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damping paper

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  • Martyn Ould
    Dear Katie My experience has always been that it is worth the hassle of damping and drying when I want to be sure of a good black. I used Gabriel Rummonds s
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 2 12:43 PM
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      Dear Katie

      My experience has always been that it is worth the hassle of damping and
      drying when I want to be sure of a good black. I used Gabriel Rummonds's
      procedures in his 'Printing on the Iron Handpress' even though I was
      printing on a 10x15 C&P. Similarly when I have put sheets through a 30 inch
      proof press. Worth the trouble (and the expense of blotting boards). I live
      on a small damp island in the North Atlantic so damp paper can be a problem
      for me: cockling etc!! Having said that, when I have worked with damp paper
      in the summer (we have those occasionally) it does mean extra trouble to
      keep paper damp (before and between impressions) and to stop it from going
      green. I would always print damp rather than adding a tack reducer - the
      only time I used that was to print on some very soft Japanese handmade.

      Best wishes, Martyn Ould

      The Old School Press
    • Michael McGarvey
      Dear Martin, I have been using Rummonds method for dampening, but with Davey Board dampers. But they seem to leave an impression on the sheet, and some
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 4 2:27 AM
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        Dear Martin,

        I have been using Rummonds' method for dampening, but with Davey Board dampers.
        But they seem to leave an impression on the sheet, and some discoloration as
        well. The discoloration could be due to my water which is well water and
        contains a lot of iron oxide. I was curious what blotting boards are ? Are they
        different from blotting paper used in dampening sheets for etching? Or are they
        pulp boards as described in Rummonds book? May I ask where you purchase them?
        Another concern is the Neutral PH of the dampening boards. I imagine if the
        boards are not neutral PH, that could have some long term effects on the neutral
        PH of the paper.

        Michael McGarvey
        Port Press


        >
        >
        > Message: 1
        > Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 20:43:30 -0000
        > From: "Martyn Ould" <mao@...>
        > Subject: damping paper
        >
        > Dear Katie
        >
        > My experience has always been that it is worth the hassle of damping and
        > drying when I want to be sure of a good black. I used Gabriel Rummonds's
        > procedures in his 'Printing on the Iron Handpress' even though I was
        > printing on a 10x15 C&P. Similarly when I have put sheets through a 30 inch
        > proof press. Worth the trouble (and the expense of blotting boards). I live
        > on a small damp island in the North Atlantic so damp paper can be a problem
        > for me: cockling etc!! Having said that, when I have worked with damp paper
        > in the summer (we have those occasionally) it does mean extra trouble to
        > keep paper damp (before and between impressions) and to stop it from going
        > green. I would always print damp rather than adding a tack reducer - the
        > only time I used that was to print on some very soft Japanese handmade.
        >
        > Best wishes, Martyn Ould
        >
        > The Old School Press
        >
        > ________________________________________________________________________
        > ________________________________________________________________________
        >
      • Michael Peich
        ... Dear Michael, Having just dampened some paper, I can give you my insight on the process. I have been guided by Lewis and Dorothy Allen s method of
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 4 9:39 AM
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          on 3/4/02 2:27 AM, Michael McGarvey at mcgarvem@... wrote:

          > Dear Martin,
          >
          > I have been using Rummonds' method for dampening, but with Davey Board
          > dampers.
          > But they seem to leave an impression on the sheet, and some discoloration as
          > well. The discoloration could be due to my water which is well water and
          > contains a lot of iron oxide. I was curious what blotting boards are ? Are
          > they
          > different from blotting paper used in dampening sheets for etching? Or are
          > they
          > pulp boards as described in Rummonds book? May I ask where you purchase them?
          > Another concern is the Neutral PH of the dampening boards. I imagine if the
          > boards are not neutral PH, that could have some long term effects on the
          > neutral
          > PH of the paper.
          >
          > Michael McGarvey
          > Port Press
          >
          >
          >>
          >>
          >> Message: 1
          >> Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 20:43:30 -0000
          >> From: "Martyn Ould" <mao@...>
          >> Subject: damping paper
          >>
          >> Dear Katie
          >>
          >> My experience has always been that it is worth the hassle of damping and
          >> drying when I want to be sure of a good black. I used Gabriel Rummonds's
          >> procedures in his 'Printing on the Iron Handpress' even though I was
          >> printing on a 10x15 C&P. Similarly when I have put sheets through a 30 inch
          >> proof press. Worth the trouble (and the expense of blotting boards). I live
          >> on a small damp island in the North Atlantic so damp paper can be a problem
          >> for me: cockling etc!! Having said that, when I have worked with damp paper
          >> in the summer (we have those occasionally) it does mean extra trouble to
          >> keep paper damp (before and between impressions) and to stop it from going
          >> green. I would always print damp rather than adding a tack reducer - the
          >> only time I used that was to print on some very soft Japanese handmade.
          >>
          >> Best wishes, Martyn Ould
          >>
          >> The Old School Press
          >>
          >> ________________________________________________________________________
          >> ________________________________________________________________________
          >>
          >
          >
          >
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          >
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          >
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          >
          >


          Dear Michael,

          Having just dampened some paper, I can give you my insight on the
          process. I have been guided by Lewis and Dorothy Allen's method of dampening
          (described in the Allen Press bibliography) as translated by Kim Merker.
          First, you need to use distilled water so that there are no iron impurities
          transferred to the paper. Second, I create a stack of dampened paper that I
          wrap in a heavy thickness plastic trash bag. If I'm using Zerkall, I'll
          start the stack by putting seven dry sheets on the plastic bag. Next, I'll
          run eleven sheets (as one unit) through distilled water (I put the water in
          a medium sized plastic pan, @ 12" X 20"), hold them up so the excess water
          drains off, and then place them on top of the dry sheets. I put seven more
          dry sheets on top of these, then do eleven more wet sheets, etc. Once the
          stack is finished, I roll up the front and sides of the plastic bag, making
          certain there is no weight on the sheets, tape the bag shut so no air gets
          in, and leave it for twenty-four hours.

          After twenty-four hours the sheets are uniformly damp and ready to
          print. To test for proper dampness hold a sheet next to your cheek, and if
          it feels cool, it's damp. When I am ready to print I transfer the sheets to
          a smaller plastic bag that I place on the feeder board of my press
          (Vandercook Universal I), and I take them out one at a time to print--this
          is to assure their continued dampness. If I have more than one press run to
          do, I have dampening boxes I put the sheets in, in order to keep them moist
          between press runs. (For instructions on constructing a dampening box, see
          the Allen Press bibliography.)

          As I finish printing the sheets I place them between heavy, acid
          free blotters to start the drying process. I bought my blotters from Legion
          Paper Company in New York, but I suspect you can get them anywhere paper is
          sold. The sheets stay in the blotters for about three days after which time
          they are dry and ready for whatever application one has for them.

          With the exception of Mohawk Letterpress Text, I dampen everything
          before I print. However, a word of caution--handmade papers do not do well
          when put directly into the tub of water. For dampening these, I put the
          sheets in the dampening boxes overnight and they are moist enough to print.
          Gabriel uses slip-sheeting (I think), but using a dampening box works just
          as well. In a few minutes I'm going to the press to print some Zerkall, as
          well as Umbria, both of which were prepared yesterday by using the methods
          I've described.

          I hope this helps, and best of luck.

          Regards, Mike Peich
        • David Goodrich
          Mike, I very much appreciated your discussion of dampening. Could you describe a dampening box as the Allen bibliography is not something I have access to.
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 4 4:06 PM
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            Mike,
            I very much appreciated your discussion of dampening. Could you describe a
            "dampening box" as the Allen bibliography is not something I have access to.

            Also, are you saying that you slipsheet the final product with blotting
            paper or just put blotting paper over and under the stack? My basement is
            so dry anything will dry in a matter of hours and I doubt I need this
            step -- I have never needed it when drying damp paper used for lino blocks.

            Do you then need to press the sheets to get them flat or will they dry flat?
            I have generally had to press.

            David.

            Original Message
            Dear Michael,

            Having just dampened some paper, I can give you my insight on the
            process. I have been guided by Lewis and Dorothy Allen's method of dampening
            (described in the Allen Press bibliography) as translated by Kim Merker.
            First, you need to use distilled water so that there are no iron impurities
            transferred to the paper. Second, I create a stack of dampened paper that I
            wrap in a heavy thickness plastic trash bag. If I'm using Zerkall, I'll
            start the stack by putting seven dry sheets on the plastic bag. Next, I'll
            run eleven sheets (as one unit) through distilled water (I put the water in
            a medium sized plastic pan, @ 12" X 20"), hold them up so the excess water
            drains off, and then place them on top of the dry sheets. I put seven more
            dry sheets on top of these, then do eleven more wet sheets, etc. Once the
            stack is finished, I roll up the front and sides of the plastic bag, making
            certain there is no weight on the sheets, tape the bag shut so no air gets
            in, and leave it for twenty-four hours.

            After twenty-four hours the sheets are uniformly damp and ready to
            print. To test for proper dampness hold a sheet next to your cheek, and if
            it feels cool, it's damp. When I am ready to print I transfer the sheets to
            a smaller plastic bag that I place on the feeder board of my press
            (Vandercook Universal I), and I take them out one at a time to print--this
            is to assure their continued dampness. If I have more than one press run to
            do, I have dampening boxes I put the sheets in, in order to keep them moist
            between press runs. (For instructions on constructing a dampening box, see
            the Allen Press bibliography.)

            As I finish printing the sheets I place them between heavy, acid
            free blotters to start the drying process. I bought my blotters from Legion
            Paper Company in New York, but I suspect you can get them anywhere paper is
            sold. The sheets stay in the blotters for about three days after which time
            they are dry and ready for whatever application one has for them.

            With the exception of Mohawk Letterpress Text, I dampen everything
            before I print. However, a word of caution--handmade papers do not do well
            when put directly into the tub of water. For dampening these, I put the
            sheets in the dampening boxes overnight and they are moist enough to print.
            Gabriel uses slip-sheeting (I think), but using a dampening box works just
            as well. In a few minutes I'm going to the press to print some Zerkall, as
            well as Umbria, both of which were prepared yesterday by using the methods
            I've described.

            I hope this helps, and best of luck.

            Regards, Mike Peich





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          • author50401
            ... Board dampers. ... discoloration as ... water and If you had ever seen (or smelled) the Davey board factory, you might think twice about using these boards
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 5 9:04 AM
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              --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Michael McGarvey <mcgarvem@l...> wrote:
              > Dear Martin,
              >
              > I have been using Rummonds' method for dampening, but with Davey
              Board dampers.
              > But they seem to leave an impression on the sheet, and some
              discoloration as
              > well. The discoloration could be due to my water which is well
              water and

              If you had ever seen (or smelled) the Davey board factory, you might
              think twice about using these boards in contact with wet paper.

              In another life I taught a bindery class at Northern Illinois
              University. As a part of that course we took several field trips, one
              of which was to the Davey board plant in Aurora. It was always an eye
              opener for the students (and for me). The raw material is office
              waste which comes in baled. The whole operation is very smelly, but
              interesting. The end product is very good for its intended purpose,
              but one of those purposes is not as interleaving between sheets of
              dampened paper.

              I'm sure everyone has their own little tricks in getting the results
              they desire, but I always seek the methods which take the least
              amount of time away from my hours at printing. I simply dip and dunk
              a half-dozen sheets at a time in the vat, followed in the post with
              about the same number of dry sheets, alternating wet and dry until I
              get the requisite number. Leave in a plastic bag overnight & start
              printing in the morning.
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