Description of the Materials and Tools required for Block-cutting

The wood most commonly used by the Japanese for their printing-blocks is a cherry wood very similar to that grown in England. The Canadian cherry wood, which is more easily obtained than English cherry, is of too open a grain to be of use. The more slowly grown English wood has a closer grain and is the best for all the purposes of block cutting and printing. Well-seasoned planks should be obtained and kept ready for cutting up as may be required.

When a set of blocks is to be cut for a given design, the size of the printing surface of each block should be made equal to the size of the design plus 1 inch or, for large prints, 1½ inch in addition long ways, and ¼ or ½ inch crossways. The thickness of the plank need not be more than ⅝ or ¾ inch. It is best for the protection of the surfaces of the printing blocks and to prevent warping, also for convenience in storing and handling them, to fix across each end a piece of wood slightly thicker than the plank itself. These cross-ends should be mounted as shown in fig. 2.

Fig 2