When using any kind of polymer printing base with your platen press, it’s vital to keep the gauge pins and the grippers from smashing into—and denting!— your base. When the press goes to impression, make doubly sure – no, make triply sure – that the gauge pins and grippers will not impact the Boxcar Base’s surface. Here’s how to do this.
You must carefully place your gauge pins on the platen to avoid hitting the base. Place the gauge pins below and beyond where the base will sit in the chase. In addition, place the grippers to the left and right of where the base sits in the chase. This will keep the grippers and gauge pins from contacting the base when the press closes for impression. If you need to use the grippers, keep them outside the base but construct a paper (or tape or string) frisket between them to hold the paper.
You might find it easier to position gauge pins if you print on sheets larger than the final trim size, especially if you have a quarter inch margin or less on either of your feed edges. This will move the gauge pins farther from the printing area and from the base – reducing the likelihood of a gauge pin/base collision. Print on the largest possible sheets and trim them down after printing.
You might also want to consider using Henry gage pins for certain print jobs. These cushiony paper holders may be just the thing and won’t damage your base or require cuts in your tympan paper.
Posted in: Printing with a Platen Press