I have recently come across two planers with felt attached to the planing surface. First time I have seen this, whyizzit???

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They are proofing planers. Usually with the form tied up in a galley, ink it with a brayer, lay a sheet of paper over it, place the planer on top and with a mallet strike the top of the planer with a light tap. If the form is so large the planer will not cover it entirely, lift the planer slightly and slowly so as not to disturb the paper and move it to another area and strike it again. This is sometimes called beating off a proof.
However, the use of the words strike and beat notwithstanding, you do not want to do it very hard since even with the felt acting as a blanket, you can easily damage the type. This method will produce reasonably good proofs for the purpose of checking spelling, etc. If you’re used to a Vandercook you’ll be disappointed…


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

OK, well that makes sense, we never learned to do a proof that way . Always able to learn something new. Thanks

Rich explication is correct. I have a normal planer and a proofing planer, given to me by the proprietor of the Haas foundry office in Paris. I had never heard of this before either. The proofing planer is slightly smaller and of a different wood and shape. He explained to me that they would ink a form, put the sheet of paper and a sheet of felt (blanket) on it and tap slightly to obtain a proof.

Vern… proof planers work very well, actually. They are also handy as a hand-baren for printmaking

Well I am sure going to give it a go, thanks for all the information. Surprised I had never seen one before. Hand barren?, golly gee whiz, that’s a new one for me too. Vern

We used to well dampen a couple of sheets of newsprint and place them over the brayer inked form on the stone. A couple of additional dry sheets were placed on top. A regular planer was used and a proof was struck.
We called it a stone proof.