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Re: [PPLetterpress] Vandercook on ebay

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  • thronobulx@aol.com
    Thank you for the kind words, Fritz. Actually, we now run 4 windmills and soon will have a model 6 Little Giant up and running. James Shanley B Designs
    Message 1 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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      Thank you for the kind words, Fritz.

      Actually, we now run 4 windmills and soon will have a model 6 Little Giant up and running.

      James Shanley
      B Designs
    • thronobulx@aol.com
      Jan: Price point is the upper limit of what something will sell for on a retail basis. (I also have heard it refered to as the Squeal Point ) The price point
      Message 2 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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        Jan: Price point is the upper limit of what something will sell for on a retail basis. (I also have heard it refered to as the "Squeal Point") The price point for greeting cards, without knick-knacks glued on them, is between $2 and $3.50. That means that you will be selling them between $1 and $1.75 each. Run the numbers backwards from there to see what you will have left, and that will tell you how many you will need to sell on a monthly basis to survive.

        There is always room in the market for a new idea and/or look.
        If you have it, it will be very, very welcome.

        I don't think Katie Harper has it right. Dan and I are not trying to throw cold water on your enthusiasm. We are just trying to give you a heads up on some of the realities of the greeting card business.

        I would suggest that if you are determined to take the plunge, go to the Stationery Show next May and see what is out there and have some discussions with George Little Management about what it will cost to show your wares at the show.

        Best of luck with your printing, no matter where it takes you.

        James Shanley
      • M a n i f e s t o P r e s s
        James definitely knows what he is talking about. I have recently started selling cards as well. I have developed a line of postcards through an accidental
        Message 3 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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          James definitely knows what he is talking about. I have recently started
          selling cards as well. I have developed a line of postcards through an
          accidental discovery that have taken on a life of their own. To my surprise,
          they were pictured in this months issue of How. But it has taken me a while
          to get where I am now...and I still feel like I am just beginning. My
          backroom is full of boxes with ³not-so-good-ideas²....you know...the
          embarrassing boxes...

          I almost set up a booth at the stationery show this year but opted to wait
          one more year...and from what I hear, there was no shortage of new
          letterpress printers. And it sounds like they were producing their cards on
          Vandercooks because the wholesale prices were apparently exceeding James¹
          retail target price points.

          Maybe I am wrong to say this but it seems like Vandercooks aren¹t really
          production presses suited for the card market. I have a 219 (from James
          Shanley as a matter of fact) that I primarily use for short run posters and
          improv etc.) No, James the 219 is no longer for sale...I need to pull the
          listing from Briar Press... I am now printing limited edition posters for a
          concert production company...I can¹t imagine printing my postcard line on
          the Vandercook...OUCH!


          It takes a lot of time and commitment to keep my head above water, and there
          are days when I would just rather close the door and go back to the stable
          paycheck world...but that would be miserable...so it¹s a ton of work with
          small increments of reward and gain...

          With an onslaught of ³designers turned letterpress printers², it¹s easy to
          understand the run on Vandercooks that seems to be happening. It¹s also
          possibly the reason why people are wholesaling cards for $3-5 a piece...

          Obviously, James and Karen have got this whole letterpress-for-retail thing
          down...

          My two cents...


          Cheers,
          Bryan



          €‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹€
          bryan hutcheson
          manifesto letterpress
          116 pleasant st. #2245
          easthampton, ma 01027

          p/f: 413.529.0009
          http://www.manifestopress.com
          €‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹€




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • thronobulx@aol.com
          I don t know if we have the whole thing down, but we are managing to pay the bills and meet a payroll of 6 each week. The prices you quoted are true, and yes,
          Message 4 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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            I don't know if we have the whole thing down, but we are managing to pay the bills and meet a payroll of 6 each week.

            The prices you quoted are true, and yes, indeed, much of the work is being done on Vandercooks. I don't know how long they will be able to stay in business doing it that way.

            Glad to hear the 219 is still in service.

            James
          • David S. Rose
            Jan and Mark (and everyone else who is thinking about getting into letterpress)... This has been a fascinating thread, and I ve been following along with
            Message 5 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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              Jan and Mark (and everyone else who is thinking about getting into
              letterpress)...

              This has been a fascinating thread, and I've been following along with
              interest Jan's eagerness to change her lifestyle and jump right in to
              printing, and Mark's [slightly longer] quest to purchase a full-blown
              shop.

              One of the great things about Internet mailing lists such as this is the
              unbelievable depth of resources that newcomers can tap into for helpful
              advice and the experience gleaned from years and years of work in the
              trenches. Since they're all too modest to blow their own horns, you
              should realize that the comments and suggestions you've been getting are
              coming from the absolute horses' mouths. These guys are not just blowing
              smoke; James and his wife have one of the most active letterpress card
              businesses in the country (www.paperfection.com/bdesigns.htm); Dan and
              his partner Hal run a significant, commercially viable, letterpress shop
              producing simply exquisite work on a wide variety of presses
              (www.indianhillpress.com); Fritz is The Source for all new letterpress
              stuff, being the owner of Vandercook, Kelsey, Hacker, et al; Gerald
              literally 'wrote the book' on printing photopolymer plates on
              Vandercooks; and so forth.

              Even more important, however, is that every single one of these folks
              would love nothing better than to help introduce new acolytes to the
              world of letterpress. Indeed, for people like Fritz, probably the
              majority of his time is spent pro bono helping out everyone else! What
              this means, however, is that when these experienced, knowledgeable,
              thoughtful, truly helpful people tell you to "go slow"...they're saying
              it for a reason.

              Believe me, the last thing that any of us would want is to discourage
              anyone from getting into letterpress! But on the other hand, I guarantee
              you that the quickest way for you to get OUT of letterpress would be to
              try to start printing on a Heidelberg Windmill! It's certainly a great
              machine, but suggesting that you get one as your first press is rather
              like suggesting that my 17 year old daughter get a Ferarri Testarossa as
              a reward for getting her automobile learner's permit [grin].

              For an overview of the different kinds of presses, I'd suggest that you
              take a quick read through the Introduction to Letterpress that I've put
              together, which I think I may have mentioned to each of you previously.
              If not, it's at www.fiveroses.org/intro.htm, and shows pictures and
              descriptions of the different types. For whatever it's worth, my very
              strong suggestion to both of you would be to start off with a C&P Pilot
              press, a very high quality tabletop that will be easy to ship, easy to
              fit into your home or studio, and capable of turning out very
              professional results.

              A Pilot will let you get your feet (or should that be "hands"?) wet in
              letterpress, and print virtually anything you can imagine, up to a sheet
              size of about 8.5 x 11. Once you get comfortable with that, and have
              acquired all the other detritus that comes with a shop, you will have a
              much better idea of where you want to go with your printing. You may
              decide that your inclinations tend to larger pieces with impeccable
              print quality in small editions (books, broadsides, etc.) in which case
              you would then get a Vandercook SP or Universal. Or you may decide that,
              despite all the cautionary warnings from James, Dan and Fritz, you want
              to try your hand at higher production runs of smaller items, in which
              case the next logical step would be to a motorized platen press such as
              C&P or one of its brethren.

              Only after you've been hand-feeding editions of several hundred through
              a good size platen (which is not at all difficult), should you even
              think about getting a Heidelberg Windmill. Keep in mind, however, that
              when you do you'll be looking at something between $2,000 and $5,000 for
              the press itself (better condition ones costing more), another $1,000 or
              so for rigging/moving, and a serious commitment to production
              letterpress work. Remember that a Heidelberg CANNOT be hand-fed, or used
              without the ink fountain, which means that you would need to undertake
              significant setup time before even the smallest job. In contrast, you
              could conceivably set up, print, and wash up a small job on a
              hand-platen, or even a Vandercook, in under 30 minutes.

              So, the bottom line is that everyone here is delighted with the
              enthusiasm you're both showing, but also painfully aware of the
              challenges of jumping directly into brain surgery, as Fritz put it. I,
              more, than most, understand and sympathize with the desire to go full
              speed ahead (all of these guys can probably regale you with stories
              about my enthusiasm and excesses :-), but we're really, honestly, trying
              help you get the most out of letterpress without burning out by trying
              to go too far, too soon.

              Trust us.

              -David (a fellow "jump-in-and-do-it" junkie)
              Five Roses Press
              New York, NY
            • M a n i f e s t o P r e s s
              Jan, I thought you mentioned having access to a C&P in the shop you are working in? I think the perfect example of what letterpress is all about would be two
              Message 6 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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                Jan, I thought you mentioned having access to a C&P in the shop you are
                working in?

                I think the perfect example of what letterpress is all about would be two
                pictures of me:
                Picture 1 before I decided to purchase my first press and start printing
                again
                Picture 2, 4 years after my first press and 4 years passed the point of
                turning back

                The difference? Gray Hair...lot¹s of it...and every single one of them can
                be attributed to paper curl, poor impression, clueless clients, late nights,
                registration, ink, ink, ink, make readys from hell (usually attached to
                clients from hell, see also: clueless client or interactive designer turned
                print designer) etc, etc, etc... And then there are the vendors ³I¹m sorry,
                that paper is back ordered. We expect a shipment from the mill in the next
                14-21 days.²

                But, then there are the good days. The days when the paper is right, the ink
                is right, the client is cool, and everything is perfect...those days seem to
                become more frequent the longer I grind away...and those days are what make
                this whole thing well worth the headaches and time spent on the re-learning
                curve...

                Go for it! Just know that it¹s not as simple as buying a press, ordering
                materials and selling cards in a store.


                Cheers,
                Bryan



                €‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹€
                bryan hutcheson
                manifesto letterpress
                116 pleasant st. #2245
                easthampton, ma 01027

                p/f: 413.529.0009
                http://www.manifestopress.com
                €‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹€





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jan Ziegler
                Hear-Hear, David! I do realize and appreciate that I ve been talking to many biggies of the biz. Its a wonder to me that everyone is here discussing little me
                Message 7 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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                  Hear-Hear, David! I do realize and appreciate that
                  I've been talking to many biggies of the biz. Its a
                  wonder to me that everyone is here discussing little
                  me and my goals. I purchased Gerald's book before I
                  ever found the listserve. I also read your site about
                  the different types of presses and their strengths. My
                  thinking has changed with everyone's input and I'm
                  happy about it. And I certainly don't want to get
                  something that is hard to experiment and play with,
                  and it sounds like a Windmill with its setup is just
                  that, not to mention being a ferrari in the hands of a
                  sixteen year old. But I do want something that works
                  well with PP, which is why I started thinking
                  Vandercook. I got off the Platen track with all the
                  talk of type gain. That and I may want to do some
                  artwork as well which would probably involve
                  halftones. I'm never going to get this darn ad job
                  finished, I can't stay away from this conversation
                  long enough. I'm truly appreciative. --Jan

                  --- "David S. Rose" <lists@...> wrote:
                  > Jan and Mark (and everyone else who is thinking
                  > about getting into
                  > letterpress)...
                  >
                  > This has been a fascinating thread, and I've been
                  > following along with
                  > interest Jan's eagerness to change her lifestyle and
                  > jump right in to
                  > printing, and Mark's [slightly longer] quest to
                  > purchase a full-blown
                  > shop.
                  >
                  > One of the great things about Internet mailing lists
                  > such as this is the
                  > unbelievable depth of resources that newcomers can
                  > tap into for helpful
                  > advice and the experience gleaned from years and
                  > years of work in the
                  > trenches. Since they're all too modest to blow
                  > their own horns, you
                  > should realize that the comments and suggestions
                  > you've been getting are
                  > coming from the absolute horses' mouths. These guys
                  > are not just blowing
                  > smoke; James and his wife have one of the most
                  > active letterpress card
                  > businesses in the country
                  > (www.paperfection.com/bdesigns.htm); Dan and
                  > his partner Hal run a significant, commercially
                  > viable, letterpress shop
                  > producing simply exquisite work on a wide variety of
                  > presses
                  > (www.indianhillpress.com); Fritz is The Source for
                  > all new letterpress
                  > stuff, being the owner of Vandercook, Kelsey,
                  > Hacker, et al; Gerald
                  > literally 'wrote the book' on printing photopolymer
                  > plates on
                  > Vandercooks; and so forth.
                  >
                  > Even more important, however, is that every single
                  > one of these folks
                  > would love nothing better than to help introduce new
                  > acolytes to the
                  > world of letterpress. Indeed, for people like Fritz,
                  > probably the
                  > majority of his time is spent pro bono helping out
                  > everyone else! What
                  > this means, however, is that when these experienced,
                  > knowledgeable,
                  > thoughtful, truly helpful people tell you to "go
                  > slow"...they're saying
                  > it for a reason.
                  >
                  > Believe me, the last thing that any of us would want
                  > is to discourage
                  > anyone from getting into letterpress! But on the
                  > other hand, I guarantee
                  > you that the quickest way for you to get OUT of
                  > letterpress would be to
                  > try to start printing on a Heidelberg Windmill!
                  > It's certainly a great
                  > machine, but suggesting that you get one as your
                  > first press is rather
                  > like suggesting that my 17 year old daughter get a
                  > Ferarri Testarossa as
                  > a reward for getting her automobile learner's permit
                  > [grin].
                  >
                  > For an overview of the different kinds of presses,
                  > I'd suggest that you
                  > take a quick read through the Introduction to
                  > Letterpress that I've put
                  > together, which I think I may have mentioned to each
                  > of you previously.
                  > If not, it's at www.fiveroses.org/intro.htm, and
                  > shows pictures and
                  > descriptions of the different types. For whatever
                  > it's worth, my very
                  > strong suggestion to both of you would be to start
                  > off with a C&P Pilot
                  > press, a very high quality tabletop that will be
                  > easy to ship, easy to
                  > fit into your home or studio, and capable of turning
                  > out very
                  > professional results.
                  >
                  > A Pilot will let you get your feet (or should that
                  > be "hands"?) wet in
                  > letterpress, and print virtually anything you can
                  > imagine, up to a sheet
                  > size of about 8.5 x 11. Once you get comfortable
                  > with that, and have
                  > acquired all the other detritus that comes with a
                  > shop, you will have a
                  > much better idea of where you want to go with your
                  > printing. You may
                  > decide that your inclinations tend to larger pieces
                  > with impeccable
                  > print quality in small editions (books, broadsides,
                  > etc.) in which case
                  > you would then get a Vandercook SP or Universal. Or
                  > you may decide that,
                  > despite all the cautionary warnings from James, Dan
                  > and Fritz, you want
                  > to try your hand at higher production runs of
                  > smaller items, in which
                  > case the next logical step would be to a motorized
                  > platen press such as
                  > C&P or one of its brethren.
                  >
                  > Only after you've been hand-feeding editions of
                  > several hundred through
                  > a good size platen (which is not at all difficult),
                  > should you even
                  > think about getting a Heidelberg Windmill. Keep in
                  > mind, however, that
                  > when you do you'll be looking at something between
                  > $2,000 and $5,000 for
                  > the press itself (better condition ones costing
                  > more), another $1,000 or
                  > so for rigging/moving, and a serious commitment to
                  > production
                  > letterpress work. Remember that a Heidelberg CANNOT
                  > be hand-fed, or used
                  > without the ink fountain, which means that you would
                  > need to undertake
                  > significant setup time before even the smallest job.
                  > In contrast, you
                  > could conceivably set up, print, and wash up a small
                  > job on a
                  > hand-platen, or even a Vandercook, in under 30
                  > minutes.
                  >
                  > So, the bottom line is that everyone here is
                  > delighted with the
                  > enthusiasm you're both showing, but also painfully
                  > aware of the
                  > challenges of jumping directly into brain surgery,
                  > as Fritz put it. I,
                  > more, than most, understand and sympathize with the
                  > desire to go full
                  > speed ahead (all of these guys can probably regale
                  > you with stories
                  > about my enthusiasm and excesses :-), but we're
                  > really, honestly, trying
                  > help you get the most out of letterpress without
                  > burning out by trying
                  > to go too far, too soon.
                  >
                  > Trust us.
                  >
                  > -David (a fellow "jump-in-and-do-it" junkie)
                  > Five Roses Press
                  > New York, NY
                  >
                  >


                  __________________________________
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                • Mark Wilden
                  From: David S. Rose ... Just to be clear, I don t need a full shop as much as I need most of the things that come with it. I don t
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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                    From: "David S. Rose" <lists@...>

                    > Mark's [slightly longer] quest to purchase a full-blown shop.

                    Just to be clear, I don't need a full shop as much as I need most of the
                    things that come with it. I don't need a galley rack. I probably don't even
                    need more than two chases. And I have no idea of what I need for type.
                    That's why it would be cool to just take over an existing operation that
                    does the kind of work I like.

                    But wouldn't bug me a bit to build up slowly, as long as I'm allowed to ink
                    something and mash it into something else pretty damn soon! :)

                    > For whatever it's worth, my very
                    strong suggestion to both of you would be to start off with a C&P Pilot
                    press, a very high quality tabletop that will be easy to ship, easy to
                    fit into your home or studio, and capable of turning out very
                    professional results.

                    I'd be extremely happy with a Pilot to start out on. I haven't seen any
                    listed in the month or so I've been looking, though. If I saw a complete
                    Pilot setup, with everything I needed to start printing, that would be just
                    about ideal.

                    However, I have to look at what's available. So far, I've considered an 8x12
                    C&P (both too small and too big), a Challenge proof press (can't get hold of
                    the guy), and a Peerless (comes with shop, within driving distance). There
                    just aren't that many presses out there that truly seem worth the money and
                    time (especially for an unemployed fellow).

                    I'm not so concerned with getting stuck with something I end up never using,
                    because all I'd have to do is call the museum and ask them to please come
                    get the press I just donated. :)

                    > -David (a fellow "jump-in-and-do-it" junkie)

                    :)
                  • Jan Ziegler
                    I can relate. I ve had plenty of clients from hell as well as printers from hell. I ve been freelance for 11 years and published magazines before that. I m now
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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                      I can relate. I've had plenty of clients from hell as
                      well as printers from hell. I've been freelance for 11
                      years and published magazines before that. I'm now
                      also a part time pet sitter. I started that to get
                      away from the computer and clients from hell. I like
                      animals. They make fine clients. There's plenty of
                      headaches in any business, is what I have learned in
                      life. But sometimes you just want to do something and
                      it can't be helped. I love printing art on my etching
                      press and messing with typography on my computer. I'm
                      thinking the Letterpress is a natural progression for
                      me. And yes, I used a C&P with a motor the first week,
                      now I'm printing on the Vandercook. Unfortunately the
                      class ends this week. I will not miss the drive to
                      L.A. however. --jan

                      --- M a n i f e s t o P r e s s
                      <bryan@...> wrote:
                      > Jan, I thought you mentioned having access to a C&P
                      > in the shop you are
                      > working in?
                      >
                      > I think the perfect example of what letterpress is
                      > all about would be two
                      > pictures of me:
                      > Picture 1 before I decided to purchase my first
                      > press and start printing
                      > again
                      > Picture 2, 4 years after my first press and 4 years
                      > passed the point of
                      > turning back
                      >
                      > The difference? Gray Hair...lot1s of it...and every
                      > single one of them can
                      > be attributed to paper curl, poor impression,
                      > clueless clients, late nights,
                      > registration, ink, ink, ink, make readys from hell
                      > (usually attached to
                      > clients from hell, see also: clueless client or
                      > interactive designer turned
                      > print designer) etc, etc, etc... And then there are
                      > the vendors 3I1m sorry,
                      > that paper is back ordered. We expect a shipment
                      > from the mill in the next
                      > 14-21 days.2
                      >
                      > But, then there are the good days. The days when the
                      > paper is right, the ink
                      > is right, the client is cool, and everything is
                      > perfect...those days seem to
                      > become more frequent the longer I grind away...and
                      > those days are what make
                      > this whole thing well worth the headaches and time
                      > spent on the re-learning
                      > curve...
                      >
                      > Go for it! Just know that it1s not as simple as
                      > buying a press, ordering
                      > materials and selling cards in a store.
                      >
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      > Bryan
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > �������������������
                      > bryan hutcheson
                      > manifesto letterpress
                      > 116 pleasant st. #2245
                      > easthampton, ma 01027
                      >
                      > p/f: 413.529.0009
                      > http://www.manifestopress.com
                      > �������������������
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                      > removed]
                      >
                      >


                      __________________________________
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                    • Mark Wilden
                      From: Gerald Lange ... Actually, I still use it every once in a blue moon. ... Ah. I see what you mean.
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jun 26, 2003
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                        From: "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...>

                        > How much are you asking for the Orion Dob?

                        Actually, I still use it every once in a blue moon.

                        > She gave "life." More of a legitmate goal.

                        Ah. I see what you mean.
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