Platemaking Help!

Hi everyone,

I volunteered my letterpress skills in making an end-of-year class gift for my daughters’ Kindergarten teacher. I just received my plate from Boxcar including the names of each child in their own hand. Naturally, a week before this is due, I found that one name is missing. Is there anyone in the DC metropolitan area who can help me make a 1” x 3” plate with this one child’s name on it? Quickly and without costing an absolute fortune? Any ideas are welcome at this point. I am desperate.


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Quickest, cheapest, and most normative for your particular situation. Get back to Boxcar as soon as you can.

If you are desperate, what else could you possibly be thinking of by wasting your time here?



I’d prefer not to go with Boxcar because of (1) the 30 sq. in. minimum + next day shipping means a $50 investment after spending significantly more with them over the last several weeks, (2) I gain nothing by getting an order in today vs. Monday. So I may as well spend my weekend looking for someone local who may be able to help make a 3 sq. in. plate that I could drive to pick up myself and save shipping time and money.



Well, good luck with that. You never know though, someone here with a platemaking machine just might take sympathy. You will likely need a film negative. Not all platemakers make these in house, like Boxcar or Elum, and for good reason.

I should warn you that output from one machine to another will vary; assuming this might be a concern.


In a pinch I have sandwiched three laser transparencies together to create a workably opaque piece of film. Would definitely not work for fine type, but might for a kid’s drawing.

Just to be clear, I cannot help on this problem, but I think the problem offers a nice educational experience for the rest of us who may find ourselves in a similar situation.

I just sent a file to Boxcar yesterday needing it the next day so I was already prepared to pay the rush charge by them and the overnight shipping charge so I would get it today. Newark, Delaware might be a bit far to drive to try and save the money.

Honestly, it wouldn’t have taken any effort on my part to have thrown it in and help you out of this bind.

Advice to anyone out there that falls into this kind of problem (and these are kinds of things you should always think about when uploading your posts).

Always say where you are (yes, I know you did).

Did you have the file ready to go (scanned at high resolution and made into a vector-based image)? Then just emailing it I could have slipped it in.

With Boxcar they ship free (2-day air) if it is more than 90 square inches so make sure you are connected with others that use photopolymer plates. There may be savings in some group order.

And if you pay the $50 this time it will help remind you to double check better the next time.

The problem is that I don’t tend to check BriarPress but every couple of days, If the gods had been with you, this might have been solvable with little effort.