29 September 2010

Scoring Whylah Falls

Automative trouble stranded me up on the mountain most of the day, but drove down into Kentville as the sun was setting to get a few things done at the print shop. Namely, I had to score the jackets for our new edition of George Elliott Clarke’s Whylah Falls. We have to ship a substantial order for a university course already underway, so I didn’t want the books to sit here an extra day just because I spent part of my morning ineptly crawling around on the wet ground under a truck.

This cover was printed offset in two colours (black and gold) on a felt-finish cover stock. The image is a duotone, which combines the gold and the black. In order to score the folds, I hand feed book jackets into a 1930s vintage Chandler & Price platen press. It is one of my favorite machines in the print shop. We bought this one from a shop that was closing down in Halifax back in 2000. When scoring, the ink rollers are removed and the chase has steel rules locked into it which score the folds in the jacket. These presses look dangerous, but they are perfectly fine so long as you rigidly adhere to some pretty common-sense safety practices (like keeping your back straight and not following a mis-fed sheet into the closing mouth of the press). This press sheet is about 10 × 20 inches in size, so it takes a little practice before you can feed them this quickly. You have to grab it in just the right place and use the air under the sheet to float it into place.

George’s book should be available for shipping, ohh, by mid-morning Thursday.


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