image of base and plate on press
Base/Plate recommendations by press | Boxcar Base vs. other bases | Plate recommendations by base | Identifying bases

I know my letterpress. What base and polymer plates do you recommend?

The base we think you use depends on three things:

  1. what press you have (get help figuring this out)
  2. the size of your press’s chase or bed (learn how to measure this part of your press)
  3. your level of printing experience


As you’re pondering your options, keep these things in mind.

  • If you have a platen press other than a Windmill, usually we recommend our Standard Boxcar Base. The exception is if you do not feel you are an experienced printer and can expertly adjust your roller height with minimal fuss, then we would direct you to use the Deep Relief Boxcar Base read more here.
  • Bases that need to be cut down from larger sizes require an additional week. There’s no charge for base cutting.
  • If you’re looking for a smaller base, check out our base scraps—good deals, but limited quantities and sizes.

Press Available Bases
Adana 8x10 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Adana Eight-Five 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Adana 8x10 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Adana 8x10 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Albion Royal (20.5x26) 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Albion Royal (20.5x26) 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Albion Royal (20.5x26) 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Albion Royal (20.5x26) 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Albion Royal (20.5x26) 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Albion Royal (20.5x26) 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Asbern 15x23 ProofPress 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Asbern 15x23 ProofPress 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Asbern 15x23 ProofPress 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Asbern 15x23 ProofPress 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Asbern 15x23 ProofPress 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Baltimore 8x12 Jobber 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Baltimore 6x9 No. 14 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Baltimore 5x8 No. 13 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Baltimore 8x12 Jobber 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Baltimore 8x12 Jobber 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Baltimore 6x9 No. 14 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Baltimore 8x12 Jobber 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2025E 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2028K 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MA 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MP 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1425E 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528K 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528KA 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1534H 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MA 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MP 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 10x31 Proof Press 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2025E 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2028K 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MA 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MP 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1425E 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528K 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528KA 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1534H 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MA 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MP 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2025E 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2028K 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MA 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MP 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1425E 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528K 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528KA 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1534H 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MA 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MP 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2025E 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2028K 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MA 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MP 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 10x31 Proof Press 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1425E 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528K 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528KA 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1534H 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MA 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MP 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2025E 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2028K 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MA 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MP 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 10x31 Proof Press 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1425E 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528K 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1528KA 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 1534H 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MA 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 15MP 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2025E 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 2028K 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MA 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Challenge 21MP 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 Craftsman 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 New Series 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 10x15 Old Style 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 12x18 Craftsman 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 12x18 New Series 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x12 New Series 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x12 Old Style 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price Pilot Old Series 7x11 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x10 New Series 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 8x10 Old Style 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price Pilot 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 10x15 Craftsman 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 New Series 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 10x15 Old Style 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 12x18 Craftsman 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 12x18 New Series 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x10 New Series 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 8x10 Old Style 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 10x15 Craftsman 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 New Series 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 10x15 Old Style 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 12x18 Craftsman 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 12x18 New Series 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x12 New Series 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x12 Old Style 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price Pilot Old Series 7x11 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 Craftsman 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 New Series 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 10x15 Old Style 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 12x18 Craftsman 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 12x18 New Series 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x10 New Series 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 8x10 Old Style 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 8x12 New Series 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x12 Old Style 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price Pilot 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price Pilot Old Series 7x11 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 Craftsman 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 10x15 New Series 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 10x15 Old Style 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 12x18 Craftsman 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 12x18 New Series 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x10 New Series 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 8x10 Old Style 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price 8x12 New Series 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price 8x12 Old Style 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Chandler & Price Pilot 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 1
Chandler & Price Pilot Old Series 7x11 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Colts Armory 7x11 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Colts Armory 7x11 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Columbian 8x12 No. 3 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Columbian 8x12 No. 3 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Columbian 8x12 No. 3 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Columbian 8x12 No. 3 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Craftsman Imperial 5x8 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Damon & Peets 8x10 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Damon & Peets 8x10 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Damon & Peets 8x10 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 10x15 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 11x16 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 10x15 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 11x16 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 10x15 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 11x16 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 10x15 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 11x16 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 10x15 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Excelsior 11x16 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 21 (15x21) 13" x 19" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 18 (12x18) 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 7 (10x15) 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 6 (8x12) 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Pearl No. 3 (7x11) 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Pearl Improved No. 11 (7x11) 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 21 (15x21) 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 18 (12x18) 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 21 (15x21) 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 7 (10x15) 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 18 (12x18) 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 21 (15x21) 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 6 (8x12) 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 7 (10x15) 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 18 (12x18) 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 21 (15x21) 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 6 (8x12) 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 7 (10x15) 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Pearl No. 3 (7x11) 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Pearl Improved No. 11 (7x11) 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 18 (12x18) 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Art Jobber No. 21 (15x21) 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 6 (8x12) 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Jobber No. 7 (10x15) 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Pearl No. 3 (7x11) 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Golding Pearl Improved No. 11 (7x11) 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBD Cylinder 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg KSB Cylinder 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg 10x15 Windmill 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Heidelberg 13x18 Windmill 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Heidelberg SBD Cylinder 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBD Cylinder 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBG Cylinder 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg 13x18 Windmill 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Heidelberg KSB Cylinder 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBD Cylinder 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBG Cylinder 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg KSB Cylinder 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBD Cylinder 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBG Cylinder 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg 10x15 Windmill 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Heidelberg 13x18 Windmill 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Heidelberg KSB Cylinder 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBD Cylinder 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBG Cylinder 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg 10x15 Windmill 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Heidelberg 13x18 Windmill 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Heidelberg KSB Cylinder 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Heidelberg SBG Cylinder 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Washington (25 x 38) 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Wesel 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Chase Superior 6x9 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Washington (25 x 38) 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Washington (25 x 38) 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Wesel 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Washington (25 x 38) 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Wesel 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Washington (25 x 38) 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Wesel 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Washington (25 x 38) 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Wesel 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Washington (25 x 38) 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Iron Handpress Wesel 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Excelsior 9x13 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey 6x10 Model X Excelsior 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Victor 6x9 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Excelsior 5x8 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Excelsior Model N 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Excelsior Model U 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Excelsior 9x13 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Excelsior 9x13 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey 6x10 Model X Excelsior 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Excelsior 9x13 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kelsey Victor 6x9 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge EHD 13" x 19" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 10x15 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 12x18 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge EHD 9" x 12" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 10x15 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 12x18 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge EHD 6" x 9" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 10x15 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 12x18 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge EHD 5" x 8.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 10x15 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 12x18 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge EHD 4.5" x 7.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 10x15 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge 12x18 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Kluge EHD 3.5" x 6.5" Deep Relief Boxcar Base 0
Little Giant 5 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 3 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 2 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 3 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 3 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 2 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 3 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 2 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 3 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 2 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 3 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 2 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Nolan 3 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Poco Proof Press No. 0 12x18 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Poco Proof Press No. 0 12x18 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Poco Proof Press No. 0 12x18 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard Model B 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard 12x15 Proof Press 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard Model B 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard Model B 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard 12x15 Proof Press 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard Model B 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard 12x15 Proof Press 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Showcard Model B 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 226 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Hand 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Power 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-24 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-38 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25A 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26A 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 30-26 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28E 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28E 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 55 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 604 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Hand 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Power 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal IV 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal V 24" x 24" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Power 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 425 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 427 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP20 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook SP25 Hand 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP25 Power 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal II 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal III 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 1 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook LO15 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 0 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 15-19 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 21 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 23SE 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 3 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook 99 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook HS27 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP13 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP15 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook Universal I 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Rocker 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 226 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Hand 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Power 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-24 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-38 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25A 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26A 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 30-26 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28E 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28E 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 55 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 604 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Hand 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Power 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal IV 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal V 17" x 22" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 226 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Hand 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Power 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-24 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-38 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25A 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26A 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 30-26 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28E 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Power 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28E 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 425 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 427 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 55 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 604 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP15 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook SP20 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook SP25 Hand 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP25 Power 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Hand 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Power 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal II 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal III 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal IV 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal V 13" x 19" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 1 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 226 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Hand 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Power 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-24 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-38 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25A 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26A 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 30-26 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28E 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Hand 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Power 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28E 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 425 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 427 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 55 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 604 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook LO15 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP20 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook SP25 Hand 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP25 Power 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Hand 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Power 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal II 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal III 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal IV 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal V 12" x 16" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 0 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 1 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 15-19 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 21 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 226 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Hand 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Power 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 23SE 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-24 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-38 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25A 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26A 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 3 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook 30-26 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28E 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Hand 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Power 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28E 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 425 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 427 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 55 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 604 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 99 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook HS27 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook LO15 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP13 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP20 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook SP25 Hand 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP25 Power 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Hand 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal I 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal II 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal III 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal IV 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal V 9" x 12" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 0 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 1 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 15-19 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 21 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 226 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Hand 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Power 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 23SE 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-24 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-38 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25A 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26A 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 3 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook 30-26 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28E 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Hand 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Power 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28E 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 425 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 427 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 55 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 604 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 99 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook HS27 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook LO15 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP13 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP20 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook SP25 Hand 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP25 Power 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Hand 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal I 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal II 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal III 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal IV 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal V 6" x 9" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 0 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 1 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 15-19 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 21 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 226 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Hand 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 232 Power 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 23SE 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-24 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25-38 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 25A 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 26A 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 3 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook 30-26 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 32-28E 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Hand 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 325G Power 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 42-28E 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 425 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 427 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 55 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 604 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook 99 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook HS27 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook LO15 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Rocker 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP13 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP20 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 1
Vandercook SP25 Hand 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP25 Power 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Hand 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook SP33 Power 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal I 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal II 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal III 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal IV 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0
Vandercook Universal V 4.5" x 7.5" Standard Boxcar Base 0

You can also use our handy flow chart to figure out your ideal base and plates.

More in-depth information (for those printers with boundless curiosity)

The Deep Relief vs. the Standard Boxcar Base: understanding which letterpress base is right for you

The Deep Relief Boxcar Base: ideal for new printers who have platen letterpresses other than the Windmill (C&P’s, pearls, etc.). The Deep Relief Base pairs with thicker polymer plates (KF152), which helps keep the inking rollers from inking the base and plate backing. Accurate roller settings are still important, but these Deep Relief Bases make printing on a platen press easier—it’s essentially a more forgiving base if you’re using a press like the C&P (with rollers and ink disk systems). Note that the Deep Relief’s KF152 plates are slightly more expensive than the Standard Base’s 94FL / KF95 plates. The KF152 photopolymer plates are also slightly softer, meaning the impression is a little less crisp than the Standard Base’s harder plates.

The Standard Boxcar Base: ideal for printers with Heidelberg Windmills, Vandercooks, or Heidelberg Cylinders. These letterpresses have easily adjustable roller height to avoid inking the base and plate backing. The Standard Base is also ideal for experienced printers who have platen presses with roller and ink disk systems (C&P, pearls, etc.)—you’ll just need to make sure your inking rollers are set perfectly with the help of a roller gauge. The Standard Base’s plates (94FL / KF95) are less expensive than the Deep Relief’s KF152 plates, and the plates used with the Standard Base are also slightly harder, giving you a crisper impression. Over here at Boxcar Press, we use the Standard Base (with the KF95 plates) on all the presses in our shop.

If you have, say, a Vandercook and a C&P in your print shop: We suggest purchasing one type of base for both presses, so that your presses will be able to share the same plate. It really comes down to your experience: if you’re a new printer, go with the Deep Relief base. Setting roller height can be a longer adjustment process on platen presses and this base will be more forgiving as you work through this. If you can use a roller gauge in your sleep, and you have experience expertly adjusting your inking rollers on your C&P, go with the Standard Base. The Standard Base’s plates give a crisper impression; offers more detail; and are less expensive per square inch.

What happens if you use a Deep Relief Boxcar Base on a Vandercook, Heidelberg Cylinder, or Heidelberg Windmill–some info you need to know?

The Deep Relief Boxcar Base does work fine on cylinder presses or the Windmill — since its base + plates + adhesive still equals a type high surface (.918”). But we feel you can hold better detail on the thinner plates that go with our Standard Base. Because you can get superior detail from the Standard Base’s plates (KF95 or 94FL), if you can get good printing on the standard base, you should use it. That said, some printers who use the Deep Relief base on their platen presses already may want to use the Deep Relief base on, say, their Vandercook too, so that both presses can share plates — this is totally okay too.

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Custom base sizes

Why would you want a custom base? You might have a letterpress with an unusual chase size. You might prefer to use various sized bases for multiple or smaller projects. Or you might want to print polymer and type at the same time, so you need a uniquely sized base which allows room to lock up your type.

To get a custom size base: purchase the next largest base size via our web site. We’ll cut your new base down to your specifications at no charge. For instance, say you need a 3.5 x 6.5 custom base. Purchase a 7.5 x 4.5 base. Let us know during check out that you’d like your new base cut down to 3.5 x 6.5. The cut edges will not be anodized, but this doesn’t affect the performance of the base. Allow an extra week for the cutting.

Don’t forget to check out our Boxcar Base scraps: perhaps we have just the size you need already.

Figure out your maximum letterpress base size.

For cylinder presses without chases, such as Vandercooks:
bed width: the distance between the rails.
bed length: find the “dead lines” inscribed in your bed. There are two lines, one at the head of the press, one at the foot of the press. Measure the distance between those lines – that’s the length of your press bed.

You need to make sure that your base stays within those lines. If you put your base on the outside of either line, your cylinder grippers can smash it.

For presses with chases: A chase is an iron frame. To get the width and length of your chase, simply measure the INSIDE of the frame. The measurements may be rounded up to identify your chase size, for example, 4.95” x 7.875” will be called a 5×8 chase.

photo of Iron Chase Frame

For cylinder presses (Vandercook, Heidelberg cylinders).
How to find your maximum base size: first, measure your press bed. Subtract 1” from the height and 1” from the width (ensuring room for the quoins). That number is your maximum base size. For instance, if you have a 14 x 20 press bed, your maximum base size is 13” x 19”.

We recommend you use your maximum base size on cylinder presses. You can, of course, go with a smaller base—you’re really just limited by your budget. For the most flexibility though, we recommend getting as big a base as you can afford. There is no disadvantage to using a large base on a cylinder press. Because the printable area of these presses is so large, you’ll be able to print the entire area of the base.

photo of Base on chase

photo of Using largest base possible on chase

For platen presses (other than Heidelberg Windmills).
How to find your maximum base size: measure your chase. Generally subtract 1.5” from the height and 1.5” from the width of your chase (on a few rare occasions, if you have very thin quoins or a very small chase, subtract 1” instead). That number is your maximum base letterpress size.

Reasons why you shouldn’t always max out your base size with these presses. For these roller and ink disk platen presses, we recommend you choose a base that’s usually smaller than your maximum size. Why? First, typically the print area where you can do quality, deep impression letterpress printing is half the size of your chase. If you max out your base size, you’ll find the printing on the upper and outer edges of the base to lack impression and not look so hot. Your press’s sweet spot is the bottom center of your platen—that’s where you want to focus on printing. Secondly, you need to keep the gauge pins and grippers from smashing into—and denting!—your base. A smaller base allows you to position your gauge pins safely and more easily. Lastly, smaller bases also allow you to run with a frisket. To find the size base we recommend for your specific press, check out our base recommendation chart.

photo of Using smaller base

For Heidelberg Windmills.

How to find your maximum base size: Heidelberg Windmills come in two sizes. If you have a 10 x 15 chase, your maximum base size is 9 x 12. If you have a 13 x 18 chase, your maximum letterpress base is a 12 x 16.

We recommend you use your maximum base size on this press. Windmills are special platen presses. They have larger printable areas, which means you’ll be able to do quality printing across your entire maximum sized base. Because of their smart engineering, you also don’t need to worry about leaving room for the press’s lay gauges and grippers. Everything swings out of the way except the lay gauge pins, which are narrow enough that they won’t damage the base. (The lay gauge pins can, however smash your polymer plates. To avoid this from happening, try our amazing Boxcar Windmill Swing Away gauge pin.)

photo of Gauge pins can smash polymer plates

View FAQs

How are other printing methods (like magnetic bases, lead type, and magnesium plates) different from the Boxcar Base?

Find out the differences between

I know my base. What polymer plates should I use?

Name Surface Hardness Relief Thickness Type
175 HSB  ? smooth 95 Shore D 0.056” 0.069” steel
Jet 145HSB  ?  PDF smooth 85 Shore D 0.044” 0.057” steel
Jet 152SB  ?  PDF smooth 80 Shore D 0.05” 0.060” steel
Jet 94FL  ?  PDF matte 62 Shore D 0.027” 0.037” plastic
Jet 94SB  ?  PDF matte 75 Shore D 0.027” 0.037” steel
KF 152  ?  PDF matte 65 Shore D 0.047” 0.060” plastic
KF 95  ?  PDF matte 67 Shore D 0.027” 0.037” plastic

If you have a Boxcar Base – we can tell you the thickness of your base down to the ten thousandths of an inch. Just provide the 5-digit serial number on the bottom of your base below the base description and we’ll send you the dimensions.

If you want to measure your own base – we suggest a micrometer that measures to thousandths of an inch. Follow the directions that come with your micrometer, however, basically you will clamp your micrometer’s measuring rods around your base and tighten until it holds the base firmly and securely. Tightening too hard can cause an error in your reading. Read the measurement per the instructions for that micrometer.

Boxcar Bases are measured to the following heights:
Standard bases: .875” plus or minus .001
Deep relief bases: – .853” plus or minus .001

If your base is .X” high, subtract that amount and any adhesive thickness from type high .918 and you’ll get the height you want for your plates.

Or use our Photopolymer Plate Finding Flow Chart (PPFFC).
what is my plate type again

What letterpress base do I have?

Standard Boxcar Base 6" x 9"
The Standard Boxcar Base has black gridding.

Deep Relief Boxcar Base 6x9
The Deep Relief Boxcar Base has red gridding.

Magnetic letterpress bases (like the Patmag or Bunting) have no gridding and they’re also magnetic, so things like paper clips stick to them.

If you have a base not listed here, the important thing to do is measure the height of your base. Once you have an exact base height, subtract that number from .918 (type high) and you’ll get the height you’ll want for your plates. If your base is magnetic, you need steel-backed plates. If your base is not magnetic and you need your plates to stick to your base, you’ll want plastic-backed polymer plates.