Letterpress Test 6

Julia Schirrmeister & Emma Warren
1/13/2017
69 degrees, relatively dry
Showcard Press
12.5 in. x 19 in. French Paper
Ink: Caligo Relief Ink in Phthalo Green

Chase Preparation
We used the same chase and wood type as the last experiment with Showcard Press. This chase was successfully prepared and locked in with wooden type, wooden spacers and four metal quoins.

Letterpress Test 6 chase

Letterpress Test 6 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.
Green ink on disk

Green ink on disk

Distributing ink on disk and rollers

Distributing ink on disk and rollers

Inked up type

Inked up 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 4 times for each print.
Passed over the type twice for each print.
Re-ink with 1 ½ tbsp. every 10 prints.

# 1
Results:  

Print 1

Print 1

Spotty texture and not enough ink.

– Adjustments:
1 Tbsp Caligo ink, charged 6 times (passed over type on the 6th pass)

# 2
Results:  

Print 2

Print 2


Better results — there was still spotty texture but the ink was darker.

– Adjustments:
We didn’t have enough ink so we added ½ Tbsp ink and charged the roller 6 times. Once

# 3 – #7
Results:

3 - 7

3 – 7


The ink was applied relatively even however the
spotty texture remained. Certain type was not picking up all the ink (9, 8, Y, Z). Noticed that the edge of the “0” at the end of the chase has a mark in it due to the roller jumping off the type.

– Adjustments:
Adjusted the number of charges but the outcomes were all similar.

# 8 – # 10
Results:

8 - 10

8 – 10

We had to pass over the type 2 times for prints #8 – #10 because there was less ink. We then would have to re-ink the ink table with 1 Tbsp.

– Adjustments:
Had to pass over the type 2 times in order to get good results because there was less ink.

Clean Up
The clean up of the wood type with the Caligo Relief Wash ink in Phthalo Green went smoothly and quickly. The type was easy to clean off with Estisol 242 and it is recommended that each letter be cleaned individually so that the ink does not seep in between the letters.

Wooden type clean up

Wooden type clean up

Conclusion
It became clear after Letterpress Test 5 and Letterpress Test 6 that this wooden type has a slight spotty texture to it, which was no fault of the inks.  The spotty texture was prevalent in both experiments, although the opacity of the black ink when applied liberally managed to hide the texture.  If there was not enough ink it quickly became noticeable as the spots would re-emerge.
Although there was a spotty texture, the distribution of the ink onto the type was even. There was no overt bleeding. The washers kept the rollers on track. The clean up with Estisol 242 went much more smoothly than the Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. 1 Lb Graphic Oil Based Block Print Black.
Next time we plan to see if the metal type used on the Showcard Press can also achieve successful results once the texture of the wood is eliminated. Since we had success this experiment with the Phthalo Green we will start with that next as well.

next experiment ->