DMS, Letterpress is here!

Hello Everyone,

I spent the weekend working on the letterpress. My first print using wood type and metal art blocks. I’m excited to get started.



Yell Heah!

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Was this done on the big machine?

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No, this was done on the small letterpress in printmaking.


@Photomancer David, is this the one you nurtured back to life?

Nicky the Letter Press has a history! So glad to see it is being put back into service.

The Chase that came with it was broken into three pieces, I later TIG welded the cast iron back together - not pretty it works. The thing was completely frozen up with rust. @Bill Gee and I spent the better part of a day getting it out of the crate, apart, sandblasting it, polishing things and oiling it so it worked smoothly. Later new rollers were procured.

The problem we had was the person that taught the class taught at UNT but moved to Michigan or Ohio. It has basically sat becuase becuase we didn’t have anyone that taught classes.

Also, the Shapeoko that was in CA was being gotten rid of from Machine Shop. @dr_cee and myself claimed it for CA - original intent was to do linoleum on it for the letter press. Chuck @dr_cee, John @jschmidt07 and Jay @jphelps and others rebuilt electronics and made an enclosure. Jay now teaches the classes for it. Not sure of it’s history of getting into Machine Shop.

The smaller Letter Presses name is “Nicky” … isn’t that right @uglyknees
Arrival of Letterpress
Nicky’s new home
Space Opera of Inky and Stinky and Nicky
Then there are various adventures of Niki / Nicky the Letter press and how she was orphaned by the Red quen

Letter Press restored


We were unaware the small letterpress had a name. We dubbed it “Gobstopper”, since the large Kluge has been named “The Wonkinator”…


I’m confused. Where’s the video you (should have) posted showing this glorious machine in action?

Wow! Thanks for this bit of history on the letterpress. Nicky is her name and she prints beautifully. I’m still adjusting the packaging sheets to get the impression more even.

I had to bring in my own personal collection of wood and art blocks to get started. There is so many little pieces and parts needed to make a complete form tight enough to lock into the chase.

Printmaking purchased a few more chases a few months ago, except one does not fit and might need a little shimming.

Does anyone know who I can talk to in the CNC routing area? I want to work on figuring out how to create our own plates and or routed wood for printing.



So should we call her Nicky Gobstopper?


What we had planned on doing at one point was creating wood or wood and linoleum blanks that fit snugly into the chase without without furniture and were already the correct height for printing.

This would make it possible to easily CNC multiple blocks for color printing that would all index properly (when CADing just do each color as a layer and cut separately). Or if marked carefully by hand, could be hand carved and indexed. Could use paper templates glued to the block.

@jphelps Jay would be the most knowledgeable about the Shapeoko
and @cghaly teaches the MultiCAM classes. I should imagine either of those CNC routers would work for cutting any non-metal parts needed…


I’m excited to see her get some legs. I had recruited a letterpress wonder woman to come down from Denton to teach but she up and moved to Utah or some other place that sounded interesting for artists.
I’m so happy to see the life, community and energy in the printmaking committee! Cant wait to see the party created with this beast.

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I’m excited to get started. I have been working on it since June, but I had to gather so many little bits and things just to get (1) form together of wood and metal. I now know I have resources in the CNC routing department, but will need to take some classes to learn how to work with them.

My background in letterpress is traditional and I have done most of my work with lead, wood and linecasting. I had just started with photopolymer before my equipment was placed into storage due to a move.

I want to get photopolymer going at DMS, but it will take some time to learn what’s available.

Who was the person from UNT that functioned in this capacity at DMS? What was her name?


Her name was Lauren and she runs But Eye Brown Eye Studio and it looks like she’s rocking it…and it was Washington (mud in my eye)

Here’s her lovely website:


I had to go to Nashville for a convention last month found Hatch Show Print was connected to the Omni hotel across the street from the convention center. I’d have much rather hung around watching them make posters than go to the convention. - for inspiration


I’m very excited about the letterpress! I took a letterpress course last year at the Craft Guild, so I have some basic idea of how it works. Let me know if I can assist!


If you could use illustrator or better yet a CAD program like Fusion 360 to design the plate or parts you want we can pretty much do the CAM part and make it via any machine out of any material in the whole space. Laser, multicam, dynatorch, HAAS, shapeoko, vinyl cutter, mold. Wood, Acrylic, Metals, Plastics, Vinyl, Rubber. CAD is really the first step before doing CAM and actually CNC manufacturing what you want.

Those programs are installed on the Digital Media computers if youd like to brain storm it and start designing. It doesnt have to be perfect. Its a good start though.

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Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the info. I’m signed up for the CNC router class for Monday, 11/18 and that should get me started. I would like to meet you too and discuss the CAD. I have a background in all things Adobe, so I’m very versed with those tools. I’m really excited about getting trained in all these areas.

See ya around!

Hi Laura,

I would be very interested in talking to you about how your experience went at the Craft Guild. I did notice they are holding classes in letterpress over there. What area at DMS are you usually hanging at. I will try to find you around.