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"Packaging" the product

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  • Paul W. Romaine
    A few months ago I re-read the 1985 proceedings of the Columbia University conference on fine printing (published by the Book Arts Press of Columbia, now known
    Message 1 of 28 , Mar 23, 2005
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      A few months ago I re-read the 1985 proceedings of the Columbia University
      conference on fine printing (published by the Book Arts Press of Columbia,
      now known as Rare Book School, at the University of Virginia, it's now out
      of print). Frank Mattson, then at New York Public Library, appealed to fine
      press people to think how their packaging. Even now, I find the transcript
      quite interesting, despite the tendency (as with all conversations) to go
      off-topic. I'm copying an excerpt of conversation to ask: what are printers
      doing now? (See my note below.)


      Frank MATTSON: I don’t like to be prescriptive in these matters. I feel
      sort of like the generic librarian here. My job is to preserve what I get
      as much as possible in its original condition as issued by you. Ideally,
      you should use the best materials and help us along. We save virtually
      everything except the shrink­wrap and the Jiffy Bag.

      Recently, we got a book with a glassine wrapper, and on the glassine
      wrapper was printed the title of the book. So we had to make a wrapper to
      protect the wrapper.

      August HECKSCHER: I think that you’re talking about one of my books!

      Frank MATTSON: Yes. [Laughter]

      Walter HAMADY: The historical role of the librarian is one of protection
      and preservation. Now it seems that papermakers and bookbinders are helping
      to shoulder the load. Still, you’re saying that you don’t want to tamper or
      be dictatorial about what you’d like to see or not.

      Frank MATTSON: We get frequent requests from bibliographers and librarians:
      Does your set of a particular press [book] have original wrappings or dust
      wrappers?
      [....]

      I have several questions for you in the audience. One book we got recently,
      a volume of poetry, has a kind of colored etching or aquatint on the cover.
      I wonder how one preserves the quality of the art work while handling it
      like a book (my instinct when I saw it was to mat it). [Laughter] We get
      museum­ quality silkscreens­--as bindings, and yet we have to handle them
      as if they were ordinary, routine pieces of paper.

      Gabriel RUMMONDS: I can answer your first question, since we printed the
      book you mentioned. The etching on the cover is simply a piece of
      decorative paper and should be handled and touched just like any other
      covering material, at least as far as I’m concerned.

      Frank MATTSON; I guess I am too fastidious in my sense of how well we
      should preserve the book.

      Then there’s the question of metal bindings; will there be an unscratched
      copy of Flatland ten years from now?

      [A voice]: Is there one now?

      -----
      Paul's Note: I just reviewed an interesting portfolio of wood type
      broadsides which the printer had placed in a cheap (acidic) cardboard box,
      and onto which he had glued a titlepage/broadside. That bad box is part of
      the packaging and I will find a way to preserve it, while preventing the
      acids from migrating to those handsome broadsides. If I had been at the
      1985 conference, I might have piped-up: it's a TOTAL package, folks!
      -Paul
    • Katie Harper
      Paul: What a great find! In response to your implied question: not so long ago, I found myself in a sort of ³Alice down the hole² state with packaging. I had
      Message 2 of 28 , Mar 23, 2005
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        Paul:

        What a great find! In response to your implied question: not so long ago, I
        found myself in a sort of ³Alice down the hole² state with packaging. I had
        created a book, and then a slip case to put the book in (designed and
        printed,of course), and then a wrapper for the whole business (again with my
        logo printed on it), and I found myself having to finally come to grips with
        ending it all by putting it in a box (nothing printed on it!!) Whew! I curb
        the tendency nowadays by making a ³plain² box for my precious works out of
        museum board. I replace that box when needed, as it gets worn or scuffed.
        When showing the work, I pull out the box and quickly unwrap its contents so
        that no attention (I hope) is put on the container. But sometimes,
        especially with things that are mailed and one wants to make a good
        impression at every exposure to one¹s work, one doesn¹t know where to stop.

        Katie Harper

        on 3/23/05 9:19 PM, Paul W. Romaine at romaine@... wrote:

        > A few months ago I re-read the 1985 proceedings of the Columbia University
        > conference on fine printing (published by the Book Arts Press of Columbia,
        > now known as Rare Book School, at the University of Virginia, it's now out
        > of print). Frank Mattson, then at New York Public Library, appealed to fine
        > press people to think how their packaging. Even now, I find the transcript
        > quite interesting, despite the tendency (as with all conversations) to go
        > off-topic. I'm copying an excerpt of conversation to ask: what are printers
        > doing now? (See my note below.)
        >
        >
        > Frank MATTSON: I don’t like to be prescriptive in these matters. I feel
        > sort of like the generic librarian here. My job is to preserve what I get
        > as much as possible in its original condition as issued by you. Ideally,
        > you should use the best materials and help us along. We save virtually
        > everything except the shrink­wrap and the Jiffy Bag.
        >
        > Recently, we got a book with a glassine wrapper, and on the glassine
        > wrapper was printed the title of the book. So we had to make a wrapper to
        > protect the wrapper.
        >
        > August HECKSCHER: I think that you’re talking about one of my books!
        >
        > Frank MATTSON: Yes. [Laughter]
        >
        > Walter HAMADY: The historical role of the librarian is one of protection
        > and preservation. Now it seems that papermakers and bookbinders are helping
        > to shoulder the load. Still, you’re saying that you don’t want to tamper or
        > be dictatorial about what you’d like to see or not.
        >
        > Frank MATTSON: We get frequent requests from bibliographers and librarians:
        > Does your set of a particular press [book] have original wrappings or dust
        > wrappers?
        > [....]
        >
        > I have several questions for you in the audience. One book we got recently,
        > a volume of poetry, has a kind of colored etching or aquatint on the cover.
        > I wonder how one preserves the quality of the art work while handling it
        > like a book (my instinct when I saw it was to mat it). [Laughter] We get
        > museum­ quality silkscreens­--as bindings, and yet we have to handle them
        > as if they were ordinary, routine pieces of paper.
        >
        > Gabriel RUMMONDS: I can answer your first question, since we printed the
        > book you mentioned. The etching on the cover is simply a piece of
        > decorative paper and should be handled and touched just like any other
        > covering material, at least as far as I’m concerned.
        >
        > Frank MATTSON; I guess I am too fastidious in my sense of how well we
        > should preserve the book.
        >
        > Then there’s the question of metal bindings; will there be an unscratched
        > copy of Flatland ten years from now?
        >
        > [A voice]: Is there one now?
        >
        > -----
        > Paul's Note: I just reviewed an interesting portfolio of wood type
        > broadsides which the printer had placed in a cheap (acidic) cardboard box,
        > and onto which he had glued a titlepage/broadside. That bad box is part of
        > the packaging and I will find a way to preserve it, while preventing the
        > acids from migrating to those handsome broadsides. If I had been at the
        > 1985 conference, I might have piped-up: it's a TOTAL package, folks!
        > -Paul
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
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        > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
        >




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kathleen Whalen
        I hope you are sending a copy of this email to the editors of Parenthesis Paul. Graham Moss Incline Press 36 Bow Street Oldham OL1 1SJ 0161 627 1966
        Message 3 of 28 , Mar 24, 2005
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          I hope you are sending a copy of this email to the editors of Parenthesis
          Paul.

          Graham Moss
          Incline Press
          36 Bow Street
          Oldham OL1 1SJ
          0161 627 1966
          http://www.inclinepress.com




          On 24/3/05 2:19 am, "Paul W. Romaine" <romaine@...> wrote:

          >
          > A few months ago I re-read the 1985 proceedings of the Columbia University
          > conference on fine printing (published by the Book Arts Press of Columbia,
          > now known as Rare Book School, at the University of Virginia, it's now out
          > of print). Frank Mattson, then at New York Public Library, appealed to fine
          > press people to think how their packaging. Even now, I find the transcript
          > quite interesting, despite the tendency (as with all conversations) to go
          > off-topic. I'm copying an excerpt of conversation to ask: what are printers
          > doing now? (See my note below.)
          >
          >
          > Frank MATTSON: I don’t like to be prescriptive in these matters. I feel
          > sort of like the generic librarian here. My job is to preserve what I get
          > as much as possible in its original condition as issued by you. Ideally,
          > you should use the best materials and help us along. We save virtually
          > everything except the shrink­wrap and the Jiffy Bag.
          >
          > Recently, we got a book with a glassine wrapper, and on the glassine
          > wrapper was printed the title of the book. So we had to make a wrapper to
          > protect the wrapper.
          >
          > August HECKSCHER: I think that you’re talking about one of my books!
          >
          > Frank MATTSON: Yes. [Laughter]
          >
          > Walter HAMADY: The historical role of the librarian is one of protection
          > and preservation. Now it seems that papermakers and bookbinders are helping
          > to shoulder the load. Still, you’re saying that you don’t want to tamper or
          > be dictatorial about what you’d like to see or not.
          >
          > Frank MATTSON: We get frequent requests from bibliographers and librarians:
          > Does your set of a particular press [book] have original wrappings or dust
          > wrappers?
          > [....]
          >
          > I have several questions for you in the audience. One book we got recently,
          > a volume of poetry, has a kind of colored etching or aquatint on the cover.
          > I wonder how one preserves the quality of the art work while handling it
          > like a book (my instinct when I saw it was to mat it). [Laughter] We get
          > museum­ quality silkscreens­--as bindings, and yet we have to handle them
          > as if they were ordinary, routine pieces of paper.
          >
          > Gabriel RUMMONDS: I can answer your first question, since we printed the
          > book you mentioned. The etching on the cover is simply a piece of
          > decorative paper and should be handled and touched just like any other
          > covering material, at least as far as I’m concerned.
          >
          > Frank MATTSON; I guess I am too fastidious in my sense of how well we
          > should preserve the book.
          >
          > Then there’s the question of metal bindings; will there be an unscratched
          > copy of Flatland ten years from now?
          >
          > [A voice]: Is there one now?
          >
          > -----
          > Paul's Note: I just reviewed an interesting portfolio of wood type
          > broadsides which the printer had placed in a cheap (acidic) cardboard box,
          > and onto which he had glued a titlepage/broadside. That bad box is part of
          > the packaging and I will find a way to preserve it, while preventing the
          > acids from migrating to those handsome broadsides. If I had been at the
          > 1985 conference, I might have piped-up: it's a TOTAL package, folks!
          > -Paul
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Paul W Romaine
          A correction from Terry Belanger Director of Rare Book School: the pamphlet was for the 1982 proceedings (not 1985), and was reprinted in 1992, and it is, in
          Message 4 of 28 , Mar 24, 2005
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            A correction from Terry Belanger Director of Rare Book School: the
            pamphlet was for the 1982 proceedings (not 1985), and was reprinted in
            1992, and it is, in fact, IN PRINT and for sale for $10. A bargain!
            Visit: http://www.virginia.edu/oldbooks/publications.shtml
            and look for B1:

            Belanger, Terry, ed. Proceedings of the Fine Printing Conference at
            Columbia University Held May 19-22, 1982. 1982, reprinted 1992. 122
            pp. $10.00

            -aul
          • Paul W Romaine
            I started a thread (which didn t go too far) on how we package books and pamphlets. Specifically, I referred to additional wrappers and even artwork added as
            Message 5 of 28 , Apr 3, 2005
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              I started a thread (which didn't go too far) on how we "package" books
              and pamphlets. Specifically, I referred to additional wrappers and
              even artwork added as covering to otherwise complete publications.

              Perhaps it might be more useful to talk about how complicated or
              simple "packaging" can be. For example:

              * Wraps. Kelly-Winterton Press (New York, now Pomona, NY) uses a lot
              of Fabriano paper for wraps and board covers; it's beautiful, but I
              have noticed that it doesn't stand-up well to wear or smudges. There
              are plenty of other choice of materials. Nadja (New York, now
              Kripplebush) has one pamphlet (To paint, by Dorothea Tanning, 1995)
              bound in "painters' canvas wrappers."

              * Wooden clamshell box. Angelica Press (New York) in the 1980s issued
              a handsome folio-size portfolio of wood type specimens, with an
              interesting manual on printing with wood type (a friend has been
              looking into reprint rights). All this was housed in a wooden box,
              with a simple clasp.

              * Sleeve & Wooden box. The Press at Colorado College issued in 1987 an
              accordion-style portfolio ("Color for Letterpress") housed in a white
              acrylic folder-sleeve (open on three sides, approx. 1/8" thickness),
              which in-turn was housed in a stained red-oak box. (My thought, on
              seeing it, was "overkill." Yet the printer James Trissel was sensitive
              to the book's display possibilities: "The book is accordion-bound to
              permit an easy display of the plates.")

              * Bag. An exhibition booklet, "Early twentieth century commercial wood
              engraving," about the Grammlee collection of 19th C wood type and
              stock blocks from a West Virginia printer of flour bags was enclosed
              in printed bag. (The bag has begun to stain the booklet.)

              * "Tram" style box. The 2000 Oxford Guild of Printers issued a box of
              26 folders and booklets, with each printer "giving the story of their
              printing lives and experiences." The sliding box has a complicated
              system of cords which, upon opening the sliding box, causes the 26
              folders and booklets to pop-up. Graham Moss has written me privately
              about this box--perhaps he'll report here. (I thought the box charming
              but rather Rube Goldberg-esque: Goldberg, a mid-20th C American
              cartoonist, created inanely complicated devices to accomplish simple
              tasks http://www.rube-goldberg.com/)

              Obviously, I'm picking elaborate examples, but these were memorable,
              sometimes for the wrong reasons!

              What have you used to cover or protect pamphlets and books? Do you as
              the printer emphasize sturdy or beautiful, or simple or complicated?
              Have you regretted making something too simple or too complicated?

              Paul
              Paul W. Romaine
              romaine@...
              http://home.pipeline.com/~romaine
            • Silver MayKitten
              Except for four titles, our packiaging of books is pretty mundaine, considering that we are a publisher of school books and forms. In general, hardbound books
              Message 6 of 28 , Apr 3, 2005
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                Except for four titles, our packiaging of books is pretty
                mundaine, considering that we are a publisher of school books
                and forms.

                In general, hardbound books may have a printed dust jacket and
                are indivudualy shrink wraped.

                In general all perfect bound books are five pounds or less per
                shrink wrap or upto 6 copies. (And must be ordered in
                multiples.)

                Mechanicly bound books (Plastic comb or coil, Dual-loop wiire;)
                are shrink wraped also, depending on thickness and quantity
                ordered.

                Forms -- 2" thickness per shrink wrap, an appropriate number of
                pads or sets per package.

                As I said four titles are handled differently:

                Food and Cooking Vademecum -- 10 pounds net weight.

                A Baker's Vademecum -- 8 pounds net weight.

                Foodservice Proceedures -- 11 pounds net weight.

                HAACP Theory, Regulations and Practice For School Foodservice
                -- 3 pounds net weight. (The title weighs more than the book.)

                These books are printed on 50 pound supercalenderised paper,
                the first two with many full colour pages and the last two
                printed in two colours, (black and red.) They are machine sewn
                and case bound.

                For packaging, of these titles only, the dust jacket is silk
                screened in four spot colours: black, two shades of brown and
                ochre, on the coated surface of 60 pound PPC1SBK (Poly
                Propylene Coated 1 Side Bleached Kraft - read that as plastic
                coated freezer paper, that is a pun folks.) individually shrink
                wrapped and singularly boxed in custom made and printed 125
                pound test bleached corrigated shippers.

                MayKitten
                --- Paul W Romaine <romaine@...> wrote:
                >
                > I started a thread (which didn't go too far) on how we
                > "package" books
                > and pamphlets. Specifically, I referred to additional
                > wrappers and
                > even artwork added as covering to otherwise complete
                > publications.
                >
                > Perhaps it might be more useful to talk about how complicated
                > or
                > simple "packaging" can be. For example:
                >
                > * Wraps. Kelly-Winterton Press (New York, now Pomona, NY)
                > uses a lot
                > of Fabriano paper for wraps and board covers; it's beautiful,
                > but I
                > have noticed that it doesn't stand-up well to wear or
                > smudges. There
                > are plenty of other choice of materials. Nadja (New York, now
                > Kripplebush) has one pamphlet (To paint, by Dorothea Tanning,
                > 1995)
                > bound in "painters' canvas wrappers."
                >
                > * Wooden clamshell box. Angelica Press (New York) in the
                > 1980s issued
                > a handsome folio-size portfolio of wood type specimens, with
                > an
                > interesting manual on printing with wood type (a friend has
                > been
                > looking into reprint rights). All this was housed in a wooden
                > box,
                > with a simple clasp.
                >
                > * Sleeve & Wooden box. The Press at Colorado College issued
                > in 1987 an
                > accordion-style portfolio ("Color for Letterpress") housed in
                > a white
                > acrylic folder-sleeve (open on three sides, approx. 1/8"
                > thickness),
                > which in-turn was housed in a stained red-oak box. (My
                > thought, on
                > seeing it, was "overkill." Yet the printer James Trissel was
                > sensitive
                > to the book's display possibilities: "The book is
                > accordion-bound to
                > permit an easy display of the plates.")
                >
                > * Bag. An exhibition booklet, "Early twentieth century
                > commercial wood
                > engraving," about the Grammlee collection of 19th C wood type
                > and
                > stock blocks from a West Virginia printer of flour bags was
                > enclosed
                > in printed bag. (The bag has begun to stain the booklet.)
                >
                > * "Tram" style box. The 2000 Oxford Guild of Printers issued
                > a box of
                > 26 folders and booklets, with each printer "giving the story
                > of their
                > printing lives and experiences." The sliding box has a
                > complicated
                > system of cords which, upon opening the sliding box, causes
                > the 26
                > folders and booklets to pop-up. Graham Moss has written me
                > privately
                > about this box--perhaps he'll report here. (I thought the box
                > charming
                > but rather Rube Goldberg-esque: Goldberg, a mid-20th C
                > American
                > cartoonist, created inanely complicated devices to accomplish
                > simple
                > tasks http://www.rube-goldberg.com/)
                >
                > Obviously, I'm picking elaborate examples, but these were
                > memorable,
                > sometimes for the wrong reasons!
                >
                > What have you used to cover or protect pamphlets and books?
                > Do you as
                > the printer emphasize sturdy or beautiful, or simple or
                > complicated?
                > Have you regretted making something too simple or too
                > complicated?
                >
                > Paul
                > Paul W. Romaine
                > romaine@...
                > http://home.pipeline.com/~romaine
                >
                >
                >
                >

                Pagan, Pagan, what are you finding?
                Yours is the road that winds lonely and far,
                Strange are the shadows that round you come creeping,
                Still through the clouds is the glint of a star!

                From the book, Charge of the Goddess
                BY: Doreen Valiente



                __________________________________
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              • Paul W Romaine
                I d like to add a few more examples. * Aluminum bindings... * Unusual book box structures, such as the Hedi Kyle binding for the new Bringhurst poem being
                Message 7 of 28 , Apr 3, 2005
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                  I'd like to add a few more examples.

                  * Aluminum bindings...

                  * Unusual book box structures, such as the Hedi Kyle binding for the
                  new Bringhurst poem being published by the Center for Book Arts, which
                  folds-out into three performance stands so that the poem can be read
                  aloud by three separate performers. It's admirable, but I couldn't
                  figure it out (Eeven after Richard Minsky demonstrated its elegant
                  simplicity for me, but I'm smarter with words than structures.

                  * An accordion-style (not the right term) binding by Amos Kennedy,
                  used for his African-American riddle book, which required you to
                  "wiggle" (riddle?) the book constantly back and forth at 45 to 90
                  degree angles, as you read your way through a series of riddles and
                  answers. This isn't quite "packaging," but Amos had to create a small
                  book with two boards that would open appropriately. The book was
                  created from a small number of sheets which he printed (Goudy OS, if
                  memory serves) and then cut-up to create the wiggle structure. Like
                  one of those old paper lanterns that collapses to a disk.

                  Paul
                • John Cornelisse
                  ... Dear Paul, This is endless, I ve some books one of them: isbn 90 76452 63 6 Western Binding techniques from Middle ages to the present, Peter Goddijn in
                  Message 8 of 28 , Apr 3, 2005
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                    At 05:10 04-04-2005, you wrote:

                    >I'd like to add a few more examples.
                    >
                    >* Aluminum bindings...
                    >
                    >* Unusual book box structures, such as the Hedi Kyle binding for the
                    >new Bringhurst poem being published by the Center for Book Arts, which
                    >folds-out into three performance stands so that the poem can be read
                    >aloud by three separate performers. It's admirable, but I couldn't
                    >figure it out (Eeven after Richard Minsky demonstrated its elegant
                    >simplicity for me, but I'm smarter with words than structures.


                    Dear Paul,

                    This is endless,

                    I've some books one of them: isbn 90 76452 63 6
                    Western Binding techniques from Middle ages to the present, Peter Goddijn
                    in it some 16 different techniques, that you could combine in various ways
                    too. Plus the different ways to decorate the cutted sides of the book....

                    This is only one book.

                    Ever heard of "Bradel", a french bookbinder 18-19th century
                    he had some special techniques too.

                    Presently bookbinders combine all kind of modern materials
                    and make all kind of experiments with bookbindings.

                    I would not try to name them all.

                    There are discussion list on the internet on binding for sure.

                    Best wishes

                    John Cornelisse



                    Letter-press & Typefounding, Monotype-composition

                    Vaartstraat 23
                    4553 AN Philippine
                    (Zeeuws Vlaanderen)
                    The Netherlands
                    + 31 - (0) 115 - 491184
                    email: enkidu@...

                    So she spoke to him and her word found favour,
                    he knew by instinct, he should seek a friend.


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Gerald Lange
                    Hi Paul Well, usually it is whatever the book demands. And what I can afford in the way of binding. The latter is actually a very important consideration here.
                    Message 9 of 28 , Apr 4, 2005
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                      Hi Paul

                      Well, usually it is whatever the book demands. And what I can afford
                      in the way of binding. The latter is actually a very important
                      consideration here. If you do an edition of 150 books and the binding
                      cost is $100 per unit you are looking at a considerable outlay of
                      dough-re-me. Binding is actually a signicant production expense,
                      especially considering that the market for fine press books is not in
                      any way what it used to be. I can easily see why most folks entering
                      letterpress are not at all interested in doing books.

                      Folks who produce books out of passion should probably not be taken to
                      task for their efforts. Fragile, sturdy, simple, complicated.
                      Hopefully appropriate.

                      I currently have a book in production, well; it has been for some
                      years now, on Moxon. I proposed to a very "innovative" and highly
                      collectible fine press printer-publisher that I issue this, as Moxon
                      would have, unbound in wraps. She freaked out. Apparently you can't do
                      that. The collectors won't have it.$o much for "innovation." I'll
                      probably do it the way I feel like anyway.

                      I know this is of concern to you from a librarian's point of view but
                      essentially if one is artistically constructing the book, it will
                      stand on its own, or not. And that should be respected. If it is meant
                      to go the way of all things, so be it. If it is supposed to stand with
                      the cockroaches at the very end, well then, make it for them, and
                      hopefully they will have learned to alter their "taste" in things by then.

                      Gerald

                      > What have you used to cover or protect pamphlets and books? Do you as
                      > the printer emphasize sturdy or beautiful, or simple or complicated?
                      > Have you regretted making something too simple or too complicated?
                      >
                      > Paul
                      > Paul W. Romaine
                      > romaine@p...
                      > http://home.pipeline.com/~romaine
                    • Paul W Romaine
                      John: I ve purposely wanted to avoid bringing up the question with binding discussion groups, where this topic (and similar ones) has been discussed on many
                      Message 10 of 28 , Apr 4, 2005
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                        John: I've purposely wanted to avoid bringing up the question with
                        binding discussion groups, where this topic (and similar ones) has
                        been discussed on many occasions. Most fine press printers will do
                        some of their own "finishing" (which may include aspects of binding,
                        such as pamphlet binding, but may include other activities). However,
                        most printers need an outside person or firm to do edition binding and
                        boxes, thus cost (as Gerald points out) becomes a practical issue in
                        presentation. I raise the question on a listserv dedicated to people
                        producing the innards of books and pamphlets because I'm less
                        interested in the engineering marvels that one might find from
                        binders. (I don't mean to disparage their work!)

                        Gerald: historical verisimilitude of presentation has much to
                        recommend it, and while Moxon would not have made a box or portfolio,
                        printers sometimes have to make compromises to later taste or
                        expectations or tradition. You could just charge extra for anyone
                        unwilling to be historically accurate. :-)

                        >Folks who produce books out of passion should probably not be taken
                        to task for their efforts. Fragile, sturdy, simple, complicated.
                        Hopefully appropriate.<

                        I hope that the thoughtful collector (whether institutional or not)
                        will look beyond the "packaging" when buying. But practical issues of
                        things like shelving (so the book can be found) or fragility (adding
                        to the cost of ownership) are also important. Unfortunately these
                        sorts of issues sometimes "wag the dog" when it comes to collecting
                        and buying.

                        Jessica privately wrote me "There's a tricky line out there between
                        gimmicks (pop-ups, wacky bindings, etc.) and structures that work well
                        with content." I think here again, that word "appropriate" seems quite
                        important. The best designs reinforce the text and its underlying
                        meaning, but since you're not a gentleman of leisure running a
                        hobbyist press, you need to take into consideration "market" issues.
                        The best choices have good reasons, such as Trissel's decision to
                        issue his book in unbound sections, printed single-sided (but I still
                        wonder about the acrylic chemise--which, since I remember it, IS an
                        interesting marketing device ;-) )....

                        Paul
                      • Gerald Lange
                        Paul Yes, as you, I would like to hear more from fine press printer-publishers as well on this topic. But as we both well know, they don t participate. Which
                        Message 11 of 28 , Apr 4, 2005
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Paul

                          Yes, as you, I would like to hear more from fine press printer-publishers as well on this topic. But as we both well know, they don't participate. Which just drives us all back further and further.

                          Re: Moxon. Well, unfortunately "they" were wrapped in something, so... I guess I need to print a wrapper of sorts and a nice label. But I've
                          never had a customer complain about any particular binding even though
                          I have issued books that quite needed better preservation support. The
                          early printer-publishers kind of left that to the buyer. Doesn't sit well today so much but it's not exactly like a collector is going to pay any additional for the effort. Lucky enough if they buy the book.

                          But, one of the very irritating things about what the fine press has
                          been driven too is the marketing. And it verges on desperation. I don't in anyway discount that this has always been the case ever
                          since Wm Morris sort of invented the concept. I note that early
                          twentieth century fine presses regularly "over-subscribed" their
                          publications. How did that exactly work?

                          There is a point where a book does not warrant the binding it is given, especially if the binding is more designed as a marketing tool
                          rather than to enhance the book concept. Which seems to more and more
                          the example.

                          On the other hand, there just aren't as many fine press book
                          printer-puiblishers around anymore, and whatever is coming out, hey,
                          give em grace for the effort. That, or we will all be driven to
                          printing wedding invites, pounded hard (like "real" letterpress), until that fad goes away.

                          Gerald


                          >
                          > John: I've purposely wanted to avoid bringing up the question with
                          > binding discussion groups, where this topic (and similar ones) has
                          > been discussed on many occasions. Most fine press printers will do
                          > some of their own "finishing" (which may include aspects of binding,
                          > such as pamphlet binding, but may include other activities). However,
                          > most printers need an outside person or firm to do edition binding and
                          > boxes, thus cost (as Gerald points out) becomes a practical issue in
                          > presentation. I raise the question on a listserv dedicated to people
                          > producing the innards of books and pamphlets because I'm less
                          > interested in the engineering marvels that one might find from
                          > binders. (I don't mean to disparage their work!)
                          >
                          > Gerald: historical verisimilitude of presentation has much to
                          > recommend it, and while Moxon would not have made a box or portfolio,
                          > printers sometimes have to make compromises to later taste or
                          > expectations or tradition. You could just charge extra for anyone
                          > unwilling to be historically accurate. :-)
                          >
                          > >Folks who produce books out of passion should probably not be taken
                          > to task for their efforts. Fragile, sturdy, simple, complicated.
                          > Hopefully appropriate.<
                          >
                          > I hope that the thoughtful collector (whether institutional or not)
                          > will look beyond the "packaging" when buying. But practical issues of
                          > things like shelving (so the book can be found) or fragility (adding
                          > to the cost of ownership) are also important. Unfortunately these
                          > sorts of issues sometimes "wag the dog" when it comes to collecting
                          > and buying.
                          >
                          > Jessica privately wrote me "There's a tricky line out there between
                          > gimmicks (pop-ups, wacky bindings, etc.) and structures that work well
                          > with content." I think here again, that word "appropriate" seems quite
                          > important. The best designs reinforce the text and its underlying
                          > meaning, but since you're not a gentleman of leisure running a
                          > hobbyist press, you need to take into consideration "market" issues.
                          > The best choices have good reasons, such as Trissel's decision to
                          > issue his book in unbound sections, printed single-sided (but I still
                          > wonder about the acrylic chemise--which, since I remember it, IS an
                          > interesting marketing device ;-) )....
                          >
                          > Paul
                        • LA. Book Arts
                          Well, as Gerald points it out so nicely -it gets harder and harder to rectify the effort of printing books on the handpress and being able to at least get paid
                          Message 12 of 28 , Apr 4, 2005
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Well,

                            as Gerald points it out so nicely -it gets harder and harder to rectify
                            the effort of printing books on the handpress and being able to at
                            least get paid for it.

                            I get more inclined to cut an inquiry off in the moment I catch someone
                            as today who asked me to print a 60 page book in 100 copies on my
                            handpress, with 5 etching, the paper is Lana laid.
                            The first issue the person raised what why should she also have to pay
                            money for the etchings if it costs more than printing letterpress per
                            sheet and the binding should be only cost around 25 each, as she has a
                            another person who can print the book and bind it for less.

                            Well, honey go for it.

                            If you looked at the website of parnassia.org, that is what I used to
                            do:

                            cast Monotype and keep Foundries busy, print on my Amos dell' Orto
                            Albion, and bind the books by hand.

                            And no -I don't do pamphlet and coptic and all this stuff, I have been
                            proper trained at the bench and gained my Masterdegree and make proper
                            Full Leather and Parchment bindings.

                            I recently had a talk with an eminent binder who lamented the fact,
                            that after having amassed a huge collection of hand finishing tools,
                            this are the fancy handengraved brass tools which create a pattern in
                            goldleaf on Leather, and than there is hardly a call for it.
                            Duh, I have a similliar collection in my shop, everybody wants it and
                            than we talk about Labor cost, suddenly it's good enough to have a
                            magnesium plate made and stamp it.
                            I still print on the handpress, instead of a lot of type I make a
                            polymerplate, still print etchings and run a full time bindery. Alas
                            the people I print for a very careful screened. They have to understand
                            upfront how much that cost and being able to pay for it.

                            But overall there are still a few who collect fine printing anf have
                            the Taste and Education for it.
                            But as the market is now so diluted and people don't understand that a
                            coptic binding is not a structure which makes any sense in the western
                            civilized world , the few remaining fine printers still have a few
                            clients, but nothing really new is coming up.

                            Packaging has only so much to do with it, as a qualified Master
                            craftsman I can do whatever in any direction, as long as a printed
                            sheet on handmade damped paper has to compete with an altered
                            xeroxcopy, you are on the loosing end.

                            And by the time theese "Printers"" realize they need more knowledge -
                            we will be gone.
                            charles




                            ------------------------------------
                            L.A Book Arts, Inc.
                            The Custom Bindery
                            Krause Intaglio
                            310.360.7265
                            www.Custombindery.com
                            ------------------------------------
                            On Apr 4, 2005, at 9:56 PM, Gerald Lange wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            > Paul
                            >
                            > Yes, as you, I would like to hear more from fine press
                            > printer-publishers as well on this topic. But as we both well know,
                            > they don't participate. Which just drives us all back further and
                            > further.
                            >
                            > Re: Moxon. Well, unfortunately "they" were wrapped in something, so...
                            > I guess I need to print a wrapper of sorts and a nice label. But I've
                            > never had a customer complain about any particular binding even though
                            > I have issued books that quite needed better preservation support. The
                            > early printer-publishers kind of left that to the buyer. Doesn't sit
                            > well today so much but it's not exactly like a collector is going to
                            > pay any additional for the effort. Lucky enough if they buy the book.
                            >
                            > But, one of the very irritating things about what the fine press has
                            > been driven too is the marketing. And it verges on desperation. I
                            > don't in anyway discount that this has always been the case ever
                            > since Wm Morris sort of invented the concept. I note that early
                            > twentieth century fine presses regularly "over-subscribed" their
                            > publications. How did that exactly work?
                            >
                            > There is a point where a book does not warrant the binding it is
                            > given, especially if the binding is more designed as a marketing tool
                            > rather than to enhance the book concept. Which seems to more and more
                            > the example.
                            >
                            > On the other hand, there just aren't as many fine press book
                            > printer-puiblishers around anymore, and whatever is coming out, hey,
                            > give em grace for the effort. That, or we will all be driven to
                            > printing wedding invites, pounded hard (like "real" letterpress),
                            > until that fad goes away.
                            >
                            > Gerald
                            >
                            >
                            >>
                            >> John: I've purposely wanted to avoid bringing up the question with
                            >> binding discussion groups, where this topic (and similar ones) has
                            >> been discussed on many occasions. Most fine press printers will do
                            >> some of their own "finishing" (which may include aspects of binding,
                            >> such as pamphlet binding, but may include other activities). However,
                            >> most printers need an outside person or firm to do edition binding and
                            >> boxes, thus cost (as Gerald points out) becomes a practical issue in
                            >> presentation. I raise the question on a listserv dedicated to people
                            >> producing the innards of books and pamphlets because I'm less
                            >> interested in the engineering marvels that one might find from
                            >> binders. (I don't mean to disparage their work!)
                            >>
                            >> Gerald: historical verisimilitude of presentation has much to
                            >> recommend it, and while Moxon would not have made a box or portfolio,
                            >> printers sometimes have to make compromises to later taste or
                            >> expectations or tradition. You could just charge extra for anyone
                            >> unwilling to be historically accurate. :-)
                            >>
                            >>> Folks who produce books out of passion should probably not be taken
                            >> to task for their efforts. Fragile, sturdy, simple, complicated.
                            >> Hopefully appropriate.<
                            >>
                            >> I hope that the thoughtful collector (whether institutional or not)
                            >> will look beyond the "packaging" when buying. But practical issues of
                            >> things like shelving (so the book can be found) or fragility (adding
                            >> to the cost of ownership) are also important. Unfortunately these
                            >> sorts of issues sometimes "wag the dog" when it comes to collecting
                            >> and buying.
                            >>
                            >> Jessica privately wrote me "There's a tricky line out there between
                            >> gimmicks (pop-ups, wacky bindings, etc.) and structures that work well
                            >> with content." I think here again, that word "appropriate" seems quite
                            >> important. The best designs reinforce the text and its underlying
                            >> meaning, but since you're not a gentleman of leisure running a
                            >> hobbyist press, you need to take into consideration "market" issues.
                            >> The best choices have good reasons, such as Trissel's decision to
                            >> issue his book in unbound sections, printed single-sided (but I still
                            >> wonder about the acrylic chemise--which, since I remember it, IS an
                            >> interesting marketing device ;-) )....
                            >>
                            >> Paul
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Jessica Spring
                            I m working on plates with a solid pattern filled with thin rules. The first attempt worked fairly well except the far edges--obviously a vacuum problem. I
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jun 2, 2005
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I'm working on plates with a solid pattern filled with thin rules. The first
                              attempt worked fairly well except the far edges--obviously a vacuum problem.
                              I changed the kreene and it worked so well there is now a subtle but visible
                              "plaid" where the vacuum lines produced more suction. Anyone have any
                              suggestions to get rid of the plaid?
                              Thanks,
                              Jessica
                            • Gerald Lange
                              Jessica I m surprised to hear that there may be variance of vacuum in a platemaking machine. What is the manufacturer/model? Gerald ... The first ... problem.
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jun 2, 2005
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Jessica

                                I'm surprised to hear that there may be variance of vacuum in a
                                platemaking machine. What is the manufacturer/model?

                                Gerald


                                --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring <springtide@i...>
                                wrote:
                                > I'm working on plates with a solid pattern filled with thin rules.
                                The first
                                > attempt worked fairly well except the far edges--obviously a vacuum
                                problem.
                                > I changed the kreene and it worked so well there is now a subtle but
                                visible
                                > "plaid" where the vacuum lines produced more suction. Anyone have any
                                > suggestions to get rid of the plaid?
                                > Thanks,
                                > Jessica
                              • Jessica Spring
                                It s a Polimero Interflex A4.
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jun 2, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  It's a Polimero Interflex A4.

                                  > From: "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...>
                                  > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 03:54:43 -0000
                                  > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: troubleshooting
                                  >
                                  > Jessica
                                  >
                                  > I'm surprised to hear that there may be variance of vacuum in a
                                  > platemaking machine. What is the manufacturer/model?
                                  >
                                  > Gerald
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring <springtide@i...>
                                  > wrote:
                                  >> I'm working on plates with a solid pattern filled with thin rules.
                                  > The first
                                  >> attempt worked fairly well except the far edges--obviously a vacuum
                                  > problem.
                                  >> I changed the kreene and it worked so well there is now a subtle but
                                  > visible
                                  >> "plaid" where the vacuum lines produced more suction. Anyone have any
                                  >> suggestions to get rid of the plaid?
                                  >> Thanks,
                                  >> Jessica
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Gerald Lange
                                  Jessica Does this model have the kreene attached to a steel rod that you roll down? I ve found that vacuum is much more secure without the steel rod. I cut a
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jun 2, 2005
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Jessica

                                    Does this model have the kreene attached to a steel rod that you roll
                                    down? I've found that vacuum is much more secure without the steel
                                    rod. I cut a sheet to fit the vacuum table and leave it at that. Seems
                                    to prevent any vacuum problems.

                                    But I really don't understand how the vacuum could pull down the
                                    kreene stronger in one area of the plate than another. Or how that
                                    would leave "plaid marks" on the plate itself. Especially, I guess, as
                                    there is a film negative between the kreene and the plate.

                                    Next question toward a solution I suspect is what type of film and
                                    plate are you using? Or, are you sure this isn't an exposure or
                                    washout problem? A low water level can cause the brushes to mark the
                                    surface of a plate.

                                    Gerald

                                    --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring <springtide@i...>
                                    wrote:
                                    > It's a Polimero Interflex A4.
                                    >
                                    > > From: "Gerald Lange" <bieler@w...>
                                    > > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                    > > Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 03:54:43 -0000
                                    > > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                    > > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: troubleshooting
                                    > >
                                    > > Jessica
                                    > >
                                    > > I'm surprised to hear that there may be variance of vacuum in a
                                    > > platemaking machine. What is the manufacturer/model?
                                    > >
                                    > > Gerald
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring <springtide@i...>
                                    > > wrote:
                                    > >> I'm working on plates with a solid pattern filled with thin rules.
                                    > > The first
                                    > >> attempt worked fairly well except the far edges--obviously a vacuum
                                    > > problem.
                                    > >> I changed the kreene and it worked so well there is now a subtle but
                                    > > visible
                                    > >> "plaid" where the vacuum lines produced more suction. Anyone have any
                                    > >> suggestions to get rid of the plaid?
                                    > >> Thanks,
                                    > >> Jessica
                                    > >
                                  • typetom@aol.com
                                    ... more suction. I m guessing you are using polyester-backed plates and the vacuum is sucking hard enough to distort the contact between the plate and the
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Jun 2, 2005
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring wrote:
                                      >there is now a subtle but visible "plaid" where the vacuum lines produced
                                      more suction.


                                      I'm guessing you are using polyester-backed plates and the vacuum is sucking
                                      hard enough to distort the contact between the plate and the negative, by
                                      pulling the polyester material into the vacuum lines. I use steel-backed
                                      plates. Never seen any such effect. I wonder if a thin support layer beneath the
                                      plate material might solve the problem?

                                      Pure speculation! but I'd guess it's such a subtle effect that it wouldn't
                                      show on normal text or image areas. You wouldn't notice the plaid if the lines
                                      had other irregular variations already! A solid pattern with thin rules
                                      would test the limits of the system just about every way possible!


                                      Best wishes. Let us know what you discover....
                                      Tom

                                      Tom Parson
                                      Now It's Up To You Publications
                                      157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                                      (303) 777-8951
                                      http://members.aol.com/typetom


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Gerald Lange
                                      Tom Interesting speculation but I doubt the vacuum is such, in any of these machines, to be able to pull a polyester-backed plate into the vacuum line. That
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Jun 2, 2005
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Tom

                                        Interesting speculation but I doubt the vacuum is such, in any of
                                        these machines, to be able to pull a polyester-backed plate into the
                                        vacuum line. That would sort of be a major engineering flaw. I process
                                        both steel-backed and polyester-backed plates in my machine and I
                                        can't imagine this to be the case. While polyester-backed plates are
                                        certainly flexible (and a bit unnerving to those accustomed to
                                        steel-backs), they are not flexible enough to be drawn down into that
                                        thinly etched vacuum line, unless there is something wildly out of
                                        wack with Jessica's vacuum pump!

                                        Gerald


                                        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, typetom@a... wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring wrote:
                                        > >there is now a subtle but visible "plaid" where the vacuum lines
                                        produced
                                        > more suction.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I'm guessing you are using polyester-backed plates and the vacuum
                                        is sucking
                                        > hard enough to distort the contact between the plate and the
                                        negative, by
                                        > pulling the polyester material into the vacuum lines. I use
                                        steel-backed
                                        > plates. Never seen any such effect. I wonder if a thin support
                                        layer beneath the
                                        > plate material might solve the problem?
                                        >
                                        > Pure speculation! but I'd guess it's such a subtle effect that it
                                        wouldn't
                                        > show on normal text or image areas. You wouldn't notice the plaid if
                                        the lines
                                        > had other irregular variations already! A solid pattern with thin
                                        rules
                                        > would test the limits of the system just about every way possible!
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Best wishes. Let us know what you discover....
                                        > Tom
                                        >
                                        > Tom Parson
                                        > Now It's Up To You Publications
                                        > 157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                                        > (303) 777-8951
                                        > http://members.aol.com/typetom
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Jessica Spring
                                        Tom & Gerald-- The plates are 94FL. I do have the steel bar at the bottom, so I can try taking that off, and for comparison I can try a steel-backed plate. The
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Tom & Gerald--
                                          The plates are 94FL. I do have the steel bar at the bottom, so I can try
                                          taking that off, and for comparison I can try a steel-backed plate. The last
                                          bit of the mystery: my vacuum has a simple on-off switch and half the time
                                          the button won't stay on. I've replaced the button itself, but the problem
                                          remains, which Jet attributes to humidity. Hmmmm. I have to let it sort of
                                          warm up, then it stays on. As Charles suggested, I think the vacuum is a
                                          stinker (AKA "wildly out of whack") and this plate happens to reveal that in
                                          a way I hadn't seen consistently with type.

                                          Jessica

                                          > From: "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...>
                                          > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 06:02:55 -0000
                                          > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: troubleshooting
                                          >
                                          > Tom
                                          >
                                          > Interesting speculation but I doubt the vacuum is such, in any of
                                          > these machines, to be able to pull a polyester-backed plate into the
                                          > vacuum line. That would sort of be a major engineering flaw. I process
                                          > both steel-backed and polyester-backed plates in my machine and I
                                          > can't imagine this to be the case. While polyester-backed plates are
                                          > certainly flexible (and a bit unnerving to those accustomed to
                                          > steel-backs), they are not flexible enough to be drawn down into that
                                          > thinly etched vacuum line, unless there is something wildly out of
                                          > wack with Jessica's vacuum pump!
                                          >
                                          > Gerald
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, typetom@a... wrote:
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >> In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring wrote:
                                          >>> there is now a subtle but visible "plaid" where the vacuum lines
                                          > produced
                                          >> more suction.
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >> I'm guessing you are using polyester-backed plates and the vacuum
                                          > is sucking
                                          >> hard enough to distort the contact between the plate and the
                                          > negative, by
                                          >> pulling the polyester material into the vacuum lines. I use
                                          > steel-backed
                                          >> plates. Never seen any such effect. I wonder if a thin support
                                          > layer beneath the
                                          >> plate material might solve the problem?
                                          >>
                                          >> Pure speculation! but I'd guess it's such a subtle effect that it
                                          > wouldn't
                                          >> show on normal text or image areas. You wouldn't notice the plaid if
                                          > the lines
                                          >> had other irregular variations already! A solid pattern with thin
                                          > rules
                                          >> would test the limits of the system just about every way possible!
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >> Best wishes. Let us know what you discover....
                                          >> Tom
                                          >>
                                          >> Tom Parson
                                          >> Now It's Up To You Publications
                                          >> 157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                                          >> (303) 777-8951
                                          >> http://members.aol.com/typetom
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Gerald Lange
                                          Jessica 94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don t know if this is the culprit or not. I d recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Jessica

                                            94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don't know if this is the culprit or not. I'd recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might also think about switching to a higher grade plate brand.

                                            Gerald

                                            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring <springtide@i...>
                                            wrote:
                                            > Tom & Gerald--
                                            > The plates are 94FL. I do have the steel bar at the bottom, so I can try
                                            > taking that off, and for comparison I can try a steel-backed plate.
                                            The last
                                            > bit of the mystery: my vacuum has a simple on-off switch and half
                                            the time
                                            > the button won't stay on. I've replaced the button itself, but the
                                            problem
                                            > remains, which Jet attributes to humidity. Hmmmm. I have to let it
                                            sort of
                                            > warm up, then it stays on. As Charles suggested, I think the vacuum is a
                                            > stinker (AKA "wildly out of whack") and this plate happens to reveal
                                            that in
                                            > a way I hadn't seen consistently with type.
                                            >
                                            > Jessica
                                            >
                                            > > From: "Gerald Lange" <bieler@w...>
                                            > > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                            > > Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 06:02:55 -0000
                                            > > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                            > > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: troubleshooting
                                            > >
                                            > > Tom
                                            > >
                                            > > Interesting speculation but I doubt the vacuum is such, in any of
                                            > > these machines, to be able to pull a polyester-backed plate into the
                                            > > vacuum line. That would sort of be a major engineering flaw. I process
                                            > > both steel-backed and polyester-backed plates in my machine and I
                                            > > can't imagine this to be the case. While polyester-backed plates are
                                            > > certainly flexible (and a bit unnerving to those accustomed to
                                            > > steel-backs), they are not flexible enough to be drawn down into that
                                            > > thinly etched vacuum line, unless there is something wildly out of
                                            > > wack with Jessica's vacuum pump!
                                            > >
                                            > > Gerald
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, typetom@a... wrote:
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >> In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Jessica Spring wrote:
                                            > >>> there is now a subtle but visible "plaid" where the vacuum lines
                                            > > produced
                                            > >> more suction.
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >> I'm guessing you are using polyester-backed plates and the vacuum
                                            > > is sucking
                                            > >> hard enough to distort the contact between the plate and the
                                            > > negative, by
                                            > >> pulling the polyester material into the vacuum lines. I use
                                            > > steel-backed
                                            > >> plates. Never seen any such effect. I wonder if a thin support
                                            > > layer beneath the
                                            > >> plate material might solve the problem?
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Pure speculation! but I'd guess it's such a subtle effect that it
                                            > > wouldn't
                                            > >> show on normal text or image areas. You wouldn't notice the plaid if
                                            > > the lines
                                            > >> had other irregular variations already! A solid pattern with thin
                                            > > rules
                                            > >> would test the limits of the system just about every way possible!
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Best wishes. Let us know what you discover....
                                            > >> Tom
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Tom Parson
                                            > >> Now It's Up To You Publications
                                            > >> 157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                                            > >> (303) 777-8951
                                            > >> http://members.aol.com/typetom
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                          • Harold Kyle
                                            ... Well you finally stirred me to write with this comment! Re: softness . The hardness of the 94FL is 62 shore D so I think you d have a hard time seeing the
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
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                                              On 6/3/05 1:22 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...> wrote:
                                              > 94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don't know if this is the culprit or
                                              > not. I'd recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might also
                                              > think about switching to a higher grade plate brand.

                                              Well you finally stirred me to write with this comment!

                                              Re: "softness". The hardness of the 94FL is 62 shore D so I think you'd have
                                              a hard time seeing the difference between it and your recommended range of
                                              65-70. The difference is insubstantial. Also, should you want a harder
                                              plate, Jet makes a 94HFL that has 80 shore D. We at Boxcar Press have a job
                                              shop running the popular "deep impression" printing exclusively from the
                                              94FL. The plate's printing shows no evidence of "softness".

                                              Re: "Higher grade plate", Gerald, your opinion of Jet 94FL plates are of
                                              less quality will not be borne out in a side to side test of the material. A
                                              rep selling Toyobo Printight visited Boxcar Press' shop earlier this week
                                              and we proofed a test plate of Printight KF95 next to the Jet 94FL material.
                                              The Jet plate showed more detail and, at the same time, exhibited less gain;
                                              this is with a rep selling Printight monitoring the processing. After
                                              extensive testing, I've come to conclude that the only plate that gives the
                                              94FL a run for the money is the BASF WH95. The cost difference between these
                                              plates makes the 94FL much more desirable option. I would be happy, by the
                                              way, to scan a proof of the side-by-side comparison of Printight and Jet
                                              plates when I get a chance.

                                              Re: Jessica's platemaking "plaid" problem. I'm problem solving this with the
                                              manufacturer of the machine, who apparently can furnish a vacuum table
                                              adaptor to make the grooves less noticeable. I want to get more information
                                              before I promise you that this is possible. Apparently, the adaptor is a
                                              "diamond-plate" material that sits in the vacuum table. I'll post to the
                                              list to let you know when I have more information. The problems you're
                                              experiencing, though, appear to be from the platemaker and not the plate.

                                              Re: Jessica's platemaking button problem. I'm sorry I didn't touch base with
                                              you about this sooner. I remember calling you several months ago to let you
                                              know that I may have found the possible problem, but I guess we never
                                              touched base. Apparently, the powder-coating of the steel might have made
                                              the opening for the vacuum switch too small. The extra pressure on the
                                              switch causes problems in it working properly. You can file the opening to
                                              be a little wider see if the switch works better.

                                              Sorry not to be able to write sooner. I should be loading my trailer right
                                              now for a press move...

                                              Harold

                                              Boxcar Press
                                              Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
                                              Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
                                              315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
                                            • Gerald Lange
                                              Harold My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with Toyobo. Neither Jet or Toyobo are what I would consider top grade plates. But they are
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
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                                                Harold

                                                My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with Toyobo.
                                                Neither Jet or Toyobo are what I would consider top grade plates. But
                                                they are both adequate for most letterpress applications. I've run my
                                                own comparison tests of these particular brands as well and my suspicion
                                                is that these differing plates need differing exposure and washout times
                                                to provide optimum detail and subsurface strength, so it is essentially
                                                misleading to compare them or any other plate brand in the manner that
                                                you suggest.

                                                But the hardness rating of a plate has less to do with how deep your
                                                impression can be than it does with ink acceptance and transfer. Any
                                                photopolymer plate, no matter brand or hardness or thickness or relief
                                                depth, is going to splay under increased printing pressure (that is self
                                                evident to any seasoned printer). And "gain" is a normal consequence of
                                                increased impression with the letterpress process. If folks need deep
                                                impression without splay they would be better off going with a copper
                                                photomechanical engraving mounted on a metal base. There is a technical
                                                reason for the limitation of thickness and relief (and hardness) in
                                                regard to letterpress formulated plates.

                                                Just out of curiosity, would you have switched brands if Toyobo had
                                                surpassed the Jet in your comparison test?

                                                Gerald
                                                Good luck with the press move.



                                                Harold Kyle wrote:

                                                >On 6/3/05 1:22 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >>94FLs are a tad softer than other plates, don't know if this is the culprit or
                                                >>not. I'd recommend a hardness rating of 65-70 Shore D minimum. You might also
                                                >>think about switching to a higher grade plate brand.
                                                >>
                                                >>
                                                >
                                                >Well you finally stirred me to write with this comment!
                                                >
                                                >Re: "softness". The hardness of the 94FL is 62 shore D so I think you'd have
                                                >a hard time seeing the difference between it and your recommended range of
                                                >65-70. The difference is insubstantial. Also, should you want a harder
                                                >plate, Jet makes a 94HFL that has 80 shore D. We at Boxcar Press have a job
                                                >shop running the popular "deep impression" printing exclusively from the
                                                >94FL. The plate's printing shows no evidence of "softness".
                                                >
                                                >Re: "Higher grade plate", Gerald, your opinion of Jet 94FL plates are of
                                                >less quality will not be borne out in a side to side test of the material. A
                                                >rep selling Toyobo Printight visited Boxcar Press' shop earlier this week
                                                >and we proofed a test plate of Printight KF95 next to the Jet 94FL material.
                                                >The Jet plate showed more detail and, at the same time, exhibited less gain;
                                                >this is with a rep selling Printight monitoring the processing. After
                                                >extensive testing, I've come to conclude that the only plate that gives the
                                                >94FL a run for the money is the BASF WH95. The cost difference between these
                                                >plates makes the 94FL much more desirable option. I would be happy, by the
                                                >way, to scan a proof of the side-by-side comparison of Printight and Jet
                                                >plates when I get a chance.
                                                >
                                                >Re: Jessica's platemaking "plaid" problem. I'm problem solving this with the
                                                >manufacturer of the machine, who apparently can furnish a vacuum table
                                                >adaptor to make the grooves less noticeable. I want to get more information
                                                >before I promise you that this is possible. Apparently, the adaptor is a
                                                >"diamond-plate" material that sits in the vacuum table. I'll post to the
                                                >list to let you know when I have more information. The problems you're
                                                >experiencing, though, appear to be from the platemaker and not the plate.
                                                >
                                                >Re: Jessica's platemaking button problem. I'm sorry I didn't touch base with
                                                >you about this sooner. I remember calling you several months ago to let you
                                                >know that I may have found the possible problem, but I guess we never
                                                >touched base. Apparently, the powder-coating of the steel might have made
                                                >the opening for the vacuum switch too small. The extra pressure on the
                                                >switch causes problems in it working properly. You can file the opening to
                                                >be a little wider see if the switch works better.
                                                >
                                                >Sorry not to be able to write sooner. I should be loading my trailer right
                                                >now for a press move...
                                                >
                                                >Harold
                                                >
                                                >Boxcar Press
                                                >Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
                                                >Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
                                                >315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
                                              • David Wall
                                                ... Oh come on . . . I haven t been following this thread up until now, so maybe I ve missed something---but this sounds like a bunch of baloney. I consider
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
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                                                  > But the hardness rating of a plate has less to do with how deep your
                                                  > impression can be than it does with ink acceptance and transfer. Any
                                                  > photopolymer plate, no matter brand or hardness or thickness or relief
                                                  > depth, is going to splay under increased printing pressure (that is
                                                  > self
                                                  > evident to any seasoned printer). And "gain" is a normal consequence
                                                  > of
                                                  > increased impression with the letterpress process.  If folks need deep
                                                  > impression without splay they would be better off going with a copper
                                                  > photomechanical engraving mounted on a metal base. There is a
                                                  > technical
                                                  > reason for the limitation of thickness and relief (and hardness) in
                                                  > regard to letterpress formulated plates.

                                                  Oh come on . . . I haven't been following this thread up until now, so
                                                  maybe I've missed something---but this sounds like a bunch of baloney.
                                                  I consider myself an appropriately seasoned printer and I've never
                                                  found "splay" to be of any more consequence with photopolymer than it
                                                  is with metal type---which is to say, no consequence at all. If we were
                                                  using plates similar in durometer to hard rubber stamps I can see where
                                                  it would be a factor, but I highly doubt that any splay in the plates
                                                  that any of us use would be noticeable unless you were either
                                                  deliberately abusing the plate---by which I don't mean simply "deep
                                                  impression"---or you were somehow measuring in microns---in which case
                                                  ink squeeze and the amount of ink on the rollers would obliterate any
                                                  reliable evidence of splay. Perhaps this phenomenon is a factor in
                                                  flexo printing of screened images in cases where precise color matching
                                                  of prepress proofs and original artwork is important, but it certainly
                                                  doesn't play any significant role in letterpress printing from polymer
                                                  plates.

                                                  Dave

                                                  ________________
                                                  David P. Wall
                                                  The Applecart Press, LLC
                                                  14 Maine Street, Box 43
                                                  Brunswick, ME 04011
                                                  Tel. 207-373-1690
                                                  Fax 207-373-1691
                                                  www.applecartpress.com
                                                • Gerald Lange
                                                  David This kind of surprises me. I guess I ll have to respectively disagree. There are techical reports I could dig up concerning quantitative compression and
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
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                                                    David

                                                    This kind of surprises me. I guess I'll have to respectively disagree.

                                                    There are techical reports I could dig up concerning quantitative
                                                    compression and pressure measures of photopolymer plates which I would
                                                    assume have more weight than "our" experiential wisdom or ad hoc
                                                    tests, but clearly, what a waste of effort that would be.

                                                    Gerald


                                                    --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, David Wall <applecartpress@y...>
                                                    wrote:
                                                    > > But the hardness rating of a plate has less to do with how deep your
                                                    > > impression can be than it does with ink acceptance and transfer. Any
                                                    > > photopolymer plate, no matter brand or hardness or thickness or
                                                    relief
                                                    > > depth, is going to splay under increased printing pressure (that is
                                                    > > self
                                                    > > evident to any seasoned printer). And "gain" is a normal consequence
                                                    > > of
                                                    > > increased impression with the letterpress process. If folks need
                                                    deep
                                                    > > impression without splay they would be better off going with a copper
                                                    > > photomechanical engraving mounted on a metal base. There is a
                                                    > > technical
                                                    > > reason for the limitation of thickness and relief (and hardness) in
                                                    > > regard to letterpress formulated plates.
                                                    >
                                                    > Oh come on . . . I haven't been following this thread up until now, so
                                                    > maybe I've missed something---but this sounds like a bunch of baloney.
                                                    > I consider myself an appropriately seasoned printer and I've never
                                                    > found "splay" to be of any more consequence with photopolymer than it
                                                    > is with metal type---which is to say, no consequence at all. If we were
                                                    > using plates similar in durometer to hard rubber stamps I can see where
                                                    > it would be a factor, but I highly doubt that any splay in the plates
                                                    > that any of us use would be noticeable unless you were either
                                                    > deliberately abusing the plate---by which I don't mean simply "deep
                                                    > impression"---or you were somehow measuring in microns---in which case
                                                    > ink squeeze and the amount of ink on the rollers would obliterate any
                                                    > reliable evidence of splay. Perhaps this phenomenon is a factor in
                                                    > flexo printing of screened images in cases where precise color matching
                                                    > of prepress proofs and original artwork is important, but it certainly
                                                    > doesn't play any significant role in letterpress printing from polymer
                                                    > plates.
                                                    >
                                                    > Dave
                                                    >
                                                    > ________________
                                                    > David P. Wall
                                                    > The Applecart Press, LLC
                                                    > 14 Maine Street, Box 43
                                                    > Brunswick, ME 04011
                                                    > Tel. 207-373-1690
                                                    > Fax 207-373-1691
                                                    > www.applecartpress.com
                                                  • Harold Kyle
                                                    ... I m sorry--I thought that was the plate that you preferred. Would a higher grade be BASF? Are there any other plates that you consider top of the line? ...
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      On 6/3/05 5:45 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...> wrote:
                                                      > My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with Toyobo.
                                                      I'm sorry--I thought that was the plate that you preferred. Would a higher
                                                      grade be BASF? Are there any other plates that you consider top of the line?

                                                      > so it is essentially
                                                      > misleading to compare them or any other plate brand in the manner that
                                                      > you suggest.
                                                      The test I did showed that the Printight plate gained more with less detail.
                                                      To get more detail I would have had to increase exposure, causing more gain.
                                                      I relied on the rep selling Printight to dial in the right numbers. But I
                                                      agree that this is a slippery issue, and best left up to the printer's
                                                      judgement. I'm stating my personal preference and standing up for it based
                                                      on tests I've done. The differences between brands are minimal but when I
                                                      print I have the attitude: "I need all the help I can get." I really wish I
                                                      could afford BASF plates, and I might consider using them more if they
                                                      didn't smell so much!

                                                      > Just out of curiosity, would you have switched brands if Toyobo had
                                                      > surpassed the Jet in your comparison test?
                                                      We sell Printight plates alongside Jet and BASF plates, so we're very
                                                      familiar with the Printight brand in relation to the competition. We prefer
                                                      them for intaglio processing. The pricing is comparable with Jet plates, so
                                                      yes I would be tempted to switch brands if I felt the plates were equally
                                                      sharp on the letterpress. The Printight salesman hasn't given up--we may be
                                                      troubleshooting the gain issues soon. For now, I'm sticking with the plates
                                                      that I know are going to give the best results.

                                                      I'll be back on Monday! The trailer's loaded up and ready to go.

                                                      Harold


                                                      Boxcar Press
                                                      Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
                                                      Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
                                                      315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
                                                    • LA. Book Arts
                                                      All, the problem she has is with the machine, the machine doesn t seem to have a gage for vacuum pressure, so basically she has no way of knowing if she has
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
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                                                        All,

                                                        the problem she has is with the machine, the machine doesn't seem to
                                                        have a gage for vacuum pressure, so basically she has no way of knowing
                                                        if she has enough or what.
                                                        The exposing of a plate with Film is a very critical stage of
                                                        platemaking, a good vacuum, a good piece of Film and it's smooth
                                                        sailing. I just made 65 9.5 x13 inch plates (WH 94) for a book project
                                                        the other day.
                                                        If you have no way of measuring your action it is very difficult to
                                                        repeat it over and over.

                                                        charles


                                                        www.custombindery.com
                                                      • Gerald Lange
                                                        Harold I actually prefer the BASF, especially for halftones or very fine detail though I am not sure I have quite figured out the correct washout for them as
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Jun 3, 2005
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Harold

                                                          I actually prefer the BASF, especially for halftones or very fine
                                                          detail though I am not sure I have quite figured out the correct
                                                          washout for them as they never seem finished to me. The surface
                                                          texture is ideal, but yes, they do stink and crud up the bath. I like
                                                          plates that indicate by color, surface and subsurface, which both the
                                                          BASF and the Toyobo do. For some reason I think it helps clarify
                                                          things for me.

                                                          There are probably a lot better plates out there, BASF is getting to
                                                          be rather old technology I'd think (maybe that's not bad though).
                                                          Would appreciate any info you discover in this regard.

                                                          You might like this: When I first started buying photopolymer plates I
                                                          went to visit my processor and discovered a completely different plate
                                                          on his press (a BASF). I asked him why he didn't sell those to his
                                                          clients. He didn't miss a beat, "Because my customers are too f***ing
                                                          cheap."

                                                          At any rate, I keep profiles on clients as to their needs and
                                                          expectations and often process plates based on various formulas I have
                                                          used. I think the Toyobos require much less exposure and much more
                                                          washout (than the reps tell you) to get to finer detail and better
                                                          substructure. I've run Jets at the same formula and they are not quite
                                                          there. So I assume they have their own configuration. But I don't use
                                                          them or sell them so don't know what that would be.

                                                          Once again, good luck with the move.

                                                          Gerald

                                                          --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Harold Kyle <harold@b...> wrote:
                                                          > On 6/3/05 5:45 PM, "Gerald Lange" <bieler@w...> wrote:
                                                          > > My comment about higher grade plate brand had nothing to do with
                                                          Toyobo.
                                                          > I'm sorry--I thought that was the plate that you preferred. Would a
                                                          higher
                                                          > grade be BASF? Are there any other plates that you consider top of
                                                          the line?
                                                          >
                                                          > > so it is essentially
                                                          > > misleading to compare them or any other plate brand in the manner that
                                                          > > you suggest.
                                                          > The test I did showed that the Printight plate gained more with less
                                                          detail.
                                                          > To get more detail I would have had to increase exposure, causing
                                                          more gain.
                                                          > I relied on the rep selling Printight to dial in the right numbers.
                                                          But I
                                                          > agree that this is a slippery issue, and best left up to the printer's
                                                          > judgement. I'm stating my personal preference and standing up for it
                                                          based
                                                          > on tests I've done. The differences between brands are minimal but
                                                          when I
                                                          > print I have the attitude: "I need all the help I can get." I really
                                                          wish I
                                                          > could afford BASF plates, and I might consider using them more if they
                                                          > didn't smell so much!
                                                          >
                                                          > > Just out of curiosity, would you have switched brands if Toyobo had
                                                          > > surpassed the Jet in your comparison test?
                                                          > We sell Printight plates alongside Jet and BASF plates, so we're very
                                                          > familiar with the Printight brand in relation to the competition. We
                                                          prefer
                                                          > them for intaglio processing. The pricing is comparable with Jet
                                                          plates, so
                                                          > yes I would be tempted to switch brands if I felt the plates were
                                                          equally
                                                          > sharp on the letterpress. The Printight salesman hasn't given up--we
                                                          may be
                                                          > troubleshooting the gain issues soon. For now, I'm sticking with the
                                                          plates
                                                          > that I know are going to give the best results.
                                                          >
                                                          > I'll be back on Monday! The trailer's loaded up and ready to go.
                                                          >
                                                          > Harold
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > Boxcar Press
                                                          > Fine Printing / Digital Letterpress Supplies
                                                          > Delavan Center / 501 W. Fayette St. / Studio 222 / Syracuse, NY 13204
                                                          > 315-473-0930 phone / 315-473-0967 fax / www.boxcarpress.com
                                                        • Gerald Lange
                                                          Hi Charles No vacuum gauge? How did you find that out? Geez, this was all sort of a big waste of time then wasn t it? If it does nothing else, a gauge will
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Jun 4, 2005
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            Hi Charles

                                                            No vacuum gauge? How did you find that out?

                                                            Geez, this was all sort of a big waste of time then wasn't it? If it
                                                            does nothing else, a gauge will tell you when vacuum is iffy, and, if
                                                            it reveals release during exposure, your plate/s just went south. Kind
                                                            of an important feature.

                                                            Gerald


                                                            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, LA. Book Arts <livres@a...> wrote:
                                                            > All,
                                                            >
                                                            > the problem she has is with the machine, the machine doesn't seem to
                                                            > have a gage for vacuum pressure, so basically she has no way of knowing
                                                            > if she has enough or what.
                                                            > The exposing of a plate with Film is a very critical stage of
                                                            > platemaking, a good vacuum, a good piece of Film and it's smooth
                                                            > sailing. I just made 65 9.5 x13 inch plates (WH 94) for a book project
                                                            > the other day.
                                                            > If you have no way of measuring your action it is very difficult to
                                                            > repeat it over and over.
                                                            >
                                                            > charles
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > www.custombindery.com
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