Our Deep Relief letterpress bases are precisely engineered from cast aluminum, ground to perfection, then anodized with a grid for easy registration, providing a stable, easy to use foundation for letterpress printing. The Boxcar Base system is the standard printing system in the letterpress community, used by thousands of letterpress shops, fine presses, and universities around the world. Printers who use our bases receive life-long printing help and technical support from us too—just email or call when you’re on press or whenever you encounter a problem.
We offer two base options: the Deep Relief or Standard. We recommend our Deep Relief Boxcar Base for new printers who have platen presses with roller and ink disk systems (C&P’s, pearls, etc.). If you have a Windmill, Vandercook, or Heidelberg Cylinder, or if you are an experienced printer who has mastered adjusting the inking rollers of your platen press, we recommend our Standard Boxcar Base.
- Our gridding is spaced by 1” squares broken down further to ¼”. We chose the smoothness of anodizing over engraving. Since our polymer plates are transparent, registration is easy with the grid showing through the plates.
- The anodized surface of our bases will hold a plastic backed polymer plate securely but release it cleanly and easily when you need to make adjustments or printing is done.
- All our Deep Relief bases are inspected to be within .001” of the .853” thickness (flatter than some type beds). With the addition of the KF152 plate plus the adhesive backing, you’ll reach .918” type high.
- Note that the Deep Relief’s KF152 plates are slightly more in cost per square inch than the Standard Base’s 94FL / KF95 plates because their relief is taller, thus has more polymer (152 refers to 1.52mm).
- We manufacture bases in a lot of sizes for a lot of presses. But if you need a special size, we can custom cut your base down from a larger size. The cut edges won’t be anodized but this doesn’t affect the base’s performance. There is no charge for the cutting–just give us an extra week to get it done.
- You can read more about how our bases work.