Printing with large wood type or large areas of solid colour on a table top press

click on pic for closeup of paper
I ordered some pre-scored cards from Eco-craft so I've been a doing a bit of practise printing while I wait for my spacing for my 100s of wooden letters. The "!" needs some make ready but I got great results on some 300g White Straw 100% recycled (waste straw clippings cut in the South East of the UK) also available in cream, it's a lovely, soft and puffy card that will give a fairly deep impression if you want one. The size of the type was 10 line which in metal letter terms is 120pt!!! 12pt = 1 line, wooden type is measured in lines and metal in points. (I've got an old type scale for this otherwise I wouldn't have a clue!)
The guy at the back is an old engraving I found in my cabinet but I need some really good smooth paper to get a good print!


Yup! I had to start printing with the hardest thing, wood letters, especially on a small press! Here's s few tips to use on a small hand press for printing large areas of colour.

  • Double ink your form before you print.
  • Overprint, do a double impression, but make sure it doesn't go out of registration.
  • Don't try and print too much at once, a 1/2 or max 1/3 of the size of your chase is the recommend printable area on a platen press.
  • Split up your text (landscape) to the depth of your circumference of your rollers, then you won't get a ghosting effect. Same goes for plates too.
  • Use softer packing.
  • Dampening paper (read Brier press discussions)


  1. Ooo, what lovely paper! Haven't tried printing with wooden letters yet so thanks for the tips...

  2. Another tip here when printing large areas or solids. Because you are either double rolling or carrying a lot more ink, the rollers tend to skid across the plate and the image will be 'fuzzy' and less defined.
    To overcome this get some powdered rosin and with the rollers at the bottom of the press, sprinkle a small amount between the roller trucks and journals. Run the press for a minute or two and then take a pull.


Hi and thanks for stopping and i would love to hear your comments

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