“Building” or “Making” as a topic

I’ve been lurking for some time but only registered recently. I was pleased to see my press (Boreas Press, first imprint 1970) listed and just filed a claim to it. The 1970 book was printed on a borrowed Vandercook, but I now have an 8 x 10 Showcard, to which I have fitted a tympan. I’m currently trying to build a Vandercook-type press using a drum from a Ditto machine. I’ve found quite a few interesting discussions about building presses, including some pretty technical topics, but these seem to end up under “General” creating a kind of “needle in a haystack” problem. Is there any interest in creating a subtopic, like “Building” or “Making”? This could go well beyond presses: Has anyone built a polymer platemaker?

image: Footprint.JPG


Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Your idea for a new topic sounds good to me, although I read all the posts in all the topics anyway.

By the way, the cylinder shaft can’t rest on the rails as you show in your picture. The shaft would have to have bearers on it, metal discs which are the same diameter as the cylinder plus packing. The bearers and cylinder would then be secured to the shaft, and the bearers would rest on the rails.

“…Has anyone built a polymer platemaker?….”

Yep… several of us have. I’ve built two: 1- a UV florescent unit, and 2- a Solar powered / rotarty scrubber unit.

Interestingly, when I posted the solar powered burner, the consensus from the crowd was that it wouldn’t work, and that I was doing letterpress a great disservice for even daring to write about it. Now, 10plus years later, those who blasted it are mostly gone, and the solar powered unit combined with a simple rotary scrubber is my go-to platemaker. It works perfectly.

About a “Press Building SubForum” : There used to be a lot of builders here, who would have loved such a place to share ideas. Unfortunately, the forum also contained a LOT of Nay-Sayers who felt it was their obligation to bash new ideas, and put down home-shop-made equipment…. so most of the talented builders left for greener pastures years ago. I myself only come here once or twice a year nowadays. Your idea about a “Builder’s Subforum” is a good one, but I think it’s a bit too late.

Geoffrey — Thanks for your vote FOR adding the topic. Yes, I agree, the setup pictured would make for a pretty primitive press, but I’ll be adding many bells and whistles. I would like it to work as much like a Vandercook as I can. I really just wanted to show the Ditto cylinder. I put a clutch inside so that clockwise rotation will drive the cylinder and counter-clockwise rotation will open the paper (stencil) gripper.

Winking Cat — I’ve seen your postings and very much admire the workmanship of your recent little press. I spent a long time looking at your “Trip Mechanism” posting. I’m sorry to hear that you think it’s “too late” to add a “Builder’s Subforum,” but maybe you’re wrong! I guess time will tell. As to your platemakers — wow! Are they somewhere in Briar Press, or can you send me something about them via email?