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New PATMAG Base Plate

New PATMAG Base Plate

It’s here! Our new PATMAG base plate for metal backed Poly Plates!

Well, we are getting closer to full production. Today marks another major leap forward with the new addition of the PATMAG base plate for our C&P 10×15 Old Style Press. This will allow us to take full advantage of digital designs and modern design tools.

Why the PATMAG Base Plate

This was a tough decision. It was a toss up, go with the Box Car base and adhesive backed poly plates or go magnetic and use steel backed plates. I did a lot of research. One of my concerns was re-usability of the plates as I fully intend on using the plates multiple times. I read that adhesive backed plates can be damaged while being removed from the base, if your not extremely careful and that they tend to curl while being stored and this was a definite concern of mine.

So… my preference was to use metal backed plates. I started researching magnetic bases and, well, let’s just say I was a bit sticker shocked at the price of the Bunting Magnetic Bases. Although everything I read said spending the money on these was a worthwhile investment, I just didn’t/don’t have the capital to spend on the size of the base(s) I wanted. More research ensued.

Then while digging around at I stumbled upon the PATMAG base. It was in the same ballpark price range as the Box Car base only magnetic. I was very pleased to stumble across this item. Not only was it in my limited budget price range but it was magnetic too! I placed my order!

Now comes the fun part! The first set of plates are on their way. The first project is going to be the Bodliean Library Shakespeare Sonnet No. 69. I am chomping at the bits to get this on press. I originally wanted to use the type that came with the press when I rescued it but I came up short and unfortunately M&H Type Foundry was unable to get me the new cast of lower case Cloister text in time even though I put my request in months ago. Oh well. C’est la vie!

So we move on. All is good, I had always intended on using photopolymer plates so this re-direction actually fit in with the master plan… Just a little sooner than expected.

About the PATMAG Base Plate

This text was taken from the sheet that was included with the plate upon arrival

PATMAG Info Sheet

PATMAG was developed to provide a low-cost, superior-quality alternative to other steel backed photopolymer-plate bases. PATMAG is made up of a base of precision-ground plate aluminum to which a patented magnetic surface is bonded.

In providing a remarkably stable and strong support for plates, PATMAG saves the printer a good deal of make-ready time. PATMAG is designed to be locked into a press like a photoengraving or type form.

For best results* we suggest using PATMAG in conjunction with a spray adhesive such as 3M Spray Mount&trad; removable (under no circumstance should a permanent adhesive be used). Spray the back of the plate lightly, and allow it to dry for a half-minute or so. Then position the plate over the PATMAG, square it up, and lower one edge until it is in contact with the plate. The powerful magnetic surface of the PATMAG will start drawing the plate down. The spray adhesive will stay open long enough for you to square the plate. After you’ve finished the job, wipe off the adhesive remaining on the PATMAG with a printer’s towel and type wash. Never allow type-wash to languish on the magnetic surface – prolonged exposure may cause swelling.

Incidentally, squaring the plate to the PATMAG (and to the press) can be facilitated by adding to your copy a .5″ rule the length or breadth of the plate. Use this rule to line things up by eye, and use it as a measurement aid. Then after proofing the job and adjusting the plate for squareness, simply cut off the rule with an X-acto┬« or similar knife. (PATMAG’s surface is sturdy but none the less should be treated carefully. Be careful not to cut it.)

In order to provide you quick service and keep the product’s price down, we stock in the most commonly ordered sizes (shown below). Plates can bridge several pieces of PATMAG without difficulty either in assembly or in make-ready and printing, so you can safely combine these low-cost stock size pieces to fill a press.

We created PATMAG out of frustration with the high cost of other manufacturers’ similar products. In our own shop we use it daily in producing printed pieces, and with excellent results. Should you have any questions about PATMAG or its use, or problems with the product, please let us know. It is sold with a one year warranty against manufacturing defects.

*Only necessary when plate tends to migrate from excessive impression, usually on cylinder presses because of the lateral pressure.


Jacob Tremblay

I have been working in the printing industry for over 25 years. I have a strong work ethic and strive to keep myself competitive in my industry by constantly learning new methods, equipment and software. I can work a project from concept to completion, doing each step along the way from design to print. It has taken many years and many changes in the industry to get to where I am today.


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