Thanks for the stream of input throughout the day.

I just knew that if I posted this question, went to lunch and came back, there's be an answer (or in this case, four or five) by the time I returned home.

Dave -- great maintenance notes on your press. You bet I'll be turning to your page first if I need to tear into this beast.

I don't have the patience to order actual platten cleaner. I wanted to be up and running clean tonight. I dashed off to Lowes (home improvement store) to get Naptha, but they only had a gallon size and I didn't want that stuff hanging around the house, so I got the 8oz size of mostly acetone and a razor blade scraper. Turns out, upon closer inspection, that my platten isn't just bare naked stainless or aluminum, but coated with some black covering. I wanna say teflon, but it's probably something else. The first couple of attempts to use the razor scraper just dug into it. I did make great progress using a crumpled newspaper as my abrasive scrubber along with the acetone. I've now got a very clean platten, and it has dried for about 3-4 hours, so I'm about to dive in and do actual dry mounting at home.

what a deal.

Oh -- yeah, I know that strictly speaking, I didn't have to clean the platten off, but I figured that a clean platten would heat more evenly than a dirty one, and yes, I'm just plain anal about stuff like this.

Off to 'engage' the press!

Thanks for all the help!