Tuesday, 26 October 2010

new + improved {base, grid, quoins}

When I got the new press I also decided to purchase a new Boxcar Base to go along with it. The base I previously had was made for my smaller press with an 8x5" chase. Like the last time I ordered a base, I increased the recommended size by half an inch so that I could have as much area for my polymers plates to work with. Even though I don't normally print anything larger than 5x7, it may come in handy to have the option. If you print with gauge pins on a platen, I wouldn't suggest doing this because a base this size will certainly interfere with them when they come into contact during printing. I use photo corners or homemade pins so no damage is done when the base meets the platen/cardstock. Whatever you do, make sure your base fits in the chase with furniture and quoins!

While I was at it, I also outfitted the platen with a new grid. The one I used before only marked every quarter of an inch. This new one was prepared in Illustrator and has 1/8 markings alternating between solid and dotted lines. And every other one inch line is red. I also added upper and lower case letters on each side of the grid as well as on the top. When I ran out of letters, I used numbers. These coordinates may help with lining things up or if I need to remember where I placed the cardstock. Underneath the grid is tympan and protecting the grid is a thin sheet of plastic. Since I never have to replace my tympan sheet, these layers are what remain on my press at all times. I prepare the makeready with overlay on top of these three layers.

Also, just wanted to mention the fantasticness (yes, it is now a real word) of highspeed quoins. Sure, I knew of them but I was quite happy with my good 'ol Challenge quoins that were separate from each other. They gave me no issues and were always reliable. They still are. It's not like it took me a long time to use or lock them up. I mean, really - how much faster are the highspeed quoins, I thought. Not much, but they're definitely faster and enough so to put my old ones into retirement.


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