Whew! I just cleaned the Pearl. Today's run on the Pearl has been a dream.
Last night I did some practicing on feeding paper on the press -- no ink, no chase, just the press running and me practicing feeding the paper. You might think it's silly, but since the Pearl is motorized, it is important to practice and get into the rhythm so as not to lose paper or, worse, damage a body part while feeding paper into the machine. (ONE HUGE RULE in operating motorized platens: if you lose the paper or misfeed it, just let it go. Once the platen starts closing, LET IT GO. It's not worth losing a finger over!)
Today was just supposed to be a test run -- I thought I would have to make some adjustments on the press, but once I put ink on the press, it was ready to go! Everything was set perfectly. I underpacked the platen as I didn't know how exactly the platen screws were set, locked my form in my chase, set my guides, and pulled a print. Which came out perfectly. No need for makeready, no need for any adjustments. PERFECT. So perfect that today's test run became my first run on the Pearl.
I did a sage green run, printing the flower designs for two of the months for my 2008 letterpress desk calendar. I also printed my Zen design on A2 cardstock and started on some holiday cards. I printed over 600 pieces today, and my wrists aren't sore and my arms aren't tired.
I hit one snag when I tried to print coasters -- apparently the Pearl was set perfectly for paper, but not for thicker coaster stock. It's been over 30 years since the platen screws have been messed with, and I really hesitate to even touch them because it's such a pain to adjust platen screws, especially when it's already set perfectly for paper.
All in all, today was a great letterpress day! I'm so ecstatic over the results! Tomorrow when there's good light again I will photograph all the great prints I made today. I'm so happy my sister talked me into buying this new press!