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Plate Varieties

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 12/07/2010   10:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Russ to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In response to several posts about plate varieties and inking differences, I thought it may be helpful to provide a very basic overview of plate varieties in early U.S. engraved stamps.
There are 3 basic step to making a plate
1. Produce master die
2. Produce transfer roll
3. Lay down plate

Master die
The master die is cut in a mirror image of the stamp and hardened. The areas that are relieved (cut away) are the areas of the stamp that will receive the ink. Any error made on the master die will appear on all positions of the plates associated with that die. An 1851 3˘ essay master die and die proof are shown below (this Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson design was not approved).




The circled area shows an engraver's slip and the resultant effect on the outer frameline.

Transfer roll
The design of the die is reproduced onto the transfer roll. This transfer is done by traversing the die back and forth while pressing it into the roll as shown in the line drawing below. Each reproduction of the die onto the transfer roll is called a relief. The transfer roll will have several reliefs. Any errors or differences in the reliefs will be transferred to all plate positions made from that relief. After the reliefs have been transferred, the roll is polished and hardened.
A transfer roll showing 2 reliefs is shown below.




Transferring the master die design to transfer roll




Above are 3 of the 6 reliefs produced by the transfer roll (#4) used for the 1857 perf 15˝ 1˘ stamp on plates 5*, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Although they were made from the same die, each of these reliefs are slightly different. They are all Type V and produced the Scott 24.
*Some positions in Plate 5 were Type Va from roll #3.

Plate lay down
The plate subjects are entered in a process that is similar to that used to make the transfer roll except that the design on the roll is pressed into the plate. The plate is rocked (moved back and forth) transferring the design.


Lay down of a plate

This process is the cause of 3 types of errors/varieties:
Short or weak transfers
Multiple transfers
Damages transfers

Short transfers and weak transfers are caused by not rocking the plate far enough to achieve a complete design transfer into the plate. A short transfer would have portions of the design missing while a weak transfer would show the features broken (such as a frameline having dashes instead of solid).


Scott 2 short transfer at top note the absence of the shading lines at the top and the incomplete ornaments above the "ST" in "POST".

Double (Triple) transfer is a second (third) misaligned transfer of lines from the transfer roll relief. This is caused by either replacing an erased entry where the previous entry was not totally removed by burnishing or by re-entry to strengthen an existing entry.


Scott 7 Position 89R2 double transfer at bottom left. Arrow indicate some of the more prominent doubled lines.

Damaged transfers are normally caused by either foreign materials between the roll and plate during transfer or by relief break where a part of the transfer roll relief breaks off.
During the transfer a small curl or thread of the metal from the plate may break loose. The pressure of the transfer process will press it into the plate. When the plate is used that position will show an ink mark at the location of the damage.
During the transfer a small piece of the metal from the roll may break off. With part of the relief missing the design will not be pressed into the plate. When the plates are used all positions entered from that relief will have the damaged area unprinted.


Scott 6 Position 97L4 Curl on Shoulder caused by a metal thread only on this position.


Scott 7 Position 7L3 Curl in "S" caused by a metal thread only on this position.


Scott 6 Position 97R4 Curl in "C" of "Cent" caused by a thread adhering to the relief on the transfer roll. The thread attached itself to the relief on the transfer roll after Position 57R4 was entered. The variety is then found on Position 97R4 and also on Positions 56R4, 96R4, 55R4 and 95R4. The thread either dropped off or was removed after entry of 95R4, as 54R4, the next position to be entered from this relief, does not show the variety.


Scott 231 Broken Frameline at Bottom Right caused by relief break on transfer roll.
1 shows complete frameline, 2 shows two short breaks, 3 shows a small section connecting three shade line left, 4 shows a small section connecting two shade line left, 5 shows final breakage.

Additionally, any mis-handling of the plates can cause a ink indication. Any scratch or indentation will hold the ink and transfer it to the printed sheet.
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Posted 12/07/2010   10:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
k
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Posted 12/07/2010   10:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The process during rolling the transfer die,
or the machine, or the artifice, has a special name
which has been irritating me for months.
If anybody recalls it, please put me out of my misery.

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Posted 12/07/2010   11:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow -- someone said it the other day -- this place is like getting a Baccalaureate in Philately

Great Post, Russ

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Posted 12/07/2010   11:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The process during rolling the transfer die

Did you mean going from the transfer roll to the plate?

If so, those I used to hang around with used the super-hightech term "rocking-in". I leave it to the others for the formal high-tech term.
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Posted 12/07/2010   11:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That machine, khj has a special name,
and the articifer that uses it.
I'll get it one day :)
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Posted 12/07/2010   11:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Russ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rod222, if you are referring to entering the plate positions with the transfer roll, it is siderography performed by a siderographer.
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Posted 12/07/2010   11:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
siderographer


Thank you, thank you, thank you.
finally!
I was going round the twist there for a while,
it was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't spit it out.

Aaargh! I thought OK I'll put a flag in my database,
transfer roller-siderography
It was already there! Goodness Gracious me!

Transfer roller:
(it must be because I am an engineer,
but this is one sexy piece of machinery)





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Edited by rod222 - 12/08/2010 12:02 am
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 12/07/2010   11:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Still more things I have learned today on SCF!

k
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Posted 12/08/2010   12:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's right khj :)
SCF the information well.
although, I doubt we shall hear that word again
for another 5 years Hehe.
A Good question for a quiz.
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Canada
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Posted 12/08/2010   12:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

.
.
.
.
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BeeSee in BC
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http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
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Posted 12/08/2010   12:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Russ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rod222, since you are a engineer you might enjoy this pic


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Posted 12/08/2010   03:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Certainly do Russ,
if I had that smoke in my destroyer,
I'd be in front of the chief engineer in a snip.
"More air, more air!"


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Posted 12/08/2010   08:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
siderographer


Well, that sort of makes sense. SIDERO means iron, as in siderolite, so I guess I can see the connection to steel plates

Kirk
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Posted 12/08/2010   08:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Could be at that, Kirk...

Sid`er`og´ra`phy
n. 1. The art or practice of steel engraving; especially, the process, invented by Perkins, of multiplying facsimiles of an engraved steel plate by first rolling over it, when hardened, a soft steel cylinder, and then rolling the cylinder, when hardened, over a soft steel plate, which thus becomes a facsimile of the original. The process has been superseded by electrotypy.
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United States
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Posted 12/08/2010   09:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add barstoll to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've read about the process before, but this makes it much easier to understand. Now I know why there are so many types and how they came about. Very well written. Thank you!
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