Bryan, et alii,
Very cool calendar--and thanks for the report.
Since I was also experimenting with dampening, I'll add some thoughts from my end:
The job I dampened the paper for came out wonderful. I was using photopoymer and it was the best printing I've done. The paper was in my mini-fridge humidor for about 72 hours at around 90% relative humidity.
During this time I also left about fifty business cards in there, and only took them out today. I was expecting total mildew infiltration--it'd been about ten days since I stuck them in there--but only a few were visibly affected (note the "visibly"). I decided to print on the "good" ones and will report on their status once they've dried out (ink and paper).
The good news is that the reading was 99% relative humidity when I opened it up, so clearly you can achieve sustained high humidity with $5 worth of oasis foam.
Based on this I would guess that your window of opportunity is between two and seven days at 90%+ RH. Sound about right?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 3:01 PM
Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Paper Dampening for a Better Impression
This is just an update and thank you after my recent questions regarding the need of a
damp box and my concerns about registration.
I ended up going the "tupperware" route rather than building the boxes out of wood.
Otherwise, I tried to follow the model described in Lewis Allen's "Printing with the
Handpress". I built two boxes and kept the paper enclosed at all times except when being
I am happy to report that, as the group assured me, registration was not an issue. The
paper was 5.25" x 15.5" when dry. It expanded by abut 1/16 inch in the long direction
when dampened and it held this throughout the 5 days of printing. I think that an
important tip that I found in the group archives was to make sure that the grain of the
paper ran in long direction. This helped to reduce the expansion of the paper.
I resaturated my foam every morning and did not have any issues with mold. In the
archives somebody had recommended using distilled water. I am not sure when this would
be necessary. I used tap water.
I used the "Allen" damp sponge method for the initial dampening. This was easy and the
heap was evenly and lightly dampened.
I bought the boxes at Target. The lid had nice little tabs which I drilled and then strung
galvanized wire through to hold in the lid foam. I bought the "oven grill" at a local
housewares store. I bought the 1" thick foam at the Famous Foam Factory in Berkeley.
At the link below is a photo of the box I built and also of the calendar that I printed.
Thanks group for all of your help.
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