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Re: [BKARTS] printing halftones


I would suggest asking your magnesium die vendor about their capabilities in
this area. Mine says that 110-120 line screen is their limit. You must
consider the type of paper that you're printing on as well--course surfaced
papers require a larger dot and I've gone as low as 60-80 line screens on
some funky handmade sheets. Sending a sheet to your die vendor could be
helpful in choosing the right screen density.

As you probably know, the mag dies are much more limited in their ability to
reproduce fine dot patterns compared to polymer. Although those magnetic
bases are expensive (reasonably so, in consideration of what is involved in
making them), there are some alternative ways to mount poly plates. I bought
a piece of steel and had it ground down at a machine shop and then affixed
polymer material (the kind without steel backing) onto it with 2-sided
tape--works great and the plate doesn't move at all on the base. I have also
taken a piece of MDX wood material, available at Home Depot or similar
stores and had a friend plane it down for a base--this is the cheapest way
to go and the results can be very good. In either case, you have to do a
little math to ensure that the sum thickness of all (poly material, tape,
and steel or wood base) equals type-high--exactly.

On the press make sure that roller contact is as perfect as possible, run
slow, and keep your ink on the thin side using a tack reducer if necessary.
All this assumes that your rollers are in great shape. I'd choose to run it
on the Universal rather than the C & P.

Hope this helps. --h

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kerri Sancomb" <kerri@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 8:03 AM
Subject: printing halftones

> Hi All,
> I am looking for advice on printing halftones successfully. I print on
> a Universal I Vandercook and a C & P platen press. We print from magnesium
> plates still as the magnetic base for polymer plates is still very much
> outside our budget. I am trying to discover what the finest res halftone I
> can get is minus printing nightmares. I recently printed a poster with a
> halftone on the same plate as fairly heavy solid black areas - so I
> realized this was a mistake. Any other suggestions - both image and ink
> suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks!
> Kerri

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