Etching Press used with relief forms

I am wondering if anyone else is using an etching press to print from relief, ie type, wood cuts etc.?

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For woodcuts lino cuts okayish…but beware the rolling action can stretch the paper…. use a bearer system. I would not for letterpress…..there are cheaper kind of fold over press down type relief presses if finances prevent you investing in more suitable platen presses or joining ateliers community workshops etc.

Yes, I’ve used wood and metal type and linocuts. Using a type high gauge to position the roller correctly and then raising it according to the felt.

It can be done successfully depending on the desired results. Try making/obtaining type-high rails long enough to extend well past the length of your longest form. You can use plexi or lexan for a hard packing or matboard with plexi or lexan on top for a softer packing. Some prefer to place a pusher felt on top of all before setting the pressure. This felt gives a better friction/traction when moving the bed through the press run. Keep in mind that the pressure required is minimal compared to running an intaglio or relief print: start out too light and slowly increase as the job requires. Make certain that your top packing covers not only the form but continues across and catches both rails. If you are mixing wood type and cuts and metal type you will need to be mindful of the usual underlayments that are often needed to obtain an even impression.

The paper stretch mentioned by Jonathan in the above post is definitely a concern. The larger the form and the softer the paper the more of a stretch you might incur. Try taping the leading edge of your paper (the edge that goes under the cylinder first) to help minimize shifting, especially when lifting the freshly printed paper off the form. Good luck and if you have any questions please contact me.


Thank you everyone for the great advice. I have been reading about printing on an iron hand press and am trying to figure out what can apply to the etching bed press. I will have some chases built for the etching press. Sounds like having some bearers built as well will be most helpful.
I will be back with questions I am sure. The paper stretching is a concern. I am still putting the studio together. Working on getting electricity to it now.
I have a C&P 10x15 new style, C&P tabletop and a small Century proofing press. The etching press is an American French Tool. 33x55 bed. My intention is book work with illustrations. I am a photographer and have made gravures in the Klic method. It has been 20 years since I pulled a proof, so a long way to go for me. I cannot imagine attempting this without the Briar Press community.
Any recommendations on other atelier forums?
Again, Thank you all.