Author Topic: Embossing question  (Read 3968 times)

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Offline rickself

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Embossing question
« on: June 15, 2012, 02:40:39 PM »
We are a packaging company - folding cartons, lots of die cutting, folding, gluing, etc. We have our first emboss job and want to get the thing as close to right-on the first shot. The printing is only 2 color, black and white (yes, white ink). We're printing on 18pt chipboard and one face of the carton will have an emboss. The die maker has given us the option of emboss die with or without counters. I would assume the counters are needed to form the emboss. Fortunately it is a blind embos so there won't be any registration problems. The emboss is flat, not contoured, so we are unsure if we really need the counter. Any input?
Thanks - Rick
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Offline david

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Re: Embossing question
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 02:50:45 PM »
I would go with the counter just so you'll get a better emboss. Some people will order it without and then make their own with some sort of liquid resin or bondo type (2 part resin & hardener) material. Save a few buck, but whatever works for you guys.

here is a quote from one source about making your own:
There are many materials which can be used to “pour” a counter-die. One of the best is a material called Counter Cast. It is a powder which is mixed with a fast-drying solvent. The mixed material is spread on the counter board on the platen, covered with a thin plastic sheet and the press closed for a short time until the material sets.

An alternative material which can be quite effective is auto body putty (Bondo) which is a two part material, which when mixed together also sets up quickly. Just as the Counter Cast, you spread the Bondo on the counter board on the platen and cover with plastic (I use kitchen plastic wrap or the a piece cut from the thin plastic bags from the grocery store.
Close the platen and let it sit for a minute. Once opened, peel off the plastic and trim the excess with a razor knife.

Yet another, much easier, alternative is plastic hot melt sticks from the craft store. You must work quickly, but for small dies, it can be quite effective. Using an inexpensive electric gun, squeeze out a layer of the hot melt in the die area. Lay a piece of the thin plastic over it and close the platen. The material sets up immediately when the plastic hits the cold die. The squeeze-out can be trimmed and you are ready to go. The plastic is somewhat compressible, but for some dies this can be very effective.

These three methods have the advantage of always being in complete register with the die as they are formed after the die is mounted and in position in the press. If you are using a heated die, avoid the hot melt method, but the counter cast or bondo will work.
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