Monday, August 28, 2006

Takach Technical Information

Hi, I'm the guy at Takach who will attempt to answer technical or process related print questions. My name is Aaron and a brief summary of my credentials is; BFA Printmaking Tyler School of Art, Certified Professional Printer Tamarind Institute, MFA candidate University of New Mexico. Additionally, I have worked in a non-toxic printshop and have taught various workshops and classes. So, I'll attempt to answer any questions you may have... .but this field is wide enough that I may not have the solution. However, someone else on the blog may, this should be a good place to get some of those print-mysteries solved! Aaron Bass


Fatima Ferreira said...

Hello Aaron,

I would like to know which of Takach brayers/rollers, rubber or leather ones and which durometer are best to work with polyester lithography plates (pronto plates).

I also would like to know if there is any shop in Europe where will be possible to find Takach suplies like specially the rollers, brayers or presses.

Thank you for any informations on that.
Fatima Ferreira (Portugal)

dash1up said...

60 duro is the best, essentially you want a hard surface since it is a minimal surface coating of ink. What is more important is that your ink consistency be right. If it's too stiff you can rip the toner off the plate, too loose and you get scum galore. Most inks need to be modified with magnesium and a medium oil (4 or 5).

As far as European distributors we don't really have any, especially not for presses since they are all somewhat customized to the user. However, we do ship stuff overseas on a regular basis. The way shipping works it's often more advantageous to buy all the supplies you need in one shot, rather than multiple shippings since there are all sorts of costs per box shipped internationally.

Hope that answers your questions

Aaron at T.P.

Alice said...

Hello Aaron. I am using a Takack Press for the first time at a residency program. Normally I use an etching press so this is a bit of a change. Is etching ink putting me at a distinct disadvantage? I'm having truoble getting ink to transfer to the paper with any reliability. I've adjusted and readjusted the pressure, tried augmenting with blankets under the tympan. I'm using grease on the scraper bar and tympan. Right now I am preparing to try a fresh tympan as the one on the press looks well used. Can you give me any tips to get the pressure right? And any ideas about ink consistency would also be appreciated. Actually any suggestions you might have would be gretly appreciated. I have not tried dampened paper yet as I thought I'd try to get things right or somewhat close with newsprint first. Thanks Alice

dash1up said...


I think we need abit more information...mainly what is the process (monotype? collograph? litho? etc.)you are trying to run through the litho press?

However, a good way to get a starting pressure on a litho press is;

1) drop the pressure handle and lower the scraper-bar onto the tympan.

2) tighten wheel to the point where you can't turn it with one hand.

3) raise handle, tighten pressure wheel another quarter turn.

4) now the pressure handle should be tight but you should still be able to bring it all the way down with one hand.

This is all based on pressure for litho, other processes need less pressure or an etching press.

hope that answers some of your questions


PS: If you are doing litho, then yes etching ink is the wrong consistency. You may need to modify with plate oil/litho varnish and magnesium.

Sherana Harriette Frances said...

Aaron, I met the Takach's when I was in the intensive printer training programs in l988 and 1992 - a long time ago -- I've been pulling lithos since 1965 on stone and later on alum. plates -- during a studio-moving "ordeal" a few years ago, I lost one of my files containing old etch formulas for stones, including one by Lynton Kistler -- the Kistler formula is the one I am missing to make my reconstructed files complete - is there anyone there who know that particular formula (it's quite an 'oldie') -- hope you can help. Thanks! Sherana

Sherana Harriette Frances said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherana Harriette Frances said...

Anyone know the formulation of Lynton Kistler's etch formula for litho stones? Thanks! Sherana

Sherana Harriette Frances said...

Looking for the old Lynton Kistler etch formula for litho stone -- anyone still have it? Thanks!
Sherana Harriette Frances

dash1up said...

Good news you can find the receipe posted at the UWStout website posted by Bryan Richie. To view the search results for the Kistler Etch Table Click Here.
This will take you to the google search results page. You may view the page in the browser or download it to a word document.

clay said...

i was taught never to use a scraper bar (in lithography) that is larger than your stone, because it would damage the scraper bar, but i have seen a lot of people doing it, both with wood and leather, and the newer plastic bars. any advice?

clay said...

i was taught never to use a scraper bar (in lithography) that is larger than your stone, because it would damage the scraper bar, but i have seen a lot of people doing it, both with wood and leather, and the newer plastic bars. any advice?

Anonymous said...

how much ferric chloride does the z-acryl vertical etching tank hold? thanks.

margaret said...

Hi Aaron,
how much ferric chloride does the vertical etching tank hold?

Alan Takach said...

The z-acryl vertical etching tank holds four gallons of Ferric Chloride.

Takach Press is working on a new oversize vertical etching tank for large plates up to 24" x 32". We are not sure of the final price and are unsure exactly how many gallons of Ferric Chloride will be required to fill the etching tank to capacity.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I wonder if someone can help me< I am looking for a specific explaination (to justify buying a litho press) about why you CANNOT create a true lithograph on an etching press.

I understand about litho sketch plate solution that attempts to MIMIC a lithograph and also that you offer attachments for etching presses....

Alan Takach said...

Printing aluminum plate in a planographic process such as lithography is not recommended on an etching press. The pressure delivery system of an etching press is much different that that of a litho press. Though etching and litho presses are similar, in that they both provide extreme printing pressure, the small groves in the surface of the upper etching press drum are not suited for a lithographic process utilizing aluminum plate. The scraper bar which delivers printing pressure in a litho press applies uniform linear pressure to a small area of the plate. In an etching press the pressure increases as the full radius of the upper drum contacts the printing matrix, in this case the aluminum litho plate. When using an etching press the dissipation of pressure through the felt printing blankets, is inappropriate for aluminum plate lithography. If printing blankets are not used damage to the upper printing drum may occur, further the necessary grained surface of the aluminum litho plate will be deteriorated by the direct pressure of an etching press's steel drum. In my experiences, I have not heard of successful aluminum plate lithography printed on an etching presses. For stone lithography the problems when using an etching press multiply, the pressure head of an etching press does not allow for uneven stones. Printing stone lithography in an etching press, is dangerous and would certainly be detrimental to the stone.

k.h.brown said...

AAron: want to set up a non-toxic printmaking studio for 9 printers. Any advice on size, number of presses, sizes - special needs for non-toxic storage? Etching and drypoint (on copper), colograph, linocut and silk etching are their interests. Where to get directions?

Alan Takach said...

K.H. Brown:

Before coming to Takach, I worked for a local community non-toxic printshop New Grounds Print Workshop, I'd suggest looking at their site for a good model

However, I could give some pointers and supply recommendations (keeping in mind that budgets are tight and this is a start up):

Two etching presses 24 x48 & 30 x 60 (both can print full sheets)
Ferric Chloride as an enchant. This is the off-gas, but it's still not completely safe and it stains everything around it! If used wisely you shouldn't have to worry about disposal for years. It refreshes by adding a little bit of fresh liquid every six months. Just make sure ONLY copper goes in it.

Vertical Tank

Non-Toxic grounds: Z-Acryl makes a polymer hard ground, that can be run through an airbrush for aquatinting. Comes off with soda-ash water solutions.

Inks can be either Akua which is as non-toxic as can be, but are not as rich as oil based
Oil-based but clean-up is done with Soy-based solvents, "Soy-Response", to make the process less-toxic

For good guides:
The Contemporary Printmaker Intaglio Type & Acrylic Resist Etching is useful.
Also the Crown Point Magical Secrets books (the hardground /engraving book and Aquatint book in particular) give a lot of great info (they are not targeted at non-toxic, but most of the processes are fairly clean).

In any event, I could fill another ten paragraph's with ideas or sources, so feel free to call 505-242-7674 (Takach Press)and I'll be happy to address any questions.

Sounds like an exciting venture

Aaron Bass at Takach Press

Emily said...

Hello, I am currently learning lithography at the central academy of fine arts in Beijing. The litho studio is wonderful but completely lacks ventelation. The only time I have to use solvents right now is when I wash out the crayon from the stone to replace it with ink- we are using paint thinner. Is there anything less toxic I can substitute or any way to improve ventilation (I have the windows open already).

Alan Takach said...

Ventilation is very important in the Litho Studio and should be implemented by the University.