Recommendation for plates

I am trying to save some money, just initially, as I have to buy 3 new rollers for my 10x15 C&P (there goes about $290), a treadle ($140) and a variety of ink and misc. supplies. With that said, I would LOVE a boxcar base but at this time I’d like to try another, perhaps less expensive, method. I’ve read some people use the wood mounted plates from Owossowa Graphics. Since I obviously wouldn’t need a base with these, what are the results like compared to photopolymer plates? And which plates are better (magnesium, copper, etc.)?

Thanks so much!

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The folks at Ososso Graphic Arts in Owosso, Michigan are SUPER HELPFUL and will be most happy to address any of your needs; I have used them—-faithfully—for over 25-years and I’ve
NEVER had a complaint. They make mag. plates for us in two heights unmounted and previously they made wood mounted cuts for us——-they also make male/female dies for us used in embossing——-again, NEVER a problem!
You can find their telephone number under suppliers on the Briar Press web-sight.
Poly-Plates are OK for certain (and short) runs———we DON’T use them—never had; we have
been VERY satisfied with zinc and mag.———forget about copper——-IF you could find a company that still does copper I’m sure you wouldn’t like the price——I believe there is a place in
Indianapolis that still produces cuts in copper——-hope this helps——Good Luck! *wta

Owosso Graphic Arts does copper cuts. Not much more than magnesium and it doesn’t corrode nearly as easily.

Yeah, copper is the best. A copper die generated from digital film and mounted on a honeycomb base will give photopolymer a run for its money any day of the week. Though it is a bit more expensive.


My only concern is registering with copper or magnesium plates versus photopolymer (since I’ve heard it’s so easy with the photopolymer). Any tips for the other plates when doing more than one color? Do you get the wood bases the same size?


If you buy your plates unmounted (.25”) you can mount them to a honeycomb base. the plates are held to the base with hooks. These hooks are designed to allow some movement of the plate to obtain register.
The honeycomb base and hooks will set you back as much or more than a Boxcar base but printing from new copper is as good as it gets.


When using unmounted plates on a honeycomb base or Owosso’s quick mount, is the clearance between the surface of the plate and the base large enough that crushing reg guides isn’t a problem, or do you have to make sure the base clears the guides/grippers like with the boxcar base?

The unmounted copper is .25” according to Sumner so your gauge pins would need to be thinner than 1/4” and clear any toggle/hook.


Most honeycomb base was not for .250” dies, but for .152” duplicate plates (although newer base probably favors .250”). That distance to base surface is usually enough clearance for standard gauge pins. I don’t know about Owosso base but standard thickness for original plates is around .060” (comparable to Boxcar’s “deep relief”), and that does not allow clearance for gauge pins.

No it certainly does not, nor for grippers/frisket fingers.

Why do you say that helimited? When using 1/4” dies seems to me most grippers/friskets and gauge pins would clear in between platen and base.