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Date: 03/16/22 16:40
Old Print Blocks
Author: sig292

I have a collection of old print blocks that I would like to have printed. I've searched the internet but I can't seem to find a printing service that works with these antique blocks.
I tried doing it myself by inking the blocks and pressing them to paper but the results are terrible. Anyone have any ideas?
-Ken Gear

Date: 03/16/22 16:43
Re: Old Print Blocks
Author: sig292

I didn't know where else to post this question except here on the Railfan Technology board in spite of the lack of technology involved.

Date: 03/17/22 04:20
Re: Old Print Blocks
Author: birdman

Suggest you stop in at a local artists supply store and ask for advice. I know that you need a proper roller, special ink, and special paper. You might also ask the art teacher at the local high school.  Wood block carving and printing is often one of the skills taught in a high school art program.

Date: 03/17/22 06:46
Re: Old Print Blocks
Author: colehour

You might try to find a small independent print shop. They might still have letterpress equipment that is usable. The printing house near me still has some letterpress equipment in addition to their state of the art offset press. I know that there were small proof presses that were used to check the setup prior to putting in on the larger press. 

Date: 03/17/22 09:26
Re: Old Print Blocks
Author: Cumbres

The other thing you might do is contact a local museum that has antique print machinery. We have one here that has hands on demonstrations of 1800 and early 1900 printing equipment. The staff may have some good suggestions for you.


Date: 03/17/22 11:45
Re: Old Print Blocks
Author: sf1010

Those are beautiful!  

When I took print shop in high school, pre 1965, we pulled proofs by rolling ink on to the type (including blocks like you have), and placing a sheet of paper on it.  We had wooden blocks, roughly 3 inches by 6 inches, that had felt on the bottom.  We'd move those around and hit them with a hammer.  We'd just use any old paper, because all we were doing was trying to check spelling, layout, etc.  I imagine that with good paper you could get good prints in this simplistic manner.

Of course, if you can get any of the kinds of professional help mentioned above, you'd likely get better results.

Date: 03/17/22 13:07
Re: Old Print Blocks
Author: NormSchultze

Contact your local museum. Or one in a nearbt decent size city. They may know of someone who can b of service to you.

Date: 03/18/22 12:31
Re: Old Print Blocks
Author: sig292

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I'll look into all of them.
-Ken Gear

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