New Drying System Size

Almost 30 years ago, when our drying system was first designed, the pulp we were getting from the pulp mills was in sheets around 27×36″ and the drying system was made to these dimensions so the pulp sheets could be used as blotters.

Each pulp mill seems to have its own size of pulp sheet and the mill that produced the 27×36″ sheets no longer processes cotton linters. We haven’t been able to purchase this size of pulp sheets for several years now, and we are getting close to running out of the 2nd cut cotton linters of this size, even though we have been reserving them for use in drying systems only.

As of this writing we have about 30 cardboard sheets (plus about 20 with slight edge damage), and perhaps 120 sheets of linters in this size.

As a result, the time has come to change the size of our drying system to match the new pulp sheet size (and hope this doesn’t change again soon), which is about 30″ wide and 31″ long.

This is unfortunately too wide to fit existing drying boxes people may have made to use with the old size.

Other alternatives would be to go with 27×31″, which is the same width as the old system so there would be some degree of backwards compatibility, but this would mean we would have to cut 3″ off the width of all the pulp sheets we sell for drying systems. This would be time-consuming for us, and could potentially leave us with a glut of 2nd cut cotton linters pulp in the form of strips that won’t work for the drying system.

So our choice of new drying system size is a little up in the air, even more so after the thought I put into writing this post…

Posted in Things we sell

Kitchener DIY Festival, October 19th, 2018

diyThis is a really last-minute notice, but tomorrow, Saturday October 18th 2018, the Kitchener Public Library will be hosting their fourth annual DIY Festival. This will take place from 1pm to 4pm at the main downtown branch, 85 Queen Street North in Kitchener. Admission is free.

We’ll be demonstrating hand papermaking, so come by, make a sheet, and take home a sheet made by someone earlier in the day.

Posted in Kitchener DIY Festival, Past Events, Sheet forming, Us

Yes! Another Press!

We recently acquired a Vandercook 320 in somewhat rough shape.

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Serial number 6679. This says it is a "Number 320" although all the literature seems to refer to a "320G"

Serial number 6679. This says it is a “Number 320” although all the literature seems to refer to a “320G”

I plan on fixing it up and we will probably sell it because it is bigger than what we need (we think). Alternatively we might sell our Challenge MA-15 instead.

This press is missing its feed board, inking rider & vibrator rollers and frame, ink fountain, and automatic delivery, but I’m not sure which of these are optional equipment that was never part of this press. I’ve also been playing a game of Name That Part for various loose parts I’ve found:

Various bars, identified.

Various bars, identified.

Unknown parts, about 1 inch square, possibly NS-496 (holders for the ink fountain plate)

Unknown parts, about 1 inch square, possibly NS-496 (holders for the ink fountain plate)

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So there are hints of an ink fountain (the NS-496 blocks, and the bolts that hold the LS-160 Fountain Support arms), and hints of an Automatic Delivery system (the NS-322 and unknown part in the last photo), but perhaps these parts are present on the press even if sold without these options.

However, I’m reasonably certain that the rider rollers, oscillator, and the frame to hold them were standard equipment and I see no sign of them. Or perhaps they weren’t used with the ink fountain, and this press originally had the ink fountain…?

A conspicuous absence of rider and oscillator rollers, not to mention decrepit form rollers.

A conspicuous absence of rider and oscillator rollers, not to mention decrepit form rollers.

The feed board is also completely absent. All I have is the six bolts that would normally attach the Feed Board Brackets to the main table.

The well under the ink plate had a good deposit of black gunk. It sort of had the consistency of roof patching compound mixed with very heavy oil. I scraped out the soft part, and finding that the usual solvents such as paint thinner had no effect on it, I’ve applied some paint remover to see if that helps soften the mess.

Our first goal, though, will be making this press a bit more mobile, since it is currently very much the elephant in the room. I will probably set up some rails to put under the feet to allow me to move the press with a pallet jack.

Posted in Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Mystery Parts, Printing presses, Us

BOUND Book Arts Fair, December 9th in Toronto

The BOUND Book Arts Fair will celebrate its first anniversary on Sunday, December 9th 2018 from 11am to 5pm, at the Arts & Letters Club, 14 Elm Street (near Yonge & Dundas) in Toronto. The fair will be bigger than the inaugural one last year because there will be a second room available at the Club, providing space for 26 vendors in all.

We’ll have a table at this fair, selling handmade paper, marbling, and a small selection of bookbinding supplies.

Posted in BOUND Book Arts Fair, Upcoming Events, Us

Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair

Last Saturday was the inaugural Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair, where we had a table selling our paper and second-hand books on topics relating to the book arts. The show was hosted by Howard Iron Works, a restorer and museum of old printing equipment affiliated with Howard Graphics.

The tables for the fair were set up in the workshop, which had just undergone two days of cleaning and was spotless. I guess we aren’t the only people who are motivated to clean by the threat of company coming!

Setup time in the workshop before the fair. Our table is the first on the right, just behind the green lathe. Photo by Liana Howard.

Setup time in the workshop before the fair. Our table is the first on the right, just behind the green lathe. Photo by Liana Howard.

Audrey minding our table and her mug of tea

Audrey minding our table and her mug of tea

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Posted in Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair, Past Events, Us

2018 ATF Conference Wrap-up

Sunday August 26th was the wrap-up day for the conference. In the afternoon there was a barbecue and open house hosted by Patrick Reagh Printers in Sebastopol, about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Unfortunately my flight home departed early in the afternoon, so I had to pass on this event.

I spent the morning talking with various other attendees who were waiting in the hotel lobby for their respective rides, either a shared car to the barbecue or the hotel’s airport shuttle. There were originally plans for a shuttle van or bus to the BBQ but I think too many people had too many different departure times for this to be practical.

Packing was a bit tricky, since I had a package of type and a Monotype mould in its case, and also a stack of paper keepsakes to put in my suitcase. Fortunately the dirty laundry provided padding to separate these, and the only real casualty was the ATF “constitution” poster, which got a bit crumpled at the edges.

Just to tie everything together, here is a list of my posts about this conference trip:

Posted in American Typecasting Fellowship, Kevin, Past Events, Type Casting

2018 ATF Conference—Day Two

The second day of the 2018 ATF conference again took place at M&H Type.

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Posted in American Typecasting Fellowship, Kevin, Past Events, Type Casting

2018 ATF Conference—Day One

The first day proper of the 2018 ATF conference consisted of a series of presentations given in the gallery space at Arion Press.

The day started off with a continental breakfast, a Welcome and general comments and announcements, then on to the first presentation.

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Posted in American Typecasting Fellowship, Past Events, Type Casting

A new book arts fair at the end of September

hiw_printexpo_social_assets-ig-post-1080x1080-a-v2A new book arts fair has popped up in the Toronto area: the Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair on Saturday, September 29th 2018, from 10am to 4pm.

This will take place at Howard Iron Works, 800 Westgate Road, Oakville Ontario, where they have (so I’ve heard) a wonderful museum of restored old printing presses as a backdrop to the fair. I’ve been meaning to visit this museum for several years but never seem to get around to it.

This event is being held in conjunction with the local Doors Open event, which is a sort of organized simultaneous open house of multiple local buildings and businesses.

For the fair, the museum will have a press or two running, and perhaps their Linotype, and some of the 14 exhibitors will be doing demonstrations as well.

We’ll have a table there, selling paper, marbling, and some bookbinding supplies.

We don’t do Facebook ourselves, but the museum has a page there for this event.

Posted in Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair, Past Events, Us

Back to the old dryer felt

About 2½ years ago we changed our dryer felt because we couldn’t obtain the previous product. Our last roll of this wide thick stuff has run out, but we’ve managed to find a supplier of dryer felt that is more like what we sold pre-2015, both in terms of thickness and also roll width (60″/152cm).

The price for this felt is also changing back to its pre-2015 price of $6.00 per metre.

Posted in Things we sell, Us

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