Treadled #3 Pearl actually printing! Educational

Treadled Golding Pearl actually printing (with ink!) on multiple projects by Gary Johanson (master printer) and printing museum volunteer.

Notice the following: Proper sized rollers and trucks, flywheel rotating AWAY from operator (fast open/slow closing platen for hand feeding safety), [Aside: foot treadle is easy to stop press just by gentle down-pressure on the treadle since there is no throwoff on a #3 Pearl], grippers used with horizontal pull-string to strip envelope off of form. Oh, and some metal type, too. The relatively “deep impression” on the envelope is possible because there is a relatively small amount of type area. If a “newbie”, having watched this video believes that they can then order a “Boxcar” base, sized 7.010” x 11.010” halftone or solid and print with “deep impression”, they will destroy the press. In other words, a small form is OK, a large form is destructive to your press. Comments welcome.

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

I like the music in the background…

If you open the flap you can avoid impression on the front of the envelope and depending on the construction, avoid cutting a makeready.


Hi: Heh, thanks for the “Master” printer, but honestly, I’m on the curve like everybody else.

It is true, you really don’t want to do high pressure impressions with the Pearl, in particular, the Old Series models. Castings are about on par with Kelsey front lever presses. That having been said, a pleasing deboss is possible with the right papers, like like Lettra, which gives naturally, without “punching”. However, I must stress that when using these papers which “give”, pressures need not exceed that which is normally used for proper impression on standard hard-finished card stock.

The envelope shown in the video received very slightly more than “kiss” contact, and left no depression on the front, but to be safe, I slid 60lb stock under the flap. The envelopes were of the same finish as the Lettra, so a bit of surface depression was obtained with very little pressure.

The latter part of the video showed a die from Owosso being used for the RSVP, which was, again, just a touch over “kiss”, leaving that sought-after tactile dimension that seems to define Letterpress these days. But since it was printed on a two-sided post card, I could not have any rear depression. And to be sure, with proper pressure, a nice feel attends the printed sides with no rear residuals. As I tell folks, “punching” is never necessary to have that desired “tactile” dynamic. Just…..use the right paper!

The rollers and custom trucks come from Tarheel. Music in the background was Decemberists, Iron and Wine, Beirut, I think Blitzen Trapper, Sufjan Stevens, Tallest Man on Earth, and of course, Bob Dylan, Death Cab, and the Shins.


G. Johanson, Printer
Letterpress Printing & Design

More SLAYER as background music in letterpress videos!

!! :)