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Re: Wood cut and Engravings

Comerical wood engraving was used into the 60's and 70's for such things as
thr Wrigley's Spearmint Gum adverts and such.  _Wood
Engraving_An_Adverture_in _Printmaking_ by David M. Sander, 1978, describes
the process fully from block manufacture to printing.  The history of the
Sanders Wood Engraving Company is the historical setting with good photos
and text.

Original wood engravings were often cut but only proofed before printing
form electromagneticly produced copies of the wood.  Often these blocks are
untrimed having heavy black borders that were never routed away.  Even
Lewis Carroll books ( like "Alice" and "The Snark") were printed from
"electros". Copper relief plates were formed by electroplating a thin
copper foil on the surface of a graphite impregnated wax impression made
from the original wood block in a hydraulic press.  The graphite would
conduct the electricity in the wax,  depositing copper in the exact form of
the woodcut. The copper foil impression would be a wrong reading relief
image (same as original in both respects) and would be fluxed, back-fill
with molten lead, trimed, leveled and mounted to be type high on a wood block.

Most of the blocks you see at the Fleamarkets are either deep etched all
Magnesium plates or Copper/leadbacked Electros (which are much heavier per
sq. inch)

Many books on leterpress printing detail the electro process.  One of the
best is _Commerical _Engraving_ and _Printing by Charles W. Hackleman 1924.
 It's old but not hard to find.  Try a large library.

The machine you heard about is called a ruling machine and there are
versions for both wood and litho stone engraving.  It has and X-Y axis and
works like a machine shop milling machine except rather than postioning a
spinning tool bit, it pushes a graver into the wood on a precise straight
path, like plowing a corn field.  No wiggle, time after time, row after
row. Both books illustrates one.  Hackleman's is better.

Hope this helps....

At 01:25 PM 1/17/98 EST, you wrote:
>I hope these are not repeat questions... I checked the archive but couldn't
>find it, but if I missed the thread I apologize.
>I am looking for information on early commercial line cut engravings. ( line
>cuts of large factories and products in catalogs) Were these done in wood or
>etched in metal? Any good books on the subject? I recall hearing that there
>was a machine that did this, can you still find this machine? Also there is a
>certain filter for Photoshop that simulates the technique. Any information
>would be greatly appreciated.
>Thank You,
>Keith Berger

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