Thursday, April 18, 2013

Homemade woodblock printing press part 1

So I could not find a old proof press or anything else to do my woodblock prints. Time to make my own press,

Here is the idea that I'm going to work from. Here someone used a length of PVC sewer pipe, make wooden caps for the ends. They attached one of the caps added the 5/8ths threaded rod to hold the ends on. They then stood it on end and filled it with concrete for weight, and added the remaining cap and used the threaded rod and nuts and washers to force the remaining cap into place.

I was going to do the same till I realized that I need a printing bed of 2 feet wide and 4 feet long. That will make this design hard to use since you need to use both hands to push the heavy roller back and forth.

My prints need to be much bigger and I will not be able to use both arms. So... I will do a different design using the same principles, but using gears.


First I must create the heavy cylinder. A neighbor hood friend had some 2 plus feet of 6 inch PVC sewer pipe that he gave me in exchange for a print or two when its all done. Using the band-saw I trimmed them up as square as I could. Table saw was useless at this task.

Then using the ends of the tubes I traced out the plugs that will seal the tubes and keep the concrete all in place. With the band-saw set for a 10 degree angle I cut out the plugs.


Trial fit the plugs on both tubes and matched and numbered the ones that fit the best for both tubes.

Purchased 5/8 inch treaded rod with washers and nuts for this project so now time to find the middle of the plugs and then drill a 5/8 inch hole in each of the plugs.

5/8 inch threaded rod

Drilled holes with my cheap drill press

Then using an industrial glue I started to apply glue to one plug for the first tube and then inserted it.

Tapped it down with a hammer till it was snug and then using a carpenters square I made sure that the plug was 90 degrees flush with the long side of the tube.


You have to use a hammer to set the plug snug and make sure everything is square. Now that that was done I needed to dress the glue clean up and wait till the glue hardens for the next step.