Re: [PPLetterpress] First press?
- Depending on it's condition, yes. I purchased a totally refurbished
Pilot for $1000. I did have to replace the rollers. They were new, but
not the right rubber compound for letterpress. NA Graphics is the guru
on this. You will have to muck about with building up the roller tracks
with tape if you are getting a fuzzy impression. I gather this is
normal for these older presses and everyone does it. Just plain old
tape. I use a mixture of masking and scotch. Scotch for a finer
adjustment, masking for the grosser adjustment.
My refurb press was totally broken down, sandblasted and rebuilt, so
basically like a new press. You can have this done, but I'm not sure
what the cost is. I was considering purchasing a second press in not as
pristine condition for a lot less than what I paid, but decided that I
didn't need to add to my inventory. Mostly dirty, needed rollers and
some cast parts that are readily available from Dave Churchman in
Indiana (see Briar Press website). The 6 1/2 x 10 Pilot will accept
larger paper, but the image area is limited to the chase size, give or
take a bit for quad guides. It will do a small book page size, wedding
invitations, cards and notes. Most of what a hobby printer would want
to produce. It is a great starter press and I consider the hand feed,
hand lever a plus, since it would be difficult to mash your hands
accidentally in this unless you were a total spaz. Foot operated or
motorized run the risk of crushing your fingers if you do not get your
hand out of the way fast enough.
The plus of the bigger presses is that will apply more pressure,
therefore will do larger emboss areas than the smaller hand presses, if
you want to do blind embossing.
It is my impression (sic) that many start with the Pilot before moving
on the more ambitious presses. You can also move a Pilot with two
adults lifting it, much easier than the elaborate moving schemes for
larger and heavier floor presses.
- I recommend something like a Vandercook if you intend to print books or
multiple pages. I two platen presses, one a Kluge, but find that I like to
impose and compose on the bed of the Cylinder press. It is much easier to
print evenly with the cylinder press. Of course if you are printing small
pages or need a lot of a single sheet, the platen press is much, much
faster, (watch the fingers)
I used to see vandercooks ranging up from a # 4 for less than a thousand $.
- Thanks for the help. I am a graphic designer by trade and have always been
interested in letterpress and such, but havent had the opportunity to use it in any of
my work. The idea came from looking into having my wedding invitations letterpress
printed. The quotes I got were so high (over $1100 in one case) I decided to look into
getting a press and doing it myself, which would also give me the benefit of the
experience and chance to make some money back doing business cards / invitations