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Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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
              >
              >
              >
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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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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