Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

oiling type

Expand Messages
  • lisaxdavidson
    Do all you guys coat your type with kerosene or oil when you re not using it? It seems like a good idea but very smelly and poisonous. Are there other more
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 4, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Do all you guys coat your type with kerosene or oil when you're not using it? It seems like a
      good idea but very smelly and poisonous. Are there other more benign solvents to get the
      oil off before printing, and maybe a more benign oil?

      Lisa
    • Steve Robison
      ... Lisa, Good question! I think most people just clean the top of the type with whatever they normally use after each press run, and then just put the type
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 4, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        --- lisaxdavidson <lisaxdavidson@...> wrote:

        > Do all you guys coat your type with kerosene or oil
        > when you're not using it? It seems like a
        > good idea but very smelly and poisonous. Are there
        > other more benign solvents to get the
        > oil off before printing, and maybe a more benign
        > oil?
        >
        > Lisa


        Lisa,

        Good question!

        I think most people just clean the top of the type
        with whatever they normally use after each press run,
        and then just put the type back in the case.

        I use kerosene as a general type wash because it does
        leave a very light coating on the type and because
        that's what I learned to use when I first started
        printing with letterpress. It's a relatively safe all
        purpose print shop solvent. As petroleum solvents go,
        it is not as volatile as most of the other common
        solvents, and therefore not as harmful to humans. But
        the old country term for it is "coal oil" and I guess
        it is found with coal or squeezed out of coal or
        something, so it does have a petroleum base.

        I suppose any petroleum product is harmful at some
        level, so I use gloves and use the kerosene sparingly.
        Most people over do it, but I don't use very
        much...just a dab or two...so you don't have to stink
        up the room too much. There are now so-called
        'odorless' versions of kerosene that still have an
        odor but it's not as strong. Of course I have my shop
        in a separate building from living quarters so I don't
        mind a little residual smell left in the shop. It lets
        it smell like an old fashioned print shop!

        But I suppose a vegetable based oil would also work,
        but you'd have to still clean the top of the type off
        before printing to avoid having it mix with whatever
        ink you are using. Maybe you could use a water soluble
        solvent like "California Wash" to clean the vegetable
        oil off the type before it goes on the press. Just be
        sure to wipe any residual residue off the face of the
        type with a dry soft clean rag before printing to
        avoid mixing any "California Wash" with your ink.
        (Anyone who uses "California Wash" or another
        non-petroleum product for your wash-up want to comment
        further???)

        Actually, if you work a case a lot, and handle and use
        the type a lot, the oils from your fingers gives type
        a light coating of oil which helps preserve the type
        too. But most people only use a bit of type from the
        case at a time. It's the type that's left in the case
        and doesn't get used a lot that is usually the first
        to corrode and oxidize.

        The overall point here is to find a way to leave some
        sort of thin protective oil on your type between uses
        which will protect it from corrosion -- particularly
        on the face of the type to keep it from pitting. This
        procedure is absolutely necessary in coastal areas
        where there is a lot of salt in the air, or in any
        other area with an environment corrosive to metal.

        In contrast, I suppose that if you live in the hot
        desert and use your type enough to keep it oiled with
        average cleanings between use, you may never have to
        ever worry about any of this!

        Best wishes,

        --Steve

        Steve Robison
        Belmont, CA (just south of San Francisco)





        ____________________________________________________________________________________
        Building a website is a piece of cake. Yahoo! Small Business gives you all the tools to get online.
        http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.