Thursday, April 23, 2015

Letterpress - It's all about the Boxcar Base...

So far in this Letterpress Baby series we talked about installing the rollers and adjusting the roller height on our Chandler & Price 10 x 15 printing press. Next we'll talk about the Boxcar base. 

According to the serial number stamped on our C&P Letterpress it was manufactured in 1928. I'm not a Letterpress historian but my understanding is setting and printing with metal type was the most common method used for printing at that time. 

I don't use metal type for several reasons - primarily because of the costs and storage that would be needed - so we won't be discussing that process here. However, below are a few links to other articles and a video if it is something you are interested in learning more about: 
For our Letterpress Baby I've opted to use an Aluminum Boxcar Base that we purchased from Boxcar Press. The Boxcar base allows us to create designs using Photoshop, save them as a Vector file using Illustrator and then having that design turned into a type of plate made with Polymer that will stick to the Boxcar base. The Polymer plate behaves the same way as the metal type and allows us to get the embossed impression on our cards.

The Boxcar base we chose for our press was the Deep Relief Base. We laid the base into the Chase, which is an iron frame, and then place wooden blocks called "furniture" around the sides to hold it into place. Once we have it firmly held, we lock it in using a quoins. 

Once everything was set, we placed the Chase into the press. The next step was to setup the Tapan paper, gauge pins, and line up the Polymer Plate so it is ready for inking and printing - which will be the next segment in this series. 

Everything I've read about blogging says you shouldn't send people to another site - because what happens if they don't come back??? But, I think Boxcar has a great tutorial that provides a lot of good information and detail - so for your convenience, here is the link to that article which includes wonderful photos including images of Polymer Plates for those of you who are curious. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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