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Fw: Wood Block Prep

I am not sure that it won't take me 40 years to learn how to do this but if
I have to wait 40 to start I'll be in big trouble!!  I am using bblocks
that are 2" x 8" across the grain.  I have sliced them into nearly type
high pieces.  They are already pretty dry, although I haven't put a meter
on them.  The    8" or 10" long piece had waxed ends to provide for uniform
drying with minimal checking.

I have used 1/4" plate glass with sandpaper glued to it to clean up plane
irons.  I hadn't thought of using this "shooting board," as it is called,
to flatten blocks but the goal is the same and the idea a good one I will
try next.  I will also try the router to get the back side parellel which
is important since my goal is to print these on my press.  I have found I
cannot use type and blocks at the same time so I make a second run through
the press, often with a second color anyway.

By the way, what grit is the "final grit" for these?  I have been ending
with 240, which feels smooth to the touch but I realize touch can be
deceiving  when using ink.

Thanks for all the help.

Lee Cooper

> From: Louis H. Silverstein <louiss@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: Wood Block Prep
> Date: Wednesday, February 12, 1997 12:35 AM
> I thought I was told by Toni Eichenberg that it took forty years or more
> the glued Boxwood bocks to be cured enough for carving--and that
> the wood for creating the blocks was a Turkish art that was dying out.
> Furthermore that towards the end of his life, Fritz Eichenberg had a
> terrible time finding sources for prepared boxwood blocks suitable for
> to carve upon
> Louis H. Silverstein
> At 12:08 AM 2/12/97 -0500, Michael E. Morin wrote:
> >On Tue, 11 Feb 1997, Lee Cooper wrote:
> >>
> >> I have been struggling with the cutting of several wood blocks and
> >> tried some end grain as well.  I finally broke down and bought some
> >> to use instead of pieces from me scrap wood box containing cherry,
> >> and several others. I have taken my boxwood and sawn it nearly type
> >> slices across the grain.  I have tried sanding with a belt sander.
> >> they look good and feel smooth by furniture makers standards I find
> >> are still low or high spots when I try to print them, of course after
> >> have carved them.
> >>
> >> The boxwood is wonderful, smooth and firm and even.  How do I go about
> >> preparing the blocks for end grain carving??
> >>
> >> Thanks for any and all insight.
> >
> >If your boxwood is still green (fresh cut) slice overthick disks like
> >salami.  Boxwood only comes 6-8 inches in dia.  Make one saw cut from
> >outside edge through the annual rings to the center of the slice.  Let
> >dry at least a year.  The saw cut will release the wood's inner stress
> >and instead of a spider's web of cracking the wood will shrink evenly,
> >enlarging the thin sawcut into a wedge shape.  In other words all the
> >shrinking takes place in one spot, like a pie with one slice missing.
> >
> >Some woodturners use PEG solution (polyethelene Glycol?) to soak the
> >blanks first which reduces the shrinking considerably.  Oil the dried
> >blanks with danish oil or tung oil.
> >
> >Sanding is best done by adhering the various grits of sandpaper to a
> >perfectly flat surface (I use a leveled litho stone but a piece of plate
> >glass will do) Rub the block into the sandpaper until flat.  You will
> >that you will produce a flatter block rubbing the block instead of the
> >
> >Flatten one side to final grit.  The back of the block can be made
> >paralell (sp?) several ways.  For large blocks (8x10+) the best is to
> >someone with a power drum sander or drum sanding attachment for a radial
> >saw.  I would use a millimg machine or a power router.  Any router or
> >jig book should have plans to make a simple surface planning jig.  If
> >blocks are small glue the finished side to a larger flat plywood sheet
> >a layer or 2 of newspaper white glued between the block and the plywood.
> >Once planed the block can be popped off the plywood with a shape chisel.
> >Sand of the newspaper, oil and your ready to engrave.
> >
> >*****************************************************************
> >
> >     M I C H A E L   M O R I N                M.F.A., M.L.S.
> >
> >Director Celtic Press               Instructional Media Librarian
> >  Buffalo  New York                  D'Youville College Library
> >-----------------------------------------------------------------
> >                    ba202@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> >-----------------------------------------------------------------
> >         Co-Moderator Buffalo Free-Net Preservation SIG
> >    Member Buffalo Free-Net Information Development Committee
> >*****************************************************************
> >
> >

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