Cork Coasters

My customer wants me to print on 4” 1/8 cork coasters.

I have 8x12 press will this work?

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Disclaimer: I have never tried it. That being said: since cork is relatively soft, I should think that it would work well, as long as the cork was relatively smooth and of even caliper, and didn’t contain too many gaps or holes. You could probably use hard packing, since the cork itself would have the effect of soft packing. Since it is 1/8” thick, you would no doubt have to back off on your platen bolts to do it. I would use as light an impression as you could get away with. Don’t try to make a deep impression. You might have to use slightly more ink than usual, but don’t use too much or you may have trouble with offsetting (ink getting on the back of coasters if stacked in a pile). Run small lifts (piles), or don’t pile them at all, if you aren’t printing too many. Just my thoughts…..I wish you luck.

Why don’t you get 20 or so coasters from your customer and experiment before accepting the job. I don’t expect that you would have trouble with ink drying, but that is another thing you could check.

Whatever these printed coasters are going to be used for (beer or mixed drinks or ?), then I would try using them and spill some of the drink on them, to be sure the ink is not affected by the drink. Check also to be sure the color from the ink doesn’t bleed off the coaster (test them on top of white paper). I’m sure your customer would not want to discolor anyone’s light colored countertop.

Aaron David, well unless its a colts or something similar
you’re asking for trouble. You do not want to jack with the
platen studs, that far. For commercial proposes this is a job for silk screen. best james

The shop next door to me is a silk screen shop. I asked him yesterday, he didn’t think his T-Shirt set up would work.

He only prints T-Shirts.

He like me, one man shop, just trying to pay the bills.

It would be a very easy job for any screen printer with a flat-stock setup.

Screen printing is used to print a great many things. Using fairly basic screen printing setups I’ve printed 3/4” planks of wood, 2” thick pre-folded cardboard boxes and the back of acoustic guitars. I once printed a fake tattoo on a friend’s back for a photo-shoot.

It would not be very difficult to set up most t-shirt presses for printing something like a cork coasters, less than a minute if it has vertical adjustment. Slightly more difficult if it doesn’t, but I would simply make a thinner platen to account for the thicker material.

You’d want to use a different ink, since curing plastisol on cork in a tunnel-drier would probably result in, if not burning then cracked, coasters. Since screen printing is used to print just about every substrate under the sun, there is probably an ink out there ideal for printing on cork.

Not an 8x12, but I’ve imprinted 1/8” booklets on a 10x15 C&P a couple times, and that was about the limit of travel for the impression screws.
One of those jobs was split between me and another printer with a C&P Craftsman, and his solution was to insert a longer arm in the platen adjustment mechanism.
It was all a lot of extra work and in such cases the customer needs to understand that costs increase above normal.

I should think that by backing off the platen adjustment and having only one drawsheet with no makeready on the platen you should be able to print the cork without any problem. I would ask for at least 20 extras to use for setting up, but I think it should be pretty easy. I could do it with my 6x9 Sigwalt by backing off the impression, so I don’t see why a C&P couldn’t do it easily by backing off the impression. 1/8 inch isn’t all that much.