Friday, March 7, 2008


I've been seriously using a bunch of bone folders and rulers to score and fold my cards. Yes, up until now, all cards were folded by hand with love. It's a brainless exercise, but rather time consuming and not much fun. I read awhile ago that letterpresses make the best scores out of any method, so I went ahead and got myself some scoring rule and a funky looking creasing matrix to go with it.

For the longest time I've had a bunch of scoring rule and over 3 feet of creasing matrix for my press. I've honestly been a little afraid of the whole affair and so I hadn't done anything with it. My thought was to turn my tabletop press into a scoring press so I could just leave the creasing matrix channel on the tympan and score whenever I needed to. I never learned how to do this in my letterpress classes, and I was afraid of messing up perfectly good letterpress printed paper (and my press for that matter) trying this out.

My friend Carrie did it on her Vandercook, though, so I saw no reason why I had to be so chicken about the whole affair. I finally bit the bullet yesterday and locked my scoring rule and creasing matrix into the chase of my Pearl yesterday, lined up my card as I would as if I were going to print, and scored over 600 cards in about an hour. Amazing. Perfect folds. No more broken fibers ruining the fold and perfectly good cards. I feel really silly now to have waited so long to do this.

Here are the basic directions in case you want to do this on your own press:

1. Get a scoring rule and creasing matrix. Put the plastic creasing matrix on the scoring rule. Lock it into your chase and put it into your press. (I removed my rollers because there was really no point in keeping them on.)

2. Expose the adhesive backing on the creasing matrix. Run the press through one impression. The creasing matrix should now be attached to your tympan.

3. Remove the plastic lip that held your creasing matrix to your scoring rule. You should now have two raised plastic pieces that stick to your tympan and create a channel.

4. Align the paper as you normally would and run the press as you would as if you were printing the line (which, in essence, you are).

5. Voila! Perfectly scored paper!


Nils said...


Anything involving rule that takes no ink nearly demands you take the rollers off. No ink? No rollers.

Rollers cost too much to cut 'em up with rule. I even get squeamish printing rule box frames with no type around 'em.

And thanks for the tip about Ramco Rollers! Once I get the box made I'm gonna send 'em my 9x13's rollers & get the press back to printing.

The Tagalong Press

Queen Bee Amy said...

Seriously? It's that easy? I'm still quite terrified. You are inspiring me to do some deep breathing exercises and give it a go. Thanks for the post! :)

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