The most remarkable feature of the E-18 etching press is the Planetary reduction drive. Torque from the 10 inch throw aluminum hand crank is multiplied in the fully enclosed geared planetary reducer. The ideal 6:1 ratio to provides smooth and easy operation under the heaviest pressure. This type of press drive, developed by Conrad Machine Co. in 1959, is a proven design concept. The Planetary reduction drive has provided trouble free service over the past 50 years on thousands of etching presses, ranging in width from 12 inches to 50 inches.
The base of the press is formed from heavy gauge sheet steel. The heavy gauge steel is riveted together to form a sturdy box section that is resistant to twisting and tipping. Unlike many of our competitor's presses, the base extends the full length (36 inches) of the bed plate.
The Vertical Frame is constructed of solid square steel. The frame, pressure screw, bearing block and lower roll adjusting screw all share a common centerline to eliminate twisting or bending of the frame under high printing pressure.
There are many different views of what material makes the best bed plate; to a large extent, we feel it is a matter of personal preference. Therefore we offer three different types of bed plate materials. The standard bed plate is made from .75 inch thick Benelex. Benelex is a high density lignin-resin laminate, having a compressive strength of 29,000 P.S.I. This material is only a sixth the weight of steel. The E-18 can also be ordered with optional precision ground steel and aluminum alloy bed plates. Please see the options and pricing sections for more details.
The upper roll is precision machined from steel and is spring counter balanced. The E-18 upper roll is 4.5 inches in diameter and the E-24 etching press's upper roll is 5 inches in diameter. Lower rolls on both presses are adjustable for height and bed plate teeter. The E-18 lower roll is precision machined from 3.5 inch solid steel, while the E-24 lower roll is precision machined from 4.5 inch solid steel. We only use large 1.5 inch diameter roll bearings on both the E-18 and E-24 presses. These high quality, self-aligning, anti-friction type of bearings insure smooth and easy operation under the most severe printing conditions. Please see options and pricing information for optional over sized rolls.
One of the most sought after options we offer is the micrometer gauge. The micrometer gauge provides easy-to-repeat, precise settings. Our gauge is a barrel thimble type that is calibrated to .005 inch per line. This means you can adjust each pressure screw by about the same thickness as a human hair! The Conrad Machine Co. Micro-guages are the very best in the printmaking industry.
All Conrad Machine Co. Presses come with the printmaking industry's best 25 Year Warranty. We here at Conrad Machine Co. believe in our products and workmanship, so much so, that we will repair or replace any defects in materials or workmanship for the first 25 years of the life of your printmaking press.