April 19, 2024


Art For President

No Printing Press, No Problem: How to Build a Bottle Jack Press

Due to the fact its inception, printmaking has revolutionized the world as we know it. It gave writers, publishers, and artists the gain of making copies. In change, it uncovered additional people to their work speedier. Some of the earliest printing approaches were applied in China close to the 9th century, which associated working with hand-carved blocks. In the 15th century, the Gutenberg press designed printing on a mass scale more quickly than past solutions. In the electronic age, we may possibly acquire the plan of earning various copies of a thing for granted simply because we can have it with a brief scan or a click on.

Do not underestimate the printmaking procedure. Exposing youngsters to this artform is enjoyable and opens the doorway to many artistic prospects. A lot of artwork instructors opt for hand printing procedures because they do not require a press. If you are fortunate to have entry to a printing press in your studio, take into consideration on your own 1 of the blessed handful of. If you are hunting for an economical press, with a couple of very simple hand and electricity applications, you can establish your very own applying an automotive bottle jack.

Linocut Block

Relying on the prices of community components, you can create this push for $100–$300. In comparison, most suppliers have etching or platen-style presses for hundreds if not countless numbers of pounds much more. The most highly-priced purchases for this Diy are the automotive bottle jack and slotted steel. If you are thrifty, you can buy a bottle jack second-hand as extended as you ensure it does not leak and the piston goes up and down effortlessly. A 6-ton jack should really suffice for all of your classroom printing demands. If you have to have anything at all bigger, it will call for taller slotted metal, which prices extra. Anything smaller than three-ton may not offer enough stress for specified print forms.

One more thing to look at is if your school district can put the funds for this make into your artwork spending plan. If you have to fork out out of pocket, inquire about a reimbursement program. Applying for a grant is an additional alternative to attempt.

Finished press three quarter view

Let us glance at the products you will require for this create:

Here’s a list of equipment you will have to have:

  • Circular, miter, or radial arm saw (a handsaw will function also)
  • Drill and affect driver with bits
  • Tape evaluate
  • Wooden clamps
  • Wooden glue

At the time you have gathered all of your elements and resources you are ready to establish! The video clip, How to Establish a Bottle Jack Push Demo, is extremely useful in visualizing the push and techniques. Retain in brain you can modify this in any way to fit your wants!

Drypoint intaglio example

Right here are 10 techniques to develop your bottle jack printing press.

1. Make a sketch and diagram for your construct.

Determine all the sizes and dimensions of your press like the width, length, and top. Maintain in thoughts to continue to keep points relatively smaller sized, even with a 6-ton press. It is sensible not to exceed a 20 width or size on the foundation.

Diagram of Press

2. Reduce 2 2 x 4s for the header and then glue and clamp them with each other.

When dry, established the header piece aside for afterwards. Make positive it sticks out lengthy ample to connect to the slotted metal for a later on stage.

3. Minimize 2 2 x 4s for the center of the base and then glue and clamp them jointly.

Following it dries, this will be the heart of your push foundation. Ensure it sticks out very long enough to connect to the slotted metal for a later on move.

4. Slice and screw the 2 x 4s to frame out the push foundation.

Use the laminated 2 x 4 in the middle of your base. Use other 2 x 4s to make a framework for the top rated of the foundation.

Press Frame Close Up

5. Minimize and screw the plywood for the best of the foundation.

Screw the plywood right on prime of the 2 x 4 base. It is encouraged that you countersink your screw heads so they never present up on a remaining print.


6. Established up the slotted steel on every side of the laminated base and insert the laminated header for the major. Then, drill holes and insert the hex bolts.

This component can be challenging so use a wood clamp or two to hold the steel in spot although you drill and generate your hex bolts. If you do not have an impact driver for the bolts, you can use ratchets and a wrench to safe them in area. Make sure it is snug!

Slotted Steel Close up front view

7. Attach the metal electrical box to the header.

Find the lifeless-center of your header and screw in the steel circle or electrical box. This serves as a ram cup for your press so it does not dig into the wood around time.

Metal box closeup

8. Lower a piece of plywood for the platen pressboard.

Make positive the platen push board is the exact same dimensions as your plywood base.

Slotted Steel Close up three-quarter view

9. Screw 4 eye hooks on to the platen pressboard. Then connect bungee cords or turnbuckles and springs to the header and eye hooks.

Turnbuckle, eye hook, spring closeup

10. Uncover the dead-centre of the platen board and spot the bottle jack in the centre.

It is sensible to make some type of foundation for the bottle jack so it does not slide about all through use.

Finished press front view

Let’s search at the operation of the push.

  1. Spot your jack on the middle of your platen board.
  2. Set up your print. It may possibly glimpse slightly distinctive based on what kind of print you are producing.
    For linocut prints, spot a piece of tagboard on the foundation, the inked block, then the paper.
    For etching or intaglio prints, spot a piece of tagboard on the foundation, the inked block, printing paper, butcher paper, then a folded towel.
  3. Work the jack as ordinary. (Consult your owner’s manual for your distinct design.) Most jacks are the exact. Tighten the valve, insert the cope with into the piston cup, and pump the piston to elevate the jack. In this circumstance, increasing the jack closes the gap concerning the platen board and the foundation.
  4. Pump the jack right until the platen or top rated board completely satisfies your print, and you are unable to pump any more. Be careful not to overpump your jack, or a catastrophic failure can arise, such as your header board cracking. Recall, these jacks raise cars and trucks, so it has extra than ample strain to make your prints!
  5. Right after you can’t pump the push any more, release the valve on your push, which really should trigger the platen board to increase. Slide out your print and admire it!

linocut example

This homemade push does consider some observe to use and fine-tune. Use it as a instructor-guided station or for demonstrations in an elementary environment. In middle or significant college, take into consideration demonstrating your college students how to use the press and centre it around a printmaking project of your decision. This push can also deal with some bookmaking or embossing tasks. Get some instruments and get started out setting up this bottle jack press. The quicker you establish it, the quicker you and your learners can use it!

If you are on the lookout for printmaking lessons and resources, seem no even more!

How can you see your self using this Do it yourself press in your classroom?

Do you have any modifications or improvements you would make to this develop? If so, what are they?