I have come across this amazing magnetic rubber sheet eg on ebay(probably for making fridge magnets), from various thicknesses , for example starting at 0.4 mm, I’m going to use it on my treadle platen press instead of a manilla tympan especially as in my damp garage this cockles, it is  easy to clean, I will be using quads stuck on with a paste glue for registration as it would not be possible to stick register pin lays through it. It seems quite a firm surface, so I was wondering if anyone has ever tried it as tympan drawsheet replacement on a cylinder proofing press, it would avoid all the complications cutting out a draw sheet and trying to fit to the reel rod, especially if using stiff mylar. Probably not the best idea for a power fed printing press but possibly feasible for a hand wound cylinder press, just cut it out to the correct dimensions and roll it on, easier for make ready under it to?

Thoughts are welcome, probably someone has tried it, just that I haven’t read about it.Best wishes all.


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8 thoughts on “magnetic rubber sheet”

  1. A glue stick may not be so aggressive compared to the spray adhesives often used to keep photopolymer plates from slipping on PatMag bases. Pat himself warned us to use lesser Spray-Ment adhesive rather than permanent Super 77, but both have a tendency to pick off bits of magnet when the plate is lifted. It costs way more than 5 pounds to resurface a PatMag.

  2. Hi Eric. Barry does use the bottom lay bands , and also has the moving side lays, just for the short runs that are asked of is easier to stick on a “lump of lead” with Pritt stick!!!
    I have had a go too and think this machine is really great for art printing, Barry now 76 did his apprenticeship on this machine but still enjoys coming over to Amberley Museum to show visitors.Nice to chat.

  3. An Autovic was designed to use lay bands instead of gauges. Their system even has a moving side lay. Maybe these parts are lost, but maybe they just haven’t been recognized.
    Look for a long steel band with holes in the ends, and sliding blocks something like Gardner gauges; this assembly attches to the toothed blocks on either side of the platen. For the side lays, there are slotted T-shaped pieces of various lengths that are pushed by a cam on the side arms. These work with the auto-feeder but there’s no reason they won’t work hand-fed, if the parts are there.
    A century ago glued gauges were the normal technique, but since surpassed. Far surpassed in the case of the Autovic.

  4. Appreciate comments so far folks, it actually cost only £5 for a sheet .4mm, 120 x 1200cms so no fortune lost there, it seems very resilient, just waiting for a warmer day to check it out on my treadle press platen.
    Mark, not sure what you mean by “sticker paper”, is this one side self adhesive film of some kind?

    Eric, I apreciate your detailed experience knowledge, thank you. A volunteer printer at Amberley Museum is always using white paste glu eg Pritt stickto stick down quads as lays on the tympan of the Autovic, seems so easy for very short runs, 1 colour only—-!!!!

  5. If it works for you, fine. But I’d point out that every combination of form and stock have different pressure requirements, and that can vary within a single form. A single sheet of magnetic material does not allow for such standard adjustments as a stab-sheet or even a little bit of tissue overall. Where rubber sheets were used on Vandercooks, they were generally just for reading proofs (galley and page proofs) because rubber does not beat down as quickly as tympan in a heavy production environment. Rubber was not used for repros which were the highest quality needed. So what level of quality satisfies?
    From my PatMag work I’d say that adhesives used on sheet magnet will pull away rubber when removed, lowering the surface. I treat my jobs as more important than my working materials, so I don’t try to reuse packing if it will affect the next job. But I’ve known really good printers who reuse everything; so again, do what works for you.

  6. That should read “Brass rule”, not brad rule. Autocorrect!

    Anyhow, messing with glue seems like a bad idea- I’m critical because it’s not instant, it can fail easily, etc etc….

  7. (I use the sticker paper OVER a normal oiled tympan drawsheet- this gives the topsheet/drawsheet a slick surface that is cleanable. I get the sticker paper pretty cheap from a local store so it works for me.)

  8. Frankly it sounds like an awful idea to me; too thick, likely to give under pressure, what is the flatness tolerance, why the heck would you mess with glue and quads or use anything you had to do such a thing to/couldn’t pierce. Lastly, what is the expense? I am willing to bet .004″ thick mylar sheet is far, far cheaper. Even sticker paper is cheaper.

    In my own practice, I’m firmly planted in the use of Mylar sticker paper and regular mylar (non-sticky) for draw sheets. I don’t pierce it and put pins through it for register- I use a doublestick plate mounting adhesive and brad rule as my ‘pins’ or ‘lay guides’. It is re-positionable, holds firmly to a glossy surface like mylar, and the drawsheet/topsheet is assured to be very very flat across both length and width.
    As a bonus, mylar is really easy to clean and doesn’t warp with humidity and is relatively solvent resistant.

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