texxgadget: (Default)
texxgadget ([personal profile] texxgadget) wrote2016-11-02 10:50 am

Dickens in 3 weeks

At the moment, Im TRYING to "sit" at my desk at work.
Im in the "Great Kilt", so with all the fabric behind me, there isnt much room on the chair for ME.
I learned after wearing it to work at FaceBook a few years ago to drive with the outer part down and not to pull the sash over the shoulder until arrival.

The Monthly First Wed lunch is today with a theme of Diwali, and they scheduled the Halloween party for this afternoon, costumes encouraged.
Having Diwali and Halloween parties the same day, Im not sure is a good idea but it is what it is.

This past weekend was the 1st weekend of workshops for Dickens Christmas Fair.
We use the HS at Pacifica, and despite the storm, the view of the Pacific was spectacular.

Saturday night after workshops was spent with the local FD Battalion Chief and the Captain of #65, planning out communications for the CERT teams of El Cerrito & Kensington.

Sunday night after workshops, I attended the readthrough of the DCF French Postcards Revue of this year.
The script is great! Its always a hassle to get booth time off to catch "Postcards" and since half our booth is lost to the cast of Postcards each afternoon, it made sense to catch the rehearsals instead.

Then the other shoe dropped. I just found out that I am running the shop at least one day, possible more.

After that, we attended to "The Exciting World of Printshop Maintenance (tm)".
Printing the bags for the tea shoppe is always difficult.
When we print a calling card for a cast member, its a single layer.
Shopping bags are multiple layer and not uniformly the same number of layers across the bag.
The "make-ready" process takes hours and sometimes days before we get a good image.
We have decided to adapt the "flexography" process to 1800s equipment.

Call the paramedics! It actually worked!

Since we are working with multiple sheets of rubber, the block of wood the plate is attached to needs to be much thinner.
We had to find a piece of 1/2in ply,
cut a block of it,
Varathane it,
glue a layer of rubber to it,
peel the old poly plate off the old block of wood,
glue it to the top of the rubber on the new block of wood,
install a new tympan sheet on the press,
add packing,
improvise a new type of registration pin out of foam tape and pressboard.
All this before we got our 1st proof.
By laying a sheet of bond paper over the bag we were able to fine tune the registration.
This included pulling the chase and moving the blocks around to move the image up about 20 picas.
Of course the bond tended to stick to the plate and get pulled into the machine.
A rubber band across the "gripper bars" solved that.
This left us with an otherwise good image but this odd blank spot across the top of the image.
Then we realized there was ink on the rubber band!
Moving the rubber band solved the problem.

So all this took far less time than make ready from a plate that was already done via the old method.
DAMN! We are GOOD!

We also realized that a poly plate used for 3000 plus impressions in a year should not be used the next year.

This coming Sat night, we will try again with a new poly plate and possibly print a few hundred bags to "shake down" the process.

Most of the 1 & 5lb cans of ink from the suitcase have been triaged and the good ones transferred to very small canning jars.

Before we could set up the press last Sunday, I had to remove the previous job from the chase frame.
I managed to transfer it to an empty galley and then went looking for galley magnets to hold it still so the type wouldnt "pie" (fall apart and jumble).
Then the magnets didnt work. The galley wasnt ferrous, DOH!
I finally wedged a couple of 10pt slugs and used tape to hold it.

For the last few weeks, we have been at work de-glazing the rollers.
They have years of dried ink on them.
We are down to actual rubber in places and lots of remaining glaze in others.
So far the uneven texture isnt hurting us.
Citrus based cleansers seem to be the trick.
We are trying to be as gentle as we can as these presses are pushing 150 years old.

You can be assured that we will be pushing the art of Yellow Journalism to new lows as we publish "The Bulletin".
We do hope that Penelope Dreadful will turn up like the proverbial "bad penny" to further rile the good citizens of "Olde London".

We have 5 jobs left in the book from last season and I picked up 5 more jobs 1st weekend of Workshops.

This does not count the job for the tea shoppe.
Ive nicknamed the tea shoppe commission the "Bag Job".
Someone commented that it sounded "dirty" when I said that.
I asked "So whats wrong with 'dirty' ?"
I think thats how I got the smudge of ink on my nose...