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, E-37 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 (62 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 composite laminate, having a compressive strength of 29,000 P.S.I. This strong material is also light weight: only a sixth the weight of steel. The E-31 and E-37 can also be ordered with optional precision ground steel and aluminum alloy bed plates. Please see the options and pricing sections in our catalog for more details.
The upper roll is precision machined from 7 inch diameter steel and is spring counter balanced. Lower rolls on both presses are adjustable for height and bed plate teeter. The lower roll is precision machined from 4 inch solid steel. We only use large 2 inch diameter bearing on these two presses. These high quality, self-aligning, anti-friction type of bearings insure smooth and easy operation under the most severe printing conditions. These bearings are rated at 20,000 P.S.I. each--many times over the maximum pressure encountered in normal printing.
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.