Cavery Inventables, Shellac, and Type High Wood - in the UK

Hello Briar Press,

I’ve been reading through a variety of back dated posts on CNC cutters and seem to have found a solution for myself. I’m not able to self build a machine and would like to concentrate on the craft of letterpress rather than learning code I am thinking of investing in a small machine called Cavery from Inventables. Has anyone had experience with this machine? I am hoping to test one out, but I wanted to ask here if anyone had used one in relation to letterpress/ printmaking. I would be using it to create carved wooden picture blocks for letterpress. I am fascinated with the idea of creating wooden type but am aware that there is a steep learning curve and would like start with icons and images first before throwing myself into a full blown type project!

This leads me to my next question, Shellac or sealing the wood. What is the best method, I remember that Devils Tail Press talked about a process in this post but could anyone recommend a detailed breakdown of the process and what agents might be needed? Is all wood sealed the same.

Finally, and I am aware that this is the big question I know that I need hardwood, end grain for type, but could I get away with using a softwood for images/ icons that are for personal use rather than for retail - while I experiment or is it best to start as I mean to go on. I have created wooden carved blocks out of ply from Intaglio Printmakers in London. Would this work? Or many be Japanese Side Grain woodblocks? Any suggestions/ advice on wood and where I might obtain UK type high wood - or alternative methods or making blocks type high, all information will be gratefully received.

My thanks in advance.

P.S I am not able to use a lazer cutter as my print studio is on a boat - moving water and lazer don’t mix!

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