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Weight How Much is Enough?



How much weight?

As mentioned earlier you surely do not want to flatten any texture in any of
the materials you are using. Such as the grain of fabric or coarsly grained
paper.

Just as important is considering how your pages were printed. If letterpress
was used the process of printing will have pushed up paper around the
printed letters, especially on the thicker papers or if the paper was
dampened.  You do not want to use so much weight that you flatten out the
paper over the printed image and obliterate all those letters.  So you use
less weight. Lots of printing processes such as color lithography will cause
bleed through or bleed over when you press so you have to use even less
weight.

But how much is enough?  I can not honestly say I have ever heard any one
say "For this you use 20 pounds per square inch" or something like it.

For presses it is something that you get by feel when you turn the wheel on
the press (and every press is different). When you ruin something you know
you have used too much. Of course the size of the book changes things. A
folio having more surface area will take a lot more weight than an octavo.

I have a standing press with a 20 by 40 inch platten. I am positive it
generates many tons of pressure but if the whole platten is being used (for
edition pressing) you still get 10 lbs/sq inch or less even if you use up to
4 tons!

When I use weights I use 2 - 10 pounds for a box depending on the size.

For smallish books 10 - 40 pounds.  For big books 50 - 200 pounds (unless I
am afraid of crushing textures).

I tend to be bold and use as much weight as can get away with without
causing deliterious effects. I think it produces a "sharper" looking book.

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