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Old 01-15-2012, 11:59 PM
Ridge Studio Ridge Studio is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Polymetaal etching press

Need a little advice. I am shopping for an etching press, as big as I can get for $3,000 including shipping to B.C. I have taken workshops but really I am just learning about the mechanics of the press. I have come across Polymetaal 31"x51" press and I'm thinking this could be the one. They have a number of options that I would like a get opinions on.

1. direct drive on lower roller, no gears
2. lower roller driven, by gears
3. direct drive on top roller, no gears
4. driven by top roller, by gears

Pros and Cons anybody?
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:19 AM
pressmaker pressmaker is offline
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Re: Polymetaal etching press

Hi There,

Top roller driven verses lower roller driven:

There is no difference in the two systems, if the rollers turn easily.
In the old days (long time ago) presses were not fitted with good bearings (bronze, ball bearingsetc.) which resulted in extra friction on the lower roller. This might result in some slippage, which means the the bottom roller could keep up with the driven top roller.

Nowadays almost all presses are fitted with good bearing systems without too much friction. Therefore it does not matter anymore, top roller or bottom roller driven.

Gearing or no gearing

Normally it is always advisable to have a gearing. It depends upon the size of the press and the technique you are working with:
Some techniques require more pressure than others;
Etching requires more pressure.
Linocut, woodcut, letterpress, plate lithography requires less pressure.

Another factor; continues speed of printing. If you use a gearing, it is easier to have the same speed during printing; which results in a more equal transfer of the ink to the paper.
If you change speed during printing this may result in different tone values on the print.

For etching it as advisable to use a geared press over de width of 50cm (20"). For the other techniques you can use a press wider, without gearing.

Good luck with it
Hugo Bos
Polymetaal
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:19 PM
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ainesse ainesse is offline
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Hails from Ireland
Re: Polymetaal etching press

I had a Polymetal press for over 10 years. It was a top release roller. Meaning I could adjust it so that it would go up and leave a big gap for when I , for example wanted to put a wood block through the press or say a linoleum plate.

I used 'runners' on the press bed - when I was doing this. Quite often I would be using these plates in intaglio fashion as opposed to relief.

I got a larger press recently and although its perfectly good - I really miss my other press.
It was a lovely press and I could really 'feel' the plates going through and under the rollers. My current press is not like this - it has a different gearing system.

Anyway the main thing is that I highly recommend this kind of press.
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