After years of testing, Conrad Machine is proud to introduce the unique Twin-Torque Drive. This drive is the only hand drive on the market today that enables the printmaker to choose a gear ratio suited to his medium. Take your choice of 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 to 1 gear ratios driving through a fully enclosed, self-contained double reduction planetary gear drive. No chains - no misalignments - this drive is mounted directly on the roll. Don't settle for something less than the best. Options include a star wheel in place of a hand crank.
One of the most important components of any press is its drive. Conrad Machine Co. has developed three sizes of planetary gear drives for all sizes of etching presses. Gear drives are superior to chain drives, requiring no adjustments for the life of the press. With a gear driven press, the artist can enjoy smooth and effortless printing under heavy pressure with no transitional pull coming off a plate. Conrad Machine Co. is the only press manufacturer to use this planetary gear technology. This proven design has been used on thousands of presses have we built over the past 60 years. The Series 2 drive is used on our E-24, E-31, and E-37 etching presses.
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 (48 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 compression strength of 29,000 P.S.I. and a sixth the weight of steel. The E-24 can also be ordered with optional precision ground steel and aluminum alloy bed plates. Please see the options or catalog 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 etching press' 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 the 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.
For those printmakers running large additions or for those who would like effortless printing, we offer a motorized press option. Some printmakers prefer a motor driven press because the motor can deliver a constant speed throughout any edition size and never get tired. We offer a 1/2 H.P. motor that runs on standard house current, 115 volt. Safety features include roll guards, bed stops, an instant reverse motor with power indicator light, and a keyed power lock out switch. The E-24 etching press motor drive option is different from our other motorized presses. The motorized E-24 press retains its hand drive. The hand drive can be disconnected and the motor drive engaged with one pull of the lever. To engage the hand drive and disengage the motor drive, just push in the level. Please see the options or catalog sections for more details.
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.