The Luminice Press
Detailed fabrication drawings for press construction

Due to the growing interest in fine press printing, and after discussions at the 2018 Oak Knoll Fest about letterpress resources, I decided to offer my design for the Luminice Press 2.0 free of charge to help keep the craft of fine press printing alive.

In 2016 I created a new manual press design for fine press book work. I have constructed and tested this press and printed fine press books with it. I am offering complete plans free of charge to anyone who wishes to construct this press. The design does not require special tooling for fabrication. All that is needed is a drill press and some hand tools. The main steel parts can be purchased cut to size from on-line sources. Estimated materials cost for this press would be under $1,000.

This press resembles a historic iron hand press but with a major difference: electronic platen force monitoring. The Platen Assembly and the electronic Platen Pressure Indicator Assembly are the heart of the press and described in detail in the Luminice Press General Description Paper. The Luminice Press Fabrication Drawings file contains 21 drawings in PDF form for press fabrication.

The frame of the press can be an inexpensive standard 6 or 12 ton shop press available from a machine tool supplier or constructed to your requirements from steel channel or even wood. Since this press is hydraulic, it has the power to print a crisp image without dampening the paper.

The base of the press is a granite surface plate. Below are links for a suitable press and surface plates. See the outline drawing in the ZIP archive for additional parts needed to support the surface plate and hang the platen assembly.

Shop press
Granite surface plates

In recent years the rise of interest in letterpress printing has made finding presses in good working condition difficult. To restore a 60 year or older press can be quite expensive. Also presses are quite heavy. My studio is on the third floor of a 160 year old house, so transporting a 700 plus pound press up there was out of the question. Since the Luminice Press 2.0 can be dis-assembled and weighs about 200 lbs., it can be easily carried. It also can be set up in an area with limited space.

If you have further questions you may contact me, please put Luminice Press in the subject line

Contact Information
Thomas Parker Williams

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