Tag Archive for '10×15'

Let’s Get It On – Platen Press Tip

Sometimes it’s possible to get an oversize sheet on an undersized platen letterpress. What is important to keep in mind is the distance between the arms on either side of the platen. As long as the sheet is smaller than that dimension, it could fit.

This is a long 4 x 18 inch card that needs to fold in half to 4 x 9 inch and fit into a standard #10 envelope. We are set up in this photo to run a 3 point matrix score, but this works for printing as well. To fit this sheet size onto our 10 x 15 size C&P platen press required a special McGill gauge pin for the side guide that fits between the tympan bail and the side of the platen. It extends beyond the platen and adds the couple inches needed to get the sheet to land inside the working area.  It is a good solution to handle smaller hand fed jobs.

These guides came with equipment we purchased several years ago and we can not find more. Although, it could be rigged up from hardware store material pretty easily. If anyone has a source for these guides, please share! Someday we’ll just get a bigger hand fed press, but then there will be an even bigger sheet.

Hello Letterpress Operator – Join Our Studio




Studio On Fire is hiring for a full time Letterpress Operator position becoming available soon. Another of our letterpress gurus is moving onward to grad school. This is a chance to join our unique letterpress team. Other than our insane focus on detail, we are a small and easy going team of designers and artists committed to excellence in print.

You must have BOTH of these TWO requirements for consideration:



We care about craft. If you are a crafts person that loves the challenge of highly demanding production projects, this is the job for you. Look through the posts on this blog to see the kind of custom work that is typical of our press room.

We offer attractive compensation, flexible full time hours and health benefits.

To apply, email a description of yourself.

If this is not you, please spread the word to anyone you might know matching this description.


NOTE: This is a post for experienced persons only. We are not hiring intern or entry level positions. Inquiries outside of the skill requirements of this post will not be contacted.

Four Friends Letterpress Business Cards – Pt 2



This is part two showing the production of business cards on our Heidelberg Windmill. Be sure and see Part 1 showing the finished cards.

We start with a high resolution film negative. The negative is used to expose the plastic plates. The plates are attached to an aluminum base and placed into the press. The press uses air suction to pick up a sheet of paper on the left side and deliver it into the press for printing. The printed sheets are automatically stacked in the delivery pile on the right side of Continue reading ‘Four Friends Letterpress Business Cards – Pt 2’

Roller Coaster, Yeah, Ooh Ooh Ooh

Here’s a tip for getting some letterpress roller coasting love. We take something into our press room from the pitchers mound – a rosin bag. You can get them at your local sporting goods store and they should cost only a few dollars. A rosin bag will change your life when printing on a Heidelberg Windmill. This is one mysterious fine white powder that won’t get you into trouble. As a derivative of pine sap, rosin is valued for it’s friction increasing properties. The rails on a windmill – or any platen press for that matter – must be clean and oil free. Any lube on your rail track can create ink slurring as the rollers comes into contact with the surface of your form. It can be very slight, but noticeable if you look at your printing under a loupe. We are all about having as crisp and clear a transfer type and image as possible. After the rails have been cleaned well with alcohol, a few small taps with the rosin bag down the roller rail track will transfer some powder and create additional grip as the roller trucks move over the rail. Don’t use too much, you don’t want it to build up and create little gobbers and bumps. If you have your roller height set correctly, this little bit of extra friction will help your rollers sail over your printing form. _0001_studioonfire_rosin_bag_windmill

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Lube Gun

Vintage machines live or die depending on our care of their lubrication needs. Certain areas on the Heidelberg Windmill presses have lots small oil points – like the gripper head and the paper feed. It is all to easy to over oil and end up with drips oozing everywhere, not cool when you are trying to keep your paper clean. One of our best friends to assist in this task is the Precision Pen Oiler. It is perfect for getting a small amount of oil right where you need it. And at under ten bucks, a lube job never cost less.