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Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: laser engraving

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  • Bryce Erickson
    Gerald and Group - Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop would be of interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing potential of
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 2, 2002
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      Gerald and Group -

      Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop would be of
      interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing potential of laser
      engraving means dealing with service bureaus that have no knowledge of
      print-making or letterpress. Their business, on the consumer side, is
      engraving plaques, trophies, souvenirs, etc. and, on the commercial side,
      engraving industial ID tags, everything from gas meter serial number plates
      to bovine ear tags. With some persistence, one can find an engraver willing
      to put up with a letterpress printer. The company I use claims to be able
      to achieve 150 lpi on most synthetic materials. They also do halftone
      engraving on some light metal although the examples i saw were photo
      positives. Toxic fumes are dealt with by enclosing the engaver in a fume
      hood. Bad for the environment but safe for the operators. I have printed
      images from laser engravings on phenolic (high density) plastic and on wood
      called (in Canada) K-3 board or particle board.

      Bryce Erickson
      Saskatoon SK Canada

      bielerpr wrote:

      > I took the workshop on using the laser engravers at Art Center. Quite
      > amazing. I can see all sorts of uses for this. Rebuilding wood type
      > collections, cutting wood engravings, keeping artifacts of specific
      > forms, etc.
      >
      > This will even engrave halftones (though I don't know yet the
      > effective line screen) and can alter depth of surface for other
      > effects. The line of cut and/or engraving is almost not measurable so
      > quite fine forms could be created. The depth of cut is limited to
      > half an inch and the machines at Art Center don't cut metal but
      > almost anything else is fair game (unless the material produces toxic
      > fumes). So some kind of a base is necessary. I'll keep you informed.
      >
      > Gerald
      >
      >
      > To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
      > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Encountering problems?
      > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
      >
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    • bielerpr
      ... Dear Bryce Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how successful were you on printing with these materials say compared to metal type or
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 2, 2002
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        --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Bryce Erickson <beric8@s...> wrote:
        > Gerald and Group -
        >
        > Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop would be of
        > interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing potential of laser
        > engraving means dealing with service bureaus that have no knowledge of
        > print-making or letterpress. Their business, on the consumer side, is
        > engraving plaques, trophies, souvenirs, etc. and, on the commercial side,
        > engraving industial ID tags, everything from gas meter serial number plates
        > to bovine ear tags. With some persistence, one can find an engraver willing
        > to put up with a letterpress printer. The company I use claims to be able
        > to achieve 150 lpi on most synthetic materials. They also do halftone
        > engraving on some light metal although the examples i saw were photo
        > positives. Toxic fumes are dealt with by enclosing the engaver in a fume
        > hood. Bad for the environment but safe for the operators. I have printed
        > images from laser engravings on phenolic (high density) plastic and on wood
        > called (in Canada) K-3 board or particle board.
        >
        > Bryce Erickson
        > Saskatoon SK Canada
        >

        Dear Bryce

        Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how successful were you on printing with these materials say compared
        to metal type or photopolymer?


        I'd agree with what you have to say here, which I am singularly
        interpreting (perhaps mistakenly) as limited access to technology and associated costs. On
        the other hand, is this not the case with other printing technologies
        as well?

        As an example: Even though the artifacts of metal letterpress are scattered like the
        bones of buffalo across the vast plains of eBay that does not mean
        that this technology itself was cheaply accessible in its commercial
        heyday. The cost of new presses, casting equipment, foundry type, etc
        was quite prohibitive. If you were to try and have a typeface cast in
        foundry type today you would find you would probably have to appeal
        to the singular likes of a Theo Rehak and the associated costs would
        also be quite prohibitive. And Theo can only do so much as he himself
        is limited to the yet available manufactured elements that were
        required to make the whole process produce a single piece of type.

        I believe this applies in a not disimilar fashion to digital type as
        well. A well drawn technically functional typeface is quite expensive
        to undertake. I know, I had to have a quite complex face commissioned
        as part of a project and it cost almost as much as one of those
        digital laser engravers. Had there been more than one purchaser
        obviously the price would drop down in parcelling it out. But even in
        this instance (taking into account the historical development of software/hardware), it is quite clear to me that the single resultant
        product of any printing technology is the result of enormous
        investment that the end consumer can rare imagine.

        For most of us here, letterpress is a hobby, for some a semblance of a
        livelihood, a few do well enough; but we do not represent a viable
        market for any of these technologies. At best all we are doing is
        picking up the scraps here and there, making this work with that or that with this, and
        deriving pleasure or other gain out of the undertaking. And that is quite
        an accomplishment.

        I am getting more and more folks providing me with laser printed fake
        negs pumped up with toner enhancing spray. Why? They don't want to go
        to the service bureau or can't afford to, or for the project they
        have in mind, don't feel it is warranted. And they have found an
        alternative that works well enough for what they are doing.

        There is
        always a way, whether you take the low road or the high road, you've going to get there; all you have to do is keep moving on down that old "type road."

        All best

        Gerald
      • Neil Giroux
        Page 2. I have been working with a laser-equipped machine shop for some time to cut .50 copper matrices from digital type programs for use in a hand-casting
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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          Page 2. I have been working with a laser-equipped machine shop
          for some time to cut .50 copper matrices from digital type
          programs for use in a hand-casting mould. The process work fine
          (mostly) but tends to be somewhat costly. And the learning curve
          for the machinist is a bit steep, too.

          bielerpr wrote:

          > --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Bryce Erickson <beric8@s...> wrote:
          >
          > > Gerald and Group -
          > >
          > > Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop
          > would be of
          > > interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing
          > potential of laser
          > > engraving means dealing with service bureaus that have no
          > knowledge of
          > > print-making or letterpress. Their business, on the consumer
          > side, is
          > > engraving plaques, trophies, souvenirs, etc. and, on the
          > commercial side,
          > > engraving industial ID tags, everything from gas meter serial
          > number plates
          > > to bovine ear tags. With some persistence, one can find an
          > engraver willing
          > > to put up with a letterpress printer. The company I use
          > claims to be able
          > > to achieve 150 lpi on most synthetic materials. They also do
          > halftone
          > > engraving on some light metal although the examples i saw
          > were photo
          > > positives. Toxic fumes are dealt with by enclosing the
          > engaver in a fume
          > > hood. Bad for the environment but safe for the operators.
          > I have printed
          > > images from laser engravings on phenolic (high density)
          > plastic and on wood
          > > called (in Canada) K-3 board or particle board.
          > >
          > > Bryce Erickson
          > > Saskatoon SK Canada
          > >
          >
          > Dear Bryce
          >
          > Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how
          > successful were you on printing with these materials say
          > compared
          > to metal type or photopolymer?
          >
          >
          > I'd agree with what you have to say here, which I am singularly
          >
          > interpreting (perhaps mistakenly) as limited access to
          > technology and associated costs. On
          > the other hand, is this not the case with other printing
          > technologies
          > as well?
          >
          > As an example: Even though the artifacts of metal letterpress
          > are scattered like the
          > bones of buffalo across the vast plains of eBay that does not
          > mean
          > that this technology itself was cheaply accessible in its
          > commercial
          > heyday. The cost of new presses, casting equipment, foundry
          > type, etc
          > was quite prohibitive. If you were to try and have a typeface
          > cast in
          > foundry type today you would find you would probably have to
          > appeal
          > to the singular likes of a Theo Rehak and the associated costs
          > would
          > also be quite prohibitive. And Theo can only do so much as he
          > himself
          > is limited to the yet available manufactured elements that were
          >
          > required to make the whole process produce a single piece of
          > type.
          >
          > I believe this applies in a not disimilar fashion to digital
          > type as
          > well. A well drawn technically functional typeface is quite
          > expensive
          > to undertake. I know, I had to have a quite complex face
          > commissioned
          > as part of a project and it cost almost as much as one of those
          >
          > digital laser engravers. Had there been more than one purchaser
          >
          > obviously the price would drop down in parcelling it out. But
          > even in
          > this instance (taking into account the historical development
          > of software/hardware), it is quite clear to me that the single
          > resultant
          > product of any printing technology is the result of enormous
          > investment that the end consumer can rare imagine.
          >
          > For most of us here, letterpress is a hobby, for some a
          > semblance of a
          > livelihood, a few do well enough; but we do not represent a
          > viable
          > market for any of these technologies. At best all we are doing
          > is
          > picking up the scraps here and there, making this work with
          > that or that with this, and
          > deriving pleasure or other gain out of the undertaking. And
          > that is quite
          > an accomplishment.
          >
          > I am getting more and more folks providing me with laser
          > printed fake
          > negs pumped up with toner enhancing spray. Why? They don't want
          > to go
          > to the service bureau or can't afford to, or for the project
          > they
          > have in mind, don't feel it is warranted. And they have found
          > an
          > alternative that works well enough for what they are doing.
          >
          > There is
          > always a way, whether you take the low road or the high road,
          > you've going to get there; all you have to do is keep moving on
          > down that old "type road."
          >
          > All best
          >
          > Gerald
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
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          >
          > To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
          >
          > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Encountering problems?
          > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
          > Service.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Gaylord Schanilec
          Cutting wood engravings? Sounds like fighting with one hand tied behind your back--or both. Gaylor.d
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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            Cutting wood engravings? Sounds like fighting with one hand tied behind your
            back--or both. Gaylor.d

            bielerpr wrote:

            > I took the workshop on using the laser engravers at Art Center. Quite
            > amazing. I can see all sorts of uses for this. Rebuilding wood type
            > collections, cutting wood engravings, keeping artifacts of specific
            > forms, etc.
            >
            > This will even engrave halftones (though I don't know yet the
            > effective line screen) and can alter depth of surface for other
            > effects. The line of cut and/or engraving is almost not measurable so
            > quite fine forms could be created. The depth of cut is limited to
            > half an inch and the machines at Art Center don't cut metal but
            > almost anything else is fair game (unless the material produces toxic
            > fumes). So some kind of a base is necessary. I'll keep you informed.
            >
            > Gerald
            >
            >
            > To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
            > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Encountering problems?
            > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • Bryce Erickson
            ... Sorry folks for the posting in error. I ll try again. The laser-engraved phenolic prints well and, at least in my experience, is comparable to
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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              >
              >
              > Dear Bryce
              >
              > Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how successful were you on printing with these materials say compared
              > to metal type or photopolymer?

              Sorry folks for the posting in error. I'll try again.
              The laser-engraved phenolic prints well and, at least in my experience, is comparable to photopolymer plate. The phenolic is dimensionally stable and
              remains completely flat even after engraving, print runs and wash-ups. The surface is extremely smooth, slippery almost, so I had to stay with a stiff ink
              (Lewis Roberts Inc. Special Black, from Graphic Chemical & Ink). Another minor caveat: these non-standard materials all come in thicknesses related to
              other industries (carpentry, construction, etc.) so backing them to achieve type height is tricky.
              The K-3 or particle board, by the very nature of its manufacture (heat pressed sawdust binder mixture), does not give a very fine line for printing. Edges
              softened a bit. Also, as a wood product, it is not dimensionally stable. I tried to 'insulate' several engraved particle board plates by coating them
              with white shellac before starting the print work. Particle board's advantage: it's cheap and comes in 4 foot by 8 foot sheets.

              Cheers,
              Bryce Erickson
            • Erik Desmyter
              ... cut .50 copper matrices from digital type programs for use in a hand-casting mould. I was under the impression (CO2?) lasers could cut most metals but not
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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                Neil Giroux wrote:
                > I have been working with a laser-equipped machine shop for some time to
                cut .50 copper matrices from digital type programs for use in a hand-casting
                mould.

                I was under the impression (CO2?) lasers could cut most metals but not
                copper because of refection problems. What kind of laser were you using?

                Erik
              • bielerpr
                ... Hi Gaylord I wonder if some of the folks who use a baren for woodcut printmaking might not feel the same way about those who use a mechanical press!!!
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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                  --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Gaylord Schanilec <midnight@c...> wrote:
                  > Cutting wood engravings? Sounds like fighting with one hand tied behind your
                  > back--or both. Gaylor.d
                  >
                  > bielerpr wrote:
                  >

                  Hi Gaylord

                  I wonder if some of the folks who use a baren for woodcut printmaking
                  might not feel the same way about those who use a mechanical press!!!

                  http://www.barenforum.org

                  Interesting group. Right down there at the essence of it all.

                  All best

                  Gerald
                • Katie Harper
                  I need to find a source for good quality rollers. I have used Brown Regrinding. Any other recommendations? Does anyone have a phone number for Brown? Also, the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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                    I need to find a source for good quality rollers. I have used Brown
                    Regrinding. Any other recommendations? Does anyone have a phone number for
                    Brown?

                    Also, the last time I got rollers recovered there, Bruce Brown said that the
                    material that makes up the rollers was almost impervious to just about all
                    solvents. Is this true? Someone else told me not to use oil on them, which
                    is scary, since I use baby oil as a first-step cleanup process. Any
                    suggestions?

                    Katie Harper
                    Ars Brevis Press
                    Cincinnati, OH
                  • Harold Kyle
                    ... 763-553-1461 2075 East Center Circle, Plymouth, MN 55441 ... Brown s rollers are pvc-nitrile rubber, which is resistant to just about every solvent except
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 6, 2002
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                      On 6/3/02 4:44 PM, "Katie Harper" <knharper@...> wrote:
                      > I need to find a source for good quality rollers. I have used Brown
                      > Regrinding. Any other recommendations? Does anyone have a phone number for
                      > Brown?
                      763-553-1461
                      2075 East Center Circle, Plymouth, MN 55441

                      > Also, the last time I got rollers recovered there, Bruce Brown said that the
                      > material that makes up the rollers was almost impervious to just about all
                      > solvents. Is this true?
                      Brown's rollers are pvc-nitrile rubber, which is resistant to just about
                      every solvent except "highly polar solvents such as acetone, and MEK, ozone,
                      chlorinated hydrocarbons and nitro hydrocarbons." Baby oil, ie white mineral
                      oil, is fine.

                      Harold

                      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
                      Boxcar Press
                      Fine Printing and Binding ~ Digital Letterpress Supplies
                      640 Fellows Avenue ~ Syracuse, NY 13210
                      315-473-0930 ~ phone and fax
                      www.boxcarpress.com
                      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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