Letterpress Test 8

Julia Schirrmeister & Emma Warren
1/18/2017
69 degrees, relatively dry
Line-O-Scribe Press
8.5 in. x 11 in.
Ink: Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. 1 Lb Graphic Oil Based Block Print Black & Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. 1 Lb Etching Ink Stiff Black No. 135C

Chase Preparation
The Line-O-Scribe doesn’t require a chase to secure your type. With magnets, you can lock up your type and furniture to the chase. Here we used a metal type with a combination of metal and wooden furniture and spacers.

Line-O-Scribe

Line-O-Scribe

Line-O-Scribe

Line-O-Scribe

Press Preparation

  • To set the pressure first make sure that the two release pins on the circular knob of the impression cylinder are at rest (a.k.a at zero pressure). This means that the pins should be facing upwards and should both be horizontal to the table.
  • Then move the dial (indicated with nail polish) from zero to 14.5.
  • Choose your desired ink and apply it to the separate inking slab or directly to a glass table.
  • With a palette knife apply 1 tbsp. of ink to the seperate inking slab.
  • For this press you must use a relatively stiff ink,  you may need to combine a stiff ink with a loose ink to get the proper viscosity. The final result should have a matte sheen and have a soft “shhh” sound, and a smooth look.  Avoid using too much ink on your brayer.
  • To distribute the ink evenly, use a hard brayer, making sure that the ink is even on the slab and brayer.
  • Using the inked brayer, apply the ink to the type once in every direction. Make sure that you didn’t miss any spots while inking.
Ink on the slab

Ink on the slab

Inking up the type

Inking up the type

After you have successfully inked the type, it is time to place your paper. Use the lever on the left side of the press to grip your paper. Use a piece of blue tape to mark your registration.

Paper grippers

Paper grippers

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Printing
After your paper is set, roll the impression cylinder over the inked type and paper.
Always print left to right.
Remove your print before rolling the impression cylinder back to the left side.
Before the come back, put the pressure back to 0 to ensure that the impression cylinder doesn’t hit the type.

Impression cylinder

Re-ink brayer and type for every print.
Use newsprint to remove as much excess ink as possible by printing onto the newsprint.

#1 – #2
Results: We got better results when we inked the type twice in Test #2 as opposed to once in Test #1.

#1 & #2

#1 & #2

Adjustments: In Test #1 we inked “LINE-O-SCRIBE” once and “TEST 1!” twice. We inked the type in Test #2 twice.

# 3
Results: We got better results although the ink application was on the heavier side.

#3

#3

Adjustments: Inked type in every direction.

# 4
Results: The results of this test were not as strong as the previous test, Test #3.v

#4

#4

Adjustments: We inked twice in two different directions.

#5 – 6
Results: Had our strongest results yet in Test #6 after we took away ink from the slab in order to achieve a thinner application of ink to the type.

#5 & #6

#5 & #6

Adjustments: For Test #5 we added 4 pieces of newsprint on top of the paper for packing and extra pressure. The results were improved. In Test #6 we took away ink from the slab so that there was a thinner application of ink on the type. We used 4 pieces of newsprint and inked the type in 4 different directions.  

#7 – #8
Results: Consistent, great results with 14.5 pressure.

#7 & #8

#7 & #8

Adjustments: In order to print without newsprint we adjusted the Line-O-Scribe’s pressure to 14.5 in Test #7 and #8.

Conclusion

When we first began our experiments with the Line-O-Scribe we came up against issues with calibration and ink.  In order to get the correct amount of pressure without newsprint added we adjusted the pressure from 14 to 14.5.  We discovered that it was not a single ink that worked for the letterpress but a combination of stiff ink and loose ink that leaves a 4 inch tail on the palette knife. Using a hard brayer is very important when inking the type on this press. If the brayer is too soft, the ink will go over the edges of the type and will cause bleeding and blurriness in the edges of the print. The type will also damage a soft brayer. Inking the type in different directions ensures evenly inked type. Use the same clean up process as the other presses — Estisol 242 for type, furniture and spacers.