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October 17, 2023

TH Pullan & Sons proof press test

Previously

Read about how we got the Pullan here.

It’s a testing time

Having achieved a level of operational functionality with the Pullan, it is time for some test impressions. The required outcome is to determine what height requirements have to be set for printing, whether there are issues with the cylinder blanket (it is a bit scarred from misuse), and if there are impression differences across the length and breadth of the bed (for example, if the side runners are not level end to end and side to side).

The assumed type high on the Pullan is 27mm and we have a range of wooden type sets with different type highs. The standard type high of 23.3mm isn’t a good fit, but we do have a set purchased from Italy (Vintage circa 1950’s) with a higher type high than standard, but some of the characters are damaged so not really usable. We used this instead.

Initially, the test produced poor results until we figured out the best way to manage the cylinder height for clean impression. The images here show various marks which are actually from the type and not the press.

Refining the print process

The arrangement of type on the bed for the initial tests provides a wide spread rather than having any specific meaning. Having successfully obtained acceptable impressions, the next task was to refine the settings and resolve some issues that emerged in the operation of the Pullan (like the fact that not only had paint been slathered all over the top and runners, but the truck bearings had been similarly mistreated).

Happy with these outcomes, the next step has been to make the press for actual production by making stable and level backing boards for thin plates like nylo and engraved lino.


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