PRINT DONE!!! (was Need Help In Cleveland)

I think I definately bit off more than I can chew here but I’m determined and sometimes that goes a long way. :)

I could ‘probably’ pull this off by monday but I’m reaching out to anyone in the area who might be able to help guarantee success.

I’m curating a group art show which opens on Monday, June 28th.

I’ve designed this poster for the show which I would like to give one hand pulled print to each participant (approx 65 people).

I found a great guy at Madison Press in Lakewood Ohio to cast 60+ names on linotype slugs for me (24pt on 48pt slugs) so I have those in hand.

I’ve hand carved the show logo and stars on unmounted linoleum. Also carved the starburst tint block on unmounted lino. My plan was to mount an actual record with the starburst cut and use that for the yellow layer.

I have the wood type to set the show location and other type.

Here’s what I DON’T have.
- furniture
- quions
- 24 or 48 pt spacing slugs to justify the names
- paper (yet)
- chase to fit the layout/size (but I was going to try to do this on my poco no.2 and just lok it up right on the bed)

My goal was to do these at about 12x24.

Any advice, help, prayers, miracles or public berating would be greatly appreciated.

I think someone in the show said they knew someone at Zygote Press in Cleveland but I wasn’t able to talk to them today.

Yes.. I’m crazy. Yes, pulling this off for next to nothing (already paid for the linotype out of pocket) will be next to impossible but maybe someone needs some design or web work done in exchange for assistance?

Anyhow.. there you have it. I’ll be busy kicking myself now. lol

image: show poster

show poster

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Working under pressure is one thing but self imposed can be crazy making. :o)
Maybe you could find some good hardwood at a place that sells it in lengths and and a saw and cut some furniture and wegdes. That could work in a pinch. Could the person who cast the linotype cast some spacing?
Good luck!

that was my initial idea was to measure and cut the furniture I need from some red oak leftovers I have.

i wasn’t sure but figured I could do the same for the name spacing from some square metal stock from home depot.. but maybe even use the wood.

for the chase i thought maybe I could make something from some square steel stock from HD pretty quick.

if I pull this off I might have to look into calling my operation ‘frankenpress press’. lol

going to take a bit of makeshift makeready to get everything type high.

luckily I can just keep printing into the wee hrs of the morning in the garage.

who needs sleep?

I do hope you’ll post the finished poster. I’d love to see how a record prints!


Dirk with F2 Design has printed an LP before on his press… with pretty nice results.

Also Keith, you just had to do a bleed, didn’t you??? ;)

image: e6d5a7f9.jpg


I love that!

For the 48pt. spacing to center the name slugs, how about simply using magnets on each side to center the slug side-to-side in the form?


Check out Graphic Touch Letterpress; maybe they can help—only an hour away, or so. rh

I think I’m going to leave a 1 inch white border on the print. The image above probably has it but you cant see it on the white background.

So I went through the handfull of type I got with my press and came up with a decent amount of spacer material.. (decent=about 2 hands full) so at least I have a head start. lol.

I thought about the chase on the way to work and figured I could probably make one out of 3/4 inch plywood (I have some oak panels laying around).

If I cut it to fit my bed with some predrilled lag bolts on all 4 sides, then cut out the print area in the middle for the composition, I can probably get it locked up good enough for this short run on the proofing press.

Once again reliving my Army training…
Adapt, Improvise and Overcome.



image: chase.jpg


With that type traing and the Adopt, Improvise, Overcome outlook, you will do OK.
The 48 point lino slugs are pretty rugged. For your relatively short run and printing it on a cylinder proof press, you probably can get away without a fully quadded and justified line. Think of laying bricks without mortar. If the lino slugs overlap from on line to another, and you can lock them up tight from bottom to top of the form, they won’t move. I wouldn’t do this on a longer run and a platen press without proper space material.

You might have to do the red in two or three parts separately and this will require a frisket to get good register.
The record disk will print with light handed inking and a very light impression.
I suggest 3/4” furniture grade plywood as the mounting base for your record and lino cuts. It is pretty uniform in thickness. You will have to build up under it to bring it up suitable height.
Airborn All the Way

SO hit the wood shop today and got 2 chases made of 3/4 cabinet plywood 18x25 to fit the press bed with a 12x23 opening for the layout.

Got my linoleum mounted to juuuuuuuuust about type high with some 3/4 inch mdf and a sheet of thin laminate. Might need to add a couple of pieces of paper when i do makeready.

I got someone loaning me furniture and quoins today and I was able to get the metal shop to cut me spacer material.

Per inky’s recommendation, I was able to get that linotype justified and locked up in a galley pretty well once i gave up on alphabetical order for the names and eyeballed the slug sizes.

Looks like I’m good to go.. Just need to get some paper today and some caffeine to keep me printing into the wee hours.

I’m going to have to repack the roller on my proof press since I took it all apart to clean it when I got it so that should be fun.

I’m thinking I might throw the record on my turntable, spin it and cut a little deeper grooves between the tracks to bring those out more in the print. I’ll need to bring that record up some as well before I finally mount that but no problem there.

image: IMG00723.jpg


I like your approach to a challange.
We like to hear success stories and believe that we may have been a helpful part of them.
Please report results and show photos.
What’s next?

I meant to post some pics last night. I picked up about 10 different paper samples and ran some proofs using speedball waterbased ink. (blah)

i really liked the gloss goated stock because the slight impression really showed contrasted against the gloss stock and the matte ink.

the problem was when pulling off the print the ink sort of peaked randomly on the print like if you were to put ink between 2 non porous surfaces and pull them apart. (wait.. that’s is exactly what happens.

anyhow.. i’m afraid i might have to forget the coated stock unless using oil based ink will solve that problem. my concern there is the introduction of another problem… drying time.

I need to do 2 colors on this with overprinting and i’m just not sure if the lighter base color will dry in time.

although, the red ink picking up some of the yellow wouldn’t be a terrible thing if it happened.

any tips on printing on coated gloss stock?

my other choice is something like chip board. i like the distressed look of it but that comes at a loss of ‘pop’ in the colors.

That speedball block-printing ink is notorious for doing that. You really have to roll out a minuscule amount of it or it will get really tacky. Not a great ink for letterpress, IMO.

When I last did block printing, we didn’t even use the speedball but rather loosened up litho ink with vegetable oil.

Is there any way you can put less ink on the printing surface? Or thicken up your end and then roll it out in a nice, even sweep?

It shouldn’t take too long to dry a first layer with waterbased ink, but be careful with applying a second layer to ink that’s only “gelled” and not cured. Some waterbased inks will create blocking (you stack your prints and they seal together in a giant block!), and they’ll never fully dry in those areas you overprinted.

Good luck! This would be a very easy project to screen print.

Ditch the Speedball ink. Use oil base litho (I suspect anything you can find will work better). Given the solids, you will need to add a little reducer and dryer (if your getting this from another shop, have them mix it in). If the ink is worked well, and not laid on too thick, it will dry very quickly on gloss stock (oil based tends to dry quicker on gloss than on matte or uncoated).

Good luck and press on!

thanks mike. I’m going to see if I can get hold of any reducer and dryer.

can i use regular oil paint reducer and dryer? or does it have to be specific to oil based ink?

i know we have some of that around.

far as laying it on thick, i’ve found that my wood type is somewhat uneven when I was inking them with a hard rubber block and I was having to go over and over in multiple directions to get everything inked. it just didnt feel right. the ink started feeling very watery.

what i need is a nice 8-10 inch brayer so i can get the areas inked in one sweep.

i’m having a hard time finding any good art supply stores here in cleveland. it’s all crafts and hobby chains here by me.

as for screen printing.. yeah.. i know.. unfortunately i’m in my ‘letterpress period’… my screen printing infatuation was last year. I burned one screen, ran a set of prints, gave them all away and I was done. i need a bigger slop sink and table setup to get into screening.

Dick Blick’s does have some oil based speedball printing inks in tubes; it’s not so bad, but expensive. rh

with the timeline I have I’m trying to find everything local.

So it turns out the paper place doesn’t have the chroma coated white in stock at the size i need but they DO have yellow.

I’m going to go ahead and get that and try to recut my tint block quick tonight so I’m printing white on yellow instead of yellow on white.

the good part is that it’ll use substantially less ink for the first color so drying time should be quicker.

the other issue might be getting a white border on the piece now unless I cut some lino 1 inch wide all the way around… I might need to cut a little but of one of my plywood chases if I do that.

progress is good. even though this project never actually made it to fruition in time with a LOT of other things popping up taking priority I finally managed to pull some prints yesterday. Just waiting for them all to dry so I can do the second color in one session.

I ended up using Daniel Smith oil based inks: etching ink for the base yellow color (it’s all I had available) and indian red relief ink for the copy.

Unfortunately it’s tough because all I have is a 3-4” wide brayer to cover the 10x18 inch base color block. It takes about 3-4 trips back to the ink plate to get the linoleum and the record covered.

Since I was going for a distressed print look anyway I didnt mind the variation and uneven coverage on each print. As long as there was no lap marks I was happy and since not a single lap mark on any of them, I’m happy. Especially for it being my first time doing more then playing around on the press.

I printed about 75 yellow on coated cover stock 12x24. Since I had it all locked up I printed a limited edition of 10 in white ink on gloss yellow stock which look pretty cool. Just waiting for those to dry to print the red type.

What you’ll see is the wooden chase I cut, the cylinder packing is a little wierd, I know… but when I got the press it had a few sheets of paper under a rubber mat wrapped around the cylinder. I went to the fabric store and found something similar. Patent-leather-look vinyl. I laid 2 pieces of heavy stock on the cylinder and wrapped it with the vinyl. Seems to be working ok for now until I can get some tympan and figure out setting it up on the cylinder with paper guides.

image: inked up and ready to roll.

inked up and ready to roll.

image: who needs registration? actually there's some pencil lines drawn on the chase to lay the paper.

who needs registration? actually there's some pencil lines drawn on the chase to lay the paper.

image: turn the handle and it's printing magic. as long as i pulled the print up quick I didn't get wierd coverage issues from some of the inck staying on the block.

turn the handle and it's printing magic. as long as i pulled the print up quick I didn't get wierd coverage issues from some of the inck staying on the block.

image: and there you have it. only 74 left. :)

and there you have it. only 74 left. :)

Your Poco press looking good!

Nice! Keep it coming.

finished my posters yesterday. it took me a while to get everyting locked up in the chase because i was trying to figure out the best way to get the force justified linotype slugs locked up from the top and bottom since I couldn’t lock them up side to side because I didn’t have spacer material between the slugs.

then I needed to get the right and left location and date copy block locked up which took a little bit of time and lastly, I had to cut the randomly placed stars in linoleum and get tem locked up with everything else.

first picture shows the form locked up in the wooden chase on the bed. I’m sure it looks pretty frankensteinesque in terms of all the different furniture and spacer material but it worked and held up just fine for the 80 or so prints i hand inked and pulled.

instead of laying the prints on the floor again to dry (which put a nice amount of debris in the first base color my lovely assistant (wife) rigged up a clothesline type setup and hung them back to back as I was done printing them.

i started out with some burnt orange etching ink but it was REALLY thick and didn’t seem to be rolling well on the ink plate or onto the form. I was getting way too much ink on the brayer. so after printing about 10 of those i switched to an indian red etching ink which was much less thick.

I just put it right on top of the other ink and rolled it out so there are some color variations from print to print which I really don’t mind at all.

some prints came out perfect while others seemed to smudge with the paper moving about an 1/8 inch during impression.

for the most part I was trying to keep impression depth to a minimum but keep ink coverage to a maximum.

some worked, some didnt but since these are all being given out free to artists who mostly work with computers all day, I’m sure they will appreciate the hand made feel of each one.

thanks for all the help I received here and especially thanks to dennis couch for letting me borrow some BADLY needed furniture and quoins.

image: ...and done. Linoleum block, wood type, linotype and a vinyl record letterpress poster. 12x24

...and done. Linoleum block, wood type, linotype and a vinyl record letterpress poster. 12x24

image: all inked and locked up with nowhere to go.

all inked and locked up with nowhere to go.

image: dry my little friends.. .DRY!!!

dry my little friends.. .DRY!!!

That looks great! Congratulations!

They look neat!!!! Way to go!


They look GREAT! I will hang it proudly in my shop!!


Great Posters ! like the lino cut with the press .



Looks really good…

Congrads !

I have 6-10 copies of this print available if anyone would like to trade similar artwork.

this is 12x24, 2 color.

lookign for anythign incorporating large type or quirky cuts.