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, Upcoming 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

2018 ATF Conference—Day Zero

Why “Day Zero”? The American Typefounding Fellowship conference proper started on Friday, August 24th, but the day before that had technical sessions, where we got to see how M&H Type run their Monotype Composition casters. I attended the afternoon session, not so much to learn how to run a caster, but to see the special quirks that every foundry seems to have on how they run their casters. As an aside, there was also a “Day -1” which consisted of an evening hospitality suite at our hotel.

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Posted in American Typecasting Fellowship, Kevin, Letterpress, Past Events

Flying Back to Toronto

On my return flight from the ATF conference in San Francisco I spotted two interesting views out of my airplane window (facing South).

The first was an interesting landform in Wyoming:

A strip of dunes in the Great Divide Basin built from sand blowing through a gap in mountains to the West.

A strip of dunes mostly in the Great Divide Basin built from sand blowing through a gap in mountains to the West. This picture covers about 90km (55 miles) in the East-West direction. (Thumbnail from Google Maps; click to go there)

The Killpecker Sand Dunes are formed from an old riverbed which provides a source of sand, with the prevailing westerly winds blowing this sand though a gap in the mountains across the plain.

The blown sand forms this long cigar-shaped dark area with patchy dunes in it. I expect that the dark shape is from the sand wearing away lighter-coloured surface materials. This erosion probably forms a bit of a depressed area which keeps the sand confined despite minor variations in the wind direction.

The other interesting sight was a thunderstorm near the Wisconsin/Illinois border, west of Beloit. This was just after dusk so the lightning flashes were easily seen, though the bolts themselves were mostly hidden within the cloud. Although it was not a huge storm, the view was excellent so I took a short movie of in using my cell phone.

Posted in American Typecasting Fellowship, Conferences and Meet-ups, Geography, Past Events, Weather

Off to Frisco!

atf2018-conference-program-coverTomorrow I’ll be flying to San Francisco for the 2018 American Typecasting Fellowship (ATF) conference, hosted this year by M&H Type and the Arion Press. I expect most of the usual gang to be there, with presentations about old systems for casting type for letterpress and stories (both horror and successful) about keeping the old craft alive in the modern age. There will probably be some ATF people based on the West coast whom I haven’t met before as well.

Previous ATF conferences I’ve attended have been in Auburn NY (2016), Salem NH (2014), Portland OR (2012), Piqua OH (2010), and Grafton IL (2008).

I hope to have a report in this blog of some of the activities in a more timely manner than in 2016!

Posted in American Typecasting Fellowship, Conferences and Meet-ups, Kevin, Past Events, Type Casting

the Papertrail on local TV (again!)

A month or two ago we were featured on the local CTV station’s Made Right Here segment. I guess they found us so photogenic they sent another crew (well, just two people, actually) over and this week we appeared on their In Your Backyard segment, presented as three 3-minute items during the 5 o’clock news. I can’t seem to find a link currently that will play all three in sequence (each one links on to an August 1st item about a bakery), so here are the links to the individual parts:

  1. Fibre and pulp preparation
  2. Sheet forming
  3. Pressing and drying the paper

These are all preceded by ads, of course. On my browser, these start up with the sound muted in the video player so you might have to unmute it to hear things too.

Posted in Hand Papermaking, Papermaking, Us

A Chase for our Sigwalt Press

20180622_155944smallWe received our Sigwalt Chicago No. 11 press with no chase so it has been sitting collecting dust for a while.

I recently cobbled together a chase from a scrap of the ¾″-thick high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sheet we use to make our moulds and deckles.

I cut the HDPE to a rectangle which fit closely between the rails of the press, then shaved off a bit on each side leaving a small wedge to engage the chase retainer lugs on either side of the bed. I cut the chase opening using my sabre saw, with a drilled hole to start the cut, and filed the edges to the desired shape (more or less). I drilled some holes on two sides and tapped them #8-32 to take setscrews to lock in the type.

Locking screw holes in the bottom of the chase

Locking screw holes in the bottom of the chase

20180622_160107small

Locking screws in the side of the chase. Note also the wedge-shaped ridge which engages in the lugs on either side of the press bed.

To test it, I locked in three lines of standing type I had waiting to be dissed (the title lines from a Wayzgoose Anthology submission from four years ago). After some fiddling with packing and the press bed adjustments I got a half-decent print out of it. The rollers on this press seem really hard (Shore A45/OO90) for the strength of the roller saddle springs, and things ended up a bit over-inked.

A sample print on handmade paper

A sample print on handmade paper

This press has a small foot so it really needs to be attached to a tabletop or larger base to avoid tipping when operating it. A bigger base plate and new ink rollers are the next items to be addressed for this press.

Because I hand-shaped the opening, one end of it is a bit wonky so I put the setscrews in that end. The other screws ended up on the bottom of the chase purely by chance. I didn’t have the correct screw size handy so I made my own, and the slot in the head (cut with a hacksaw) is a bit too narrow to accept the screwdriver tip properly. Also, the screws have to be recessed so it takes a tiny screwdriver to tighten them. I think I will re-drill and re-tap the holes to accept the same screw size as those on the chase of our Kelsey press (which I think is ¼″-20) so I can use the same screwdriver that I use for the Kelsey.

This gives me a starting point for making a chase out of metal. The HDPE material is very forgiving so I didn’t need to worry too much about proper engagement of the retainer lugs. The lugs on my press bed do not match each other so for a metal chase there would be manual fitting on both sides. I can think of several ways of forming a metal chase:

  • Joining four bars using mechanical fasteners
  • Welding four sides together
  • Bending one long bar at the corners and welding the rectangle closed
  • Drilling a starting hole in a solid plate and using the sabre saw to rough out the hole
  • Using a cutting torch to rough out the hole
  • Cutting the hole out with my mill

A genuine chase seems to be about 5/16″ thick on the top and bottom, and 7/32″ thick on the sides, so welding four sides together might be the easiest way, as long as I can keep the sides from distorting.

Posted in Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Letterpress, Sigwalt Chicago No 11, Us

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