By mid-summer of this year enough effort had been spent preparing, and it was time to think about printing. The decision had been made to print the book on the 1848 Washington press once owned by Lankes. This posed challenges to everyone at TBAS, because the press had never before been used for fine book work, the bed of the press still had signs of rust and rumors of being "dished," and none of us had much experience printing on a hand press. If the job was going to be done well, then TBAS would need the assistance of an accomplished hand press printer. That's when Richard contacted Steve Heaver.
Steve Heaver operates The Hill Press in Baltimore. Among his letterpress books are editions of "The Story of the Unknown Church" by William Morris and "The Great Litany" by Thomas Cranmer. His work on such fine productions has given him the experience that the TBAS needed to print Lankes as well as could be done.
Steve arrived in Tampa on Thursday, July 30th, and he worked with Richard, Carl, Laura, and Sean until evening, re-covering the tympan and frisket and cleaning the press.
On Friday, the platen was adjusted, packing was added to the tympan, and then the guide pins were positioned on the frisket. After all this work was done, the first of four forms was positioned on the bed and locked in the chase, and it was time to pull blind impressions to check for problems with the make-ready and packing. Once Steve was satisfied with the results of blind proofing, the form was inked, and everyone worked late into the night making additional adjustments to the underlay and make-ready. It was exhausting but satisfying work.
About the photos 1) Laura Theobald admires a copy of "The Great Litany"; 2) Laura and Steve Heaver work on the tympan and frisket; 3) Laura helps Steve attach the frisket; 4) Richard Mathews adjusts the platen; 5) Steve cuts windows in the frisket; 6) Sean Donnelly and Steve add packing to the tympan; 7) Carl Nudi cuts mylar for the packing; 8) Steve locks up the chase; and 9) Steve examines a blind impression of the form made during early proofing.
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