RE: [PPLetterpress] Re: Nolan Proof press
I submitted a few thoughts earlier based on my experience. Does your press
have a roller about three inches in diameter with two steel rods that serve
as handles to pull it across? That is the kind mine is, but the gripper you
speak of makes it sound as if the paper would attach to a large roller as on
a cylinder press.
Mine is also open ended (to slide galleys in) but there are two removable
pins at each end.
I never could position paper accurately or do make ready so I later acquired
a hand press. I think just about all the techniques applicable to a hand
press would work on the proof press, the difference being how the impression
is taken. If I were to again try to get good work out of the proof press I
would fabricate some kind of tympan-frisket assembly. One problem is to
keep the inked form from smearing on the paper as you lay it down. On a
hand press this is remedied by attaching small strips of adhesive-backed
insulating foam to the frisket around the form. Thus the paper is held
above the type until the impression is taken. I would think this would also
work on the proof press.
You might want to consult Rummond's book on Printing with the Iron Hand
Press for ideas.
Incidentally, I was interested to learn that some of these were called "sign
I got mine to print signs from wood type.
From: InkPotJim@... [mailto:InkPotJim@...]
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: Nolan Proof press
I've pulled the trigger on the deal for my first press. Dave Churchman has
been ever so helpful in setting me up with a Nolan proof press. I'm really
excited about getting started, and of course I have a few issues to resolve
that I need advice on from the group:
The small proofer I've seen in action is what Dave called a "Sign" press,
it had a nice little spring loaded gripper on one end. The Nolan is open
ended on both sides of the bed, and is wider of course. Dave tells me those
grippers were only found on the smaller so-called sign presses... My
is what kind of solutions have been found for gripping or securing sheets on
larger table top proofers?
I'm considering raiding my friends at the local offset printer and borrowing
some old pin registration stuff to fiddle with -- this would serve some
registration purposes as well as grip the paper, albeit not as well as a
spring loaded gripper would.
I'm open to suggestions. The Nolan I'm waiting on has a bed roughly 15 x 25.
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- In a message dated 4/9/2003 9:02:42 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> Does your pressDavid,
> have a roller about three inches in diameter with two steel rods that serve
> as handles to pull it across? That is the kind mine is, but the gripper
> speak of makes it sound as if the paper would attach to a large roller as
> a cylinder press.
> Incidentally, I was interested to learn that some of these were called
> I got mine to print signs from wood type.
First of all, yes, my press sounds like yours. It is a Nolan "Super Proofer".
Second, here's a link to *exactly* the same press ive seen in operation with
a gripper -- like I described in my last post:
This is a small sign press, with a bed approx. 8x12. Look at the black knob &
lever on the far left side. That lever arm simply articulates (opens) the
spring loaded gripper fingers (there are 4 you can see). The whole gripper
assembly there is not type high, so the roller (on the far side of the image)
backs up and basically sets ready directly above the gripper. You open the
gripper, align your sheet (to the back of the gripper and along the edge of
the bed wall, or whatever suits you), and then make the impression. This also
allows consistent placement of the sheets as well.
Yes, slurring would occur without tympan and frisket. This is certainly the
lowest of low tech for making quality impressions. But this thing does do the
gripping job well, and since it's slightly under type high, it doesnt
interfere with anything else. Because it's such a small press, you can even
hold the paper and guide it down while you make the impression, minimizing
any slurring. But I digress...
Ive seen tympan & frisket setups for larger proof presses, and will likely
get there eventually. Like Greg Shattemburg's setup:
But for now, I'm just concerned with holding the paper tightly, since making
an impression on a 13x26 proofer is much different than gripping a small
And yes, I understand that they were called sign presses since many were sold
to retail stores, department stores, etc. with a simple set of precast blocks
("sale", "this rack", "today only") and a set of metal type for making
prices, etc. If you look at the image, the teeth along the sides of the bed
and the bars crossing were part of a simple grid locking system so novices
could easily setup for making the simplest of displays...
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- To prevent most slurring on the Nolan, I use type-high bearers outside the
print area on both sides of the type -- so the roller pinches the paper on
the bearers before it rolls over the type. I use 18 point brass rule. They
may leave an indentation in the paper, but they prevent the roller from
bouncing up and down between lines of type (my roller is set somewhat
loosely, so I can vary the paper weight and the packing which is several
sheets added on top of the paper).
I have seen a press like this adapted with a tympan and frisket for holding
the paper in registration -- a simple hinged frame attached to a strip of
furniture that is locked into one end of the press with a quoin. Seems to me
a little cumbersome to open and close, with the roller in the way, but it
ought to function about like a Washington press tympan, holding registration
Best wishes, Tom
Now It's Up To You Publications
157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209