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Re: Fw: Wood Block Prep

On Wed, 12 Feb 1997, Lee Cooper wrote:

> 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

You're welcome Lee,

Take a look at David M.Sander's (no pun)
_Engraving:_An_Adverture_In_Printmaking_, Viking Press, 1977.  There is a
complete description of block production and a diagran to show proper
block spacing for gluing sizable blocks.

Sand to 600 w/ wet/dry silicon carbide paper.  Use mineral oil (same as
baby oil w/o fragrance) as a lub.  There was a guy in Southern Ontario
making custom blocks but his services were very unreliable.  Good work to
sense of time!

Forty years ago good blocks were being made but no way does it take forty
years to make a good block.  I would dry green block wood for several
years if air drying.  Cherry and Maple are fine.  I have yet to meet an
engraver that was technically skilled enough to untilize the maximum
potential of a boxwood block.  I use copper for etching.  If I was
drawing with a blunt stick I would bother..Id use steel!



     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
         Co-Moderator Buffalo Free-Net Preservation SIG
    Member Buffalo Free-Net Information Development Committee

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