Borders & Corners

I had a wild idea for a weekend project this morning: printing a 2021 calendar. I have a small-format calendar set, so I’m OK there, but I also have some corners and a holly-leaf border I thought I might use for December.

I’ve never used borders or corners before. It might be a stupid question, but how do you use them? Would I have to, for example, print my calendar text first and then print the border in a second press run, or could I somehow set the border around the text portion and run them together? Are there any “tricks” to use?

I’ll probably attempt to “learn by doing”, same way I learned blacksmithing, but if anybody has any suggestions, I’m ready to take suggestions.

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If you wished the border color to be the same as the enclosed text, you simply set them both up and print at the same time. It takes some skill to carefully space the lines so they all are exactly the same width, so the vertical elements of the border align properly, but, as they say, it’s not rocket science.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

I agree with John Henry.

Sometimes it is a good idea to put 6 pt slugs around the form before you put the border pieces around it, to keep the border nice and straight. However, it will depend on whether the size of the border pieces is an even multiple of the length (and width) of the form or not.

As usual, after you lock up the whole thing, raise one edge a quarter inch or so off the stone and push against every piece of type and also every piece of spacing material to be sure everything is tight. If they aren’t, put in copper thins and if necessary, pieces of paper cut to the size of thins, until everything is tight.

This brings to mind another procedure which isn’t really related, but might be of use at some time. When you are planning to print a form where different lines of type (and ornaments) are to be in different colors, it is sometimes a good idea to set the whole thing up as if it was a one color job. Then for each color, take the type and ornaments for the other colors out of the form and replace them with spacing material. When you get the first color printed, take the type and ornaments for that out and put the type and ornaments for the second color back in, and so on. Then you are printing all of the colors with the same form and all the colors should register well. You may not have to re-adjust the gauge pins either.

There used to be cast by the foundries, small ‘L’ shaped six point things that helped to keep the corners square. But what Geoffrey is saying seems to me to be spot on. Copper half point thins are a godsend sometimes.

Geoffrey’s technique seems sound for next year’s calendar. This year I decided to keep it simple. I’m just going to use a single line of holly border under the December month name.

Next year I plan a larger calendar and will remember the idea(s). By then, hopefully I will have learned more. Being retired is great! You got all kinds of time to read and try new things.