I have provided photopolymer plates for the contemporary studio letterpress community since 1995. Offered are professionally processed premium-grade plates for today’s popular bases (Bunting, Patmag, Boxcar, Eluminum) with fast same day turn-around. I ship same day as well as provide convenient 24 hour pickup for folks in Greater Los Angeles. My service is client-based and primarily serves the Southern California region.Film negatives are required. I recommend Tamburello Productions, an online silver-based film negative processing service who supplies a quality product at low cost with free delivery to The Bieler Press (contact Tamburello directly for their payment requirements). Tamburello requires receipt of e-files by 3:00 pm for early morning delivery the next business day.
Photopolymer Plate Specifications:
Currently stocked are the following Toyobo Printight brand plates for use with flatbases. These letterpress formulated photopolymer plates are state-of-the-art industrial quality. They are manufactured with photosensitive nylon resin, thus they hold detail and fine lines exceptionally well with no loss of imaging during presswork. The plates listed all meet the minimum hardness rating of Shore D 67˚.
• KF95GC—polyester-backed at .038" thickness—configuration used for non-magnetic bases such as a standard Boxcar Base, Eluminum, or of similar manufacture. Includes attached film adhesive interlay, with silicon protective sheet. Requires appropriate underlay if used on any flatbase measuring less than .875".
• KM95GR—steel-backed at .038" thickness—recommended for use on Vandercooks or Heidelbergs with properly configured magnetic base, e.g., a Bunting Magnetic Cerface Flat Base ground to .880". Can be used on a Patmag base with appropriate underlay (+/- .022). This is the plate I use at The Bieler Press for all of my production.
• KM152GR—steel-backed at .060" thickness—specifically recommended for use on job platen presses, such as a C&P or Kluge, and smaller platens, where roller height issues may be of concern. Common configuration for a Patmag base or Bunting Magnetic Cerface Flat Base (ground to .858").
Maximum plate combined image size (including required bordering, crop marks or other registration devices) is 16 by 22-1/2 inches. Plates are furnished with unaligned edges cut approximately 1/4 of an inch (+/-) around imaging (if more or less edge border is required client should request this with order and provide adequate room on e-file).
Imaging and Film Negatives:
B/W line art furnished for platemaking must be in the form of high-quality imagesetter generated silver-based film negatives with discernible emulsion side, a minimum resolution of 2400 dpi, and made as RREUs (emulsion side up/right reading). For PostScript based software select EPS or Press Quality PDF when submitting e-files to your film processor.
If you are sending film negatives ensure they are packed well (with slips of acetate facing the emulsion sides) and that there are no cat winks (kinks), scratches, particulate matter, or chemical residue on the film.
If client requires that I cut multiple plates from negatives, imaging must be separated by a minimum of three-fourths of an inch and aligned for linear cuttings in either direction. Cutting schematic must be emailed to me via PDF or enclosed with film negative. In all cases, to avoid processing problems please leave at least half an inch margin at outside edges of the film negative.
Negatives and all other materials are returned to client. Negatives are trimmed to facilitate platemaking.
Rates and Terms:
Please notify me via email of pending orders PRIOR to receipt of film as this provides a means of quick, specific communication, and scheduling. Attach a PDF of your imaging for identification purposes; this also allows for checking of possible technical problems prior to processing. To prevent delays, clients should provide contact information (including phone number) and indicate with order their delivery/pickup preference (with address for shipment), and specific plate needed.
Plates are available/shipped same day (M–F) at the rates listed below (film negatives must be received by 10:30 am for same day service). Client will be notified via email when plates are ready for pickup or have been shipped. Dates and times service is not feasible are listed at the tail of this post, and are to be considered prior notice. Large jobs may require more than one day to complete.
• KF95 plates are charged at 70¢ per sq. inch of image/s.
• KM95 plates are charged at 73¢ per sq. inch of image/s.
• KM152 plates are charged at 76¢ per sq. inch of image/s.Minimum charge for same day processing is $30. Charged measurement includes approximately 1/4 of an inch (+/-) over plate’s image size—width and height (including client requested border)—per plate. Rush jobs, after hours work, or custom processing are subject to a minimum $45 additional fee.
Discounts: Automatic per job discount of 1¢ per sq. inch at 100–200 sq. inches; 2¢ per sq. inch at 200–400 sq. inches; 3¢ per sq. inch at 400–600 sq. inches; 4¢ per sq. inch at 600–800 sq. inches; 5¢ per sq. inch at 800–1,000 sq. inches; 6¢ per sq. inch at 1,000–1,250 sq. inches; 7¢ per sq. inch at 1,250–1,500 sq. inches; 8¢ per sq. inch at 1,500–1,750 sq. inches; 9¢ per sq. inch at 1,750–2,000 sq. inches; 10¢ per sq. inch at 2,000+ sq. inches (staggered or incomplete orders do not qualify in calculating total discount). Currently enrolled students in my letterpress instruction venues receive a rounded out 9 percent discount on platework.
Shipping is charged at cost. Shipping via UPS Ground or USPS Priority. Please indicate your shipper choice. If you need expedited service (guaranteed next day delivery) please indicate that as well. Shipments are insured for the value of both the plates and returned film negatives. I do not ship plates internationally.
State sales tax: California residents (9 percent is added for all nonexempt billings). Resale Certificate must be on file to qualify for tax exempt status.
Payment is due upon receipt of plates (and must be received within ten days for continued service). Personal checks, cash, and payments via PayPal and Chase QuickPay are acceptable.Scheduling: No current conflicts.