The Small Press is FINISHED!

Well boys and girls…. the small press is done, and has successfully printed it’s first real job: the first color of a QSL card. With the grippers, it holds register quite nicely.

Below are a few pics showing the completed gripper assembly, and the press set up for the run. Looking at them, I can see a few flaws in the design and workmanship… but hey, it’s a press not a priceless work of art. ( I am going to polish a few of the parts better, though…. if I ever get around to it!)

Like always, I’ve already started designing an “improved version”. Perfection in home-built printing presses is a very elusive thing. ;)

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Log in to reply   14 replies so far

Its BEAUTIFUL! Well done!

One question, and this is not a criticism since you have done a fantastic job: is there a side guide to go along with the grippers?

Miniature Vandercook? Actually it looks great and most things worth while are elusive.

(One would assume with such a small space, it could be just as functional to quoin-adjust the form for side movement as work with a paper side guide. Just my impression.)

All…. thanks for the good words. I like the “miniature vandercook” idea…. maybe I’ll call it the VanderBaby or something like that.

About the Side Guide: not a bad idea. It would be simple to make. For the QSL Card, I used the old “Winking Cat Press Standard Method” for side to side registration: a Sharpie Marker line on the gripper bar. For a small piece of card stock, it did just fine.

Looks great. Are you still thinking about selling these,or plans for these? Did you come up with either a parts list or a price?

Nicely done!

Steve…. I did calculate the cost to produce, and it appears that they could easily be sold in the $500 range and make a nice profit. However, it doesn’t look like there is enough interest to justify producing them.

Material costs are ~$100 if you make the eccentrics yourself, and ~$200 if you buy Chinese-made eccentrics.

I sill may draw up a set of plans, but since the press requires a lathe and milling machine to build, it falls outside the realm of most home-made press builders.

Billy - thanks for the thumbs up! When are we going to see your next press build?

This is wonderful! I love how it came out. Would def try to build my own at home.

Well Done!

Thanks for the good words. Since those pics were posted, the various parts have been polished and some refinement was done on the gripper mechanism.

I also made a special wooden box where the press lives when not in use…. then you reverse the top, and it becomes a base while printing.

How does it print? It prints great! I just finished a set of special event QSL cards, in three colors for a friend of mine. While printing them one-up was slow, it was a lot of fun.

That is a beautiful piece of work.
Well done.

So, here we are four years later. I am curious how this press faired over the past few years? Did you ever make more? Did you run other QSL cards? (I am myself WD4NKA)

I am only sorry I wasn’t in on this back then, as a letterpress QSL card printer myself (with maybe, what, 1 or 2 clients a year maybe?) - marvellous job, it looks just like my own Showcard Proofer. My main press is my 8x12 C&P, but I love the little ShowCard for linocuts, woodcuts and, of course, proofing smaller forms.

Again, excellent job. Maybe we might cross paths on the air? I am usually on 7025 - 7125 cw, and 3885 and 7290 kc on AM phone.

vy 73 es cul!

Call it the MiniV.

“So, here we are four years later. I am curious how this press faired over the past few years? Did you ever make more? Did you run other QSL cards? (I am myself WD4NKA)…”

The Small Press has faired perfectly! It has printed many, many small jobs…. mostly ACEO’s and other small pieces of art, plus QSL Cards for my mini-DXpeditions. Also, it’s been used at several classes and demonstrations to show how letterpress works. Without a doubt, it’s the most portable of my presses.

As you can see, the Small Press ( aka the VanderBaby) was patterned after my larger Showcard Press. I did consider making a small production run of them, but in the end decided there just wasn’t enough interest to justify the cost and effort. (However, I have seen a few poorly made knock-off copies on the Internet…. so at least a few people like the design)

aka Winking Cat Press