Golding official no. 4 and deep impression

Is there a limitation as to how deep of an impression you can get with a golding official? I have gotten good “kiss” results on my printing and have experimented on packing but have yet to see a “bite” on the paper. Any suggestions on packing or adjustments on the platen? Thanks in advance.

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Good that you have achieved good ‘kiss’ results. We used to call that fine printing.
You have to tell a bit more. What is your form? Is it a large woodcut? Is it a medium poly plate? Is it a small type form? What paper are you using?
You know what you have, but the wizards on the forum are guessing unless you give more information.

To answer your specific question: Yes, there is a limitation. It is certainly limited to the amount of relief of the form. It is also limited by the size of the form and how much pressure or squeeze the press can deliver.

A lot depends on just how much “bite” you want. Using a rubber offset press blanket with a fairly thick sheet of acetate over it I’ve been able to get a deep enough impression that it shows on the back of the sheet, using 70lb book weight paper, on my 6x9 Sigwalt, a Golding Official knock-off. What size Official are you using and how large an area of printing are you trying to “bite” the paper with?


Thanks so much for the reply, sorry for the lack of info I’ve provided. I have a photolymer plate mounted on a 4.5x7.5 deep relief boxcar base. And the size of the area I’m printing is 3x4 containing 15pt script font and some line art. The paper I used was a 300 gsm crane lettra. I’m not aiming for a really deep bite, just enough to see an imprint in the paper. The packing that I’ve used was a tympan paper, 4 sheets of bond and a press board. Should I increase my packing or should I experiment with a different one like Bob suggested.

After I posted my other response I checked and the #4 is a 6x9, the same size as my Sigwalt. Given the size area you’re printing and the press I’d suggest an offset press blanket with a thin piece of acetate and whatever packing you need behind it in the form of extra sheets of bond. You’ll sacrifice a sheet of tympan because the deep impression will go into it as well, but you should be able to get the effect you want. Be careful that on impression you only bump up against the stop on the handle — if you lean into that you won’t increase the pressure but you’ll risk breaking the handle. I adjust packing until I just reach the impression I want when I just bump the stop lightly. Then if you always bump the stop lightly you’ll get the same impression on each sheet.


If you are getting good kiss printing with the packing you are using, try removing a couple sheets of the bond packing and putting a couple of sheets of newsprint under the tympan sheet.
Fine letterpress printing (Kiss printing) requires a hard tympan. Deeper impression requires a softer tympan.
If you have grippers, make sure they are clear of the base, or remove them.

Thank you so much for the suggestions, I will try to do that this weekend and will let you know of the results.

Bob, any idea on where I could get offset press blankets?

Most printers have a pile of old blankets hanging around, if you ask they might give you one, i find the ab dick blankets work pretty well. Dick G. ps if your near me swing in and i’ll give you one.

Bob, how thick should the offset press need to be?

dickg, are you anywhere around the Washington DC area? Would love to swing by if you are.