Phil

phil

Presses: the Heidelberg Windmill.

Experience: 6 months on letterpress. 2 years printing generally.

Learning: my dad got into the business when he was young and got me involved when I was 17. I printed offset with him at Quest Graphics (where he worked for many years) in Castle Rock, Colorado for about a year.

Print shop essentials: screwdrivers, sometimes a socket wrench.

Best letterpress trick: know how to fix color. Adjust your fountain and make sure the register is holding, and then keep hitting and adjusting until the color is right.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: getting the color right and balanced — it’s challenging but rewarding.

Least favorite part of printing: getting the impression right.

Music of choice when on press: rock & roll, classic rock — my favorite bands are Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

Hometown: Denver, Colorado.

Best letterpress printing trick: have patience. This isn’t a job for someone who wants to rush, you have to take your time.

Printing space: I’ve got some of the cartoon drawings that I’ve created hanging up in my workspace. They’re kind of goofy and have a comic strip feel.

Proudest moment in printing career: my first multiple color run. It came out really well and I was happy with the end result.

Extracurricular activities: I’m a musician — I play guitar and record music at home.

Clayton

clayton

Presses: the Heidelberg GTO offset

Experience: 3 years printing generally. I haven’t printed letterpress here yet, I’m still a newbie!

Learning: I learned to print at Business Cards Tomorrow in East Syracuse. Chris Monahan taught me everything I know.

Print shop essentials: ruler, ink knife.

Best printing trick: with offset printing, slowly building up to color is the best way to get it right.

Favorite part of printing: washing up — it means that I’m done with the job and it’s proof that I just accomplished something.

Least favorite part of printing: switching between jobs and matching colors.

Music of choice when on press: books on tape. I recently finished up the Lord of the Rings, which took me about 3 weeks to finish, and I just listened to the Dark Materials trilogy (by Philip Pullman) — that one took about a week and a half to finish. Now I’m listening to the Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind.

A fact about Boxcar Press: everyone here gets along really well with each other. We’ve got a great mix of pressmen and repairmen, which makes for a really great team.

Extracurricular activities: illustration. I’ve been working on a graphic novel for some time now.

Stan

stan

Presses: the Heidelberg Cylinders (mainly). The Heidelberg Windmills (occasionally).

Experience: 1.5 years on letterpress. 38 years printing generally.

Learning: I learned to print a long time ago at the BOCES here in Central New York. John Wyatt and Dale Money taught me how to print.

Print shop essentials: rags & chemicals. Specifically, California wash and 100% cotton rags.

Best letterpress trick: try everything. One trick I use is adding setswell reducer to oil-based ink, which thins the ink and makes it flow better.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: when the last sheet comes off the press and you have that “mission accomplished” sort of feeling.
Least favorite part of printing: skinning the ink cans.

Music of choice when on press: I listen to the machine.

Proudest moment in printing career: helping a former print shop — Printery Communications — get set up on their first four-color, Heidelberg offset press.
Extracurricular activities: I compose and record instrumental music — film / soundtrack style music (though it’ll never be in a movie!).

David

dave-c
Presses: the Heidelberg Cylinders (mainly). The Heidelberg Windmill, the Vandercook, and the Kluge (occasionally).

Experience: 2 years on letterpress. 10 years printing generally.

Learning: my dad and uncle taught me how to print in Oswego at Speedway Press, which my family owned for over 45 years.

Print shop essentials: ink knife, ruler, pen, and exacto knife.

Best letterpress trick: turning the machine on — it helps a lot.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: finishing.

Least favorite part of printing: dealing with nerves when you get started.

Music of choice when on press: for the most part, I don’t usually listen to music when I’m printing. When I do, it’s usually a little bit of everything on Pandora.

Proudest moment in printing career: working here.

Extracurricular activities: golf, longboarding, hockey.

Jim

jim
Presses: the Heidelberg Windmill and Cylinder presses (mainly). The Heidelberg GTO offset, the Vandercook, and the die-cutter (occasionally).

Experience: 5.5 years on letterpress. 30 years printing generally.

Learning: I learned through a lithography class in high school and have been a pressman since I was 16.

Print shop essentials: basic stuff — rulers, scissors, the loupe and my eyes.

Hometown: Spencerport, New York.

Best letterpress trick: take the time to set things up properly. Don’t take shortcuts. Things will go smoothly if you take the time to do things right the first time around.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: seeing the finished product.

Least favorite step of the letterpress printing process: clean up.

Music of choice when on press: talk radio (infowars.com).

Proudest moment in printing career: every time we hear that we have a new account because of a job well done.

Extracurricular activities: I play drums in a heavy metal band called Dear Mr. Dead.

Chris

chris

Presses: the Heidelberg Windmill (mainly). The Heidelberg GTO offset (occasionally).

Experience: 1.5 years on letterpress. 7.5 years printing generally.

Learning: I learned to print at Business Cards Tomorrow in East Syracuse — I went from customer service to pressman.

Print shop essentials: a ruler.

Hometown: Boca Raton, Florida.

Best letterpress trick: make sure the paper is jogged and fanned correctly to make sure it doesn’t stick together when feeding through. It makes life a lot easier.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: putting ink to paper.

Least favorite step of the letterpress printing process: feeding the paper.

Music of choice when on press: modern rock on Pandora.

Proudest moment in printing career: there was a particular invitation set that I printed that was really detailed and difficult to print, and the bride was extremely happy with the end result. It was a 3-color job with a lot of registration and it was difficult to get the impression right on all three colors, so I was happy to hear that the bride liked the final outcome.

Extracurricular activities: I like the outdoors — camping, fishing, things like that.

Bob

bob

Presses: the Heidelberg Cylinders and the Kluge (mainly). The Heidelberg GTO offset (occasionally).

Experience: 3 years on letterpress. 43 years printing generally.

Learning: I really learned in 1970 at the Hannibal BOCES. After that, I did 8 years of apprenticeships in Denver, a few more in Las Vegas and one in California.

Print shop essentials: a ruler.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: when the finished product is out the door.

Least favorite part of printing: I don’t have one! Each step is important and it all comes together.

Music of choice when on press: just the press.

A fact about Boxcar Press: a really wonderful (and supportive) group of people are all working in the same place.

Proudest moment in printing career: the first time I ran a 12 color press in Las Vegas — it was difficult but it paid off!

Jeff

jeff
Presses: the Kluge (mainly). The Heidelberg Windmill and Cylinders (occasionally).

Experience: 2 years on letterpress. 15 years printing generally.

Learning: I taught myself to print at the Palladium Times in Oswego, New York.

Print shop essentials: loupe, ruler and scissors.

Best letterpress trick: just make the job look good! The trick is with packing — I use anything: paper, plastic, mylar — try different materials to see what helps you get the best impression.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: the actual printing — when things are going and you can actually see the product.

Least favorite part of printing: set-up. The Kluge takes a lot of time.

Music of choice when on press: typically the radio — I love country music — but it depends on what I’m printing. During set-up or intricate jobs I don’t listen to anything, I like to stay focused.

A fact about Boxcar Press: there’s a great family-type atmosphere here. It’s (hands down) the best place I’ve ever worked.

Proudest moment in printing career: being self-taught. When I was working at the Palladium Times, they needed someone to try printing the newspaper in a pinch and I figured it out the first day on press. I had already been working there and was in charge of making sure the papers got delivered. Even though I have a degree in Criminal Justice, I knew this was what I wanted to do as soon as I gave it a try.

Extracurricular activities: golf and hunting!

Tim

tim

Presses: the Heidelberg Windmill (mainly). The Heidelberg Cylinders and Heidelberg GTO offset (occasionally).

Experience: 1 year on letterpress. 35 years printing generally.

Learning: I started out taking printing classes in high school in the late 70’s and have learned a bit here and there along the way. One person in particular who helped me out a lot was Buz Cuff at Salt City Printing here in Syracuse — he taught me a good work ethic and how to print.

Print shop essentials: Loupe.

Best letterpress trick: Dave taught me to get the impression first without any ink, and I’ve found that by trying that, sometimes the second sheet out is perfect. That, and getting the packing right — take away and add a little until you get it right — makes a world of difference.

Favorite part of letterpress printing: when you make the right moves to get the impression and color right.

Least favorite part of printing: a reprint. Other than that, I really don’t have a “least favorite” — I’ve been doing this for 35 years and it’s in my blood; I really do enjoy printing. When you’ve been doing it for so long you’re used to the process. It’s all mental.

Music of choice when on press: I like a little bit of everything — some jazz, classic rock. Jazz keeps me calm, it’s nice & mellow.

Proudest moment in printing career: recently I was able to help out a fellow employee who was having a difficult time with a job, and it was someone who initially helped me out a lot here when I first got started. Sort of a student helping the teacher type of scenario. I was able to use what he taught me and help him out in return.

Extracurricular activities: I love music and play a little guitar. I’m also a softball umpire — it’s a nice way to unwind, I just focus on the game and nothing else.

Carrie

carrie

Presses: the Heidelberg Windmill (mostly). The Vandercook + Kluge (occasionally).

Experience: 5 years on letterpress. 4 years printing generally.

Learning: I’ve learned to print mainly here at Boxcar. I did some printing while I was in school at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York — linocuts, etching and a teeny bit of letterpress, but I really jumped in here.

Print shop essentials: ink knife, pica stick, tape.

Hometowns: Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

Best letterpress trick: when running heavier areas with lighter coverage areas, put Scotch tape under the heavier areas — it helps the solids ink up better.

Printing space: I’ve got LOTS of letterpress posters and a bamboo plant on my press. I’ve definitely “moved in” here!

Favorite part of letterpress printing: the sweet spot where the ink is right and the paper’s feeding perfectly — it’s only about a minute or so of the whole process.

Least favorite step of the letterpress printing: washing up.

Music of choice when on press: I don’t always listen to music when I print. If I do, it could be anything: classical, hip hop, indie stuff.

A fact about Boxcar Press: we do a potluck on the first Friday of each month — you get the chance to try new foods, swap recipes, hang out with everyone and see what people make.

Proudest moment in printing careeer: it makes me really happy when I can see the colors matching and perfect impression. Even after all this time, it’s still so beautiful to me.