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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)
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  • kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    6 years, 3 months ago

    Cutting sticks are often sold by the same folks who sharpen blades. Have you asked them?

    My cutter would also take a 1.25″ square cutting stick–but a friend did what Arie is suggesting, and made a kind of “holder” out of 1.25″ wood, and you can fill it in with .5 or .75″ plastic sticks.

    If your blade sharpening folks don’t offer sticks, I get mine from American Printing Equipment http://www.americanprintingequipment.com/cuttingsticks.aspx You do not have to search by brand name–just the actual size of your stick.


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    6 years, 5 months ago

    Ashley,

    I highly recommend calling/visiting John Barrett at Letterpress Things. He’s the go-to dealer in New England, and if he doesn’t have a 10×15 ready to go, he’ll likely know where you could find one!

    Good luck!


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    6 years, 7 months ago

    Alaina,

    Amber of Flywheel Press in California offers Windmill Workshops (and there’s one this October!). Everyone RAVES about them! https://www.facebook.com/flywheelpress

    Kelly


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    6 years, 8 months ago

    Have you tried taping them to the tympan? It would be crazy slow going, but it would keep your register. Say, use a few squares of something like this (http://www.staples.com/Scotch-Restickable-Strips-1-inch-x-3-Clear-6-Pack/product_857700) on the tympan–making sure that they’re not under an area that’s being printed, and also that the area would be hidden when you fold the sleeves.

    Good luck!


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Gary,

    It sounds like you have all the makings in place to be a small, custom shop that focuses on your strengths–LETTERPRESS FOR THE PEOPLE!

    I loved your sneak peeks on instagram, of the young couple printing part of their invitations–that is one thing that you can certainly do differently than the other local printers.

    My local strategy was this: I printed a bookmark size flyer, about 500 of ’em, that said (elegantly and enigmatically) “What is Letterpress?” with my website and a lovely collection of sorts. I tacked flyers on all the bulletin boards I could find in my town and the surrounding towns. And every few months, going back and pasting more until I was all out. And eight years later, I still get emails from folks saying they took my flyer and are now getting married (or starting a business and need cards, or want to stop by and check out what I do). It was simple, cheap, and had a great return on investment.

    Like Jessica says, you have to keeping talking about letterpress–show folks how passionate you are, and the work will follow.

    Best,

    Kelly


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Gary,

    I too am running a small letterpress shop in a not-so-saturated area…and I’ve had much better luck focusing my efforts on LOCAL business, local craft fairs, etc. The bulk of my custom work is filtered though local graphic designers, who are more than happy to have “bespoke” wholesale printer. And I’ve built a wholesale/retail line, which I have sold at the national level (at trade shows), but also sell at local craft fairs–not wedding venues–where I’ve met local shop owners and am now carried in stores here, too.

    That said, it is absolutely essential to have an online presence (with a portfolio, or at least recent samples, maybe a wholesale catalog if you do greetings cards), but I find it an exercise in futility  to compete with the massive online saturation of a few large letterpress companies and the smaller, more “hip” boutique printshops.

    Best of luck to you,

    Kelly


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Firstly, your bed plate shouldn’t matter to anything, as long as it’s level and brings your type/plates up to type high.

    Vandercook recommends no more than .03 over the undercut–so you’d want you paper and tympan/packing thickness to total .43. I find that with Lettra (because it’s so soft), you want a bit more than that–closer to .50.

    (I’m not sure what Lettra you’re using that’s 80lb. Is it the text weight?)

    Lettra 110# is .021

    Tympan is generally a standard .06

    I don’t use mylar, so I can’t speak to its thickness, but you should be able to find that info on the packaging and/or the place you purchased it.

    With 110# Lettra, I use 1 tympan top sheet (the diecut piece that goes under the gripper bar and around the tightening rod), plus 3-5 tympan packing sheets, depending on the amount of impression I want, and whether the printing is double sided.

    Hope that’s helpful!

    Kelly


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    7 years, 1 month ago

    I absolutely do not put my logo on custom work. Clients pay me for their design, printing, etc and it should represent the best work I can do–but for them. I always include a business card (or two) in the box so if they’re happy with my work they can share my contact info easily.

    The one exception is sending out samples–then I do label my work.


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    7 years, 3 months ago

    Just replied to your email, Lise!


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    7 years, 3 months ago

    Hi Liz,

    Yes! I can ship to the UK for an additional cost. Let me know what you’re interested in, and I can get you an accurate shipping quote.

    Best,

    Kelly


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    7 years, 11 months ago

    Elana,

    It’s a good habit to have the MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet) on file for all of your inks and solvents. Van Son Rubber Base is one of the lowest-toxicity inks you will find. (see #11 on the sheet)

    Again, from my own experience, my little one is robustly healthy, and has been meeting all of her developmental milestones at or ahead of schedule. And I printed 5-6 days a week through my 40th week of pregnancy. And she comes to work with me 5-6 days a week (though she’s not setting type, or inking or cleaning the presses).

    During pregnancy, I had way more concern about pumping gas at the gas station than I did being in the printshop 10 hours a day. That’s my two cents.

    Kelly


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    7 years, 11 months ago

    Hi Elana,

    Congratulations! I just went through this myself–I now have a six month old baby girl.

    I had my lead levels tested at 18 weeks, and was on the low side of normal…and I set type fairly regularly, though not every day, but I work around it 60+ hours/week. My doctors didn’t seem that concerned, either.

    That said, they were a bit more cautious when I told them that I’d be bringing the baby to work every day. They recommended that I wear gloves when handling type…and that was it. That said, wearing gloves is not very conducive to setting type, so haven’t been doing it. I wash my hands (and arms, too) a few times before I pick up the baby. And I don’t set her down near the type cabinets at all. I also don’t sweep the floors when she’s there (in case there’s dusty lead bits on the floor) and I don’t washup the presses when she’s nearby (though I use an orange oil solvent, which is as non-toxic as commercial press wash gets).

    We each have our own comfort levels, though, and a baby is another level of stress and concern. I encourage you to do the research on lead and kids, and take it one day at a time!


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    8 years, 6 months ago

    Cool–the only suggestion I have is to try running text parallel to the rollers. I was taught that this will eliminate the “end-of-line” inking variation, because then the line of type itself holds the rollers up. If the rollers are only hitting one letter at a time, then they put much more ink/pressure than you want on the sparse areas of your form.

    If you still want to print perpendicularly, you’ll need to raise your rollers (or tape your rails) in those areas. You could use something like bearers (or a bit of extra polymer) outside your printing/paper area to help balance the rollers better.

    Hope that helps!

    Kelly


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    8 years, 6 months ago

    Allie, a few more details should help narrow down your trouble.

    (1) What press are you working on? (You might be exceeding the impression strength of the press.)

    (2) Is the impression that’s heavier, or is there more ink at the ends of the lines? (Check this by taking an impression with no ink on the press.)

    (3) Are you running the lines of type parallel or perpendicular to the rollers?

    (4) The photo above is photopolymer, yes?


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    9 years ago

    I’ve used the code several times with no problem. You definitely have to order from letterpresspaper.com.

    You’ve seen where to enter it right? It’s a link at the bottom of the shopping cart pop-up window.

    Hope that helps!

    Kelly

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)

kelly mcmahon

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@kellymcmahon

active 6 months, 3 weeks ago