What is th best type of wood to use for Printing Press letter blocks?

I'm going to be using a modded book press as a printing press to put titles on hardback books, and I'm going to make custom letters for the titles.

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Re-design7 years ago
Bass wood is easy to carve and smooth but on the soft side and if you use it many times the letters will degrade. Ash, maple, are both smooth and will last a very long time but are going to be hard to carve. Pine will be hard to get good letters in because it has soft grain then a layer or harder so it will be hard to get a straight cut. White pine would be nice to carve but soft also. If you're going to use some power tools you can go for the harder woods. Did you do any research on what the original wood blocks were made of?
Foaly7 (author)  Re-design7 years ago
I actually didn't do research, but this is all interesting and I will look into it. I thinkk ash & maple sound like a good idea for my uses.
jtobako Foaly77 years ago
Are you planing to use the flat face or the end grain?
Foaly7 (author)  jtobako7 years ago
I still haven't done any research yet, plus I know (so far) nothing about woodworking (I just came up with the hardback books idea that I need this answered for), so could you explain?
phil2457 years ago
My sister's fatherin law is a printer and the wood blocks that they use are beech.
Linden ('Lime') wood is always supposed to be just about THE best carving wood.