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The End of Heavy Metal Madness

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  • Gerald Lange
    This http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/23571.html marks the end of Gene Gable s column on letterpress. Interestingly, the letterpress bubble was
    Message 1 of 19 , Nov 17, 2005
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      This

      http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/23571.html

      marks the end of Gene Gable's column on letterpress.

      Interestingly, the letterpress bubble was expanding just about the
      time Gene started his column. Hmmm.

      Gerald
    • Kevin Cox
      I remember reading a few of these articles when he first started out but I do not recall whether he had a clear plan in mind on how he would become successful.
      Message 2 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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        I remember reading a few of these articles when he first started out
        but I do not recall whether he had a clear plan in mind on how he
        would become successful. Does anyone know if Gene had a plan or was
        it all just "tinkering"?

        I'm not sure what you mean by "bubble" Gerald, though I am new to
        letterpress so that may be why. Is it your belief that the demand for
        letterpress will go away, or burst?

        I see letterpress in a different way than it has been practiced
        traditionally however. Again, most likely because I am new to it and
        I approach it from a different mind-set. I don't view the "deep
        impression" as a flaw (as long as vintage type isn't being
        destroyed). I see it as a way of putting ink on paper in a way that
        can not be done by any other means. Thermography was developed as a
        cheaper alternative to engraving, but there is only one way to put a
        tactile impression on the page and that's through letterpress. I see
        it as a new art form that is authentic, hand-crafted (by today's
        automated standards), and genuine. You can't fake it on an inkjet,
        laser, or commercial printing press.

        It is my intention to reposition letterpress and sell it's strength
        through my designs. No, I won't be rubbing shoulders with The Donald,
        but that's not my goal. I love to design, work with fine papers, and
        unplug every now and then. I see letterpress as a way to reach my
        goal of creative freedom.

        Thanks for letting me share, I'm off to bed now. I look forward to
        other insight toward the future of letterpress.

        Kevin.
      • Gerald Lange
        Kevin Off the cuff, as usual but. . . My response had less to do with the renewed interest in letterpress and spanking the paper (whatever), than that the
        Message 3 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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          Kevin

          Off the cuff, as usual but. . .

          My response had less to do with the renewed interest in letterpress
          and "spanking the paper" (whatever), than that the "bubble" was a
          sudden increase in pricing on the part of equipment dealers of
          letterpress equipment. This was a very clear manipulation of the
          market. Vandercooks rarely sold for over a grand three years ago and
          look at them now. The same for the recent increase in pricing for
          Heidelbergs. That's what is known as a pricing "bubble," and bubbles
          break.

          Let's hope the Donald doesn't get into letterpress, Martha was
          disasterous enough, and, oddly enough, if approached in the correct
          manner, she would have been the one who could have set it all
          straight. Someone should show her a really fine printed book or ask
          the question, do wine bottle labels printed letterpress require deep
          impression?). Maybe if she issued the dictate, "Some impression, but
          not so much as to disturb the integrity of the paper." Or some such.
          Hate to say it (to the loyalists), but that, from her, would be the
          end of obscene deep impression.

          But that, might indeed, present too much of a qualifier, and level out
          the playing field. Which, yes, eventually, I believe most folks have
          been, or will, go the way of Gable. As he says, it's a headache (and
          that isn't even coming close to the reality of it).

          But contemporary studio-letterpress is constantly changing, and has been for well over three decades. Some day the Young Turks may be raging against you!!!

          p.s. I liked the pic of the five-year old Mac sitting in Gable's junkpile. Some folks don't quite get technology.

          Gerald


          >
          > I remember reading a few of these articles when he first started out
          > but I do not recall whether he had a clear plan in mind on how he
          > would become successful. Does anyone know if Gene had a plan or was
          > it all just "tinkering"?
          >
          > I'm not sure what you mean by "bubble" Gerald, though I am new to
          > letterpress so that may be why. Is it your belief that the demand for
          > letterpress will go away, or burst?
          >
          > I see letterpress in a different way than it has been practiced
          > traditionally however. Again, most likely because I am new to it and
          > I approach it from a different mind-set. I don't view the "deep
          > impression" as a flaw (as long as vintage type isn't being
          > destroyed). I see it as a way of putting ink on paper in a way that
          > can not be done by any other means. Thermography was developed as a
          > cheaper alternative to engraving, but there is only one way to put a
          > tactile impression on the page and that's through letterpress. I see
          > it as a new art form that is authentic, hand-crafted (by today's
          > automated standards), and genuine. You can't fake it on an inkjet,
          > laser, or commercial printing press.
          >
          > It is my intention to reposition letterpress and sell it's strength
          > through my designs. No, I won't be rubbing shoulders with The Donald,
          > but that's not my goal. I love to design, work with fine papers, and
          > unplug every now and then. I see letterpress as a way to reach my
          > goal of creative freedom.
          >
          > Thanks for letting me share, I'm off to bed now. I look forward to
          > other insight toward the future of letterpress.
          >
          > Kevin.
          >
        • parallel_imp
          ... The press is also something to consider. Vandercooks in particular are being worn out in heavy-impression printing, and some things just cannot be
          Message 4 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Cox <kevin@j...> wrote:
            >

            > I approach it from a different mind-set. I don't view the "deep
            > impression" as a flaw (as long as vintage type isn't being
            > destroyed).

            The press is also something to consider. Vandercooks in particular are
            being worn out in heavy-impression printing, and some things just
            cannot be repaired. New type will be available for at least the near
            future, if people support the few remaining foundries. New letterpress
            machines aren't anywhere on the horizon.
            Eric Holub, SF
          • Gerald Lange
            Eric They could be though. A while back Yee-Haw Industries mentioned somewhere that they had commissioned Takach to produce a custom relief press for them.
            Message 5 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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              Eric

              They could be though. A while back Yee-Haw Industries mentioned
              somewhere that they had commissioned Takach to produce a custom relief
              press for them. Haven't heard anything further. Don't know what they may
              have paid for their custom press but with current prices on Vandercooks
              escalating past the five grand mark, I'd imagine the market for a
              manufactured press is increasingly feasable. I'd say such a press would
              have to sell for well over $10,000 (a new" standard-equipment" SP15 was
              selling for $4,500 in 1976I have a price quote from Vandercook on
              this), but I'd be willing to pay the price for the ideal hand-operated
              flatbed cylinder press. A 17-inch bed would be kind of nice. And
              lock-down rollers. That would pretty much do it for me.

              Gerald

              >New letterpress
              >machines aren't anywhere on the horizon.
              >Eric Holub, SF
              >
              >
              >
            • Marnie Powers-Torrey
              Gerald, when you describe your fantasy press, are you calling form rollers that can t be adjusted at all lock-down rollers? Or rollers that would actually
              Message 6 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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                Gerald, when you describe your fantasy press, are you calling form
                rollers that can't be adjusted at all "lock-down" rollers? Or rollers
                that would actually keep their adjustment consistent over time? Or what?


                Marnie Powers-Torrey
                Studio Manager, Instructor, Printer
                Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press
                J. Willard Marriott Library
                295 South 1500 East
                Salt Lake City, UT 84112

                -----Original Message-----
                From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gerald Lange
                Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 1:02 PM
                To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: The End of Heavy Metal Madness

                Eric

                They could be though. A while back Yee-Haw Industries mentioned
                somewhere that they had commissioned Takach to produce a custom relief
                press for them. Haven't heard anything further. Don't know what they may
                have paid for their custom press but with current prices on Vandercooks
                escalating past the five grand mark, I'd imagine the market for a
                manufactured press is increasingly feasable. I'd say such a press would
                have to sell for well over $10,000 (a new" standard-equipment" SP15 was
                selling for $4,500 in 1976I have a price quote from Vandercook on
                this), but I'd be willing to pay the price for the ideal hand-operated
                flatbed cylinder press. A 17-inch bed would be kind of nice. And
                lock-down rollers. That would pretty much do it for me.

                Gerald

                >New letterpress
                >machines aren't anywhere on the horizon.
                >Eric Holub, SF
                >
                >
                >






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              • Gerald Lange
                Marnie More like the set up on a production press, such as a Heidelberg. Mute point though; I just ran those 1976 dollars through an online relative value
                Message 7 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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                  Marnie

                  More like the set up on a production press, such as a Heidelberg. Mute point though; I just ran those 1976 dollars through an online relative value calculator. Hmmm. Anywhere from $11,900 to $27,000 depending upon the method used. Average based on all five indicators: $19,600.

                  And that ignores start-up manufacturing considerations which Vandercook would have been able to allocate over expected selling duration.

                  Gerald


                  >
                  > Gerald, when you describe your fantasy press, are you calling form
                  > rollers that can't be adjusted at all "lock-down" rollers? Or rollers
                  > that would actually keep their adjustment consistent over time? Or what?
                  >
                  >
                  > Marnie Powers-Torrey
                  > Studio Manager, Instructor, Printer
                  > Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press
                  > J. Willard Marriott Library
                  > 295 South 1500 East
                  > Salt Lake City, UT 84112
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                  > [mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gerald Lange
                  > Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 1:02 PM
                  > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: The End of Heavy Metal Madness
                  >
                  > Eric
                  >
                  > They could be though. A while back Yee-Haw Industries mentioned
                  > somewhere that they had commissioned Takach to produce a custom relief
                  > press for them. Haven't heard anything further. Don't know what they may
                  > have paid for their custom press but with current prices on Vandercooks
                  > escalating past the five grand mark, I'd imagine the market for a
                  > manufactured press is increasingly feasable. I'd say such a press would
                  > have to sell for well over $10,000 (a new "standard-equipment" SP15 was
                  > selling for $4,500 in 1976. I have a price quote from Vandercook on
                  > this), but I'd be willing to pay the price for the ideal hand-operated
                  > flatbed cylinder press. A 17-inch bed would be kind of nice. And
                  > lock-down rollers. That would pretty much do it for me.
                  >
                  > Gerald
                  >
                  > >New letterpress
                  > >machines aren't anywhere on the horizon.
                  > >Eric Holub, SF
                • parallel_imp
                  ... Maybe Fritz will pipe up here, but I think he looked into the cost of manufacturing a press to Vandercook specs and it was well over $50,000. Could you get
                  Message 8 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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                    --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Gerald Lange <bieler@w...> wrote:
                    > . . . with current prices on Vandercooks escalating past the five
                    > grand mark, I'd imagine the market for a manufactured press is
                    > increasingly feasable. I'd say such a press would have to sell for
                    > well over $10,000 (a new" standard-equipment" SP15 was selling for
                    > $4,500 in 1976I have a price quote from Vandercook on this), but I'd
                    > be willing to pay the price for the ideal hand-operated flatbed
                    > cylinder press. A 17-inch bed would be kind of nice. And lock-down
                    > rollers. That would pretty much do it for me.
                    > Gerald

                    Maybe Fritz will pipe up here, but I think he looked into the cost of
                    manufacturing a press to Vandercook specs and it was well over
                    $50,000. Could you get even the bed-casting made and finished for just
                    $5,000?

                    Eric Holub, SF
                  • Jessica Spring
                    While we re on the Vandercook fantasy thread, I d like an experienced repair person to come and tune up my presses. Years ago when I was in Chicago and Gene
                    Message 9 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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                      While we're on the Vandercook fantasy thread, I'd like an experienced repair
                      person to come and tune up my presses. Years ago when I was in Chicago and
                      Gene (last name long forgotten) came to our shop. He was one of the last
                      repairmen and operated independently after the company closed. In a few
                      hours he provided invaluable advice, installed some parts and left the press
                      running like butter.

                      Peter Kruty has offered some Vandercook maintenance classes at Columbia
                      College which were helpful, but what you see on another press doesn't always
                      transfer.

                      Jessica Spring
                      Tacoma, WA
                    • Ed Inman
                      I was not familiar with that column but you can t help but feel kind of sorry for the guy--he leaps head first into letterpress, buying a bunch of equipment
                      Message 10 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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                        I was not familiar with that column but you can't help but feel kind of
                        sorry for the guy--he leaps head first into letterpress, buying a bunch of
                        equipment without really knowing anything about it--then quickly discovers
                        that for whatever romanticism surrounds the craft, there is also a lot of
                        skill and hard work involved. Thus, the interest quickly fades.

                        I wonder how many others have done this sort of thing? I can understand
                        how it might be difficult and frustrating for someone who grew up in the
                        computer age to take the time necessary to learn how to do letterpress
                        right.

                        I'm glad that I was introduced to it at a young age--my cousin gave me a
                        C&P press at age 12 and I bought my Intertype at age 17. I played around
                        with them up until my mid 20's and kind of lost interest for a while. But
                        having learned the basics at such a young age was a great help when I
                        decided to get back into it in my 30s.

                        Ed
                      • Gerald Lange
                        Ed I thought the column quite interesting. My fav was First Day at Letterpress High http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/19745.html?origin=story which was
                        Message 11 of 19 , Nov 18, 2005
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                          Ed

                          I thought the column quite interesting. My fav was First Day at
                          Letterpress High

                          http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/19745.html?origin=story

                          which was initiated by a rather stinging reception at Letpress. I
                          don't remember if he posted or if someone posted a notice of the
                          column and it just took off from there. Other than that though, First
                          Day at Letterpress High has some good info concerning letterpress
                          resources on the web.

                          We had some correspondence at about the time he started the column and
                          as I recall his intention was not to start a business but merely to
                          enjoy letterpress as a hobby. I think the equipment purchase was
                          probably just too overwhelming. He would probably have been better off
                          buying on the short end and adding to it as needed. Had he the
                          opportunity to do a bit more typesetting and printing rather than deal
                          with all the equipment, he'd likely still be at it.

                          Gerald


                          >
                          > I was not familiar with that column but you can't help but feel kind of
                          > sorry for the guy--he leaps head first into letterpress, buying a
                          bunch of
                          > equipment without really knowing anything about it--then quickly
                          discovers
                          > that for whatever romanticism surrounds the craft, there is also a
                          lot of
                          > skill and hard work involved. Thus, the interest quickly fades.
                          >
                          > I wonder how many others have done this sort of thing? I can understand
                          > how it might be difficult and frustrating for someone who grew up in the
                          > computer age to take the time necessary to learn how to do letterpress
                          > right.
                          >
                          > I'm glad that I was introduced to it at a young age--my cousin gave me a
                          > C&P press at age 12 and I bought my Intertype at age 17. I played around
                          > with them up until my mid 20's and kind of lost interest for a
                          while. But
                          > having learned the basics at such a young age was a great help when I
                          > decided to get back into it in my 30s.
                          >
                          > Ed
                          >
                        • Fritz Klinke
                          The cost to retool to produce a Vandercook type press is staggering, especially one that meets Gerald s needs, as none of the drawings we have would suffice.
                          Message 12 of 19 , Nov 19, 2005
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                            The cost to retool to produce a Vandercook type press is staggering,
                            especially one that meets Gerald's needs, as none of the drawings we have
                            would suffice. All new everything for what definable market? We were quoted,
                            as Eric says, in the well over $50,000 range for a Universal I remake, based
                            on 10 machines (and that's 10 x $50,000), and that was 9 years ago. And with
                            perfectly good Heidelberg cylinders more readily found than Vandercooks at
                            the moment, why bother? It's nice to dream, but this dream is not workable
                            unless things change dramatically.

                            Fritz

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "parallel_imp" <Megalonyx@...>
                            To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 2:23 PM
                            Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: The End of Heavy Metal Madness


                            > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Gerald Lange <bieler@w...> wrote:
                            >> . . . with current prices on Vandercooks escalating past the five
                            >> grand mark, I'd imagine the market for a manufactured press is
                            >> increasingly feasable. I'd say such a press would have to sell for
                            >> well over $10,000 (a new" standard-equipment" SP15 was selling for
                            >> $4,500 in 1976I have a price quote from Vandercook on this), but I'd
                            >> be willing to pay the price for the ideal hand-operated flatbed
                            >> cylinder press. A 17-inch bed would be kind of nice. And lock-down
                            >> rollers. That would pretty much do it for me.
                            >> Gerald
                            >
                            > Maybe Fritz will pipe up here, but I think he looked into the cost of
                            > manufacturing a press to Vandercook specs and it was well over
                            > $50,000. Could you get even the bed-casting made and finished for just
                            > $5,000?
                            >
                            > Eric Holub, SF
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Blue Barnhouse
                            ... I have seen this press (though I haven t seen it operate). It was a few years ago and my interaction with it was brief, but it looked very similar to the
                            Message 13 of 19 , Nov 21, 2005
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                              On Nov 18, 2005, at 3:01 PM, Gerald Lange wrote:

                              > A while back Yee-Haw Industries mentioned
                              > somewhere that they had commissioned Takach to produce a custom relief
                              > press for them. Haven't heard anything further.

                              I have seen this press (though I haven't seen it operate). It was a
                              few years ago and my interaction with it was brief, but it looked
                              very similar to the presses featured on the Takach website, though I
                              think it was low to the ground, if not on the ground. If I remember
                              correctly Kevin pulls prints on it up to 9 feet tall, (they hung from
                              the ceiling and almost touched the floor,) using 12" high wood type
                              (also trying to use my not so hot memory there.) Regardless, the
                              prints are f'n huge. There are some prints on their website measuring
                              42x30 that were pulled on this press:

                              http://www.yeehawindustries.com/pl/ppalstore/ppalstore.cgi?
                              category=&product=artprints&keywords=&hits_seen=0

                              Next time I'm out there I'll be sure to take notes. Maybe someone out
                              there can verify my story with some more solid facts.

                              Brandon





                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Blue Barnhouse
                              I ve done some snooping. A little birdy told me the Takach is 4 x8 and prints are made with type as high as 12 tall. You should see it for yourself. b. Blue
                              Message 14 of 19 , Nov 22, 2005
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                                I've done some snooping. A little birdy told me the Takach is 4'x8'
                                and prints are made with type as high as 12" tall.

                                You should see it for yourself.

                                b.


                                Blue Barnhouse
                                428-B Haywood Rd.
                                Asheville, NC 28806
                                828.225.3991

                                info@...
                                www.bluebarnhouse.org



                                On Nov 21, 2005, at 10:49 PM, Blue Barnhouse wrote:

                                > On Nov 18, 2005, at 3:01 PM, Gerald Lange wrote:
                                >
                                > > A while back Yee-Haw Industries mentioned
                                > > somewhere that they had commissioned Takach to produce a custom
                                > relief
                                > > press for them. Haven't heard anything further.
                                >
                                > I have seen this press (though I haven't seen it operate). It was a
                                > few years ago and my interaction with it was brief, but it looked
                                > very similar to the presses featured on the Takach website, though I
                                > think it was low to the ground, if not on the ground. If I remember
                                > correctly Kevin pulls prints on it up to 9 feet tall, (they hung from
                                > the ceiling and almost touched the floor,) using 12" high wood type
                                > (also trying to use my not so hot memory there.) Regardless, the
                                > prints are f'n huge. There are some prints on their website measuring
                                > 42x30 that were pulled on this press:
                                >
                                > http://www.yeehawindustries.com/pl/ppalstore/ppalstore.cgi?
                                > category=&product=artprints&keywords=&hits_seen=0
                                >
                                > Next time I'm out there I'll be sure to take notes. Maybe someone out
                                > there can verify my story with some more solid facts.
                                >
                                > Brandon
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > SPONSORED LINKS
                                > Book cover design Design book Graphic design book
                                > Book printing Printing book
                                >
                                > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                                >
                                > Visit your group "PPLetterpress" on the web.
                                >
                                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                >
                                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                >
                                >



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Gerald Lange
                                I d like to see it for myself. Question is, do we approach Takach or Yee-Haw? Gerald
                                Message 15 of 19 , Nov 24, 2005
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                                  I'd like to see it for myself. Question is, do we approach Takach or
                                  Yee-Haw?

                                  Gerald

                                  --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Blue Barnhouse
                                  <letpresslist@b...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I've done some snooping. A little birdy told me the Takach is 4'x8'
                                  > and prints are made with type as high as 12" tall.
                                  >
                                  > You should see it for yourself.
                                  >
                                  > b.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Blue Barnhouse
                                  > 428-B Haywood Rd.
                                  > Asheville, NC 28806
                                  > 828.225.3991
                                  >
                                  > info@b...
                                  > www.bluebarnhouse.org
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > On Nov 21, 2005, at 10:49 PM, Blue Barnhouse wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > On Nov 18, 2005, at 3:01 PM, Gerald Lange wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > > A while back Yee-Haw Industries mentioned
                                  > > > somewhere that they had commissioned Takach to produce a custom
                                  > > relief
                                  > > > press for them. Haven't heard anything further.
                                  > >
                                  > > I have seen this press (though I haven't seen it operate). It was a
                                  > > few years ago and my interaction with it was brief, but it looked
                                  > > very similar to the presses featured on the Takach website, though I
                                  > > think it was low to the ground, if not on the ground. If I remember
                                  > > correctly Kevin pulls prints on it up to 9 feet tall, (they hung from
                                  > > the ceiling and almost touched the floor,) using 12" high wood type
                                  > > (also trying to use my not so hot memory there.) Regardless, the
                                  > > prints are f'n huge. There are some prints on their website measuring
                                  > > 42x30 that were pulled on this press:
                                  > >
                                  > > http://www.yeehawindustries.com/pl/ppalstore/ppalstore.cgi?
                                  > > category=&product=artprints&keywords=&hits_seen=0
                                  > >
                                  > > Next time I'm out there I'll be sure to take notes. Maybe someone out
                                  > > there can verify my story with some more solid facts.
                                  > >
                                  > > Brandon
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > SPONSORED LINKS
                                  > > Book cover design Design book Graphic design book
                                  > > Book printing Printing book
                                  > >
                                  > > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                                  > >
                                  > > Visit your group "PPLetterpress" on the web.
                                  > >
                                  > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                  > > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  > >
                                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                • Casey
                                  I also have heard Yee Haw had a huge press, so this is interesting that Takach sold them an existing press or modified one for them. I would be very interested
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Nov 27, 2005
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                                    I also have heard Yee Haw had a huge press, so this is interesting that Takach sold them an
                                    existing press or modified one for them. I would be very interested in what you all find out.

                                    Thanks for stopping by,
                                    ...............................................................
                                    Casey McGarr
                                    BarGarr Letterpress
                                    McKinney, TX
                                  • alex brooks
                                    Apologies for bringing up this thread again, but i recently went through a lot of unread posts, getting more and more frustrated as i went. Mr. Gable s
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Dec 27, 2005
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                                      Apologies for bringing up this thread again, but i recently went
                                      through a lot of unread posts, getting more and more frustrated as i
                                      went. Mr. Gable's refrain: with this important thing going on in my
                                      life, "it was difficult to retreat to the garage and tinker with a
                                      bunch of old type." Of course this guy failed. What did he expect?

                                      ok everyone. I'm going to buy an old sailboat, wooden, and I'm going to
                                      sail it around the world (and somehow make a little money with it as i
                                      go along). I think it will be relaxing and old-timey. I don't know how
                                      to sail, navigate, dock, rig a sailboat, splice a line, anchor, weather
                                      a storm, repair a line, repair a leak, repair a sail, raise a sail, or
                                      use an outboard motor. I don't know any of the points of sail, have
                                      never used a naval radio or radar, and figure i can go without a life
                                      vest for the first few months or so. I don't know how to cook or make
                                      tea. I would be interested in buying maps if anyone has them. Anyone
                                      have any advice?

                                      Would you be surprised if I quit before leaving dock?

                                      A letterpress is good because it allows you to make things. If you need
                                      to make things with your hands, letterpress might be for you. If you
                                      don't need to make things yourself, find something else to do because,
                                      surprise, IT'S DIFFICULT. It's also relaxing and joyful and rewarding.
                                      But it's not a good way to make money. I like setting type, printing
                                      books, binding, printing. I was an unpaid apprentice for five years
                                      before i decided to start my own press. For the past two years I've
                                      worked 3 or 4 nights a week as a waiter as I accumulated experience and
                                      clients, printing during the day and waiting tables at night. Now i'm
                                      on the verge of quitting this and running my business full time.
                                      Recently Gerald wrote:

                                      "On the other hand I know what it costs to be a leaf on the tree. I'd
                                      say, with studio rental, capital outlay, ongoing investment, etc., one
                                      needs to generate about $100,000 minimum gross per year to live like a
                                      relatively normal person in this country, dependent upon where you
                                      live. Assuming of course there is no other financing."

                                      The way I figure my costs, I need minumum $10,000 a year. I accomplish
                                      this by 1) buying a house(lower rent) 2)giving over 75% of my living
                                      space to the press 3) owning a 14 year old car and using a bike most of
                                      the time anyway, and 4) not buying anything ever. (i guess i'm not a
                                      relatively normal person). Sure I have to give up a lot, but i'm doing
                                      what I love.

                                      It's a privilege and joy to tinker with that old type. It's not
                                      frivolous, as Mr. Gable implies. It's not an escape, as he implies.
                                      Letterpress is a modern means to a modern goal - to make something with
                                      the mark of the human hand. It's not special because it's old, it's
                                      special because a human hand made it. I do it because it is good to use
                                      my hands and my brain. And after seven years i still make really stupid
                                      mistakes and have an avalanche more to learn.

                                      "I had hoped this would be a new path -- a simplifying of life and a
                                      return to the values of publishing that got me interested in the first
                                      place. I thought the romance of the past combined with my appreciation
                                      for modern tools would put my life's work in perspective. Or that I
                                      would at least be able to move from the ranks of "technology hack" to
                                      "artist.""

                                      This may be obvious, but.... A press is not a tool for finding new
                                      paths or perspective or simplifying your life; it's a tool to put ink
                                      onto paper.

                                      Please, if you want to print cards for fun or to make a lot of money,
                                      by all means go for it. But don't complain and act like it's the
                                      press's fault when it won't make things for you. And for the love of
                                      God, the first step is not buying a press, much less an entire
                                      printshop! From the look of it, this guy had a C&P, a linotype, and
                                      some other complicated press (kelly?), along with lots of wood & metal
                                      type. The only thing he ever printed was a one-color poster, using
                                      mostly wooden type, and printed on a hand operated vandercook table-top
                                      proof press. Instead of buying a complete printshop he knew nothing
                                      about, he could have bought the same proof press for $50, along with a
                                      drawer of wooden type, and printed the same poster on his kitchen
                                      table, then he could have decided that letterpress was too much work,
                                      even if it was cool, and get rid of everything without even having to
                                      use a forklift (I know, that takes all the fun out of it)...

                                      -alex


                                      On Nov 18, 2005, at 1:47 AM, Gerald Lange wrote:

                                      > This
                                      >
                                      > http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/23571.html
                                      >
                                      > marks the end of Gene Gable's column on letterpress.
                                      >
                                      > Interestingly, the letterpress bubble was expanding just about the
                                      > time Gene started his column. Hmmm.
                                      >
                                      > Gerald
                                      >


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Gerald Lange
                                      alex I can appreciate your rant. However, I would caution anyone from jumping into the fray. It is extremely difficult to make a living from letterpress
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Dec 27, 2005
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                                        alex

                                        I can appreciate your rant. However, I would caution anyone from jumping
                                        into the fray. It is extremely difficult to make a living from
                                        letterpress activities, especially if you are considering bookwork. I
                                        know any cautions I put before you won't stop you, and if you are
                                        determined, they should not.

                                        Some thoughts though in this regard: You have to want and need to do it,
                                        you have to have survival skills (think you already have those,
                                        voluntary poverty has its experiential benefits), you have to embrace
                                        the struggle as despairing as it can get, you have to have something to
                                        offer (skills/services/products) that folks will want/need (yeah,
                                        amazingly, you do). You need to be very open and aware, and willing to
                                        shift direction if need be. Everything else is luck and circumstance
                                        (which, fortunately or unfortunately, counts the most). I was going to
                                        say that outside money doesn't hurt, but I don't think that to be the
                                        case. The money thing may actually be the one element that prevents most
                                        folks from achieving their dream. The very vivid fear of no security.

                                        William Faulkner wrote that the artist need be willing to kill his own
                                        grandmother to create something as significant as Sir Thomas Browne's
                                        Urn Burial. Something to remember as you go down that road. You will
                                        forever not be a "normal person."

                                        All the best

                                        Gerald

                                        alex brooks wrote:

                                        >Apologies for bringing up this thread again, but i recently went
                                        >through a lot of unread posts, getting more and more frustrated as i
                                        >went. Mr. Gable's refrain: with this important thing going on in my
                                        >life, "it was difficult to retreat to the garage and tinker with a
                                        >bunch of old type." Of course this guy failed. What did he expect?
                                        >
                                        >ok everyone. I'm going to buy an old sailboat, wooden, and I'm going to
                                        >sail it around the world (and somehow make a little money with it as i
                                        >go along). I think it will be relaxing and old-timey. I don't know how
                                        >to sail, navigate, dock, rig a sailboat, splice a line, anchor, weather
                                        >a storm, repair a line, repair a leak, repair a sail, raise a sail, or
                                        >use an outboard motor. I don't know any of the points of sail, have
                                        >never used a naval radio or radar, and figure i can go without a life
                                        >vest for the first few months or so. I don't know how to cook or make
                                        >tea. I would be interested in buying maps if anyone has them. Anyone
                                        >have any advice?
                                        >
                                        >Would you be surprised if I quit before leaving dock?
                                        >
                                        >A letterpress is good because it allows you to make things. If you need
                                        >to make things with your hands, letterpress might be for you. If you
                                        >don't need to make things yourself, find something else to do because,
                                        >surprise, IT'S DIFFICULT. It's also relaxing and joyful and rewarding.
                                        >But it's not a good way to make money. I like setting type, printing
                                        >books, binding, printing. I was an unpaid apprentice for five years
                                        >before i decided to start my own press. For the past two years I've
                                        >worked 3 or 4 nights a week as a waiter as I accumulated experience and
                                        >clients, printing during the day and waiting tables at night. Now i'm
                                        >on the verge of quitting this and running my business full time.
                                        >Recently Gerald wrote:
                                        >
                                        > "On the other hand I know what it costs to be a leaf on the tree. I'd
                                        > say, with studio rental, capital outlay, ongoing investment, etc., one
                                        > needs to generate about $100,000 minimum gross per year to live like a
                                        > relatively normal person in this country, dependent upon where you
                                        > live. Assuming of course there is no other financing."
                                        >
                                        >The way I figure my costs, I need minumum $10,000 a year. I accomplish
                                        >this by 1) buying a house(lower rent) 2)giving over 75% of my living
                                        >space to the press 3) owning a 14 year old car and using a bike most of
                                        >the time anyway, and 4) not buying anything ever. (i guess i'm not a
                                        >relatively normal person). Sure I have to give up a lot, but i'm doing
                                        >what I love.
                                        >
                                        >It's a privilege and joy to tinker with that old type. It's not
                                        >frivolous, as Mr. Gable implies. It's not an escape, as he implies.
                                        >Letterpress is a modern means to a modern goal - to make something with
                                        >the mark of the human hand. It's not special because it's old, it's
                                        >special because a human hand made it. I do it because it is good to use
                                        >my hands and my brain. And after seven years i still make really stupid
                                        >mistakes and have an avalanche more to learn.
                                        >
                                        >"I had hoped this would be a new path -- a simplifying of life and a
                                        >return to the values of publishing that got me interested in the first
                                        >place. I thought the romance of the past combined with my appreciation
                                        >for modern tools would put my life's work in perspective. Or that I
                                        >would at least be able to move from the ranks of "technology hack" to
                                        >"artist.""
                                        >
                                        >This may be obvious, but.... A press is not a tool for finding new
                                        >paths or perspective or simplifying your life; it's a tool to put ink
                                        >onto paper.
                                        >
                                        >Please, if you want to print cards for fun or to make a lot of money,
                                        >by all means go for it. But don't complain and act like it's the
                                        >press's fault when it won't make things for you. And for the love of
                                        >God, the first step is not buying a press, much less an entire
                                        >printshop! From the look of it, this guy had a C&P, a linotype, and
                                        >some other complicated press (kelly?), along with lots of wood & metal
                                        >type. The only thing he ever printed was a one-color poster, using
                                        >mostly wooden type, and printed on a hand operated vandercook table-top
                                        >proof press. Instead of buying a complete printshop he knew nothing
                                        >about, he could have bought the same proof press for $50, along with a
                                        >drawer of wooden type, and printed the same poster on his kitchen
                                        >table, then he could have decided that letterpress was too much work,
                                        >even if it was cool, and get rid of everything without even having to
                                        >use a forklift (I know, that takes all the fun out of it)...
                                        >
                                        >-alex
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                      • nagraph@frontier.net
                                        I reread this and came away a second time with an unpleasant feeling about Gabel s experience and about him, based on his comments and from the fact of no
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Dec 28, 2005
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                                          I reread this and came away a second time with an unpleasant feeling about
                                          Gabel's experience and about him, based on his comments and from the fact of no
                                          magazines appearing on the Linotype or any effort to go beyond the one poster,
                                          or making any effort towards his idea at all. The spark was never there, and he
                                          dwelled more on the fate of his pets than he did on his choice of a new
                                          hobby/venture. I spent part of today with a printer who shared the same
                                          excitement that I did as we poked through numerous piles and cases and boxes of
                                          letterpress junk--the discovery of a pinmark from a foundry in Leipseig Germany
                                          was a signal event. I doubt that Gabel ever could achieve that level of
                                          excitement about his collection regardless of investment, expected income, or
                                          anything else--it just wasn't there to start with, and what ever motivated him
                                          to buy all that stuff is perplexing--and maybe mentioned in the earlier
                                          articles.

                                          Fritz

                                          Quoting Gerald Lange <bieler@...>:

                                          > alex
                                          >
                                          > I can appreciate your rant. However, I would caution anyone from jumping
                                          > into the fray. It is extremely difficult to make a living from
                                          > letterpress activities, especially if you are considering bookwork. I
                                          > know any cautions I put before you won't stop you, and if you are
                                          > determined, they should not.
                                          >
                                          > Some thoughts though in this regard: You have to want and need to do it,
                                          > you have to have survival skills (think you already have those,
                                          > voluntary poverty has its experiential benefits), you have to embrace
                                          > the struggle as despairing as it can get, you have to have something to
                                          > offer (skills/services/products) that folks will want/need (yeah,
                                          > amazingly, you do). You need to be very open and aware, and willing to
                                          > shift direction if need be. Everything else is luck and circumstance
                                          > (which, fortunately or unfortunately, counts the most). I was going to
                                          > say that outside money doesn't hurt, but I don't think that to be the
                                          > case. The money thing may actually be the one element that prevents most
                                          > folks from achieving their dream. The very vivid fear of no security.
                                          >
                                          > William Faulkner wrote that the artist need be willing to kill his own
                                          > grandmother to create something as significant as Sir Thomas Browne's
                                          > Urn Burial. Something to remember as you go down that road. You will
                                          > forever not be a "normal person."
                                          >
                                          > All the best
                                          >
                                          > Gerald
                                          >
                                          > alex brooks wrote:
                                          >
                                          > >Apologies for bringing up this thread again, but i recently went
                                          > >through a lot of unread posts, getting more and more frustrated as i
                                          > >went. Mr. Gable's refrain: with this important thing going on in my
                                          > >life, "it was difficult to retreat to the garage and tinker with a
                                          > >bunch of old type." Of course this guy failed. What did he expect?
                                          > >
                                          > >ok everyone. I'm going to buy an old sailboat, wooden, and I'm going to
                                          > >sail it around the world (and somehow make a little money with it as i
                                          > >go along). I think it will be relaxing and old-timey. I don't know how
                                          > >to sail, navigate, dock, rig a sailboat, splice a line, anchor, weather
                                          > >a storm, repair a line, repair a leak, repair a sail, raise a sail, or
                                          > >use an outboard motor. I don't know any of the points of sail, have
                                          > >never used a naval radio or radar, and figure i can go without a life
                                          > >vest for the first few months or so. I don't know how to cook or make
                                          > >tea. I would be interested in buying maps if anyone has them. Anyone
                                          > >have any advice?
                                          > >
                                          > >Would you be surprised if I quit before leaving dock?
                                          > >
                                          > >A letterpress is good because it allows you to make things. If you need
                                          > >to make things with your hands, letterpress might be for you. If you
                                          > >don't need to make things yourself, find something else to do because,
                                          > >surprise, IT'S DIFFICULT. It's also relaxing and joyful and rewarding.
                                          > >But it's not a good way to make money. I like setting type, printing
                                          > >books, binding, printing. I was an unpaid apprentice for five years
                                          > >before i decided to start my own press. For the past two years I've
                                          > >worked 3 or 4 nights a week as a waiter as I accumulated experience and
                                          > >clients, printing during the day and waiting tables at night. Now i'm
                                          > >on the verge of quitting this and running my business full time.
                                          > >Recently Gerald wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > "On the other hand I know what it costs to be a leaf on the tree. I'd
                                          > > say, with studio rental, capital outlay, ongoing investment, etc., one
                                          > > needs to generate about $100,000 minimum gross per year to live like a
                                          > > relatively normal person in this country, dependent upon where you
                                          > > live. Assuming of course there is no other financing."
                                          > >
                                          > >The way I figure my costs, I need minumum $10,000 a year. I accomplish
                                          > >this by 1) buying a house(lower rent) 2)giving over 75% of my living
                                          > >space to the press 3) owning a 14 year old car and using a bike most of
                                          > >the time anyway, and 4) not buying anything ever. (i guess i'm not a
                                          > >relatively normal person). Sure I have to give up a lot, but i'm doing
                                          > >what I love.
                                          > >
                                          > >It's a privilege and joy to tinker with that old type. It's not
                                          > >frivolous, as Mr. Gable implies. It's not an escape, as he implies.
                                          > >Letterpress is a modern means to a modern goal - to make something with
                                          > >the mark of the human hand. It's not special because it's old, it's
                                          > >special because a human hand made it. I do it because it is good to use
                                          > >my hands and my brain. And after seven years i still make really stupid
                                          > >mistakes and have an avalanche more to learn.
                                          > >
                                          > >"I had hoped this would be a new path -- a simplifying of life and a
                                          > >return to the values of publishing that got me interested in the first
                                          > >place. I thought the romance of the past combined with my appreciation
                                          > >for modern tools would put my life's work in perspective. Or that I
                                          > >would at least be able to move from the ranks of "technology hack" to
                                          > >"artist.""
                                          > >
                                          > >This may be obvious, but.... A press is not a tool for finding new
                                          > >paths or perspective or simplifying your life; it's a tool to put ink
                                          > >onto paper.
                                          > >
                                          > >Please, if you want to print cards for fun or to make a lot of money,
                                          > >by all means go for it. But don't complain and act like it's the
                                          > >press's fault when it won't make things for you. And for the love of
                                          > >God, the first step is not buying a press, much less an entire
                                          > >printshop! From the look of it, this guy had a C&P, a linotype, and
                                          > >some other complicated press (kelly?), along with lots of wood & metal
                                          > >type. The only thing he ever printed was a one-color poster, using
                                          > >mostly wooden type, and printed on a hand operated vandercook table-top
                                          > >proof press. Instead of buying a complete printshop he knew nothing
                                          > >about, he could have bought the same proof press for $50, along with a
                                          > >drawer of wooden type, and printed the same poster on his kitchen
                                          > >table, then he could have decided that letterpress was too much work,
                                          > >even if it was cool, and get rid of everything without even having to
                                          > >use a forklift (I know, that takes all the fun out of it)...
                                          > >
                                          > >-alex
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
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