A Fresh Start

Today I spent most of my time cleaning and reorganizing my office/studio, which really needed to be done. I've been attempting a massive purge of unused craft supplies in order to create more empty surfaces upon which to work. I'm pretty much done, and as you can see my closet now closely resembles the one in The Berenstein Bears And The Messy Room. This book clearly marked me as a child, and I blame all my perfectionist tendencies on it.

My letterpress and paper making studio area is small, but working for now. I've got the most basic (and cheapest) table from Ikea holding the Pilot, drying rack, and composing area. Below is boxey storage for paper, furniture, paper making supplies, and other stuff. Above I've just installed a nifty wall shelf unit that's very functional but also cool looking. I use it to store design related books, letterpress bits and bobs, and a few objets d'art.

On another side of the room I've got another desk (this one nicer, from Crate and Barrel) that holds my paper drying press and paper cutter. I intended for the Ikea table to also be where I could make paper, but now that I see the arrangement I might be a little nervous about getting so much water so close to my cast iron press. So, actual paper making may be relegated to the dining room until I can get a "real" studio.

And speaking of other spaces, today I received a text message picture of my 8 x 12 C&P, which has now been officially moved into it's "home" in the warehouse at my design job. It looks like from the picture that it's near a big window, which will be nice and maybe not make me feel too "warehoused." Storage above and to the sides - now I've just got to get Paul Aken to come help me get it up and running. Very exciting!!

Next order of business: I got my new rollers in from Roll Crafters. They were very nice and helpful on the phone, and a few weeks back I shipped them my existing rollers so they could use the cores and see the trucks before making new rollers. They finally arrived this week, and boy did they do a job with the shipping packaging! It took me a solid 10 minutes to unwrap the layers of cardboard, which were literally screwed into end blocks of wood, which themselves had holes drilled in them to keep the rollers steady. I certainly appreciate them making sure they wouldn't get damaged during shipping. The first picture is what the rollers looked like when I finally got them out of the box, with my trucks taped to the ends. Next is after I popped them out of the wood blocks, and finally after I unwrapped the paper around them. Beauties!

I did a quick ink and print just to test them out, with the same type I had locked up earlier. I'll definitely have to do a bit of troubleshooting - there were a few issues with the rollers inking the furniture in the chase, and the whole process being a little sticky. I think I initially may have had the rollers in the wrong graboids (technical term) so after switching them things seemed a little smoother. This was after I had already cleaned the press, though, so I didn't test them again yet.

I can't remember if this was happening with the old rollers, but they seem to get stuck at the bottom of the chase before the arm is all the way back up. I can push the arm up, but I feel like they should be able to continue all the way to the bottom by themselves. I'll probably ask Paul when I see him.

Here's right where they get stuck:

And here's where they end up when the arm is all the way up:

The trucks appear to be mostly in line with the pieces they roll against, though slightly off. I wonder if this has something to do with it.

All in all, a very productive day...and I can't wait to start pressing my "Dead Things" onto these nifty coasters I just received. I'm waiting on my Akua water based inks to arrive to test those out - though they mentioned there could be some concern with the inks smearing from "sweaty hands." Obviously not the best choice for coasters, but I'll try them on some note cards and gift tags. I've also recently been told that rubber inks can be cleaned with crisco and vegetable oil, so that might be an option too. WOO!


  1. Your rollers look like they are resting in the correct general area. The rollers on all the Pilots I have had (4 and counting) rested in the same area. Yours may be resting a little high, but this could likely be solved by some light oiling of the roller frames and arms. Also check your yoke spring and yoke spring rod to see when they are making contact with the yoke and what kind of resistance they are creating.

    I can't quite tell from the photos, but it appears that your rollers may be a bit oversized. Don't be surprised if you need to add a few layers of tape to the rails when it comes time to start printing.

    Hope this helps!


  2. Brad,

    Wow - I will certainly have to spend some time analyzing my parts manual to decode what you just said. Sounds like helpful advice though!

    I'll post about how it goes...thanks...