Hand-printed books of poetry,
Plus tips and supplies for fellow letterpress printers.

Block Mounting

Nylon and Lino

For the mount you need a piece of wood planking ¾" thick (90mm). It needs to be pretty flat and free of bumps, so you may need to sand it down a bit. The sides need to be pretty well vertical or it won't lock-up in the forme. A mitre saw makes that easy to achieve.

Use a good pair of scissors to cut around the outside of the raised image area on your block leaving a generous ¼" margin of non-printing area.

Tip: Chamfering
Use a shallow tool (usually used for cleaning out large areas of lino) to chamfer the edges down to the block mount   get down as close as you can get to the fabric backing without actually finding it.

Apply double sided tape to the back, letting it overhang on all sides. Turn the right way up and press down to make sure the tape is stuck down well. Neatly trim off the overhanging tape.

When you're ready, peel the backing from the tape and press firmly onto the centre of the mount. Make sure it's perpendicular to the sides of the mount, otherwise it'll print skew-whiff.

Now you've got the lino/nylon mounted, you'll need to get it to type height. Stick paper and/or card to the back, checking the height between each layer. An Imperial (thous of an inch) micrometer is useful – if you can read the darn thing! – type height is .918" and blocks need to be the same height as type so as to nicely touch the inking rollers of the press.

A quick way to check your progress is to use a piece of (large) type either side of the block to support a steel rule (or similar) across the top. Just check for daylight!

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