After lots of planning, designing, oiling and researching, I finally got around to a trial run of my Kelsey 8x5 a few weeks ago. Although refurbished, I knew that my pretty little antique letterpress might have any number of reasons not to work perfectly on the first try, so I did all the homework I could to get ready, including this.
First, I dragged her upstairs to a good, but not necessarily permanent, spot on the table and gave her a good dusting off. Then, I had to figure out how to set up the tympan paper, grid and mylar needed to position my stock.
I'd ordered and received my Boxcar base beforehand, plus done some design work and gotten the very first polymer plates of some of my scribbles. Ink: check. Cleaner and rags: check. Just-in-case link to Briar Press online: yep.
Instead of mixing ink and risking one of my new plates, I simply cracked open the red and dug up a little letterpress plate I got off ebay some time ago. I locked the little house up in the chase, loaded up some ink on the rollers, said a wee prayer and went to town (fingers crossed and white-knuckled).
Well, would you look at that? My very first print. *grin*
I was hoping the impression would have a bit more depth, so I fine tuned things by packing a sheet at a time under my stock (so the paper would be 'higher' and the plate could 'push' further into the paper.)
I think I could get addicted to my new friend Kelsey. Even the clean up wasn't that bad.
Next stop: giving the new plates I had made with my little drawings a turn!