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Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: laser engraving

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
      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
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
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      [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 2 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
        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 3 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
          >
          >
          > 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 4 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
            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 5 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
              --- 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 6 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
                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 7 of 11 , Jun 6, 2002
                  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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