Is a bottom bale required for printing?

My Sigwalt Ideal No. 3 (4x6) is missing the bottom bale. Is this part essential for printing, or will I be able to make do with just the top bale? Are the top and bottom bales identical parts, just attached on opposite sides?

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Yes, you could use tape to hold the bottom of your tympan and packing in place. Just make certain all is lying flat against the platen.

Yes, I believe the upper and lower bale are the same on this press.

John Henry

One little quirk from a long time ago, (assuming it could be adapted) as a temporary stand by,!!!
Some Adana,s employ a system, whereby there is a conventional top bale, but the tympan sheet is anchored at the bottom and serves as bottom anchor and bottom lay guage, in some cases!!!
The tip goes thus:- cut, tympan/top sheet to fit, but with at least, 1 and 1/2 inches extra at bottom, glue up as a wrap around on a standard pencil or piece of dowel with sufficient protrusion at each end to enable tympan at bottom to be pulled over platen, anchored with 2 small springs and/or cable ties to allow rise and fall of the platen, existing bale used as normal!!! temporary fix only, for what its worth.
Because of the system on the Adana, with no standard bottom bale, ingenuity dictated positioning the printed sheet lower than the bottom bale/tympan clamp/lay guage permitted.
Not my original concept, i.e. borrowed, lifted, plagiarized from that on cylinder machines where the tympan is firmly anchored at one end, and wound up, cranked up and kept in tension.??? Might yet be a good adaption for platens.!!

Needs must when the devil Drives/Drove. Good Luck.