View Full Version : Platen Press

Annie M.
13-Sep-2007, 09:50
Just wondering... can photogravure or some other alt photo process be accomplished on a platen press or is an intaglio press the imperative?

My wonderful neighbor used to be a pressman many years ago and has several old presses gathering dust in his 'barn'... these machines are 'beasts' the old iron type with the big wheel and the flat plates for printing... they each weigh well over a ton I am sure.

Now...I am welcome to take one home as a gift if I have a use for it. I would love to put this beast in my little cedar grove and print 'en plein air', however, I imagine it will be no simple endeavor to move it to my property... so I would like to know if the press can be used as is or adapted for alt photo printing.

Thanks, Annie

13-Sep-2007, 10:36
Just wondering... can photogravure or some other alt photo process be accomplished on a platen press or is an intaglio press the imperative?

Thanks, Annie

Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "accomplished"
Yes, the platen press will certainly press a sheet of paper against an inked plate - but will that come out like a photogravure off of an intaglio press? I very much doubt it though I admit I have never tried it myself (nor heard of anyone else doing it that way either.)

Annie M.
13-Sep-2007, 10:49

I had hope there was a way to do a reversed plate from a 'positive negative' or give the whole thing a 'squish' with felts in the platen... but I guess without the roller I am sunk.

13-Sep-2007, 11:05
you may still be able to adapt the machine to print using silk screens depending on what beast you take home. That way you would be using a negative on a screen and pressing it (like a plate) onto a surface (usually textile).

Just a thought :)

John T
13-Sep-2007, 18:39
Platen presses do not have nearly enough pressure to print any kind of intaglio/photogravure image. Despite their large size, the press would break under the pressure needed to pull the ink out of the plates.

John T
13-Sep-2007, 18:45
Oops, I hit the submit button by accident.

However, you can use the photopolymer method to print photos on this press. If you Google "photopolymer" you should be able to find a lot of info. The only real disadvantage of this method is that because it is a relatively low pressure printing method, you need to have a relatively low dpi image. However, you can use the press for its purpose and print books that you illustrate with your photos

Good Luck,


Annie M.
14-Sep-2007, 07:06
Thanks John I did not know the press had insufficient pressure for photogravure.

I have already done a few wee handbound books of my pt prints... now if I just had something to say...hmmmm...

"Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space..."

Cheers and thanks for your input... I just may lug that beastie over here and get into 'publishing'.

14-Sep-2007, 07:30
Well, I don't see why you shouldn't experiment anyway, especially if the press is obtained with no cost. You could be the founder of an entirely new art form!