SEA CHANGE: Printing the Xeric, Day 1!

April 2nd, 2013

First day of printing for the Xeric. Ran a test the day before, but the temperature barely rose above a measly 33 degrees and I - being a real genius at this point in time - had forgotten to bring the ink inside on Sunday. Frozen ink. Wouldn't ink the rollers, couldn't get the the blacks to ink up past maybe 40 percent black. Rollers stuck together. Practice run was shit. Today, ran another practice plate of nothing important. I waited until 3pm, 40 degrees. Thank you, Weather Channel app. Left ink to warm on space heater for a few hours over lunch at United Noodles with Amaya. Got spicy shuyo ramen and an aloe drink for floss. She helped me count out paper/correct my horrible maths.

Practice run was decent, got better as we went. Ink was hot, actually, and the fountain solution, too, from resting on space heater. Far easier while not frozen. Put the plate and the paper on for the first Xeric plate. Almost panicked again, but went for it. Inked up quick and good, switched from scrap to regular paper almost immediately. Did 'Thank You's page first. Banded in the middle for a spell, but wiped blanket and plate clean with fountain and it cleared up. A good run. Switching between plates was not fun. Machine was dialed in to high ink, low fountain and flooded each new plate hard. Screamed and kicked a little between first and second plate, but second and third plates were damn near perfect. Ran  883 sheets per plate, got definitely 700+ damn good ones. All single-sides sheets. Done; don't need to go through the press again.

Had Maisie dialed in GOOD and I was aligning the fourth plate to the paper when the chain operating the feed came loose, fucked up, and got jammed. Couldn't lower the feed; it was resting crooked. One side had fallen off the gear teeth, like a bike chain coming loose. Had to quit. Started cleaning up regretfully. Called Sally, left a message. He called back and explained how to fix it while I cradled the phone between my neck and cheek and furiously cleaned the press. Everything VERY inky from being dialed in. Got off the phone and finished cleaning. Came back and adjusted the feed chain. Took ten minutes, but figured it out.

Anti-offset powder EVERYWHERE. Wore white gloves while sorting printed stuffs. Ran to Target (2nd time in a day, again). Got large plastic tub, latex gloves, mustard. Covered in ink, scruffy printing clothes, wrong-buttoned shirt. Ate pizza and watched new Doctor Who with Ian. Separated printed pages and counted sheets for tomorrow with Amaya. Wrote this.

Fucking exhausted. Met my quota for the day, though. Didn't manage to get ahead because of feed chain, but fixed it myself with a little advice. On schedule. Happy. Excited.