After a few unsuccessful attempts to contact Boxcar Press, I am reaching out to all of you for advice! I am looking to buy my first deep relief base (for my Golding Pearl #3) and am not sure if I should cut the base into several pieces. This was the advice from another letterpress owner.
For instance, let’s say I plan to create A2 size cards. Should I buy a 6″x9″ base (note: my chase size is 7″x11″) and then have them cut it in half (2, 4.5″x6″ halves) so I don’t have to worry about gnashing my gauge pins? Then when I need a larger base, I can put them back together in the chase.
Has anyone else cut theirs into multiple pieces and then used them together without issue?
I’d recommend purchasing the 6 x 9″ base — it’s a workhorse here at Logos Graphics. I would not cut it in half as you’ll most likely lose the “squareness” of either side of the cut.As far as your gauge pins, I’d add furniture at the bottom of your chase to prevent them from hitting your base. Or, you can simply cut away the area where the gauge pin(s) meet your base, and they won’t mark your base (or if they do, it will be quite light). I use this trick all the time for the standard height Boxcar bases that I use in multiple sizes. Just make sure the pins don’t come up so far as to threaten your active art/print area.Good luck with your decision making! Feel free to ping me offline if you have any other questions about bases or plates. I make all three types of plates (standard/deep relief Boxcar-style + steel back).Lars.
We print A2 and A6 cards on our 8×12 C&P and have not cut our base. We merely cut the paper after printing instead of before. It’s a little more labor intensive but, as I understand it, most people with platen presses do it this way. Also, it doesn’t limit us if we print something else like a larger print. We hope to graduate to a windmill soon in which case we can cut the paper first. Good luck!
– You can simply move the base up a few picas to avoid the gauge pins on your press.
– You can also contact a local machinist and have them make a simple smaller base for you out of aluminum. We’ve done this for our large Heidelberg KS cylinder press, which takes a much larger base size than Boxcar carries.