Re: sources for uv exposure units or plate makers? (or any hints on how to get good good contct?)

From: Dan Burkholder ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/28/05-04:11:21 PM Z
Message-id: <>

This topic comes up every once in a while so it's obviously still an
issue for some of us.

I think the "vacuum vs. mechanical pressure" argument boils down to how
big you go with your prints and how wavy the paper is when coated. That
is, some users will have no problems using clamps on the edges of the
frames and others will have "lift-off" resulting in unsharp areas when
the neg and paper lose intimacy. You'll get the whole range of
mechanical suggestions ("sit a few milk jugs filled with water on the
glass," "have your mother-in-law sit on the frame," etc.) but these
mechanical clamping methods can never compare to the pressure of a
vacuum frame. Do the math: you'd need 588 milk jugs stacked on your 16"
x 20" glass to equal vacuum at 14.7 lbs. per sq. inch. (I was head
milker on a dairy many years ago so that's now I know milk weighs 8 lbs.
per gallon approximately.)

You can buy sweet but fairly expensive new units that combine
fluorescent lights with a good vacuum frame from Jon Edwards at I've used these in workshops and they work wonderfully.
You pay for that pleasure of course but the price is fair given the
quality and convenience.

Many offset print shops are clearing out their light sources and vacuum
frames now that the industry is moving to "direct to plate." That means
there are some killer deals floating around. You might check your local
Yellow Pages (or web equiv.) for "Printing Supplies" and ask. These
suppliers are usually in the know about what's happening in the industry.

And, if there is an auction business near you, you might check to see if
they have any print shops going on the block. I picked up several items
for a song at an auction in the Dallas, TX area. You can sometimes find
rigs that combine a mercury vapor light with a vacuum frame (complete
with curtain to contain spill) for peanuts.

Good luck in your search!


Carmen Lizardo wrote on 10/28/05, 2:57 PM:

> Dear all, I am considering buying a plate maker or UV
> unit with vacuum attachment. (If this wont brake my
> budget) I am printing fairly large (22x30") and I am
> loosing contact in some areas of the print. Any
> suggestions in where I should look? Or better yet, any
> hints in how to achieve better contact?
> Thank you so much!

Received on Fri Oct 28 16:11:43 2005

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