I have a Bachelors in Printing Management, but didn’t end up using my degree. I’ve now decided to take up Letterpress as a hobby, and have a couple questions.

Press recommendations for a beginner, I’d rather spend more now and not feel the need to get something bigger and/or better in the near future.

I’d like to use lead rather than polymer: Does all lead type fit all presses? What am I not asking that I need to know? Thanks for any help…

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What do you want to do? How much space do you have ? etc. Check out www.fiveroses.org choosing a press lots of other info on site.

I much prefer lead type and woodcuts over photo-polymer plates. Iuse lead type for the vast majority of my work. I do however use photo-poly for some things.

There are pros and cons to both ways of doing things. The advantage of lead type is primarily one of long-term cost savings. While more expensive to buy initially, lead type can be reset and reused for many, many jobs while a photo-poly plate is often a one-job deal. On the other hand, using a computer and photo-poly plates allows one to include an almost unlimited variety of type styles and sizes. I guess in the end, it all depends on what you want to do, and what your personal preference might be.

The lead type that you are likely to find in the US, most of Europe, and the former British Empire nations will all interchange just fine. A few nations have adopted different type heights through the years, but in my entire carreer I’ve encountered non-standard height types only twice.

Before you buy a press, I’d recommend studying the vast amount of material available on the Internet. Websites like fiveroses.org, briarpress.org, Don Black Linecasting and others have enough info to get you going.

“What am I not asking that I need to know?”
Wise question. The answer is: Lots/much
I am an old metal type guy and there are a few of us left who do as we were taught and print on the paper and not into it.
Say where you are and perhaps one of the old guys (or old ladies too) will invite you to contact her or him.
Your best course would be to find a printer who uses metal type and learn from her or him. Then you can decide on a press and type.
You need to have a better plan for the amount of space you will need, what you want to print, how much time you have to devote, and how much money.
Learning to print, getting a press and getting all the other stuff needed is a quest and a good challange.

Thanks for all the info. This was the beginning of much research before I spend a penny. I’m in NW Indiana, and have heard mention of a good source of equipment in Indianapolis.

I like the thought of lead because I’m as interested in the historical aspect of the whole process as I am in the end product. I don’t know much, but I’m certain “photo-polymer” is not traditional term in Letterpress… That being the case I’m sure I’ll utilize it on occasion.

Thanks again. I’m sure there’ll be many questions to follow.