Printing onto wood veneer?

I am just wondering if it is possible to letterpress very thin (1/16”) sheets of balsa wood…? It gives a little bit, which makes me think that it might get a nice deep impression, but I just don’t know if there would be any problems when doing this. Has anyone tried it?
Should I just go ahead and try it on my press? I have a C&P 8x12 New Style.


Log in to reply   9 replies so far

I’ve printed on Basswood with my C&P. Looks really cool.

By the way, I was using an mag die mounted on solid aluminum. Might not work as well with photopolymer or mag mounted on wood.

By the way, I was using an mag die mounted on solid aluminum. Might not work as well with photopolymer or mag mounted on wood.

Years ago i was in a shop and spotted a 10x15 Golding that was die-cutting those wooden airplanes (balsa wood i think) i asked the printer how they were printed, he said on the golding. I’ve used a rubber stamp to print on wood before, polymer should work also. Good Luck Dick G.

yep. just did it not too long ago.

1st pic of the framed piece is on 1/8 inch plywood.

I also did one on a sheet of super thin veneer that came out just as good. the 2nd and 3rd pics are the veneer print.

i used rubber based ink and linocuts as you can see.

if i was using poly plate or metal type I probably could have got a nice impression on the veneer as it is pretty soft if that’s what I was after but wouldn’t have tried it on the plywood. too hard.

I’ve been printing on red cedar veneer for over twenty years on a Golding No 11 for a cedar shoe tree company. Not on solid wood though. There is a company in Michigan called Cards of Wood that glues two layers of wood veneer together for business cards. I use magnesium cuts mounted on wood. But, I’m going for old school kiss printing, not a deep impression.
Good Luck

I did a invite not too long ago on Mahogony Wood veneer. I used a mag line cut with rubber base ink and it worked great. Can’t get much impression or you’ll split the wood. Not sure how a Balsa wood will work but can’t see why it wouldn’t.

Yeah…. i’ve got to concur that printing on wood is not a big deal. I printed about a zillion “wooden nickles” and wooden Mardi-Gras throw a few decades back, using a C&P press and PP plates. All you really need to do is adjust the platen to accomodate the thicker material….. and perfect your hand -feeding technique.

You can even run paper-backed veneer through a cylinder if you’re so inclined. I’ve found that the veneer without the paper backing tends to split at the ends when you try that, though.