help, blind emboss on a vandercook

can someone please walk me through blind embossing on a vandercook uni 2? is it possible to use polymer or is the traditional way better?

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Some confusion here on two points.

First, there could be more than one definition of “Polymer” used in embossing. Photo polymer used to make a negative (female) embossing die which would be applied to the type bed. And the acrylic polymer mixture commonly used to “pour” counter dies (male) on platen presses. In the latter case: NO, you can’t form an acrylic polymer counter on what is essentially a cylinder press, like the Vandercook, as the process requires a constant pressure over the entire image for an extended length of time. I have never actually used a photo polymer female embossing die, but I am sure that it could be done for lighter stocks.

Second, there could be several “traditional” methods of creating a counter die, but the most obvious is cutting a counter on engravers board, like in the olden days. Is this the “traditional” method that you referred to? YES! That can be done on the Vandercook, or any cylinder press.

I could walk you through the steps of creating a cut-counter on a cylinder. The process is quite straightforward. OR! You could hang out here, and wait for one of the experts to jump in. They’ll be along any minute now.


Since you are asking this about a Vandercook press, I am wondering if you mean debossing? which does not require a male and female die?

If so, I think it might be difficult, in an effective manner, to do embossing but debossing is fairly straightforward. And yes, photopolymer plates would work for this. Though I suspect you would be far better off with metal photoengravings.

You would also be better off with a platen press for this, embossing or debossing. Vandercooks are proof presses and not really built for this kind of work.