speedy-cut or speedy-carve on a tabletop?

Has anyone made prints on their press using SpeedyCut or SpeedyCarve? I have a whole bunch of it, and several carvings that I’ve made in the past and printed. I’d love to use it with my new press, but I’m wondering if anyone has any tips about whether it can be done, how to mount it so it’s type high, and their general experience, etc.



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G’devening Katie;

I do a fair amount of linocut printing using a press and am assuming the material you are using is the rather softish stuff about a quarter of an inch thick. If it is, it will most likely compress and distort under pressure. I have been using the ‘golden cut’ version of jute back linoleum which supposedly is a little softer and ‘juicier’ version of the battleship variety but I find it about the same. I mount it to MDF board using construction cement, weighting it while it cures/dries/hardens or whatever it does. From there I shim it up with mat board, paper, or whatever until it is type high. I find it prints very well……cheers…..db

My experience has been that virtually any material that can be carved and mounted type-high can be used on a tabletop press….. however, I’m not big fan of very soft materials on tabletop presses. Soft material is best suited for hand-prints, in my opinion.

BUT if i had a lot of it, here’s how I’d go about it:

I’d mount the carved images onto wood blocks using Super 77 spray glue. The thickness of the block of course depends on the thickness of the Speedycut. Just remember that it’s better to be a little short, rather than tall since you can always shim it up with cardstock.

For inking, I’d use a hand-brayer rather than the rollers since adjusting the rollers to get an even coating of ink on the soft plates might be a pain-in-the-backside.

Then I’d just print like normal. since the plates are soft, I’d go light on the pressure to avoid smashing / distorting the image. One advange you’d have is that the softer plates will conform to paper texture…. so you might get a good impression on papers that are normally not letter-press friendly.

Using a soft plate on a platen press quickly establishes a line between a ‘smash’ hack and a real printer. :o) Rubber plates enjoyed a firm position in the industry - particularly so in the imaging of corrugated cardboard or substrate proving injurious to metal type - and now, with the recent (and fast fading) rubber stamp scrapbooking fad leaving a plethora of cuts there for the taking, a home-printer has a treasure at hand.
Printing of a rubber plate tests one’s patience and skill of course, but a knowledge of makeready, an understanding of short or long inks, and a thorough familiarity of press capability will have rewarding result. I could over-simplify by recommending but two steps to success: kiss & dry, but that would require (too) many to actually read a book about various approaches to printing. :o)
Now, I could go on to regale with my own experience of printing, on an 8x12 C&P, using a rubber cut, 1000 wood chopsticks, but already I can hear the eyes snapping shut. :o)