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Subject: Impressions from stamping dies

Impressions from stamping dies

From: Robert J. Milevski <milevski>
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998
I have a research project on the horizon, part of which involves
binders cover stamping dies.  I want to make sharp dark impressions
of these dies for scanning into a computer.  I want to do this, if
possible, without heating them up individually in a hot stamping
press.  Heating takes too long and there are over 1,000 dies
requiring impressions.  It would take weeks if not months to proceed
in this fashion.  And I don't know if I can get black or dark blue
foil in wide widths, like maybe 6-7", in order to take impressions
from the largest dies.

My preferred method is cold stamping.  I have tried putting similar
dies (as would be used on a printing press) in various types of
small bookpresses, using linoleum blocks and several types of carbon
and transfer papers.  The results have been pitiful: no sharp dark
impressions here.  I have thought about inking the dies and then
taking impressions using a bookpress or tabletop proof press, but
this is messy because of the space and ventilation requirements, due
to solvent cleanup of the ink.  Also, I don't want to have to lug
around a lot of equipment.  A scanner and laptop are my ideal
limits. I have also thought about direct scanning of the dies and
then using outlining software to create the image, but haven't yet
tried this because of my lack of experience doing this sort of

Does anyone have any bright ideas that would help me out, including
refinements of the methods I have already failed at?  Thanks in

Robert J. Milevski
Preservation Librarian
Princeton University Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544
Fax: 609-258-4105

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:47
               Distributed: Wednesday, November 25, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-47-011
Received on Tuesday, 24 November, 1998

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