So, after the initial expense of the press, we've been trying to fix it up on the cheap (hence why we're still only running on 2 out of 3 rollers).
Last night, my husband machined a "boxcar" base for me to use to prop up my photopolymer plates on the press. Just like the fancy new trucks we have, this was machined out of scrap plastic.
The final plastic base was measured with a calipers to make sure it would bring the plate to type high (.918 inches). We estimated that the plates I've been using are about .037 inches thick, although thickness varied across the plate. Even with the Boxcar bases I used in class, I'd need to add a little paper or tape underneath any given plate to bring it up high enough. I don't know whether that was due to inconsistencies on the press, the plate, or the base. Maybe a little of everything... though their bases are quite tough. I'm hoping this plastic one will stand up to printing. And, even if it's a tiny bit off, I think I'll be able to get it to work decently.
Here are some more pictures from the whole process (click for more detail)...