P15510: Hand Operated Tabletop Letterpress
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Project Summary Project Information

Project Readiness Package.

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection, located in the Wallace Memorial Library at RIT, is home to a unique collection of printed works, wood and metal typefaces and engravings, and printing presses. The Arthur M. Lowenthal Memorial Room houses several historic manual presses, from tabletop hand presses for small jobs to large floor-standing presses.

Within the printing community, there is significant hobbyist interest in hand-operated tabletop presses, which are used for small personal printing runs, such as wedding invitations. These devices are self-inking, meaning that each time a new piece of paper or cardstock is inserted and the mechanism is actuated, the type is inked and then pressed into the paper. The most critical parameters on the presses are (1) evenness of the printing (i.e., uniform pressure across the printed area) and (2) repeatability of printing, so that if an artist wanted to print several impressions of different colors on a single sheet of paper, the alignment would be maintained across all printings.

These devices are not manufactured any more, although some companies do still provide parts for presses that they manufactured in the past, and the hobby printing community would benefit from a design that could be built or assembled for home use. As a result of increased demand, some of the used machines (which would have been given away for free in the recent past) are selling for as much as $1500 and more depending on press size and rarity.

For a full bill of materials to make this press at home, click here.

A complete drawing package to machine all the parts can be found here.

Finally, the full instructions for how to assemble all the parts can be found here.

Project Name
Hand-Operated Table-Top Printing Press
Project Number
P15510
Project Family
project family (if relevant)
Start Term
2014
End Term
2015
Faculty Guide
Art North, email
Primary Customer
Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, email
Sponsor (financial support)
Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Wallace Memorial Library at RIT
Steve Galbraith, email

Team Members

 Back, left to right: Brendan Domos, Kevin Weinstein, Spencer Herzog, Nathan Sandidge <br \> Front: George Chiu

Back, left to right: Brendan Domos, Kevin Weinstein, Spencer Herzog, Nathan Sandidge
Front: George Chiu

Member Role Contact
Spencer Herzog Industrial and Systems Engineer - Co-Leader email
George Chiu Mechanical Engineer - Co-Leader email
Brendan Domos Mechanical Engineer email
Nathan Sandidge Mechanical Engineer email
Kevin Weinstein Mechanical Engineer email

Table of Contents

MSD I & II MSD I MSD II

Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution

Gate Reviews

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Build, Test, Document

Publications & Presentations

Acknowledgements

Sources

http://www.briarpress.org/museum/browse?page=5&t=24 | Left Photo
http://users.bestweb.net/bpress/manuals/excelsior_modelp_parts.jpg | Right Photo

Planning & Execution | Problem Definition | Systems Design | Detailed Design | Build, Test, Document | Publications & Presentations | Photo Gallery