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Re: [BKARTS] Blocking Press advice

My preference has always been the Kensol 36 ( a 3 ton press ) for hand operation ( it can also can be mechanized with air drive).
I served my apprenticeship on a Kensol, and therefore have had minimal exposure to other machines, such as the Plaguer (sp?). I also have had limited experience with the Kwik-Print, and then only on models that stamped one-line of type at a time.
The Kensol has meet my needs for most of the projects that I have encountered, not only for standard work, but also for fine bindings and limited editions. While there were times when a larger, 15" x 9" chase would have been useful, the 6" x 9" has been adequate, even for stamping dies that extended beyond the 9" length.
I would also point out that the main platen on the Kensol can be removed. This feature allowed me to stamp the front cover of bound books --- the textblock hung down the side of the dove-tail where the main platen is normally attached.
Another point is that I use a jig --- actually we call it the "Force" as named by Bill Anthony, my mentor. This removable jig allows one to prepare the setup off of the press as well as adjust the "make-ready" if it is needed. After the impression is made, the jig -- with the book cover secured -- can be removed to allow cleanup and inspection of the stamped area. Since the Force is a precision jig, it can be returned to the press for additional work with no fear of misalignment.
It also sound be noted that the Guild of Book Workers has a 1993 video that shows the use of the Force. The same technique was demonstrated at the recent GBW Standards of Excellence seminar in Dallas.
Good Luck,
Bill Minter

On Oct 30, 2007, at 5:52 AM, David Amstell wrote:

We are considering the Kensol range of machines, but there may be other
good machines of which we are unaware. We are handbinders, doing mostly
one-off projects, but sometimes we do small limited edition runs, such
as 50 copies. Often, we do big books, A1 size, 850mm x 600mm. Our
current Marshall chase has an internal measurement of about 15" x 9".
Any new machine would ideally be able to match these dimensions at
least. We would prefer a machine which accommodates variable chases of
different sizes, with 90 degree movement, and perhaps even have a
self-centering facility, and good temperature control. Stand alone on
the floor is OK. We don't want something too big as might be used in
industrial edition binding. Perhaps just the best available for the
handbinder. Cost is less important than getting the right machine.


William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
4364 Woodbury Pike
Woodbury, PA  16695
Fax:   814-793-4045
Email:    wminter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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