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Showing posts from November, 2010

How To Make Printing Ink

  Introduction Printing ink is so much more than just the black stuff that you put on a page. It has been around for thousands of years, and it's been used in everything from newspaper presses to digital printers. As you can see, we're not talking about offset printing ink which is oil based. I want to have a little fun and talk about how you can make your own ink for your printer.  At home! Ready? Ingredients You will need the following ingredients: Soot (5 tbsp) : This is as purest as it gest. You can make the soot yourself by holding a glass up to a flame. This will allow you to slowly accumulate the soot. Water (2 tbsp): For the base of your ink, use distilled water so that you don't introduce any impurities into the mix. Distilled water is also easier to clean up than tap water because there are no minerals or residue left behind from tap water. Alcohol (2 tbsp) (grain alcohol): This ingredient works as a preservative for your ink and allows it to last for several mo

Top Ten Qualities of a Good Pressroom Manager

With 21 years experience as a pressman, working both in management and on the press, I would like to share what I think are the top ten qualities of a good pressroom manager. Let’s start with a question: Do you prefer to be managed or led. Do you prefer a leader or a manager? I think it goes without saying that we would much prefer to have a leader than a manager. A leader sets by example, and this inspires others to take pride in their work. So while this article title uses the word manager, a leader is a much better word. So here are the ten qualities: 1. A Good Leader Volumes could be written about this quality, but in a pressroom setting, this is the one who dedicates himself, not to pushing paper in his office, but spending it in the pressroom, troubleshooting and communicating with the crew. Some days, he puts on his work clothes and helps the crew clean the press, yes even menial duties. 2. Takes Pride In Printing He doesn’t have a “good enough” mentality. He reco

A Pressman's Guide To Starting Up A Press

Starting up an offset printing press on Monday morning is much like starting your car after a long cold night. When you were last driving it, it purred like a kitten. Now it fights to start again. The pressman faces a similar situation. Presses don’t like to be shut down. And the longer they’re shut down, the harder they are to get going again. Here are a few tips to help an offset pressman on those rough startups. 1. Practice Pressroom Courtesy In other words, leave it the way that you would like it to be left for you. Even if you are going to be the next pressman running the press, leave everything in the perfect circumstances to start it up again. This might involve little things like having the pressman spray the rollers or ink fountain with something that will prevent it from drying. 2. The Pressman Should Have a List Every time you start the press, there’s always something else that could have been done to make the process a little better. Write it down. Have a