Re: Polymetaal etching press
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