enjay Etching Presses

frequently asked questions

Q How can I choose my first press?

A The standard printmaking workhorse of small studios is a direct drive press configured for A2 format and capable of printing intaglio processes.
In Australia, the long established makers of these basic presses are enjay, Hildav and MES. All produce robust direct drive presses with hand wheels, upper rollers Ø114 and lower rollers ~Ø88mm. Bedplates are steel or laminate materials. Although all offer stands, customers often choose to mount these presses on their own bench.

Functionally there is no difference between the presses by these manufacturers. So you can consider your decision in relation to reputation, safety, cost of installation and price.

Introduced in 2020 is the enjay RP12 portable press. Substantially higher quality than hobby presses, the RP12 suits beginning printmakers with studio restrictions and also printmakers who share the printmaking experience in other workshops.

Why not compare? Details are on the websites as at 01-01-2016.

Q Why laminate bedplates? Bakelite?

A Bakelite is a trade name for laminated phenolic resin reinforced sheet. It is applied in mechanical applications because of its high strength and impact resistance. Its mass is about 23% of steel and it has about 80% of the compressive strength.

We introduced laminate bedplates on all enjay presses in the mid ‘80s after confirming its strength on our industrial roller cutting presses.

Bakelite bedplates were introduced on some enjay presses around 1978 and became our only bedplate material from 1987. We use Bakelite because it is light, has high strength and hardness and does not dish over time. In 25 years we have replaced only a couple of the bedplates; one had fallen out of a circa 1980's press (bedplates cannot fall out of modern enjay presses). However, we have retro-fitted Bakelite bedplates to the older presses of various manufacturers where steel bedplates became unserviceable or raised safety concerns.

Q How are the sizes of the presses worked out?

A We proportion the enjay presses to suit the paper sizes most commonly used:

  • e34/915 80 x 120cm paper
  • e28/750 70 x 100cm paper
  • s24/610 56 x 76cm paper
  • RP18/460 42 x 59cm paper A2
  • RP18 42 x 59cm paper A2
  • RP12 20 x 30cm paper A4

Q Reliability?

A We provide large capacity bearings and use industrial gearboxes [or gears under covers] instead of bulky chains or open gears. Gear boxes are strong, smooth in operation, require no adjustment and need near zero maintenance. Gears under covers are assembled with Teflon grease and will not require re-lubrication for many years [and they don’t need adjustment].

Maintenance is minimal due to design and assembly with long lasting lubricants.

Q What is the printing performance?

A Rigid rollers of generous diameter for press width ensure that enjay presses are able to print the finest work over the entire area of the paper. You can confirm this by talking with the enjay professional printmakers.

QAre they easy to use?

A The large hand wheel and carefully selected gear ratio provide for low operator effort. Elimination of unnecessary clutter around the bedplate and upper roller allow unimpeded access to the bedplate when loading print media. Pressure adjustment is easy via the proven screw designs.

QHow are they delivered?

A When delivery must be made to an address beyond our own delivery range, we send the press by Pack & Send. Generally, the press is on a small pallet and the bedplate and handwheel are packed separately. Delivery can be by tailgate loader vehicle if required. By using this system, the cost of boxing and transporting are minimised.

QIs installation easy?

A Installation requires some physical effort to move the press. Reassembly requires only commonly available hand tools.
Comprehensive instructions are contained in the press manual; and you can talk to Neil by phone when you are doing the installation. As an overview, the flat packed cabinet is assembled in position and the press is carried to it and bolted on. Pedestrian type doorways are easily negotiated, with larger presses being carried on their side [a pallet trolley is recommended for the e34 and e28 presses].
Commissioning by an enjay professional printmaker is available at a cost.

QWhat commercial documents are provided?

A We know our customers are looking for quality service, so we provide:

  • a written quotation
  • an order acknowledgment and tax invoice upon receipt of order and deposit
  • progress reports and advice of despatch
  • a written warranty
  • a manual containing detailed installation, operation, safety and maintenance instructions
  • other commercial documents as required.

QHow long does it take to get a press?

A We often have a press of each type nearing completion, in component form. This enables us to fulfil an order in about 4 weeks. When that happy situation does not apply, and subject to orders on hand, we fulfil an order in 6 weeks. Unfortunately, during the annual engineering frenzy from mid November through January, delivery may extend beyond 6 weeks.

If you have a question, please Contact Us and we will endeavour to answer it.

Disclaimer: While we endeavour to keep information about our products up to date, we can not guarantee the accuracy of all the information on our website, and recommend you contact us directly to confirm prices and details.