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Old 03-03-2018, 04:45 PM
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Sonia Sonia is offline
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Handy printing press

I had this Xcut Xpress dye cutting and embossing machine on my Christmas list, but they had proved so popular that the local Hobbycraft store had sold out. Finally, last month they were back in stock and I was lucky enough to get the last one in store. Its intended use is for card crafters, but it has become sought after by printmakers looking for a small, portable printing press.

I normally hand print my lino cuts, but thought this would be handy for multiple runs and for collagraphs which I would like to have a go at.

The best demonstration of this little machine's use can be found on Colin Blanchard's blog http://http://www.colinblanchard.com/blog- he gives detailed information about his printing experiments (starting way back in January 2017) and has produced a 3 part video to accompany his comments (see his 26 Dec 2017 entry). I found his instructions and comments invaluable as the press itself only comes with instructions for die-cutting and embossing using store-bought dies - nothing about printing.

The machine comes with three plates - a thick base plate (which is the one to use for printing), a cutting pad (when die cutting paper and card ) and a metal plate (when die cutting fabric).

For my trial run I started with Daler Rowney black block printing ink - this is water soluble and I don't often use it on its own as I often work over my prints with watercolour or acrylics. Halfway through my trial prints I added white Golden Open acrylic and this seemed to work OK. On this occasion I didn't bother to set up any registration system, I was just itching to see how it would work.

I haven't yet got a felt blanket, but improvised with a sheet of craft foam. I made about about 20 prints using masa paper, book pages and pre-painted cartridge paper - it was surprisingly easy and they all came out very well (any imperfections are entirely due to my inking up process which definitely needs fine-tuning).



The Xcut open and ready for use.



Base plate plus a sandwich of inked lino block, book page, tissue and foam
(obviously to be lined up before printing)



In the closed position and portable (weighs about 14 lbs)
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:29 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Handy printing press

Pretty nifty!
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:49 PM
efdee44 efdee44 is offline
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Re: Handy printing press

Sonia..bought one of these from hobbycraft about 18 months ago after taking in some soft lino cuts for the manager to try out as a demo to other crafters, worked fine after a few adjustments, no blanket so stuck lino to some foam board , we used print pads for inking, not the best but saved a mess in the shop. Pleased with results so bought it and apart from lousy inking on my part and not using a proper blanket its been a good buy as my wife also uses it for die cutting and crafting...have built my own press very recently and working on lino cuts for this now tho will use the Xcut for checking proofs.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:05 PM
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Sonia Sonia is offline
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Re: Handy printing press

Thanks for looking and commenting. I am looking forward to experimenting with this a bit more.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:46 PM
ic.Art ic.Art is offline
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Re: Handy printing press

Just bought one of these and love it!!
Have medium and small etching presses but was curious about this when I saw it on an FB page.
It works very well for all the small printing jobs when I don't want to unpack 'everything' to print on my large press. I also like that it folds up and can be put on a book shelf so it doesn't have to sit open like my Fome tabletop press, sometimes that extra space is needed for something else.
Print lino on it, low relief collograph and plastic plate drypoint but have not tried metal plates on it yet....probably ok but I prefer the larger press for metal plates because my etching press roller is heavier... and I don't risk over tightening and breaking the screw dial of the XCut.
Won't give up my 'day press' in a hurry but it's fast overtaking my small Fome tabletop press as my 'go to' for small prints.
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:06 PM
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Re: Handy printing press

It is really encouraging to know that so many experienced printers find this small machine capable of producing good prints.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:12 AM
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winking cat press winking cat press is offline
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Re: Handy printing press

It looks like a fine little press. If used within it's limits, I bet it will produce excellent prints. I'm glad to see that it is being embraced by printmakers. If printmaking is to thrive, we need small, inexpensive presses for folks to learn on.

I find it funny, however. A few years ago a similar press was shown on Briar Press..... and the response was far from friendly. Folks who had never actually used one posted all sorts of mean things about it, declared it to be useless, and all but blamed it's maker for dstroying the entire field of printing. When I pointed out it's good features, I was lumped into the "bad influences" group myself.

My conclusion is that the press on Briar Press, and probably this one, were not designed for old fuddy-duds... only bright, young (or young feeling) printmakers who want an inexpensive, simple, fun little press.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:18 AM
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Re: Handy printing press

Oh, I do like the comment about "bright, young printmakers" - it made me feel at least half a century younger!!!
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:20 AM
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Sonia Sonia is offline
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Re: Handy printing press

PS: Another useful link about this machine.
https://www.annieday.com.au/xpress
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