Bob Richardson's Platen Grid
Bob Richard­son’s Plat­en Grid

Bob Richard­son’s approach to trou­ble-free posi­tion­ing of stock on your platen

Fol­low­ing on from recent post­ings about lin­ing up items on the plat­en of a press [on the LETPRESS dis­cus­sion list], I thought I’d share my solu­tion. For the last 15 years or so I have used a sheet of ani­ma­tion acetate as a top sheet on the plat­en of my Adana press. It’s obtain­able from art stores, or you can use a sheet of mylar which is more expensive.

Beneath the top sheet is a sim­ple grid, print­ed ‘land­scape’ on my com­put­er. The grid has let­ters along the top and num­bers down the left and right sides. This pro­vides a fool­proof guide to whether the item is straight on the plat­en and also allows me to gauge how far left or right (or up and down) I need to repo­si­tion the item when I’m lin­ing up. The acetate means I can take a pull on the top sheet and posi­tion the card/paper, then wipe off the print with a rag moist­ened with white spir­it. This avoids any set-off on the back of the items when the print run begins. It’s very easy to do and quick to replace.