Can hand presses for block printing be used for letterpress?

Hi All,

I’m looking to begin experimenting with Letterpress printing. I’m planning on purchasing custom plates from Boxcar printing and I am wondering if using them with a hand press like this: will yield the desired result? (provided I use a decent cotton letterpress paper)

Will standard block printing hand presses provide enough pressure for letterpress?

Thanks for the help I appreciate it!

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Hi there!
I think that these would work reasonably well. I have one that I use for block printing, and it’s a nice, affordable solution. You may not get a huge impression, but you could try to improve this by putting an inexpensive felt sheet (at any craft store or wal-mart) between the paper and the press.

good luck!

Z- yes you can use a small press like that for printing PP plates. I used a similar one many years ago for wood-blocks, and it worked quite well.

They ARE a bit slow….. since they require hand-inking, and careful placement of the paper. But they can produce a decent image.

I would recommend dampening your paper to help compensate for lower pressure.

I have owned this press, and would not recommend it to anyone for any kind of printing. I found that it did allow for adequate leverage and pressure. The platen is not level enough to apply even pressure.
Not worth the money I spent. I finally gave mine away. My students and I use an etching press, lever press, and a proof press with far less trouble.

This kind of block printing press is totally inadequate for any kind of printing. It was the first kind of press I used (in Junior High School) and it was inadequate then. It does not even make good use of the theory of leverage.