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Re: [BKARTS] Paper grain in commercial printing

I wasn't always a book conservator (currently restoring a book
printed in 1489, or thereabouts).

Once upon a time I ran a Linotype; set type by hand for a C&P
press; locked up the chases for a Heidelberg flat-bed press and
ran off 10's of 1000's of sheets of newsprint for a small, local

We learned to pay attention to grain direction and moisture content.

A useful text explaining these things is:

_What the Printer Should Know About Paper_ published in 1970 by the
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, Inc.

In response to Jake's posting:

>When I was a pressman (nearly 5 years), we were very careful to use long
>grained papers, and FRESHLY OPENED STOCK.  Normally, we broke open whole
>reams, using boxes of paper at a time.  Short grained papers caused a lot of
>jamming in collation units.  Paper was never left to sit for long.  If it
>was, there were often problems.

Ed states:

>I don't believe you or your pressmen were professional grade printers. Many
jobs especially books have to be printed short grain. We have done many
limited editions. At least a thousand books per year. These editions were of
a superior quality which meant practically standing over the printer. When
the job was printed we had to examine every sheet. Believe me, if the printer
had troubles, we knew about it. There were problems with off-setting and with
failure to properly back-up the forms. NEVER was there a problem caused by
the grain direction.

My question is, why was it necessary to 'practically stand[] over the printer.'
if everything was under control....


Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon  97217

503/735-3942  (ph/fax)


"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer  _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

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