Heidelberg Cylinder Base Idea

Hello,

I posted a topic a few months ago when my company was considering buying a Heidelberg Cylinder SBG (http://www.briarpress.org/62198#comment-81876) and everyone was extremely helpful here, so now that we’ve pulled the trigger and bought that beauty, I had an idea about a couple of things, but thought it might be best to ask here, maybe it’s just a stupid idea.

So we bought this machine because we have one client that is interested in printing books, as well as some other clients (illustrators mostly) that want to make large graphic posters and others that would like to do specialised business cards. Considering that we have that much potential interest, we pulled the trigger.

We’ll do all printing with photopolymer plates with thickness of 0,95 mm, which means we need a base that is 2,61 mm thick to reach that holy number of 2,56 mm for printing. Since the size of the machine allows for quite a large format, I believe we might print 8 pages of a book per side at once (or is this perhaps too much if a single page is slightly larger than A5 format? Especially when it comes to folding later on?), as well as doing large graphic posters. But the frame of the machine is quite restricting if we want to do it all, so I had this crazy idea: why not make the base the size of the frame, with all the necessary holes for fixing it inside the machine. Sure, it will be expensive, but if we’re working with only that one specific polymer, it might be worth it as we only need to use adhesive to get it into place (we would anodise a grid onto it as well so we can position it properly).

Furthermore, after reading so much about registration pins here, I was thinking of adding several positions for those as well. I.e. one for large sheets of polymer and other for smaller sheets, like if we wanted to pin down individual pages of a book to save on photopolymer waste.

Is this idea worthwhile or am I missing something and I should just stick to using a frame like everyone else? Maybe create two smaller bases that I can mix and match as needed?

Hopefully someone can shed some light on this. Thanks!

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Hi, am I right in assuming you are based in the USA? I’m in the UK and have and do use .95 polymer plates that I mount on lead or aluminum shim, which in turn I put onto honeycomb mount.
At present i have a windmill and until recently a vertical miehle and have printed using honeycomb on both presses and many years ago used honeycomb on large format miehles and Heidelberg cylinders. Not sure if this is an option for you? I think I may know of a mount for your press but clips might be an issue these days.
Ps well done going for the press, they are real work horses. Picture shows polymer mounted on lead shim on honeycomb in vertical miehle chase. The polymer is metal backed and dates from the 1980’s and is still usable today.

image: IMG_9010_resized.JPG

IMG_9010_resized.JPG

When I used a similar method (6-pt slugs laid on side and glued between litho plates), I had to shape wooden dowells to place in the honeycomb holes under any areas of solid coverage to get an even support. The lead layer was not sufficiently rigid. But then, it was for thicker photopolymer plates and the typemetal was a smaller percentage of the whole.

I have been lucky and still have a small supply of lead shim that was cast and milled to the right thickness ( back in the 70’s), but have found some aluminum plate as a back up that works just as well. The best part about it is if you are doing type pages you can position them up nicely singlely rather than trying to lay the pages on one piece of base.

American Printing Equipment at one time sold an intermediate sheet for mounting original plates on honeycomb base intended for thicker duplicate plates.
I got the idea it was repurposed material for circuit board manufacture, something like phenolic board with copper facing. It’d be more supportive over the holes of the base than typemetal would be, and is still available, if you can find the right thickness.

American Printing Equipment at one time sold an intermediate sheet for mounting original plates on honeycomb base intended for thicker duplicate plates.
I got the idea it was repurposed material for circuit board manufacture, something like phenolic board with copper facing. It’d be more supportive over the holes of the base than typemetal would be, and is still available, if you can find the right thickness.

In addition to the lead shim and aluminum sheet I also have samples of the phenolic board you mention for use with polymer plates and honeycomb mount, however it has tended to warp with age and have to just use small pieces of it. You have now set me on a task. I have a supply of high quads cast on a monotype machine whch have wood inserts. I will have to see if they work with steel backed polymer plates and just use tacks to secure them.

I think Cornerstone or the like sold larger units of metal base material with wooden inserts for nailing.
Using Elrod strip with metric photopolymer gets tricky. With .854” high-base and sticky-back tape, 152 plates are high and 145 plates are low, might need underlay.
.875” Monotabular base, which is the same height as Linotype blank shoulder, can work with 95 photopolymer, and I’ve run 95 plate material as initial letter on blank area of Lino slugs indented from the text block.
Elrod also made low base at .765”, Reilly base at .805” and Fairchild at .805”, but .875” and .854” seem not only the most common but also the most useful in the plastic age.

You are right Cornerstone and Cefmor sold large format honeycomb bases. I have printed 35 x 45 inch sheet from metal stereo’s plastic stereo’s and polymer using these bases up to 32 pages at a time.