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RE: Dampen Stock for deep impression

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  • Peter Fraterdeus
    ... Hi, here s a discussion I had via SFLetterpress a little while ago. Hope it s useful, of course your mileage may vary ;-) Cheers Peter ... Peter
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 21, 2010
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      > Hello Everyone,
      >
      > I have read some mention of adding moisture to a particular stock to aid in a deeper and perhaps even sharper impression. However I have been unable to find out how this process is accomplished. Humidifier? Spray bottle? One sheet at a time or an entire ream? Sincerely appreciate any guidance.
      >

      Hi, here's a discussion I had via SFLetterpress a little while ago.

      Hope it's useful, of course 'your mileage may vary' ;-)

      Cheers

      Peter


      Begin forwarded message:

      > Date: 7 January 2010 7:33:11 PM CST
      > To: "“sfletterpress-yahoogroups.com“" <sfletterpress@yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: Re: SF Letterpress // Question about Dampening
      >
      > (posted with permission to sfletterpress)
      >
      > See http://bit.ly/53yaKK for
      > Heidelberg Windmill - Stack Lift assists feeding of heavy/dampened stock
      >
      >> On 6 Jan 2010, at 7:58 AM, Gerrit Baumann wrote:
      >>
      >>> Hi Peter,
      >>>
      >>> I am a designer and printer in Hamburg/Germany, following the SFLetterpress newslist. On your post about Christmas Cards a few days ago you mentioned dampening the paper before printing on your Heidelberg Windmill. I have not printed on dampened paper yet -- how exactly do you dampen it? In a pile with dampened chipboard in beetween? What is the exact effect of the dampening? Does it only effect the impression or does it also effect the inking of the paper?
      >>> I am asking, because sometimes I have problems to get enough ink on softer cotton papers (lettra etc.) when printing on my windmill.
      >>>
      >>> Any answers would be much appreciated!
      >>>
      >>> Thanks and greetings from Hamburg!
      >>>
      >>> Gerrit.
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> --
      >>> POLYCHROMA
      >>> Kommunikationsdesign
      >>>
      >>> officina@...
      >>> http://polychroma.de
      >>> --
      >>
      >
      > On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 17:35, Peter Fraterdeus

      > Hi Gerrit!
      >
      >
      >
      > The short story on dampening (short because I don't have my coffee yet!)
      >
      > Begin the stack with a piece of board (plywood, or whatever) at least 10cm larger around than your stock.
      > On the board, a sheet of plastic to keep it from getting damp and swelling, then a 3-4 sheets of white blotter paper (acid-free!)
      >
      > I use a big photo tray with enough water to be able to easily slip a sheet under the surface, and pull it out completely wet.
      > Let the excess water run off. Place the wet sheet on the blotter, then 5-7 dry sheets (depending on the weight of the stock) followed by another wet sheet, and repeat. When you've stacked all the stock, cover with 3-4 sheets of dry blotter, and drape with a large plastic bag (I use a big garbage bag), followed with another plywood board.
      >
      > I then put the whole stack in the standing press over night under light pressure.
      >
      > The next morning the moisture should be evenly distributed through the whole stack, and there should be no wet spots on any sheets. I expect that this works best with uncoated papers (which are best for our printing anyway!)
      >
      > You will not need as much ink to get a solid coverage on the dampened paper.
      > And the impression will be very nice, since the cellulose is softened very much by the extra moisture.
      > However, again, it can't be too wet, or the ink will not take to the sheet! If the stack is too wet, interleave dry blotters every 20 sheets or so, and put the stack under pressure for a few hours or more.
      >
      > Main concerns I run into are sheets curling due to uneven drying. Of course it's best to have the printshop be as humid as practical, but today, even with my three humidifiers running, I only get about 20%!
      >
      > if you're running multiple colors, return the sheets to the stack under the plastic to control moisture loss!
      > I haven't tried tight color registration with damped sheets, but I expect there could be some problems with shrinking across the grain as the sheets dry.
      >
      > Feeding on the Heidelberg can be challenging, since the stock is heavier with the moisture. I've found it very useful to raise the tail end of the stack with a piece of furniture (after much frustration with missed sheets, etc)
      >
      > I think that Heidelberg may have even made a custom lift table which allows for this adjustment!
      > The 10pica piece leans against the smaller, and can be removed, or turned flat if less 'tail-lift' is required!
      >
      > See http://bit.ly/53yaKK for
      > Heidelberg Windmill - Stack Lift assists feeding of heavy/dampened stock
      >
      > ...
      > PS, if you don't mind, I may repost this back to the list!
      >
      > On 7 Jan 2010, at 6:15 PM, Gerrit Baumann wrote:
      >
      >> Hi Peter!
      >>
      >> thank you very much for your detailed answer on dampening paper -- I will definitely try that in the coming weeks (once i get a decent book-/spindle-press)
      >>
      >> ...
      >>
      >> Although there sure are nice papers made in Europe and Germany, I am still looking for an alternative to Lettra. I think the softness and volume is not matched by any other paper, but then on the other hand, Lettra does not really feel like a good paper, especially for smaller items (business cards etc.) it is much too soft and "spongy".
      >> Again, thanks for your kind reply and greeting to the US,
      >>
      >> Gerrit.
      >>
      >> PS: If you ever come by Hamburg give me a call ;-)
      >> PPS: I couldn't figure out exactly how to post to the list, so I emailed you directly, so do not hesitate to re-post to the list.
      >
      > Hi Gerrit
      > ...

      > I expect just a board with a few bricks on top will be sufficient pressure for this process.
      > Too much pressure can cause cockling in the sheets as they need some room to expand (or so I imagine)
      >
      >
      > Hmm. Depends a lot on the kind of impression you prefer, I suppose.
      > Especially with the paper damp, the Cranes works very nicely for a 'deep' impression - to me that is how the Renaissance printers printed. It's only with John Baskerville that the "kiss" impression became popular, no? I find the Lettra a bit too hard without dampening in fact! (even softer and thicker is the Copperplate Etching 300gsm from Hahnemuhle, which is very nice for invitations, etc)
      >
      > Of course, I don't mean to push so hard beyond the back of the sheet that there's more embossed than impressed!
      > But with a bit of thickness and 'softness' the bite of the perfectly sharp type in that 'well' in the paper is really - for me - the epitome of letterpress.
      >
      > Best wishes to Hamburg as well!
      >
      > Cheers!
      >
      > Peter

      Peter Fraterdeus
      Exquisite letterpress takes time™
      http://slowprint.com/

      IdeasWords : Idea Swords
      Communication Strategy
      Semiotx.com @ideaswords

      Peter Fraterdeus
      Exquisite letterpress takes time™
      http://slowprint.com/

      IdeasWords : Idea Swords
      Communication Strategy
      Semiotx.com @ideaswords
    • Robert E Blesse
      At the Black Rock Press we dampen paper by going over the surface of alternating sheets with a fairly damp (but not wet) sponge. The sheets are then wrapped in
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 21, 2010
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        At the Black Rock Press we dampen paper by going over the surface of alternating sheets with a fairly damp (but not wet) sponge. The sheets are then wrapped in plastic, secured with tape, weighted down moderately, and left to humidify overnight at room temperature. Prior to printing, we unwrap the sheets and place them in a humidor box which contains damp foam rubber on the sides and a drop-down door which secures with magnets. This is necessary because in Nevada's very dry climate, paper dries very quickly. The door of the humidor is opened and single sheets are removed as they are printed. If the dampened sheet is to be printed on the reverse side the next day it is placed in a second humidor to keep it from drying out.

        There are many different way to dampen paper, but experimentation is always necessary no matter what technique is used. Environmental conditions obviously vary in print shops and papers differ in weight and consistency.

        I learned this technique from Ken Carpenter, my predecessor, who founded the Black Rock Press in 1965. I learned by watching him dampen handmade paper from St. Cuthbert's Mill in Somerset, England, text sheets he printed on our Columbian hand press for his book, Strange Hunting.

        -- Bob Blesse

        -----------------------------------------
        Robert E. Blesse
        Director, The Black Rock Press
        Department of Art/224
        University of Nevada, Reno



        From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of clayoliff
        Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 3:50 PM
        To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [PPLetterpress] Dampen Stock for deep impression



        Hello Everyone,

        I have read some mention of adding moisture to a particular stock to aid in a deeper and perhaps even sharper impression. However I have been unable to find out how this process is accomplished. Humidifier? Spray bottle? One sheet at a time or an entire ream? Sincerely appreciate any guidance.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Claire Taylor
        What we often do if we want to use damp sheets to print from is this: Get a pan of water. If you are using thick paper (say 90-110 lb or about 250-300 gsm)
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 22, 2010
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          What we often do if we want to use damp sheets to print from is this:

          Get a pan of water. If you are using thick paper (say 90-110 lb or
          about 250-300 gsm) dampen every other sheet. If thinner paper, perhaps
          dampen every third sheet.
          To dampen your paper, place the whole sheet of paper in the water and
          submerge it. Then lift the sheet by a corner and let the water drip
          off for a few seconds from one of the other corns of the sheet. Scoot
          off excess water remaining on the dripping corner with your fingers.
          Lay the sheet flat. Then place a dry sheet (or two) on top of that
          sheet. Place another sheet in the water, so the same as before. When
          stacking the sheets, try to rotate which corner you let the water drip
          from, from sheet to sheet (so that there is not an excess of water in
          one corner of the stack.) Once you have done this to your whole stack
          of paper, place stack of paper in a large plastic ziploc bag (you can
          get them from uline.com.) Zip most of the bag closed, leaving a corner
          of the bag open. At the open corner, suck out as much air from the bag
          as you can. Smooth out any wrinkles left on the top of the bag that is
          touching the top surface of the paper. Place bag between two boards
          and place in a nipping press overnight.

          When you are printing dampened sheets, if you are doing more than one
          run, as you print, make sure to place your sheet you have printed into
          a new plastic bag as you print (to help keep it from drying out.) You
          could put a sponge that has been dampened, with most all the water
          wrung out in the bag with it.

          We do this here in Utah, where it is VERY dry. And it works for us.
          Though, one thing to keep in mind when printing multiple runs on
          dampened paper, is that the paper will often expand when damped. It
          will slowly shrink as it dries. So, if from the first run to the next
          it has slightly dried, it may have slightly shrunk, or start to shrink
          after you have set up your registeration for your run, and the image
          may SLIGHTLY vary from sheet to sheet. It can be sometimes frustrating
          if your registration needs to be tight.

          I hope all that makes sense.

          -Claire


          Book Arts Program
          J. Willard Marriott Library
          University of Utah
          www.bookartsprogram.org



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