single
      bulb ones, wired together and fit as closely as possible (clearance between
      bulbs is about 1/2 inch) to get even exposure, just like the machines. I
      think the double units put the bulbs too far apart. I got the bulbs from a
      large lightbulb supply company in Denver. Big cities would have at least one
      such place. Clearance to the vacuum frame was 1.5 - 2 inches.

      My article is in the PCBA (Pacific Center for the Book Arts) journal
      "Ampersand" Resource Issue, which comes out every few years. I also put
      together the letterpress resource section. There are sections for
      bookbinding, paper, conservation, typography, and so on - 52 pages of
      addresses/links info for the book arts. Edited by Alastair Johnston.

      I'll see about putting my article in the PPL resource area, but you'd do
      better to buy the issue, for all the other great stuff in there - $15
      includes postage, and you can get one by sending a check made out to: PCBA,
      300 De Haro St., San Francisco, CA 94103. It's a volunteer organization, so
      be patient.

      Brian Allen
      Mountain View, California
      ----------
      on 5/13/02 10:21 AM, Gerald Lange at bieler@... wrote:

      > Ed Inman wrote:
      >>
      >> You expose polymer with 40 Watt lamps? What exposure times do you use with
      >> this setup, Joel? Are you referring to regular purple looking
      >> "blacklights?" I didn't think such a low wattage setup would work very well
      >> even with hours of exposure. Can you give us a product descritption as
      >> printed on the bulbs you use and a little more detail as to your process?
      >>
      >> For what it's worth my cheapo homemade lamp setup is just a Sylvania "Sun
      >> Gun" that uses a 650 watt "DWY" halogen photo optic lamp. The lamps come
      >> with a warning that the bulb emits UV radiation and that you should not look
      >> directly into the fixture. You can usually find these used on ebay for $10
      >> to $15 and they will expose polymer very nicely in about 30 minutes time
      >> from about four feet back. I think both the original Sylvania Sun Gun and
      >> the Sun Gun 2 both use the same DWY lamp.
      >>
      >> Ed
      >>
      >> Joel wrote:
      >>>>> The UV bulbs can go into standard flourescent fixtures. The unit I have
      >> has four standard, 24", straight-from-the-hardware-store, two-bulb fixtures
      >> mounted in it and wired up so they all come on together. I think the bulbs
      >> are 40W.<<<
      >
      > Today I received the Ampersand Resource Guide and there is an article in there
      > by member Brian Allen titled "Home-made photopolymer plate-making system." In
      > this he indicates he used a rack of 18" UV fluorescent bulbs (five are
      > pictured in a sketch) of "20 watt GE or Slyvania blacklight tubes."
      >
      > Gerald
      >
      >
      >
      > To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
      > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Encountering problems?
      > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
    • Silver MayKitten
      20 W. lamps may be small wattage, and only 24 long, but if your vacuum frame is only 23x33 any more length is wasted. You put one lamp every 6 of the width
      Message 2 of 26 , May 14, 2002
        20 W. lamps may be small wattage, and only 24" long, but if your
        vacuum frame is only 23x33" any more length is wasted. You put one
        lamp every 6" of the width of the frame about a foot away from the
        glass, and you get good coverage.

        MayKitten
        --- Gerald Lange <bieler@...> wrote:
        > Ed Inman wrote:
        > >
        > > I think Brian once wrote something to that effect on the
        > Letpresss group
        > > too.
        > >
        > > I'd be willing to give it a try but I'm admittedly skeptical.
        > Regular
        > > 20-watt blacklights?? How long would you have to expose with
        > such low
        > > wattage? I once tried using a series of old style Argon lamps
        > that someone
        > > told me had good UV output and they just barely hardened the
        > plate even
        > > after three hours of exposure. I didn't have much better luck
        > with a
        > > 175-watt mercury lamp--another supposedly-good UV source.
        > >
        > > My 650-watt halogen Sun Gun will burn a harder plate in 15
        > minutes than
        > > either of these would in a whole afternoon--even though I
        > typically let the
        > > plate expose for a full half-hour. I don't think there is a
        > better $10
        > > platemaking system anywhere, haha.
        > >
        > > What replacement lamps and ballasts are called for in
        > professional
        > > platemaking machines? This might be the best setup for a
        > serious
        > > do-it-yourselfer.
        > >
        >
        >
        > Dear Ed
        >
        > I'd be guessing that point-of-focus or whatever it is called is
        > less useful
        > than a rack of lamps, though some folks report good results with
        > halftones.
        >
        > I know that Inge Bruggeman and Chip Shilling (both members here)
        > have portable
        > suitcase like set ups that they use for workshops and the like.
        > Also I think
        > Gene Becker sells some similar type of "relatively" inexpensive
        > stand-alone
        > exposure unit.
        >
        > Gerald
        >
        >


        =====
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        Yours is the road that winds lonely and far,
        Strange are the shadows that round you come creeping,
        Still through the clouds is the glint of a star!

        From the book, Charge of the Goddess
        BY: Doreen Valiente

        __________________________________________________
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        LAUNCH - Your Yahoo! Music Experience
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      • Katie Harper
        While we re on the subject of home lamp setups, I have another question for those who use such setups. I would like to set up something for quick n dirty
        Message 3 of 26 , May 14, 2002
          While we're on the subject of home lamp setups, I have another question for
          those who use such setups. I would like to set up something for quick 'n
          dirty platemaking--I will still use the pros for the important work, but
          occasionally need to have a plate right away, and if it doesn't contain
          small type or fine detail, would like to be able to make it here in my shop.

          I inherited a small NuArc vacuum frame a couple of weeks ago, but it has no
          vacuum pump. Can I get one somewhere and hook it up?


          Katie Harper
          Ars Brevis Press
          Cincinnati, OH
          513-233-9588
        • Lee and Barbara Mason
          Katie, My vacuun failed to work for awhile, turned out I had moved the machine and it was no longer perfectly level....so simple and so hard to figure out what
          Message 4 of 26 , May 14, 2002
            Katie,
            My vacuun failed to work for awhile, turned out I had moved the machine and
            it was no longer perfectly level....so simple and so hard to figure out what
            was wrong. However in the mean time, I used a piece of foam with the plate
            on top and glass on top of the plate..the contact was as good as the vacuum
            and it worked well as the glass was pretty heavy. Of course this would not
            work for units that flip over.
            Barbara
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Katie Harper" <knharper@...>
            To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2002 6:17 AM
            Subject: [PPLetterpress] Home Setups/Vacuum


            > While we're on the subject of home lamp setups, I have another question
            for
            > those who use such setups. I would like to set up something for quick 'n
            > dirty platemaking--I will still use the pros for the important work, but
            > occasionally need to have a plate right away, and if it doesn't contain
            > small type or fine detail, would like to be able to make it here in my
            shop.
            >
            > I inherited a small NuArc vacuum frame a couple of weeks ago, but it has
            no
            > vacuum pump. Can I get one somewhere and hook it up?
            >
            >
            > Katie Harper
            > Ars Brevis Press
            > Cincinnati, OH
            > 513-233-9588
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
            > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Encountering problems?
            > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
          • Harold Kyle
            ... Katie: I have several used vacuum pumps laying around here. If you d like more info you can contact me off-list. Harold ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Boxcar Press Fine
            Message 5 of 26 , May 14, 2002
              On 5/14/02 9:17 AM, "Katie Harper" <knharper@...> wrote:
              > I inherited a small NuArc vacuum frame a couple of weeks ago, but it has no
              > vacuum pump. Can I get one somewhere and hook it up?

              Katie:

              I have several used vacuum pumps laying around here. If you'd like more info
              you can contact me off-list.

              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
              ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
            • Joel Benson
              Hi Ed, Sorry for the slow reply here- yes, they are called Blacklights on the bulbs, but they aren t purple-looking like the incandescent blacklights. They
              Message 6 of 26 , May 14, 2002
                Hi Ed,

                Sorry for the slow reply here- yes, they are called "Blacklights" on the bulbs, but they aren't purple-looking like the incandescent blacklights. They cost me about $15 each, I think. I'll look at the product numbers when I get home- though I think it is a pretty standard Phillips bulb. I use about a 4 minute exposure time for fine type, 30 to 45 seconds for big solids or halftone screens.

                I don't think it is the wattage that makes the difference so much as the specific wavelength of UV that the bulb gives off. I think the lamps you are using probably emit a large amount of light at one end of the UV spectrum and a lesser amount at the other end, which happens to be the end that the polymer is sensitive to. I remember a discussion of this with details about the wavelengths on either this list or LETPRESS, but I don't have it saved anywhere.

                It sounds like there is a lot of leeway in exactly how far the bulbs need to be from the plate material. Silver May Kitten has the bulbs a foot away, Brian Allen has his 1.5-2" away and much closer together. That seems to define a range of acceptability. Using a Stouffer scale would tell you how long your exposure needs to be for whatever set up you construct.

                Joel

                Joel Benson
                Dependable Letterpress
                San Francisco

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Ed Inman [mailto:edinman@...]
                Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 5:15 PM
                To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Aging plates?


                You expose polymer with 40 Watt lamps? What exposure times do you use with
                this setup, Joel? Are you referring to regular purple looking
                "blacklights?" I didn't think such a low wattage setup would work very well
                even with hours of exposure. Can you give us a product descritption as
                printed on the bulbs you use and a little more detail as to your process?

                For what it's worth my cheapo homemade lamp setup is just a Sylvania "Sun
                Gun" that uses a 650 watt "DWY" halogen photo optic lamp. The lamps come
                with a warning that the bulb emits UV radiation and that you should not look
                directly into the fixture. You can usually find these used on ebay for $10
                to $15 and they will expose polymer very nicely in about 30 minutes time
                from about four feet back. I think both the original Sylvania Sun Gun and
                the Sun Gun 2 both use the same DWY lamp.

                Ed

                Joel wrote:
                >>> The UV bulbs can go into standard flourescent fixtures. The unit I have
                has four standard, 24", straight-from-the-hardware-store, two-bulb fixtures
                mounted in it and wired up so they all come on together. I think the bulbs
                are 40W.<<<




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                PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com

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              • David Goodrich
                Vivian, You are wise in inquiring before trying the Morgan Expansion Trucks. I tried some on my Columbian No 2 and found there was not enough space for them.
                Message 7 of 26 , May 18, 2002
                  Vivian,
                  You are wise in inquiring before trying the Morgan Expansion Trucks. I
                  tried some on my Columbian No 2 and found there was not enough space for
                  them.
                  I suggest you contact Fritz Klinke at NA Graphics, who stocks them. He
                  can be reached at nagraph@.... He can probably tell you whether or
                  not they will fit. If they fit, they will solve your problem.
                  You also might want to post an inquiry to the Letpress Discussion Group.
                  I suspect more of their people use platen presses than the PPL group.

                  Sorry not to have responded sooner. I have been away the past week.

                  David

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: 9 Spotmonk Design [mailto:vivian@...]
                  Sent: Sunday, May 12, 2002 12:57 PM
                  To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [PPLetterpress] Expandable Trucks


                  Hi Everyone,

                  I'm new to the PPLetpress List.

                  I have a Craftsman 6 x 10 and was wondering if anyone has experience
                  with using/converting expandable trucks. Two main problems at hand: I
                  need to lower the the noise the press makes when the rollers leave
                  the rail and move to the inking plate and back; and my rollers are
                  about 1/8 inch (the circumference) larger than my trucks. What I'm
                  doing now is putting a piece of pressboard behind the chase but don't
                  know if this is a good long term solution.

                  Thanks in advance for your responses.

                  Vivian



                  Vivian Leung
                  9 Spotmonk Design
                  vivian@...
                  T 201 795 1668
                  C 201 925 3168

                  <http://www.9spotmonk.com>


                  To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
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                  Encountering problems?
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