First pull on the press

As we had named the Peerless press Ivor, I thought it only fitting that the first print on the machine should be a name plate for it. Using 12-line type and black ink on Kraft board (a gorgeous combination, in my opinion), this print will be framed and sit in place next to the press.

[blockquote align=”right”]This process was aided massively by John Falstrom’s Platen levelling guage, easily the best £30 I’ve ever spent![/blockquote] Following a good few hours of platen levelling and adjustments, I made a makeshift tympan and packed the platen with newsprint and hardboard and readied myself for the moment of truth – how would Ivor print?

Part of the pleasure of letterpress is the composing and makeready of the type – my old lecturer used to call it troubleshooting. When mixing various old wooden type and hot metal there are bound to be imperfections that make the print beautiful (within reason).

I had my fingers crossed as I closed the impression lever for the first time, and pulled my first print with the antique machine. The result wasn’t that bad, and is shown in the yellow image above. Not perfect, but not terrible either. After adding a bit more packing, and applying makeready tissue to a number of the characters I got a couple of beautifully simple prints that I was more than happy with.


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