Chase Lock Up Questions

Quoins, Furniture, Reglets.. OH MY!!

We’re very close to attaining all of the needed equipment to start up our first press. It’s a beastly 14.5” x 22” C&P. All of these new terms start to get very confusing to newbies like ourselves.

We want to have the largest printing area possible, and are buying an aluminum slab to use as our base, 12” x 18”.

What else do we need to buy, specifically, to lock up this base in the chase..? What else would be needed if we wanted to print using a set of wood type?

LadyBird Letterpress

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It must be impressive to have the biggest press on the block, huh?
People like myself, give of our time and expertise here at Briar Press to help you along in your STARTt in printing.
Then you come to us after you get in the deep $h!t, with a monster that you don’t know what to do with.
We don’t operate a day-care center for wanna-be printers.Again,

Quoins and furniture are what you need, and yes a good book like “Polks - Platen Press printing”. Its still in print and perfect. Also, if you hit “you tube” keying something like Platen press Makeready you will get tons of interesting little training movies. Your press sounds like a big beast so keep it oiled and take care when starting off. printing is wonderful. I worry about the size of the base. You will need to get your lays onto the platen in a position where they wont clash with the base. watch out for that one. Box car press has lots of movie files too(or did)1
Good luck

Another point occurred to me. When I entered printing in the 60’s printers were just starting to use measuring devices like type high gauges and micrometers. Its even easier now and a electronic micrometer are just so handy for the tight tolerances you will find. I’d add one to the general press room list. If you will be using photopolymer, your roller settings will need to be slightly light and the lockup just right. Don’t over tighten. So a roller setting gauge (ebay) would be a great buy!
good luck

L B L In answer to your original question and as constructively as possible, irrespective of the size of your machine and the chase, the main objective is to lock up whatever you printing image is, with as FEW, large accurate pieces of Steel/Resalite/Aluminium or Plastic Jumbo furniture, as you can possibly lay hands on??? and locked accurately in both directions!! .
To illustrate the point, if by force of circumstances and/or lack of big accurate furniture, and you resort to a mish mash of many small pieces, with wooden reglet inter mixed, even with your best efforts, it will be so springy?? you will tap it, to test with a toy hammer and you will have a beautiful pile of rubbish on your lock up surface, or on the floor.!!
As far as possible, the aim is to achieve your lock up with as **Few** Large, accurate pieces of furniture, i.e Steel, box section, Aluminium *H* section, Or Plastic Jumbo furniture, all traditionally used for bigger letterpress formes.
So that if and when you use the traditionally accepted test, for your lock up, I. E. By raising you locked up chase up, and introducing, for the test, one spare quoin or similar under one edge and normally, with reasonable pressure with thumb or finger, all over the locked up material ascertaining the success (Or Otherwise) of your lock up, before lifting it of your imposing surface.

In letterpress, nothing is more final than a smash. If in any doubt carefully with power off and no pedal either, wind the press by hand until almost on impression. you are standing right by the flywheel, and carefully observing the press come together Looking for - 1. Friskets, (gripper bars) that may collide with printing element, Lays, or base and 2. a conflict of lays and printing elements and base. If all OK roll the press through a cycle always by hand, before power on. Mick is right, (in paragraph 3) small pieces near the quoins getting bigger out towards the chase and the printing elements must be correctly surrounded by furniture otherwise pieces can fall out and that’s a smash too. Another book - Letterpress Printing - A manual for fine press printing. A goldmine of useful info. Been printing since early 60’s and my brothers since the 50’s and we would all carefully put a platen press through a cycle before power on! To this day! Cheers

Stanislaus Pekala - Thanks so much for the kind words.

Lasimp - Thanks for the book suggestions, we’ll add these to our collection! Great tip to hand crank slowly and carefully through the cycle before powering on, we will make a habit of this for sure.

Mick on Monotype - Thanks for the clear answer. Will lock it up with as few, large pieces as possible. I’ll be sure to use the traditional test you’ve described as well!