View Full Version : pressure needed for intaglio?

03-09-2002, 06:22 PM
I am wondering if anyone knows what pressure an etching press

has to exert for intaglio processes ? I read on a printmaking site

yesterday that it should be 1400 pounds per inch of roller length .

That would be a somewhat incredible 21 tons for a 30 inch wide

bed ! ( you could with even a blunt wedge, chop an inch of cold

rolled steel in half with that kind of pressure ) Is this only for

really deep etchings ? What is the minimum I could get away

with ?


03-09-2002, 06:31 PM

I have never really researched that. I usually do some proof prints and add pressure as needed until I get what I am looking for. That to me is the best way, but some are more technical. I do know that it takes a lot of pressure, but it also depends on how many blankets you are using. I use a 1/4" blanket with a starch catcher between it and the newsprint I put on top of the paper I am printing on. On top of the 1/4" blanket I have a pusher blanket that is thinner, but to me is a necessity. I do all I can to protect my press.

I don't have all of my links on my new computer, but when I get them transfered over I will post them for you in this thread. There are some good Q&A forums for printmakers.

For the time being just experiment.

chris 97
04-06-2002, 11:50 PM
i've found the amount of pressure needed is a trial and error thing. a good way to go is to run a plate thru with all the blankets, paper, etc that you plan to use and see how the paper is embossed by the edge of the plate. too much pressure and the plate will tear your paper, and not enuff pressure and there will barely be a dent in the paper where the edges of the plate are.
i don't know about your press, but mine doesn't have a "pounds per square inch" gauge on it, just calibration lines to make sure the pressure is even on both ends of the roller.

04-08-2002, 10:05 PM
Hi Chris ,
I am trying to find out whether I can modify the little proof press I have to be able to do intaglio work .
I just read at one site yesterday that even an old wooden clothes wringer will work if the engraved lines in the plate are .020 " or less ( half a mm. ) .
How deep do you have to etch for a nice black line ?


chris 97
04-14-2002, 05:27 PM

chris 97
04-14-2002, 05:35 PM
colin, i'm not sure what happend above there........ anyway, tobe honest i have never measured how deep my lines were that i etched. there are things that make the color variable, for example how really black your ink is, if you have wiped the plate too thoroughly, how much your blanket presses the paper into the plate.
have you tried to make a small sample plate by varying the time you leave the plate exposed to the acid? you might try this, it also makes a difference as to the strenghth of your acid.
if you dont know how ti make the test strip let me know and i will explain it.
hope this was some help.