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.
Open wide and say aahhh. Great. Now turn your head and letterpress some tongue depressor business cards. We just printed these for MCAD design undergrad Matt Van Ekeren. The cards are for his soon to launch website designthattalks.com The simplicity of the idea here is brilliant. The business card object plays off the url perfectly.
For the production, we hand fed them on our Chandler and Price letterpress. We used a small block of deep relief Boxcar base in an unusual way. Instead of using photopolymer plates, we used a 16 gauge copper plate mounted with double stick tape adheisive. We used copper rather than polymer in this case so we could be a little more aggressive with the impression on the wood. To accomodate the thickness of the tongue depressor, we had to back the platen off a few flats. Then, since the artwork is so tight to the edge the big challenge was fitting the guides pins EXTREMELY tight to the print area and not crush them. But it worked! We printed a couple hundred on both sides. A real challenge to hand fed, press was on a pretty low speed setting. Not something we’d like to do everyday, but we are suckers for trying things that are unique. But we did have Matt open all the individually packaged depressors.
Also, take a look at our Chandler and Price hand guard. It is a window-shade-like device that opens up as the press closes and pushes your hand out of harms way. Kind of a nice safety feature.