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F. Morley Fletcher

The depth to which the spaces must be cleared will depend on their width, as, in printing, the paper will sag more deeply in a wide space than in a narrow one. In spaces of half an inch the depth of the first V-cuts is sufficient, but the proportionate depth is about that of the diagram above. The small spaces are cleared by means of small flat or round chisels without the mallet or the preliminary gouge cut: this is only needed where a large space has to be cleared.

Japanese printing brushes are sold by some artists' colour dealers, but these are not essential, nor have they any practical superiority over well-made Western brushes.

Fig 20

Both surfaces of the plank should be planed smooth and then finished with a steel scraper, but not touched with sand-paper.

It is understood that the face of the plank is used for the printing surface, and not the end of the grain as in blocks for modern wood engraving.

The tools needed for cutting the blocks are the following:

An excellent type of brush is that made of black Siberian bear hair for fine varnishing. These can be had from good brush-makers with the hair fixed so that it will stand soaking in water. Drawings of the type of brush are given above.

Three or four are sufficient; one broad brush, about three inches, for large spaces, one two-inch, and two one-inch, will do nearly all that is needed. Occasionally a smaller brush may be of use.

In section the two register marks would be as above.

The register marks must be smoothly and evenly cut so that the paper, in printing, may slide easily home to its exact place.

To begin printing, one takes first the key-block, laying it upon a wet sheet of unsized paper, or upon wads of wet paper under each corner of the block, which will keep it quite steady on the work-table. A batch of sheets of printing paper, prepared and damped as described in Chapter V, lies between boards just beyond the block. The pad lies close to the block at the right on oily paper pinned to the table.

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