So, here it is almost a year since I got the press. I'm a bit embarrassed it's taken me this long to sit down and make it work, but better late than never. I decided to tackle our holiday cards. I probably had three different ideas laid out before settling on this one and getting down to business.
A note: Letterpress is not easy.
But, it is very rewarding when you figure it out. Setting type is tricky and I don't think I'm doing it quite right, but for now it worked and that's all that matters. Below are pics of the process. I think once I got it printing evenly it took me about an hour to print all the cards, maybe not even that. Also, even prior to all of this I soaked the press in a vinegar and lemon juice bath for about 3 days. It's amazing how much of the rust came off. Some of it is back already, but I think it helped.
Next step is to figure out how to get some custom plates made. Since the press is pretty tiny I probably won't be doing any type heavy designs with it, but I have some ideas for images/illustrations that I think would make cute notecards, etc. I'm in the process of figuring out what size base I should order. I'm working with Elum Designs. They have been super helpful.
Here are the pics:
Here are press proofs done while I was figuring out how to get an even print. The process involves tightening and loosing screws and adding padding to the tympan. It is tedious, but well worth it.
Plate on press, ready to print
Fancy paper ready to go
Rollers inking the plate