Tips/Tricks For Large Wood Type

I know platen presses aren’t ideally meant for big poster type but I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks for getting a good, solid print of large wood type on a platen press. I’ve got a C&P New Style and can do okay but was wondering if anyone out there had any advice (inks, papers, etc.)

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You can’t do it, the type has a large surface area and you can’t get the pounds per square inch pressure that would be needed on your platen
Poster type has to be printed on a press that rolls the paper over the type so that there is a line of pressure as the roller runs over the paper which a proofing press can do or use something like an Albion press which will give the required pressure.
The ink is different to that used with metal type, it is a lot softer with little tack so that the paper surface is not ripped off or the paper sticking to the type.

Careful makeready can help get the centers of large solids to print better on the platen press. Tissue overlays make a big difference.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

If you can still get it, old fashioned blotting paper makes a wonderfull overlay, print the text on the blotting paper and cut out the letters very carefully and position onto your make ready sheet. any low spots still appearing can then be patched using soft tissue. good luck. My supply of blotting paper is nearly 40 years old and only used for very special jobs. In the Heidelberg manual for large Halftones they recommend a thin(very thin) sheet of rubber under the tympan cut to the size of the illustration but it might work as an overall sheet?

More precise makeready is a good idea, and I’ll try the rubber sheet too. Thank you all

I never knew that there was any kind of “trick” necessary. I locked it up in the chase just like lead type, using the oil-based ink and never had any issues. Of course, now that I know I’m doing it wrong, I’ll probably have all kinds of trouble.

Sorry to jinx you Dale! I can print them fine its just not getting as bold a print as a cylinder press which doesn’t help my feelings of inadequacy

When I was learning how to be a photographer back in college, I was doing OK at first. I found though, that the more I learned, the more gremlins that came out of the shadows. I had fogged film, condensation on film, reciprocity failure, sync cords failing, shutters sticking, pin-holes in bellows… you name it, I experienced it. Back in the days of using my Minolta SRT-101, I never experienced any of those issues. I miss those days (heavy sigh)!