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Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing

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  • Katie Harper
    Peter: Yes, I forgot to mention that one of the downsides of technological shift is that the artisans and practitioners of the old way are usually thrown out
    Message 1 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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      Peter:

      Yes, I forgot to mention that one of the downsides of technological shift is
      that the artisans and practitioners of the old way are usually thrown out of
      work.

      I heartily agree with your point that it's not so much the actual tool or
      method, as what is done with it, that is important. I was talking the other
      day with a student about one of the (in my opinion) low points in
      typographic history, photo type, and while most of it was plug ugly, there
      were geniuses like Herb Lubalin who could make it sing.

      Katie Harper

      on 5/1/03 10:38 AM, Peter Fraterdeus at peterf@... wrote:

      > The proof's in the pudding ;-)
      >
      > I've yet to prefer hot metal badly arranged to cold well designed.
      >
      > However, particularly for display, there's no substitution for the instant
      > feedback that metal foundry type allows. To pull a proof, switch a copper
      > hair-space from one side of a letter to the other, pull the proof again...
      >
      > The computer, with the no-rules philosophy, allows the creation of work which
      > has no guts, no bones, no spirit. Even badly set linotype and foundry has some
      > honesty about it.
      >
      > (For the record, I designed my first digital typeface in 1985 and was working
      > in letterpress a few years before that.)
      >
      > Gutenberg's critics didn't really care about the 'beauty' of 'calligraphy'.
      > They were more concerned about their own jobs, and that his press could put
      > 1000 of them out of work with a single book!
      >
      >
      > Ciao
      > Peter
      >
      >
      >
      > At 9:11 AM -0400 2003-05-01, Mike Gastin wrote:
      >> Bryan,
      >>
      >> I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought more
      >> about it ...
      >>
      >> He was originally an ad agency guy and left the biz to start his little
      >> press. I think he makes a big noise about real vs. plastic in an effort to
      >> impress his ad community friends who supply him with work. I think he is
      >> providing a kind of snob appeal to impress (no pun intended!) his
      >> customers - the agencies.
      >>
      >> I do not agree with his attitude about polymer. I think the question was
      >> asked in a previous post - what did some folk thing of Gutenberg and his
      >> mechanical type verses the "beauty" of hand lettering?
      >>
      >> I think polymer is an awesome tool to allow a printer accomplish something
      >> that is unreasonable with the supply of metal type these days. Progress ....
      >>
      >> Mike
      >>
      >>
      >> ----- Original Message -----
      >> From: "Bryan Hutcheson" <bryan@...>
      >> To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
      >> Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 2:13 AM
      >> Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing
      >>
      >>
      >> Beware of someone who claims they can define what is, or is not, real. There
      >> was an article about a letterpress printer in a recent issue of Print. The
      >> featured printer was taking this holier than thou attitude about
      >> letterpress...claiming his work wasn't "plastic". He may not have been using
      >> polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
      >> printing was "real" was about as fake as it gets...
      >>
      > ...
    • Paul W Romaine
      ... [....] The old ... Like Carole, I would not deign to call these people purists, they are antiquarian romantics. Gerald tells the wonderful story of one
      Message 2 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Carole Aldrich wrote:
        [....] >The old
        > style group who eschews anything new and those who realize that there
        > is a marriage of old and new technology that can benefit all.

        Like Carole, I would not deign to call these people "purists," they
        are antiquarian romantics. Gerald tells the wonderful story of one
        such person (whom I know, and who's a great guy), sniffing at
        photopolymer as too technological, and then immediately responding to
        his beeper. I certainly respect the folks at Colonial Williamsburg who
        labor on the common press, but I sure as all heck wouldn't want to do
        it myself for a living. And trust me, those workers go home to houses
        with central heating and plumbing. Some even use... computers.

        > Yes, you are right that I posted here to get affirmation. When
        > phototypesetting became commonplace in the graphics world, there were
        > those who thought it was not up to the quality of the old ways.

        I think one of the most judicious responses I've heard on
        photocomposition or digital composition came from the New York
        designer Jerry Kelly in an informal chat. It all depends on the *care*
        with which you work with the tools that you're given. He insists that
        photocomp offset or any other technology can be a fine tool in the
        hands of a careful craftsperson.

        Would Bruce Rogers or Daniel Berkeley Updike have jumped at
        photopolymer, digital composition and modern offset? You bet! And
        Updike, in particular, seems to have had some remorse at how, as a
        young whippersnapper, he so frequently changed designs after type had
        been set--see some of the essays in the new DBU anthology from Mark
        Batty. He and John Bianci had hot metal machines at Merrymount Press
        by the time of Updike's death. (O tempora! O mores!)

        > Now, when I look at metal type and contrast that with the finesse of
        > kerning and spacing that I have with my computer type, I feel really
        > restricted by using metal type.

        Well, yes, but there's an immediacy and physicality to metal type. I
        find it a PITA to handle, especially as my eyes get older, but there's
        a certain feel and ... for lack of a better term, "zen" to setting
        foundry type.

        > I'm sure even Gutenberg was considered a pariah by some, since his
        > type was mechanical and lacked the finesse of hand calligraphy.

        Carole, I'm glad you cast this as speculation. As another poster has
        noted, historically, it was the soon-to-be-out-of-work scribes who
        were most affected.

        > What his [Gutenberg's] technology did was to bring books to the masses.<

        May I quibble? Gutenberg's invention had the *potential* to bring
        books, pardons, printed forms, posters, newspapers, playbills, ticket
        stubs, flyers, and printed tin cans to the masses, but that would be
        the future. He printed for a small number of well-off organizations
        and people, like the Church. The first "humanist" printers printed for
        a small number of humanist scholars (like Valla, Bembus and later
        Erasmus) and highly educated nobles (courtier, Castiglione-types),
        then the circle widened as very small middle class, concerned for its
        salvation, began learning to read. The great mass of people were not
        reading, not even in the 18th century. (This "books to the masses"
        idea is like the ever-rising middle class.) There's a widening circle
        affected by literacy in each century, in different countries, with
        each innovator, and the masses are truly not reached until the
        invention of the cylinder press and its harnessing to non-human
        sources of power in the 19th C. In the pre-industrial revolution, a
        better claim to bringing books to the masses could be made by John
        Bell and his (textually awful, but typographically important)
        libraries of great authors, like Shakespeare. In fact, Bell, in his
        introduction to Shakespeare, explains that he eliminated long-s in his
        presswork, in part because of the problem of increasing literacy in
        the serving classes. (Try reading aloud "Where the bee sucks, there
        suck I," from _As You Like It_. Cite reference on Bell to Paul W.
        Nash's article in Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 2000.)

        All in all, an interesting thread of discussion.

        Best,
        Paul
        Paul W Romaine
        http://home.pipeline.com/~romaine
      • Bruce Kennett Studio
        ... this seems spot-on to me! i am a photographer as well as book designer, and a few years ago i helped to create a book for kodak s professional photography
        Message 3 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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          >I guess my take on it is this: all these things are tools in our toolbox.
          >The more tools we have, the more choices we have so that we can satisfy both
          >aesthetic and practical considerations. I frankly prefer to stay open to all
          >possibilities and the various quirks of each process because I think the
          >subtle differences in each process increase the potential for powerful
          >communication.

          this seems spot-on to me!

          i am a photographer as well as book designer, and a few years ago i
          helped to create a book for kodak's professional photography division
          in germany. it was at a time when a lot of professional shooters were
          growing very anxious about converting to digital. the thrust of the
          book was that they should not fully embrace digital, nor should they
          hold back in pure analogue. instead, they should think of it as a
          system of *hybrid* imaging, where they drew from the strengths of
          each area and tried to minimize as best they could the inherent
          shortcomings of each. (for example, an image on a sheet of 4x5 color
          transparency film can hold a HUGE amount of data, and have fantastic
          tonal smoothness, and it takes up a whole lot less room than a hard
          drive; but it's also very tender and fragile, and it remains as a
          physical object. by contrast, a digital file of the same image can be
          sent electronically, manipulated in a wild number of ways, and
          combined with other images, etc. but it may be lacking in subtlety
          and tonal smoothness.)

          that said, each year brings digital that much closer to analogue in
          photography, and in music reproduction.

          i agree wholeheartedly with katie here: i feel most comfortable with
          the notion that there *is* no absolute best way, it varies so much
          from job to job -- driven by content, budget, schedule, available
          machinery, intended readers, etc. and i'm more interested in good
          printing and effective and beautiful design than i am in *real*
          printing (whatever that is . . .)

          bruce

          (i just signed up for this list so i'll be a new name for everyone,b
          ut at some point i'll explain a bit about my interests)
          --


          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          Bruce Kennett Studio
          1234 West Side Road
          North Conway NH 03860
          Phone 603-447-2338
          Fax 603-447-5510
          www.brucekennettstudio.com
          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        • Fritz Klinke
          My first hand setting of type dates back to the mid-50s on the Canyon Courier in Evergreen, Colo., but I recently achieved my goal of having some of all of the
          Message 4 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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            My first hand setting of type dates back to the mid-50s on the Canyon
            Courier in Evergreen, Colo., but I recently achieved my goal of having some
            of all of the hot metal machines--Ludow, Linotype, Monotype--and yet we make
            photopolymer plates almost every day. This morning's work includes a set of
            plates for a fellow who prints decals for model railroaders which are done
            on a Vandercook Universal I that was made to his specifications in the 60s.
            His railroad type is all custom created on a computer and cannot be
            duplicated in metal type.

            I have also worked in a "real" letterpress production shop where massive
            amounts of letterpress work was done on a regular basis to very tight
            schedules. What ever produced the end result desired by the customer was
            fair game. It ran from hand set type to the earliest photopolymer plates
            (Dycril) to chrome plated electros, and often combined offset. An example
            would have been the catalog for a junior college we did in 3 weeks--4-color
            offset cover, about 430 pages of 8 pt Linotype, about 15 halftones, 20,000
            copies, all chapter heads hand set, and perfect bound. This was done on
            several presses including Miehle flatbeds and Heidelberg cylinders. And not
            too many blocks away was where the Grabhorns once produced their exquisite
            letterpress books and commercial printing. Thus a discussion or debate of
            what is "real" in terms of letterpress has to cover all the aspects of the
            trade--no one part is any more real than another in my opinion and
            experience.

            Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics
            1314 Greene Street, P.O. Box 467
            Silverton, Colorado 81433 USA
            970-387-0212, fax 970-387-0127
            nagraph@...



            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Peter Fraterdeus" <peterf@...>
            To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 8:38 AM
            Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing


            The proof's in the pudding ;-)

            I've yet to prefer hot metal badly arranged to cold well designed.

            However, particularly for display, there's no substitution for the instant f
            eedback that metal foundry type allows. To pull a proof, switch a copper
            hair-space from one side of a letter to the other, pull the proof again...

            The computer, with the no-rules philosophy, allows the creation of work
            which has no guts, no bones, no spirit. Even badly set linotype and foundry
            has some honesty about it.

            (For the record, I designed my first digital typeface in 1985 and was
            working in letterpress a few years before that.)

            Gutenberg's critics didn't really care about the 'beauty' of 'calligraphy'.
            They were more concerned about their own jobs, and that his press could put
            1000 of them out of work with a single book!


            Ciao
            Peter



            At 9:11 AM -0400 2003-05-01, Mike Gastin wrote:
            >Bryan,
            >
            >I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought
            more
            >about it ...
            >
            >He was originally an ad agency guy and left the biz to start his little
            >press. I think he makes a big noise about real vs. plastic in an effort to
            >impress his ad community friends who supply him with work. I think he is
            >providing a kind of snob appeal to impress (no pun intended!) his
            >customers - the agencies.
            >
            >I do not agree with his attitude about polymer. I think the question was
            >asked in a previous post - what did some folk thing of Gutenberg and his
            >mechanical type verses the "beauty" of hand lettering?
            >
            >I think polymer is an awesome tool to allow a printer accomplish something
            >that is unreasonable with the supply of metal type these days. Progress
            ....
            >
            >Mike
            >
            >
            >----- Original Message -----
            >From: "Bryan Hutcheson" <bryan@...>
            >To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
            >Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 2:13 AM
            >Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing
            >
            >
            >Beware of someone who claims they can define what is, or is not, real.
            There
            >was an article about a letterpress printer in a recent issue of Print. The
            >featured printer was taking this holier than thou attitude about
            >letterpress...claiming his work wasn't "plastic". He may not have been usin
            g
            >polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
            >printing was "real" was about as fake as it gets...
            >
            ...

            --
            AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@

            Peter Fraterdeus http://www.midsummernightstamps.com
            http://www.fraterdeus.com |* + * + * + Rubber Stamp Fine Art!

            http://www.semiotx.com Web Strategy Consulting < * > Mac OS X
            "Words that work."(tm) Communication Design and Typography


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          • Charles Jones
            Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
            Message 5 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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              Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the
              chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
            • Charles Jones
              I understand that the Medici Family of Florence would not support the establishment of a press in the late 1500 s because it would was felt that books printed
              Message 6 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                I understand that the Medici Family of Florence would not support the
                establishment of a press in the late 1500's because it would was felt that
                books printed from type, that new fangled'stuff would somehow lessen the
                value of their collection of hand illuminated and lettered books. We need,
                as so many have eloqeuntly said, realize that tools are tools and not the
                result. I belonged to a letterpress guild for a year or two during which
                time I received a bundle of work printed from type each month. There was
                some good but most was poorly designed and often times badly printed.
                Cheers, Charlie
              • Kathleen Whalen
                Unreservedly YES! In England the private presses Fleece, Whittington and the late lamented Rocket Press, all use Heidelberg cylinders if you d like to see the
                Message 7 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                  Unreservedly YES! In England the private presses Fleece, Whittington and the
                  late lamented Rocket Press, all use Heidelberg cylinders if you'd like to
                  see the sort of work that small publishers are producing on these machines.


                  Graham Moss
                  Incline Press
                  11A Printer Street
                  Oldham OL1 1PN England
                  (44) 0161 627 1966
                  http://www.inclinepress.com


                  > From: Charles Jones <cjones@...>
                  > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 12:11:01 -0500
                  > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real press?
                  >
                  > Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the
                  > chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
                  >
                • funquie
                  ... I d beg to differ. From what I ve read of Rogers (in his own words, and those of his biographers and friends) he thought Offset printing was, although a
                  Message 8 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                    "Paul W Romaine" wrote:


                    > Would Bruce Rogers or Daniel Berkeley Updike have jumped at
                    > photopolymer, digital composition and modern offset? You bet!

                    I'd beg to differ. From what I've read of Rogers (in his own words,
                    and those of his biographers and friends) he thought Offset printing
                    was, although a boon for the printing "industry", a curse on the
                    printing "art". It's product is cold, sterile, flat, and without
                    tactile "real-ness"...

                    All that said, you can't get good color photos in a publication with
                    lettepress technology...


                    > a certain feel and ... for lack of a better term, "zen" to setting
                    > foundry type.

                    Yes, I agree. Although I've been working with computers since
                    "PageMaker v.1.0", and can set electronic type with the best of them
                    (gotta love those AdobeExpert Sets!), there is something meditative
                    about setting lead type by hand. The rhythmic click of lead alloy on
                    steel, the preassure of the thumb in a composing stick, the swinging
                    of the arm from case to stick--it IS a very Zen activity. Setting type
                    by hand is all about "REAL-NESS"--metal, ink, clacking steel and iron,
                    letters and images being forcibly impressed into paper. Letterpress
                    printing produces a real, tangible, eternal THING.

                    Whereas, setting type on computers is all about illusion. Bits and
                    bytes, transitory signals through wires, lasers, static charges, toner
                    on paper which will crumble away in a few decades. Modern printing is
                    fleeting, impermanent, and transitory.



                    > May I quibble? Gutenberg's invention had the *potential* to bring
                    > books, pardons, printed forms, posters, newspapers, playbills...

                    Although modern free-thinking individuals might speculate that the
                    Press had tremendous potential to free the common man, it in fact only
                    aided to his further enslavement, subjugation, and oppression. The
                    Press brought mass-produceable printed messages, and with it,, the
                    easy dissemination of ever-increasing laws, beaurocracy, and
                    government regulations of everything from what texts were printed, to
                    how many chickens you were allowed to own if you were of a certain
                    religion...

                    The press brought things like censorship, beaurocracy, genocide (based
                    on census data) and propaganda into ubiquity.

                    The press, in fact, could be touted as the single most insideous
                    instrument of human subjugation since the sword or spear...

                    I've been doing letterpress for about 2 years. I did a little in
                    college (a few decades ago, printing posters for the Theatre Dept.
                    with wood type on a little flatbed poster press.) I also do a LOT of
                    computer typesetting. The shop where I currently work prints mostly
                    offset, with plates we make directly from our computer files.

                    I wish they made "relief" plate material for our Direct-To-Plate
                    machine. To be able to make my own plates for the Heidelberg from
                    files on my mac, and have them spit out in a matter of minutes would
                    be heavenly, but alas, it is not to be...

                    I love my Mac. I love Quark and Photoshop and Illustrator. I love
                    well-crafted digital type (which is, unfortunately, in the vast
                    MINORITY in the hundreds of currently available digital typefaces.)

                    But there is something very special and almost mystical about pulling
                    some slightly over-preassure prints, set in ATF Caslon Old Style on
                    Rives BFK Medium from the platen of my 1912 C&P 10x15 Old Series
                    press--a feeling, both magical and tangible that I doubt we will ever
                    be able to elicit from modern digital techno-printing, no matter how
                    high the resolution, how advanced the pigments, or how sophisticated
                    the software becomes...

                    And so I set type, and print. And I use Photopolymer plates too
                    because it lets me use techniques and tricks on Letterpress that are
                    otherwise impossible (or maddening) to achieve. Like "text-on-a-curve"
                    or sophisticated separations, or strange type manipulation.

                    But no matte what I do on my computer, when it comes to printing type,
                    it will ALWAYS (in my opinion) look better if printed by a relief
                    process. I'm sure the folks at Ryobi, Heidelberg, and Komori think
                    differently, but they are just too dazzled by the technology to see
                    the subtle beauty of "real printing"...

                    That's just my opinion, though. YMMV...

                    --Richard Creighton
                    "Dreamer Press"
                    Martinsburg WV
                  • funquie
                    ... According to an associate of mine who used to work for the US Dept of Treasury, Heidelberg Cylinders are about as close as you can get to the presses they
                    Message 9 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                      Charles Jones wrote:

                      > Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press?
                      > I have the chance to get one.

                      According to an associate of mine who used to work for the US Dept of
                      Treasury, Heidelberg Cylinders are about as close as you can get to
                      the presses they use to print US currency, in quality of image,
                      reliability, and durability. I've already decided that after I get a
                      Windmill, my first flatbed cylinder with be, without a doubt, a
                      Heidelberg. But that's WAY down the line. First, I need a Kingsley
                      foiler, a bigger C&P Old Series, a C&P Craftsman, and I have to build
                      a wood-frame/metal screw Franklin/Common press...

                      Yes, I'm relatively young (37) very ambition, and still have stars in
                      my eyes. My attitude is explained by the name my girlfriend came up
                      with for my shop... :)

                      --Richard Creighton
                      "Dreamer Press"
                      Martinsburg WV
                    • The Indian Hill Press
                      By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily, and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering. One warning, however. These
                      Message 10 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                        By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily,
                        and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering.

                        One warning, however. These machines are built like the Pyramids. Our
                        KSBA weighs in at about 6,600 pounds - and ours is the baby of the
                        family. It takes a real pro to move a Heidelberg - forget the
                        crowbars and pipe rollers!

                        Dan Waters
                        Indian Hill Press

                        >Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the
                        >chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >ï To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                        >PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                        >ï Encountering problems? contact:
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                        >ï To unsubscribe:
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                        >
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                      • thronobulx@aol.com
                        Tell it like it is, Fritz! James Shanley B Designs [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        Message 11 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                          Tell it like it is, Fritz!

                          James Shanley
                          B Designs


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • thronobulx@aol.com
                          While I have nothing but total admiration and respect for Dan Waters as New-England s preeminent folk poet and master printer, I must beg to differ. Under no
                          Message 12 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                            While I have nothing but total admiration and respect for Dan Waters as
                            New-England's preeminent folk poet and master printer, I must beg to differ.

                            Under no circumstances should you procure that Heidelberg cylinder press!
                            Have it sent directly to my shop so that I may suffer appropriately for all
                            my past, present and future sins. This is my only hope of salvation.

                            Thank you for helping me atone.

                            James Shanley
                            B Designs.


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Charles Jones
                            ... I am making the arrangements as I type. Look for it on your birthday! All 3 tons of it. And a good morning to all, Charlie
                            Message 13 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                              On 5/1/03 9:31 PM, "thronobulx@..." <thronobulx@...> wrote:

                              > While I have nothing but total admiration and respect for Dan Waters as
                              > New-England's preeminent folk poet and master printer, I must beg to differ.
                              >
                              > Under no circumstances should you procure that Heidelberg cylinder press!
                              > Have it sent directly to my shop so that I may suffer appropriately for all
                              > my past, present and future sins. This is my only hope of salvation.
                              >
                              > Thank you for helping me atone.
                              >
                              > James Shanley
                              > B Designs.
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ? To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                              > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                              > ? Encountering problems? contact:
                              > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                              > ? To unsubscribe:
                              > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              I am making the arrangements as I type. Look for it on your birthday! All
                              3 tons of it. And a good morning to all, Charlie
                            • Charles Jones
                              ... This press has been converted for die-cutting and embossing. It was built in 1950 and came from Buckingham Palace according to the auction house s
                              Message 14 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                                On 5/1/03 4:38 PM, "The Indian Hill Press" <mail@...> wrote:

                                > By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily,
                                > and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering.
                                >
                                > One warning, however. These machines are built like the Pyramids. Our
                                > KSBA weighs in at about 6,600 pounds - and ours is the baby of the
                                > family. It takes a real pro to move a Heidelberg - forget the
                                > crowbars and pipe rollers!
                                >
                                > Dan Waters
                                > Indian Hill Press
                                >
                                This press has been converted for die-cutting and embossing. It was built
                                in 1950 and came from Buckingham Palace according to the auction house's
                                information. Is it costly and or difficult to convert it back to
                                letterpress?
                                I appreciate anything you folks can tell me. Cheers, Charlie
                              • Fritz Klinke
                                Serial numbers 196 through 1240 are attributed to 1950, the first year of S line Heidelberg cylinders (Wieslock plant). A converted press usually means the
                                Message 15 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                                  Serial numbers 196 through 1240 are attributed to 1950, the first year of S
                                  line Heidelberg cylinders (Wieslock plant). A converted press usually means
                                  the "inkers," as the non-letterpress folks call the ink fountain/ink roller
                                  assembly, have been removed and other changes mean that it is impossible to
                                  reconfigure a true converted press. Additionally, most press beds, which are
                                  made of relatively soft cast iron, are usually milled down to accept a
                                  harder steel bed plate as steel rule will dent a regular bed. Have someone
                                  who is knowledgeable about Heidelberg cylinders look at it, but I doubt you
                                  would be able to print with this press.

                                  In the US, firms like Hicks Brothers, Demers, and Whittenberg regularly
                                  convert Heidelberg cylinders ("printers") to diecutters and trash the inking
                                  assemblies. I remember seeing an ink fountain off a KSBA sticking out of the
                                  dumpster in back of Hicks Brothers several years ago when I visited their
                                  plant in San Francisco. There was also a large stack of Heidelberg ink
                                  rollers waiting to be picked up by the trash people. There is no demand
                                  commercially for Heidelberg cylinders for printing, but there is a steady
                                  market for die cutters, and the larger sizes command premium prices.

                                  Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics
                                  1314 Greene Street, P.O. Box 467
                                  Silverton, Colorado 81433 USA
                                  970-387-0212, fax 970-387-0127
                                  nagraph@...

                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "Charles Jones" <cjones@...>
                                  To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 10:03 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real press has been converted


                                  On 5/1/03 4:38 PM, "The Indian Hill Press" <mail@...> wrote:

                                  > By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily,
                                  > and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering.
                                  >
                                  > One warning, however. These machines are built like the Pyramids. Our
                                  > KSBA weighs in at about 6,600 pounds - and ours is the baby of the
                                  > family. It takes a real pro to move a Heidelberg - forget the
                                  > crowbars and pipe rollers!
                                  >
                                  > Dan Waters
                                  > Indian Hill Press
                                  >
                                  This press has been converted for die-cutting and embossing. It was built
                                  in 1950 and came from Buckingham Palace according to the auction house's
                                  information. Is it costly and or difficult to convert it back to
                                  letterpress?
                                  I appreciate anything you folks can tell me. Cheers, Charlie



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                                • Charles Jones
                                  Thank you Fritz, I was afraid that was the case. I will still go and have a look at the remains of the two shops. Cheers, Charlie
                                  Message 16 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                                    Thank you Fritz,
                                    I was afraid that was the case. I will still go and have a look at the
                                    remains of the two shops. Cheers, Charlie
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