Letterpress Test 5

Julia Schirrmeister & Emma Warren
1/6/2017
69 degrees, relatively dry
Showcard Press
12.5 in. x 19 in. French Paper
Ink: Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. 1 Lb Graphic Oil Based Block Print Black

Chase Preparation

This is our first experiment with the Showcard Press and wood type. This chase was successfully prepared and locked in with wooden type, wooden spacers and four metal quoins.

Letterpress Test 5 chase

Letterpress Test 5 chase

Press Preparation

  • Pressure: tightened pressure on the small calibrated cylinder to the second red line. This allowed for the “toggle arrangement” to automatically lift the impression cylinder when backing over the chase bed. This ensures that no blurring of the type occur while the impression cylinder is returned to rest
  • Then secured the chase in the chase bed with magnets.
Magnets to secure chase

Magnets to secure chase

  • With palette knife, spread 1 tbsp. of ink evenly onto the disk.
    • After applying the ink to the ink disk, charge rollers 6 times to ensure even spreading of the ink to the disk and rollers.
    • You must pump the pedal with your foot in order to rotate the ink table after each charge of the roller.
Applying ink to disk

Applying ink to disk

Inking the type

Inking the type

  • After you have successfully inked the type, it is time to place your paper.
Securing paper

Securing paper

Securing paper 2

Securing paper 2

Securing paper 3

Securing paper 3

Securing paper 4

Securing paper 4

  • The Showcard press has a lever on the back of the impression cylinder that is attached to the paper grippers and holds your paper in place.
  • To ensure registration of the paper — mark with tape where your paper goes.
  • Once the paper is registered, bring down the toggle of the impression cylinder in order to apply pressure to the paper. Quickly bring the roller across the plate. Release the toggle so that the roller lifts up and is able to glide smoothly back above the paper to rest without shifting the registration.

Printing

  • Charged rollers 3 times for each print, on the 3rd charge ink the type (1 pass).
  • Re-ink with 1 tbsp. every 10 prints.
    Inked Type

    Inked Type

    # 1 – # 5
    Results: Type bled slightly on the right edges of letters. The results were also slightly blurry.  

    1-5

    1 – 5

     – Adjustments: Reapplied 2 Tsp. to the ink disc when results of #1 and #2 were light. Charged the rollers 6 times. Passed over the type once.

    # 6 – # 10
    Results:  Once we adjusted the pressure to the red line, the results were no londer blurry.

    6-10

    6 – 10

    – Adjustments: Applied the impression cylinder quickly. Calibrated the pressure of the impression cylinder so that the toggle arrangement was raised while it backed over the paper to rest. Discovered that we would need to reink every 10 prints with 1 Tbsp of ink in order to get an even inking of the plate.

# 11 – #15
Results: Good results.

11 - 15

11 – 15

Conclusion
During this test we encountered issues with the middle roller, which fell off the track multiple times. We decided to purchase washers so that the trucks would be held in place while inking the disk plate. When cleaning the Showcard press — use the same approach of Crisco and Estisol 242 as the Kelsey Press.
When cleaning the wooden type, use Estisol 242 and clean each letter or spacer individually to prevent ink in crevices of type.
Next time we plan on addressing the success of different types of ink with this Showcard Press and with the wooden type. We plan to stick to oil based inks because we believe that cleaning the type with water will cause the wooden type to swell.

next experiment ->