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Polymer Plates that won't lay flat

If you use photopolymer plates for printing, you know that if you have a dense plate, they have a tendency to curl up as they dry over the course of time. You can keep them in baggies but they still do it. So...I used to soak a paper towel in water, squeeze out the excess and place it in a baggie with the plate (without touching the plate) and blow the bag full of air and seal it and wait overnight for the plate to relax.

But... today, I didn't have time for this little drill so I thunk to myself, what else would do it. Well, we just happen to have a garment steamer around the shop that my wife uses for photo shoots and such. Turns out you can straighten out a curled plate in about 45 seconds using the steam.

Now that's handy.

January 17, 2010 by admin
Tags: Windmills

Windmill won't print in register

szsea039I went to see a Tiegel black ball today. It wouldn't register. Our press is a "red ball" meaning that you are able to lock the ink rollers up while the press runs. Very handy for inking just the drum for a test color or run. Very tedious with always moving rollers.

For a windmill to print in registration, a whole lot of things have to go right but here's a simple one that can go wrong that can easily be avoided. Remember that the type of guides dictates the physical placement of the feed stack. If they're nickel guides, the stack has to go pretty much hard left. If brass, less so.

You know that gauge down on the lower left of the press? Slide one way for nickel the other for brass. Set it,  tighten it down and then push your left side stack standard against it.

Remember that when the gripper arm opens to release the paper to the guide bar, the paper should not "drop" any real distance to the bar. It should pretty much transfer to the bar simultaneously with the gripper release.

Put the paper too far to the right in the feed pile, you can have paper falling 1/4 inch, more than enough to cause no registration, paper falling out of the platen and other annoying and expensive problems.

Check your stack.

Here's another thought. If you making Rube Goldberg type "adjustments" to your feed stack, or just about any other part of your Windmill in order for it to print properly, you are doing something fundamentally wrong. The machine is just about perfectly designed just as it is. RTFM.

September 03, 2009 by admin
Tags: Windmills