Step 18: STEP SIXTEEN: How to Use the Press.

I engraved a copper plate to demonstrate the press.  It is my lack of engraving skills and my messy printing that is flawed, not the press. 

The Center Bar should be elevated and held in place with the Snap Hooks/Swivels.
  1. Remove the Top Platen and set it aside.
  2. Lay a piece of paper over the Bottom Platen to protect it from the ink.
  3. Lay the inked etched plate face side up on top of the paper.
  4. Lay printing paper over the plate.
  5. Lay another piece of paper over the printing paper.
  6. Lay a thick printing blanket on the top.
  7. Place the Top Platen over the printing layers.
  8. Unhook the Center Bar and rest it on the Top Platen.
  9. Place the Bottle Jack on the center of the Center Bar and align the top of the jack with the Bottle Jack Guide on the underside of the Top Bar.
  10. Pump the Jack so that the Center Bar is pressed against the E Boards on the Top Platen.
  11. Pump the Jack up as far as you can get it to go.
  12. Use a pliers to release the hydraulic pressure of the jack.
  13. Lift the jack from the bottom and press it up into the jack guide to get the jack post back into the jack and so you can remove it.
  14. Lift the Top Platen off the press.
  15. Undo the printing layers.  Be careful not to get any ink on the printing blanket.
  16. Lift your print and allow to dry.
  17. Clean off your plate.
<p>Awesome works.. Did you ever try this for commercial use?</p>
Hi! Thanks for your comment! I can't use the design commercially. The original design belongs to someone else.
<p>Well done but as a retired letterpress printer I can assure you even with 6 tons pressure over that area you will not achieve a good impression. Try dampening the paper it will make printing easier. You'll need a pin system or a frisket to get some form of registration. Good luck there are no original wooden presses around.</p>
<p>really an excellent job! I would like to see an engraving wood remains. I do woodcuts why I say. I think quedaria different. I find it most interesting that your project roll press used to print engraving.</p>
A very detailed instuctable, but made more complicated than needed. Essentially you are making a Hydraulic press. Making it as one and then adding the larger press platen would be simpler and you now have a multipurpose tool. <br>Not to distract from a great instuctable, just another method.
Thanks, but now I have to look up to see what a hydraulic press is! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Always more to learn! and more and more and more!
Are there any videos of this printing press being used? I'd like to see it in action before I try building it for a school. Thank you to whoever can help!
No videos but if I get around to it, I will post it. thanks!
Two questions.<br>1. How much did it cost, approximately?<br>2. Do you think you could use it for finely etched copper plates (the traditional intaglio printing process)? It doesn't look like it would work, but the pressure sounds like it might be enough..... thoughts?
Hi! It cost about $300. I think I was lucky to get the stainless steel hardware fairly inexpensively (at least that is what I remember). There was a huge store that carried marine supplies galore and priced really low.<br><br>In theory, it should do fine with intaglio, but I am not sure that the pressure across the platen is even enough. Perhaps if, after the first press, you rotated your printing sandwich, and then again and again, it would turn out. Can't be sure.
Thanks! That's super-helpful. $300 is pretty cheap for this type of thing, even if you got the materials inexpensively... But I think I might be able to get a teensy etching press for like $400. Hmm... I'll weigh my options and perhaps beg for a Christmas present?
This could also be used as a paper press or book press. Nice job!
Great job on that press. Say, has anyone made a movable type printing press?
Router sign cutter would go good with this press. I had a 3x5 Kelsey letter press when I was in grade school. Grad 1955. Now have my own machine and injection molding shop. Your press is extra awesome. Old Printer.
I am envious of you and your shop...if I could start all over again...<br><br>When I retire (ha!), I would like to learn how to weld.
A nicely documented piece of work. Do you really need 6Tones of pressure though? That said, I can see this design being adaptable to other purposes how is the wood holding up against this use?
Thanks! Good questions! I wasn't sure myself about the weight capacity, but the press in the catalog called for a 6 ton jack, so that is what I got for Mothers Day!<br><br>When pressing, I lift the jack as far as I can, using my full weight and strength and I am not a tiny person (I'm not that big either). I'm sure I'm not using the full 6 tons of weight. I'm not sure what difference a 2 ton jack would make. The wood is holding up very well.<br><br>I used the press for drying tree fern fronds and some of the stipe pieces were about 2-1/2 inches thick to begin with and ended up being about 1 inch thick and very very hard. My husband, a big guy, helped me with the jack then and I had to stop him from lifting the jack too much because the stipes were being crushed and damaged.<br><br>Other than the different types of ink printing and pressing plants, it can be adapted to press foods (coconut for haupia, guava for jam, molds (I was thinking of making ceramic tiles, but might make a different type of machine for that).<br><br>What else did you have in mind? I would be very interested.<br><br>Thank you for your comment! It is much appreciated.
After studying your press, I could not find springs or counter balance to lift platen. The springs should be a little stronger than weight of platen. You could use more than 1 screen door spring on each side. I think you are right raising platen each time would be energy consuming. The weight of the platen, about 125 lbs. I would guess, would be what you are lifting each time? <br>Old Franklin presses had a threaded screw for pressure and it raised platen by turning screw backwards. Again this press is extra AWESOME. Old Printer
I'm not sure I understand. Actually, when I say &quot;lift&quot;, I mean that cylindrical part of the jack is cranking up and the jack's expansion against the Top Bar. The platen is heavy but not too heavy to manage by myself. I have a little (approximately 12&quot;x12&quot;x12&quot;) threaded screw type of press but I didn't think it would have sufficient pressure for engravings and etchings but I really never tried. I like the way they looked.<br><br>Old Printer? got to get going again! Thank you for your comments.
That really is a thing of beauty. Great job. Thanks for sharing.
Wow- fantastic job and great write up!
Wow! What a compliment, especially coming from you! Thank you so much!! You are legendary. :)
<em><strong>Beautiful! &nbsp;A piece of art in itself! &nbsp;And a great instructable-- great job!</strong></em>
:D everyone is so nice! I really loved making it but I didn't realize that other people would like it too!<br>thanks so much for the kind comments!
Absolutely amazing instructable!!! As i read through it i thought about making it more and more because the hardware store i work at has all those exact pieces! Its too rich for my blood, but it is just awesome.
thank you so much!
. Wow! Fantastic job.
thanks a lot!!

About This Instructable




More by handprints:6-Pack Egg Carrier with Encapsulated Eggs! FRUIT BASKET, CRAFT BASKET, EASTER BASKET!!  SUPER SIMPLE!! Trout Dreams and Buffalo Circles 
Add instructable to: