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Ordering Plates Info

How do I know what plate type to choose?

This depends on the type of base you own. See the plate choices part of our web site for more information! In general, you will choose a plate with two things in mind, your base system (Boxcar or Magnetic) and your printing press.  Our plastic backed plates correspond to a particular Boxcar Base and steel backed plates will correspond to either the Patmag or Bunting base.

If you are using one of the Do It Yourself home letterpress systems, we suggest the KF152 plastic backed plates.

If you are using an etching press, call us and we’ll suggest a plate, based upon a few questions about your setup.

As you are likely hand inking with these last two presses, please remember to ask us to SEND STRIPS in your platemaking order.  They will be very helpful with your inking brayer for an easier inking.

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When will I receive my order?

Photopolymer supply orders ship from our warehouse within 1-2 business days.

Custom Platemaking orders ship depending on the service you choose:
We offer a 1 business day turnaround, or Same Day Rush – an extra fee service.

For shipping in the USA, we offer UPS Ground, UPS 3 day air Service, UPS 2 day air Service, UPS Overnight morning, UPS afternoon Saver and UPS early Am (before coffee) 8:30 am service.

For International Customers, we offer US Postal Priority or Express Mail and UPS Worldwide Saver.

Remember that the days refer to business days and not weekends.

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How do I know when my order has been shipped?

For platemaking, the day your order is completed (Order Complete) is the day your order ships. You will get a UPS tracking number via the log-in email on your account. Your invoice will be shipped in a separate email. Review your Order History to see all past and current orders for your status. For international orders using the US Postal Service, you will receive an email with your tracking number.

For Supplies – an email will be sent with the tracking number.

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Do you ship internationally?

Supplies: We ship supplies to Canada via UPS Standard or UPS Worldwide Saver and US Postal Service.
We ship international orders (outside of Canada) via UPS Worldwide Saver and US Postal Express Mail.

We think our online ordering system is pretty nifty but of course you can phone in your order to us by calling 315-473-0930. We love to talk to our customers.

Platemaking: We ship platemaking orders to Canada via UPS Standard or UPS Worldwide Saver and US Postal Service. We can ship Worldwide Saver to any international location or opt to use the US Postal Express Mail. These options are all at the click of a button through out platemaking site.

Printing: Yes, we love working with international clients and sending off printed letterpress beauties to destinations far and near.

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How do I take advantage of the free 2 day shipping?

Boxcar Press offers free two day shipping for platemaking orders that are over 120 square inches as of August 15th, 2014. If your order qualifies, this option will appear as the default shipping choice.

Please remember these details about this service:

  1. Two day service is ground service for those already within our 1 or 2 days service area (New York state, the Northeast to Maine, down to Virginia, and parts of Wisconsin, Illinois and Kentucky).
  2. If your usual UPS ground is 3 day – 6 days, you will receive UPS 2 day Air.
  3. If you have selected any overnight air services for shipping, we will NOT downgrade for free 2 day service. We will believe that you really need the faster overnight service.
  4. If you really do need 2 day Air service, please choose the 2 day Air and don’t wait for us to upgrade you from ground or a slower service. It’s hard to make UPS deliver faster once it’s out for shipping.
  5. Free 2 day air applies to business days and not Saturday delivery.

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Do I send my files to size or scaled down?

You will need to send your files at 100% scale. We do not resize, scale up or down, or rotate any artwork. We highly recommend using the ruler feature available in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign to check your work to see if it is the size you want.

When exporting a PDF from Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign, please double check to make sure it is the correct size by either re-opening it in Illustrator or placing it in InDesign to check the actual dimensions of your file.  In InDesign you can use the Rectangle Frame tool to draw a box around your images/text to measure.

In Photoshop, use the Image Size tool to check your size. Saving your file as a .TIF locks your image size.

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Can you explain how you calculate the file dimensions for billing

Here is how we compute dimensions – we gang all your files up together and draw a box around the “black” part – the images and text. Now we know the length and the width. We multiply these two numbers together and this is your square inches total. We then multiply this square inch number by your square inch price of $0.62/sq inch or $0.67/sq inch.

Example:
9″ x 8″ is your “black part”
9” x 8” = 72 sq inches x $0.67 = $50.40

If your file has crop marks, we measure outside the crop marks. So if you don’t need crop marks, consider leaving them off to save a little cash.

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Should I gang up my images/smaller files into one larger file?

If you are ordering printing from us, no. Please send individual files and we will set up for most efficient production in our shop.

If you are ordering plates and doing your own printing, yes! By ganging up the plate yourself, you have more control over the margins and gaps between the ganged up artwork. Between each individual piece, we recommend .375” for plastic-backed plates and .5” for steel-backed plates. Our negatives come out of the imagesetter in 18″ strips, so ganging up onto a 17” wide strip, and up to max 22” long, is the most economical way to make negatives. Since we like to keep our maximum plate size at 17 x 22, please break larger files into two files.

That said, if you were to send us many individual files, we’d gang up the pieces in the most cost-effective manner. If you’re using plastic-backed plates, after we gang up your files, we’ll ship your job as a single plate and you can trim them easily yourself, using scissors or an Exacto.

If you’re using steel-backed plates and we gang up your files for you, we’ll ship your job as a single plate, unless you provide a cutting diagram for us. If you are submitting a ganged up file, keep in mind the fingers of our employees who have to trim your metal plates and leave us enough room around your text/images to hold the plate safely while we cut.

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