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.


  1. Wow, Preston, this is delightful. It's letterpress at its most whimsical. No doubt the finished work has to be seen and handled directly to get the full effect. As usual, your craftsmanship is exquisite. Way to go!

  2. Where did you get the point guides?

  3. I made 'em. I have an old metal lathe and can do simple things. Of course, a real machinist could do a much nicer job.

  4. I notice, on Rummonds' web site, a note about a man who makes and sells point guides:

    Stephen Heaver is offering 24-point registration point guides (similar to those illustrated on page 186 of my book Printing on the Iron Handpress) at $10.00 a pair, plus $2.00 shipping. These items are indispensable for fine on iron handpresses. Stephen can be contacted at

  5. I exchanged email with Stephen Heaver recently. He still sells points. The price is currently (June 2011) $15/pair, which includes shipping.

  6. I have searched various blog for Press ID card. I have found your blog very informative. Thanks for sharing the valuable information.

  7. Hi, all…
    I am hoping there are folks out there that can help me with my Poco 0 proof press. I am having some trouble with adjusting the press so it works smoothly. I’ve looked through the archived discussions and can’t find much info on my problems. I’ve been looking at the website and it has been enormous help, but my issues aren’t addressed there.

    First off, I am not sure how smoothly the press should roll when turning the handle, but my guess is that it should roll more smoothly than it does. We had to take the press apart to move it, and my husband seems to think it used to roll more smoothly before the move. It seems to roll ok, but takes a fair bit of pressure on the handle to work it. It also doesn’t seem to roll consistently…more pressure is needed at the ends than at the middle. It kind of clunks when it hits the middle.

    I read somewhere in these posts that the press bed should ‘high center’ on the middle sets of rollers (A on diagram), and should rock a little when the bed is centered on the press. Is this true?

    We have checked the press for ‘square’ and for level, and it is both. On the press, the right under side rollers (B) on either end of the press do not engage the bed at all. The left rollers (C) do…both sets of rollers needed much persuasion to move at all, so my guess is they have been in the original position for quite some time.

    We applied gun oil to the oiling holes that were specified, but it seems to make no difference. We also applied petroleum jelly to the sides of the press bed where it meets the small flanges on the frame of the bed (just under the gears on one side and the same location on the other) to no avail. We have not applied lubrication of any kind to the large gear on the cylinder or the large gear on the bed.

    When the cylinder is centered on the press, should the gap where the tympan and packing is tightened up be at 12:00?

    Thanks in advance for any information you can give me…I really appreciate it.