letterpress collaboration (1 Viewer)


Founding member
Hi everyone. I am looking for a letterpress printer to collaborate with on a book project. The project I have in mind is a run of 200 copies of a 55-60 pg book of poems and a coupla stories. Printed on decent paper, hand set type perhaps, nice endpaper, cloth cover, perfect bound, prolly with a few prints as frontispiece and throughout the book. I apprenticed to a letterpress printer for eight yrs so I've got a fair amt of experience so I cld lend a hand as well as pay for shop time, materials etc. Open to any ideas. Thx!
Sounds like a nice book...but very expensive.

In New Mexico, try these guys. Never worked with them directly, but I've seen work by both, and it was pretty darn nice.

12 Tons Press
Desert Rose Press
Very cool, bluebottle. What size are you looking at?

I can tell you that handsetting the whole book will REALLY raise the price unless you are doing it and using a local printshop just to print. If you can find someone locally that will rent you their press hourly, then you can buy a bunch of type and set it on your own time. Then come in and print it at their place from the preset type, then go home, distribute, reset and repeat. This will also allow you to proof and make corrections before you are standing over the press and eating up their time. If you are planning on them helping with the setting, then you are looking at a ton of money. It would really shut their production down for a good while. I would suggest having it done with polymer plates. More expensive than lead type out the gate, but you can get everything perfect and then order the plates. Then you can print 200 copies in a few days. Then a couple weeks to sew, bind, etc.

A lot also depends on the press that you are using and the size. If you re doing a book larger than about 6x9, then you would want to print 2-up on something like a Windmill. That can print 200 copies in a few minutes. It takes longer to set up the pages than to print them. If you are looking at something larger, then you may want to use something like a Vandercook, but the print time is a lot longer... Most likely 6 prints a minute at best, but you may be able to print 4-up, so you would cut down the number of times that it has to go thru the press. The best press to do this on is a Miele Vertical, but with only 200 copies, it is may not be worth the set up time.

Contact me at [email protected] if I can help. Once I know the size, and your level of participation it will be easier to help.

I am always willing to take on a job like this, but a lot depends on what you want, need, etc...

i love guys like cobden sanderson - to care so much about something so few people care about is inspiring.
12 Tons Press
Desert Rose Press
Thx Hosh, I will make note and look them up.

Wow Bill that response was packed with good info. i will get with u via email to go into my plan in more detail. i sure appreciate yr thoughts. When i was last involved with printing, i had apprenticed to an old school west coast tramp printer, Allen Stump. We ran aMano press out of Hayward CA for abt eight years, fueled mostly on Jim Beam, Pabst, pinot grigio, and weed. Some of the best times, being printerly.

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