Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Determined to get the Most from my Poco!

Hi Group,
I've had my Poco about two years. It took a while to sort out some missing bits (the stops) and get it working smoothly. Boy, it sure does love some lubrication on those gears. I wonder what product everyone likes best for that? My husband thinks I should switch from generic grease to his teflon bicycle chain lubricant.

I got a metal plate the thickness of a galley and the full size of the bed so it's now type high. I'm using Yupo as my tympan--it's durable and wipes clean. So far I've printed some book arts kinds of things with metal type and linoleum blocks and that worked pretty well but I realized registration was a big issue. A friend has a proof press and thinks I should just register on the cylinder but my experiments didn't seem to work. Since it prints from both directions I couldn't just rig up a registration device like a Vandercook would have.

I liked Neil Giroux's idea but didn't have the metal working skills to make that and didn't like the business of hanging it from the ceiling. I'm in a warehouse with a VERY high ceiling and I'm 4'11". After some thought, and looking at any other tympan/friskets I could find, I decided it would be good to have it open across the bed. Hinges need to be small and I thought of those piano hinges I saw at Home Depot. I do some bookmaking and have lots of binder board so I attached a piece to the piano hinge which can then be locked up in with the furniture. One minor drawback is that the piano hinge is a little too short but I can hold it at the right height for the hinge and if I tighten the quoins it will stay at the right height. There are two sizes of piano hinge and I used the narrower one. I make the holes with a Japanese hole punch.

The first prototype was without a frisket. I just cut a hole in the binder board where the type or image was and made registration stops on top of the binder board. I'm printing a wedding invitation right now using a boxcar base and polymer and realized the binder board alone wouldn't be a good idea. So I used some heavy mylar as an underlayer and added it to the hinge instead of making another hinge. It worked but it was a little awkward to use-kind of like opening a two page book. I cut out the print areas from the mylar and put register stops on the binder board.

I'm wondering if I can find a better material than the binder board because it's a little too thick. I like the piano hinge because it is very reliable in that is doesn't shift or wiggle. I use very short flat bolts/nuts. They are sold in the hardware store with a sort of matching sleeve and are what you might use on a photo album and I think it was called a "post". It has a very low profile head and I replaced the sleeve part with the thinnest nut I could find.
One thought I've had would be to use a some kind of sheet metal for the tympan frame/frisket frame with the center cut out so that it would not need corner hardware. I actually wondered if a hinge of duct tape would work. I really like those carbon fiber hinges I saw on the blog. Will the epoxy be strong enough to hold the frame together?
I should mention that my poco was sandblasted by the previous owner and used as a display piece.
Well, that quite enough for one post. I posted on Briar Press (Poco stops and other issues) and if you scroll down there are some more photos.

(Lynn Starun)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wood type

Yesterday, the neighbor's grandson came visiting. Marya locked up some of our new wooden type and tried it out.

It worked fine.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Infinity Cards

Inspired by this blog posting and a font of Bradley Combination Ornaments, I printed some Infinity Cards.

I printed them on two sides and tried to get good registration. Here's the lockup for the first side.

To achieve registration, I followed ideas from Rummonds and hung the paper on points (basically thumbtacks poked through the tympan). To get the points in the right place, we begin by including a pair these specially machined point guides in the initial lockup. They are 36 points in diameter, made from stainless steel. After the lockup is prepared, we press the tympan down, so that the points guides pierce the tympan slightly, marking the location for the points. Then the point guides are removed and the holes where they were are filled with a 36-point brass, tilted over. This scheme makes a space so the points aren't smashed into furniture or spacing material when the bed is cranked through.

Here's the form inked up. See any mistakes? I didn't. The broad red stripes on either side are the roller bearers. I remove them before printing.

Here're several finished.

A closer shot.

Here's the flip side.

And here are a couple of details.

For a third pass, I locked up a pair of scoring rules to crease the paper where I'll want to fold it.

Note the crease impressed vertically. Towards the bottom left, you can see one of the points.

Here I've trimmed off the edges that had the holes for the points and chopped each piece into four strips. These fours stacks are (mis)organized for glueing.

Here's the result.

And now the mistakes become apparent :-( I can glue the rest of the stacks correctly, but there's no correcting the imposition errors.

Despite the errors, it was still fun. Next time, I'll do it in multiple colors.