Letterpress Test 3

Julia Schirrmeister & Emma Warren
12/2/2016
69 degrees, relatively dry
6 in. x 10 in. Kelsey press
4.5 in. x 7.5 in. French Paper
Ink: Caligo Safe Wash Relief Ink in Phthalo Green

Chase Preparation

This experiment is the beginning of our ink investigation. We must keep all variables the same, other than the ink, to see which ink is the most successful for letterpress printing — so we kept the same chase lock up from the previous experiment (#2).

Love trumps hate locked chase

Love trumps hate locked chase

Press Preparation

  • Pressure:All of the bolts were loosened completely so that they were just touching the plate.
  • Our packing consisted of 10 pieces of paper, one pressboard and the tympan.
  • We secured the gauges to the tympan to hold the paper.
  • Then secured the chase in the chase bed.
    Inked up with palette knife

    Inked up with palette knife

    Printing

    Charged rollers 3 times for each print.
    Re-ink with ½ tsp every 5 prints.

    # 1 – # 6
    Results:
                  – Three charges of the chase resulted in a successful even layer of ink on the print.
    – However, we noticed a slight issue with bleeding along the edges of type.
    – Adjustments:
    – Experimented with number of charges to see which number pulled the most even proof.

    Prints 1 - 6

    Prints 1 – 6

    # 7 – # 9
    Results:
                  – Experimented with two charges to see if the bleeding went away. It did not.
    – Adjustments:
    – Tightened impression screws by a ¼ turn.

    Prints 7 -9

    Prints 7 -9

    # 10 – #15  
    Results:
                  – After reinking, the results were good with two charges
    – Adjustments:
    – After reinking, the results were good with two charges.
    – By the third print (#13) we had to adjust the number of charges to three — otherwise bleeding starts to reappear.
    – With palette knife, spread 1 tsp. of ink evenly onto the disk.

    Prints 10 -15

    Prints 10 -15

    # 16 – # 20
    – Results:
                  – Poor results with bleeding along the edges.
    – Adjustments:
                  – Added ½ Tsp. Decided to “kiss” print instead of bite while adjusting number of charges.

    Prints 16 -20

    Prints 16 -20

    Conclusion

    We wanted to discover whether the bleeding edges was the result of pressure of the ink. We found that with different inks that the pressure might need to be adjusted. The Caligo Safe Wash Relief Ink, being a water based ink, needs to be applied more often than the Caligo Carbon Black Letterpress Ink — ½ tsp. every 5 prints. “Biting” the print resulted in a clearer print, while “kissing” the print resulted in spotty print. Next time we plan on changing the ink variable again and trying the Graphic Chemical & Ink Co.’s Graphic Oil Based Block Print Black 2202C.

 

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