Bill Ritchie's Design work in Wisconsin
Michele Lee Collection
as a photo of Michele's
press, this is Legacy Mini Halfwood
Press Number 35 - originally
owned by Lee Mann but now
by an anonymous buyer.
Legacy Mini Halfwood Press No. 36
Specifications: Made in 2008. Legacy Mini Halfwood Press. Serial No. 60036. Rollers are 1.5 x 5.75 inches top and bottom. The bed is 1/4 x 6 x 17 inch polycarbonate (the standard); overall length is 17.5 inches; overall width is 9 inches; overall height is 10 inches; weight, 12 lbs.; drive wheel is 8 inches diameter in stainless steel; the woods are American black walnut with a walnut hood with ipe cladding on the steel and on the hood-ends and side pieces. The instrument box is poplar and baltic birch trimmed in ipe. Included are felt blankets, copper plate, Allen Wrench, User's Manual and DVD..
Artist's comment: Michele had emailed me, and, about a year later she came to Seattle with her young son to visit her brother and she contacted me to see the Galleon Halfwood Press - the press with the 9-inch wide bed, to try it out. She and I printed two plates (Box Label), made a video of her printing.
She decided to take a Legacy Mini Halfwood instead and perhaps later trade it in on the Galleon. I disassembled it to make it easier to take on the plane.
I built every Halfwood Press by hand so I make variations, some so small they would not be noticed. The steel frame and moving parts are also hand made, but without variations. Bronze guides hold the ends of the top roller shaft, and the shaft rides on precision ball bearings. The guides have fine-threaded screws for a smooth pressure adjustment. Both steel rollers are mounted on sealed ball bearings that never need lubrication.
A lightweight polycarbonate bed is the standard portable bed, riding on 12 miniature ball bearing rollers. The base has two holes to use if the user wants to anchor it to a workbench or table top.The woods used on this press are solid black walnut, ironwood cladding, and peruvian walnut with ebony and rosewood. Walnut makes up base. The hood is walnut with ironwood and rosewood caps on the ends. All the parts have been cut and finished to fit the steel parts, oiled with teak oil and rubbed to a smooth finish. The press is held on the base with four machine screws concealed in square brass tubes, allowing for a box between the base’ sides for storing felts and printmakers’ instruments.
The base plate came from a plank of walnut that had bad edge. I routed it away and inset a strip to fix it, giving this one a nice finish. At one of my favorite hangouts--Rockler Woodworking--I found a piece of walnut in their cut-off bin. It had a beautiful knot in it that I wanted to incorporate the burl-like swirl into the hood of #35. It was so hard I broke two sawblades cutting it. No. 36, in Wisconsin, shares this piece of wood in its hood.
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