Linoleum Block Printing:

If you admire a handsome piece of printing, or a real work of art, you can express your own sense of artistry by linoleum block printing with an Excelsior Press.

Type high linoleum blocks will be found listed in the catalog.

Transfer your design to the linoleum in any way you see fit - the use of tissue paper and carbon paper will make it easy. Only remember that the design will be reversed from that which shows on the block - same as with any other cut or type.

You are then ready to carve your design. Cut out these portions which are to be white in the final product with the inexpensive tools listed in the catalog for the purpose.


Make sure that the sides of the cut slant - they should be neither straight up and down or under-cut, because the printing surface is likely to break off when pressure is applied to an undercut line, or even to one with vertical edges if the line is a thin one. If you do not wish to ink up the block before you finish it you can hold it up to a mirror now and then to get the effect it will have when reversed, and to find out how you are coming along.

While the blocks come in convenient standard sizes you can easily saw them up into any odd shapes you desire, keeping the rest of the block for use another time. A hacksaw or some other kind of metal saw is to be preferred over a carpenter's saw, the ordinary wood saw having a tendency to lose its keen edge on linoleum.

All kinds of decorations may be cut out of linoleum blocks, as well as poster effects, silhouettes, and even large letters or words when needed in an emergency. Two, three or more colors can be used by cutting a block for each one. Handsome Christmas and other greeting cards are made from them, and you don't have to be an artist either. Illustrations for books, pamphlets and advertising may be produced not only at cost of the block only, but in the manner used in the best work - for linoleum cuts are used as much for their good appearance as for their economy.

Plastic blocks, even smoother, are also available for cutting in the same way.

Gold, Silver and Bronze Work:

Years ago a great deal of gold and silver printing was done by dusting still damp ink with bronze powder. This has been superseded largely by straight printing from gold and silver inks, due to greatly improved formulas for the inks themselves.

Silver ink comes already mixed, but gold, if furnished that way loses its luster. Consequently the gold powder and varnish come separately, and are mixed on the job. Directions are furnished with the ink, but there is nothing complicated about it anyway.

Some very interesting effects may be obtained by using silver, gold in colored inks to make metallic tints, just as are seen in motor car finishes. You can arrive at various shades with more or less metallic sheen by experimenting, or use the samples in the Kelsey color cards to go by. In general, a small amount of color is used in proportion to the gold or silver. In addition to all this, there is gold and silver raised printing with the inks, compounds and raised printing heating unit shown in the catalog. Very attractive engraved effects are possible, especially for stationery and greeting cards.

If you have not explored the possibilities of gold and silver colored metallic effects, you are overlooking several good bets.

Printing in Color

Many jobs make a better appearance if printed in some other color than black, or in two colors.

In using color, be careful not to overdo it. You will find on most small work a single line or a few dashes or ornaments in red is all that is needed to make a fine effect. A handsome job can be done by using two shades of the same color, as light and dark blue or light and dark brown, etc. Similarly, using paper and ink of different shades of the same color produces very fine results; as a letter head of blue paper printed with dark blue ink. In setting up a job to be printed in two colors, set the whole job at once, the same as though intended for one color, lock it in the chase and make a press proof as usual. In this way you can see how the complete job will appear, and any changes that may be necessary in arrangement or spacing should be made now. When everything is satisfactory, unlock the form and lift out the lines which are to be printed in the second color, placing them on a galley or composing stick, and fill in the spaces in the form with leads or reglet of the same size as the type taken out.


How to print two colors from one form.



When the first color is printed, replace the type in the form and take out that used of the first color, filling up the empty spaces as before. If you do this correctly the two colors will register exactly. It is a good plan to print several copies of the complete form before breaking up for colors, and lay them aside to use as test sheets. The color forms should print directly over these. Always print the lightest color first.

Movie and Photo Printing:

Thousands of movie cameras are in use and there is a growing demand for better movie titling. With all due respect to the host of titling schemes, for finished professional appearance there is nothing which quite equals a title made on a printing press. Sharp, clear letter of correct proportions enlarge on the screen without annoying blemishes. The printer with small or medium size equipment is well fitted to go after this business, and should be encouraged by the knowledge that thousands of movie makers have bought presses for that purpose alone.

One of the larger camera concerns recommends using vellum finish cardboard for titles, which helps to avoid unwanted glare or reflect on of light when the card is photographed.

Titles are printed in black on white, in white on black, in silver on black, or (for color movies) in colors. Little decorative cuts may be used. Many movie enthusiasts make up special backgrounds for their titles, and photograph them, perhaps with a still camera, after which they require overprinting with lines of type.

The size of the titles required will depend on the equipment which the camera owner has for reproducing them. Most movie photographers read magazines which give them a wealth of information on the subject, so we will not go into details here, except to remark that it may be well to remind prospects that they can get so-called positive film, that is, film which well enable the printer to use black ink instead of white, yet give the same final effect in the title on the screen.

Like movie titles, there is business to be obtained in titling photographs, including photo post cards. Many photographers have presses for this work alone. Titling can be done in black on the finished print, or on the negative. If done on the negative, the letters will show white on the finished card or print. Both methods are much used. Regular printer's ink will be satisfactory to use on negatives and also on prints, although some people prefer to use the stiffer bond ink on post card stock.

Raised Printing Like Engraving or Embossing:

A good portion of the cards, stationery and such work which you see, and which have the raised appearance of engraving. are not engraved at all, but produced with a printing press and type, like yours.

All you need, aside from your regular outfit, is either gloss or dull raised printing compound, and a source of heat. Here is how it goes:

Set up the form, and print in the usual manner. While the ink is still moist, dust each sheet lightly with the compound. (you'll find it in the supply book under "Raised printing compounds.") Shake off the surplus, and put for a second near enough a heater (like a toaster, table stove or electric hot plate) for the powder to liquify, which it will do immediately. Remove the sheet and the compound will solidify instantly, so that you can lay one on another without danger of offsetting. The result will be either a glossy raised or a dull slightly raised effect, depending on which kind of compound you use, the gloss or the dull.

For general purposes the gloss compound is usually best, but for wedding announcements and business cards which must look engraved, the dull should be used. The raising is not so pronounced on the dull, but it is more in keeping with plate engraving.

The raising compound is also made in gold and silver bronze. For these, print with brown, tan or yellow ink, as the compounds are not transparent, and will not allow the colors of the ink to show through.

You’ll also find an electric raised printing unit in the catalog, made especially for the job. It is big enough to handle anything up to 12 inches wide, and it is a worthwhile investment particularly if you intend to specialize on cards, stationery, wedding announcements or such work.

Christmas Cards:

Christmas cards can be a big source of profit for the printer. The cards can be a big source of profit for the printer. The cards may be made in their entirety, or they may be bought ready for imprinting with your customer's name. Designs are available in standard cuts, or you can make them yourself on linoleum blocks, described elsewhere.

The biggest volume is on the imprinting. You can obtain the cards and envelopes with the designs and sentiments engraved, lithographed, or in offset gravure, the only work necessary on your part being the printing in of the name. The sale of Christmas cards begins in the summer months. Orders can be taken in July, August, or September, for delivery in December. However, there is plenty of business that you can get in October, November and December.

Binding and Stapling:

If you look at the Kelsey Supply Book, you will see it is stapled on the sides, whereas the Guide is bound through the center - center-bound.

Center stapling can be used when all the sheets are of such a size that they run through to make four pages each, such as the Guide.

If, however, some of the sheets are single, it is evident that stapling through the center is not going to hold them; and side binding is used, as in our Printer's Supply Book.

If center binding is wanted in spite of one or more single sheets, the singles can only be made secure by using appear wide enough to go by the center line, so that the center staples will catch and hold them.

Binding machines will be found in our supply book which will do both side and center binding. Staples of various lengths of prong or leg are furnished to take greater or lesser thicknesses. The diameter of the wire varies, too. One binder is made with attachments to take two different diameters of wire, and four lengths of leg.

Short leg staples are best for three or four thicknesses of paper - for instance, quarter inch leg staples will fasten a thickness of about an eight of an inch, more or less, and leave an eight of an inch to clinch on the other side. A 3/8 inch leg will bind a quarter inch, plus 1/8 inch for the clinch, etc.

Stitchers using continuous wire are made, but as they cost in excess of $100, we will not describe them here. Bookbinding - that is, sewing with bookbinders' thread, is another variant which requires separate coverage. The printer with small and medium sized equipment will find the hand binder such as the 1A with light wire accessories the most useful addition to his layout.

Card Cases:

Inexpensive card cases make excellent premiums for card orders. They are priced low enough so that you can offer one free with each card order, and the results are usually very gratifying. Card cases prevent the cards soiling in the pocket. If you prefer, you can offer the better grade for a small sum. It is well to give the prospective customer a choice.

Hundreds of Uses:

The Guide is designed to tell you HOW to print rather than WHAT to print. Most of the popular uses for Kelsey equipment which have not been specifically mentioned so far been specifically mentioned so far in the Guide are what might be called straight printing work - for specific purposes, perhaps, but not requiring any different treatment than the average run of job work done by most Kelsey owners who print for profit rather than for themselves.

We urge every new press owner to keep all the samples of printing which come his way, and particularly those which are along the lines of the work which he wishes to do.

If you are particularly interested in church work, or label printing, or Christmas cards, or stationery, or any other specialty, you will not find it difficult to acquire enough samples to be very helpful. That doesn't mean you will want to slavishly copy other people's printing, even if you had the same type styles - it does mean that you will find the answers to many of your questions on how to lay out your work in similar printing that you pick up. Event he advertising you see in newspapers will help. You will soon find yourself able to proceed independently and with confidence, as well as with genuine satisfaction in your own accomplishments.

To Set Up the Star Press:

First assemble the stand which consists of upper shelf, lower shelf, four legs and two extensions (long) angle irons. Two for the legs have holes thru which the motor bracket support rod must pass and these should be assembled at the same narrower end of the stand. The two (long) extension angle irons should be attached outside the legs at top with the larger holes into the angle iron up - the press will be bolted to these angle irons.


(Click on the picture to see a larger version)

Mount the motor on the two (short) angle iron pieces, with the angle iron which is notched on the pulley side of the motor - the notch goes around the leg of the stand. Next insert the motor bracket support rod thru the notched angle iron, thru the hole in the leg, thru the other angle iron and thru the hole in the other leg.

Bolt the press to the extension angle irons on the top for the stand so that the fly wheel will be on the same side as the motor pulley. The fly wheel can then be put on its shaft, with the set screw on the inside - for safety - when it is on the shaft. Line up the set screw with the "spot" and tighten. Now put the V-belt in the groove in the flywheel, and by lifting the motor a little, the V-belt can be slipped into the groove in the motor pulley. Either small pulley (slow speed) or larger pulley (faster) can be used by shifting motor and bracket along motor bracket support rod to align the V-belt.

Bolt the ink table holder to the back of the chase bed, near the chase latch. You will notice that in addition to two bolts to fasten the holder in place there are two locating pins on the top of the chase bed, and also two locating holes in the holder to match, so that you will be sure to have it in the right position. Before placing it on the two pins, raise u the dog lever and have the dog lever roll (which is located at the end of the dog lever) on the cam of the roller carriage shaft.

Next insert the stem on the back of the ink table into the hole at the top of the ink table holder (above the chase bed).

Put the roller wheels (which you will find in a cloth bag tied onto the press on the ends of the ink rollers and insert the ink rollers in place in the saddles or sockets on the machine.

The feed table arms bolt onto the front legs of the press, just below the front shaft, and the wooden feed table is mounted with wood screws on top of these arms. The illustration of the press in the catalog and diagram (pg.36) will be of help to you in assembling the press. Make sure the press is well oiled.

The press is now ready to operate. Turn the flywheel around several times to make sure the press operates freely and properly before running it with the motor. The motor has been properly wired to have the flywheel turn counterclockwise or away from the operator.

If equipped with ink fountain the fountain should be mounted on the arm above and behind the ink table so that the upper composition roller on the press just touches the ink fountain roller. If minor adjustments are necessary, loosen the two screws that hold the ink fountain in place, and tilt the fountain to make the proper contact with the composition roller - then tighten the screws to hold this setting.

Now that you have the press ready for operation, read the Printer's Guide over very carefully, which give complete information on setting type, locking forms in chase, makeready, etc.


Note: When adjusting the impression on the Star Press, only the four screws in the corners of the platen are used. 

Intro  |  Parts & Proofing  |  Setting Type  |  Press Work  |  Oiling  |  Misc. Printing  |  Business   |  Information Request  |  Phone - (416) 751-5944  |  Fax (416) 751-5413
120 Midwest Rd, Unit 5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M1P 3B2, Copyright © 2022 Don Black Linecasting Ltd.
View Mobile Website