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Subject: Cleaning woodcuts

Cleaning woodcuts

From: Brett Charbeneau <brett>
Date: Thursday, June 6, 1996
There has been some interest expressed by a local institution in
taking impressions from circa 1810 woodcuts on the wooden "common" presses
we have in our shop.  These machines, unlike many more modern letterpress
equipment, are not set to a specific type height and allow the gentle and
gradual application of just enough pressure to get a good copy.

So, while I am not *too* concerned about physically damaging cuts
which appear to be in solid condition, I am puzzled by what solvent can be
used to remove the oil-based ink from the cuts after the impressions have
been made.

The ink we are presently using  has a petroleum-based vehicle and is
easily removed from type with kerosene.  We also, on occasion, use some of
chlorinated hydrocarbons of lesser toxicity.

A search through the Conservation DistList Archives yielded a
suggestion of a
50/50 acetone/ethanol blend for removing shellac from important woods and I
wonder if this would be applicable here.  Or should I just use kerosene?
Any suggestions would be welcome.

Brett Charbeneau, Journeyman Printer
Williamsburg Imprints Program
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
P.O. Box 1776-GHW
Williamsburg, VA 23187
Fax: 804-220-7357

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:84
                   Distributed: Monday, June 10, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-9-84-010
Received on Thursday, 6 June, 1996

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