printing press notes


Speedball Model B printing press. Goes for ~$100 - I got it through Blick


  1. cut or tear paper to fit the press - the usable pressing surface is slightly smaller than 6” x 8”, with a bit of margin space that won’t be effectively pressed
  2. lay paper right side up (if relevant)
  3. ink printing block
  4. lay block ink-down on paper
  5. ensure paper & block are positioned under the top plate of the press
  6. close press and put pressure on. I have been putting my upper body weight on it
  7. open press and remove block

tips for multi-layer prints

I’ve accomplished multi-layer prints in two ways thus far:

  1. cut or tear paper so as to be only slightly larger than the stamp. use paper borders to align stamps
  2. use washi tape to attach paper to a carpenter’s square such that the stamps will be centered when lined up with the carpenter’s square. This requires that the stamp AND carpenter’s square fit under the press

other notes

  • as mentioned, the working area is slightly smaller than the stated 6” x 8” area
  • corners of the press are cut metal and can be slightly sharp. I put some washi tape on the corners to help avoid scratching myself
  • placing the block ink down on the paper, as opposed to placing the paper on top of an inked block, does appear to be more effective
  • compared to using a brayer, this dramatically improves consistency and ink evenness for each print! I highly recommend it if only to cut down on misprints or mistakes

category: reference