We totally understand that you want to get the most use and space out of your press. However, knowing about some of the challenges you will face can help you make decisions about the correct size.
First, keep in mind that every press, like every person, has a limit to its strength. A press with a 10 x 15 chase will never be able to hammer a 10 x 15 block of text. You’ll be able to get a good impression using about 60-70% of your chase, depending on your form. Secondly, your base needs to stay put in your chase with a good lockup. To secure your base in your chase, you need to make room for the quoins plus furniture for distributing the weight of the base, and gauge pins. Gauge pins fit in the space outside the base and over the furniture.
We recommend checking out our Base Selection Chart which recommends the ideal size base for your chase. With a 10×15 chase, we would recommend a 9×12 base, for instance.
If you really want to max out the base size, keep in mind your base should be at least 1 inch, preferably 1.5 inches, smaller than your chase. If you use a lot of paper that is precut, it is most likely smaller than your base. This can make it challenging to place your gauge pins and still hold the paper and not hit the base. One safety note, the larger the base in your platen press, the further you have to reach into the press to place your paper. This is very important with a larger press with a motor, so take into consideration your comfortable reach, the speed of the press, and your fingers when locking up a larger base.