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Takach Press

Ball Grained Aluminum Litho Plates

Ball Grained Plate
"I have used many different presses and have found Takach to be among the most durable and easiest to operate. I have practiced aluminum plate lithography for many years and know how difficult it is to find ball grained aluminum plates. Plates such as those from Takach help ensure the success of a lithographic print."
-Jeffrey L. Sippel,
Head of Printmaking,
University of Missouri, St. Louis Missouri;
Former Education Director,
Tamarind Institute

Manufacturing Ball Grained Plates

Ball Graining Machine at Takach PressTakach Press Corporation grained its first litho plate in 1987. Since then, we have grained aluminum plates for customers worldwide. Each plate grained at our facility has been visually inspected for consistency.

Raw Material

Aluminum Litho PlateThe 36" x 51" raw aluminum sheet is .015" thick, slick on the surface, with no tooth. High quality raw plate is necessary for the finished ball grained plate to have the characteristics necessary for successfull utilization for fine art lithography.

Surface Finish

Plate Surface Accepts Litho CrayonAluminum plates can be grained to a variety of surface finishes. The graining procedure creates tooth on the surface of the plate. This tooth is necessary to accept and retain detail of the greasy lithographic drawing materials. The tooth provides additional surface area necessary for the chemistry of processing the lithographic image. During printing the tooth of the plate holds the oil based lithography inks, and provides surface area for the water layer.

Ultra fine*

Primarily designed for the waterless litho process



Our standard finish suitable for the majority of aluminum plate litho techniques. Educators of lithography, professional litho studio, and private print shops find this medium finish to be the most versatile.


*Non standard finishs: must be ordered in full batch quantities of 9 - 36" x 51" plates, these 9 plates can be cut down to the folwing sizes.

Gauge (thickness)

Standard gauge plate

Ball Grained Plate Gauge.015" thick aluminum is the standard gauge material used for ball grained plate.

Other gauges of plate

*In an effort to ensure a reliable product Takach Press has postponed production of .012" plate due to diminished quality of raw material available.

Size (length and width)

Stock plate sizes and quantities

Ball Grained Plate Sizes

12.75" x 18" x .015" packs of 10, 20, 30 and 50.
18" x 25.5" x .015" packs of 10, 20, 30 and 50.
25.5" x 36" x .015" packs of 10, 20 and 30.
36" x 51" x .015" packs of 10 and 20.

Larger sizes or custom cuts

We can process custom litho plates as large as 60" x 120"

How to use Ball Grained Plate

Processing Ball Grained litho PlateThe following reference materials are available, they cover the use of ball grained plate extensively.
Item #53026:
Tamarind Techniques For Fine Art LithographyTamarind Techniques for Fine Art Lithography
A must-have for every lithographer, workshop, library and classroom. This full-color technical manual contains step-by-step directions for all processes used at Tamarind.
Signed Copy
Item #53005:
Tamarind Aluminum Plate Lithography A ManualAluminum Plate Lithography Manual
Published by Tamarind Institute in 1999.
This 45 page spiral bound manual is full of the most current techniques on aluminum plate processing, acid tint, acrylic medium reversal, Xerox transfer method and a trouble shooting guide.
Ample photos throughout.
Item #53013:
Revised Litho Lab ManualRevised Lithography Lab Manual
By Lise Drost. 187-page book
Approximately 100 pictures and diagrams. Four removable pages of color plates. This manual covers both basic and advanced litho processes from stones, hand drawn aluminum plates, and positive working photo plates.
Item #53002:
Tamarind The Art Of Lithography Working On PlateThe Art of Lithography Working on Plate
"In Working on Aluminum Plate", artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith creates a four color litho from aluminum plates.
This 24 minute short course video from Tamarind Institute offers detailed instructions on aluminum plate lithography.
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