Pat’s magic letterpress bamboo plant has been growing mightily, fed by the sweet clanking of our presses and daylight bulbs overhead.
Today’s news is to highlight the different impression levers (what sets paper to touch inked form) on two models of Heidelberg Windmills. Our general workhorse for letterpressing invitation sets is the 10 x 15 windmill, with it’s solid bar capped by a red ball. The hulking cousin to this press is the 12 x 18 model with wider feed tables and more of a yoke for putting a firm handshake into to get it on impression. Can you see the family resemblance with their yellow eyes? How sweet!
With much handshaking and fanfare, Boxcar has made way for our first retiree, Greg from platemaking. He started with the company in the early day of 2005 when Harold (owner) was a fresh face from Minneapolis. With Greg’s well-rounded printshop experience, he was a steadfast and “mature” presence helping the shop grow while churning out thousands of plates and training others along the way. It has been a long road from those early days to the far-reaching impact our photopolymer plates have had on the letterpress industry. Greg has been here taking care of our platemaking customers and entertaining those around him with stories and jokes while educating the incoming folks in how things are done. Thank you so very much for being with us for this exhilarating ride, Greg! We wish you many happy adventures with friends and family in Retirement Land!
If you are running lightweight stock on your windmill, a slide can be very helpful. This is a plastic sleeve that fits over the sucker bar reducing air flow that can cause too much fluffing into top of feed pile and subsequent misfeeds. There are several colors of slides with differing sizes of air holes for the particular kind of stock being run. Make sure when running thin stock that as little air as necessary is being used, that your Thin Stock Knob is pulled out and speed of press is reduced to allow more control.
When diecutting shapes, a metal jacket is used on the platen instead of oiled tympan paper. This protects the press from the sharp cutting edges of a die. To coax the jacket and its springy clips into place, sometimes we use a mighty “32 oz Rubber Mallet” to tap it into place. Tap, tap with the mallet’s wide surface area and the jacket is locked in and ready to start getting in position. Wielding this 32oz rubber mallet makes me feel like Thor.
We put together a stack of eye-popping set-up sheets with layers and layers of our neon Day-glo ink that had been run through the press several times. The glowing result became a light source of its own! This is the Bella Figura design Polka Stripe designed by Erin Jang. It is a design meant for Great Fun!
A common downfall of new printers using light colored inks is thinking the print will be the same color as how the ink looks in the can. Here is a can of nice deep rust orange ink but it is actually meant to be a light apricot color. When applying an unfamiliar ink to your press, use a small amount and work your way up to color. That is much easier than having to wipe ink off and possibly put lintballs from a rag on the ink drum or disc. If you do have way too much ink on, it’s less trouble to simply wash up and start over. There is never an end to learning more press tricks!