Work on my Wazgoose submission has begun in earnest. After re-setting type for the first leaf, I spent a good part of the weekend in a state of perplexed make-ready.
As I started to proof, I had noticed a strange ghosting streak of ink across my prints. It was annoyingly erratic in its appearances. I examined the form and rollers for rogue pet hair (wouldn’t be the first time!) – but to no avail. I tinkered with the slipsheets to lighten the packing. I mucked around with roller height (really dumb idea, it turns out, because it took me the better part of 4 hours to get them calibrated again!)
I was sitting (read, moping) on the floor next to the press, wracking what was left of my brain for a solution, when I glanced up and noticed that under the press bed I could see the carriage bearers had pearls of dried liquid soap clinging to them. (That’s the soap used in washing up the safewash inks, which I had been using too liberally, it seems!) These hardened bubbles were actually picking up ink from the type and then trailing it over the paper as the cylinder turned. A few scrubs with a damp rag and this ghost was banished.
With the forme locked up on the press, I created a paper template to ensure all my pages were consistently shaped (More nuggets of wisdom from my homework here, this time courtesy of Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style). First colour impression (black) went well once these issues were resolved. (Jeez!)
The second colour registration was suspiciously easy to implement. The impressions aligned well, and once I figured out how to resolve roller slurs (roller bearers to reduce the impact of the rollers on the text), the second colour impression was relatively free of problems.
Next step, setting and printing the recto. But for the moment, I’m out of sorts (lowercase h, to be precise), so I’m heading back to the print shop to diss some type!