Positioning Paper on the Platen

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.