Of the two presses that were brought over by Ben and partially set up in the autumn I’ve chosen to focus on the the Poco proof press. The reason being it is most similar to the Vandercook flat bed presses I use to own.
From the limited information I have gathered thus far there were three different varieties of The Poco Press manufactured by Hacker Manufacturing of Chicago, which eventually was bought by Vandercook in 1937. Although I have not been able to find a number on ours, I bet that it is the third, a number 2.
The bed of the press is not type high which I am assuming is because it was meant for proofing type that was set up on a galley tray. Although, even if I put a galley tray with type on the bed it is still not high enough. I tried to remedy this by adding more packing, but the cylinder only allows a certain amount of packing, thus that didn’t work. I plan to remedy this by getting an additional piece of metal for the bed.
There are also challenges with creating complex imagery with multiple colors and precise registration. There is a fellow back east named Neil Giroux that has devised a rather complicated and creative system to get around limitations of the Poco. I’ll boldy take that step eventually but not quite yet. For now I’ve just done some simple deboss pieces as I acquaint myself with the Poco and continue organizing all the new printing equipment in the garage studio.
It’s been great fun getting back into setting type, locking things up on the press and pulling proofs. I’m addicted now and can’t wait to do more. Yesterday I spontaneously set the word Thank you with a heart and made some little rounds to include with new natural perfume packages being shipped out. Soon I will create even more pretty ephemera and illuminations to go along with the perfumes.
Meanwhile, back in modern 2012, Greg now has a spiffy brand new apple computer. Nothing like embracing the full spectrum of new and old printing technology.