User's instructions for the Polymetaal lithographic box; the LK-35.
The lithographic box is a compact lithographic press, using the same principles developed by Senefelder, the inventor of lithography.
The most obvious difference between the lithographic box and an ordinary lithographic press is, that the scraper bar is drawn over the stone, instead of the stone being drwn under the scraper bar.
The lithographic box was designed for the "travelling lithographer". The earlier lithographic box, as opposed to this one, lacked a vertically adjustable scraper bar and one had to practically sit on the chest to get enough pressure to achieve any result.
The following explains what happens within the lithographic box:
- The box can be opened by raising the lid (5), this also raises the printing mechanism.
- The prepared lithographic stone (16) is placed in the bottom of the box. A stone thinner than +/- 6cm must be packed to the requisite height by means of a flat wood or synthetic plate. The moisture and ink is applied to the stone while it is in the box. The paper and then the tympan (15) are placed on the stone. The tympan prevents the paper from being pleated by the scraper bar (11).
- The box can be closed and locked with two adjustable bolts (18), and the lis is hinged.
- The turning of the handle (19) moves the scraper bar across the stone. Never place the scraper bar directly above the edge of the stone, if it flies off, under pressure, it can cause damage to the stone or itself.
- The scraper bar is brought under pressure by turning the screw spindle (1.) This spindle can be secured by tightening nut (2). The required pressure depends on various factors, e.g. the width of the stone, how much ink is used, the viscosity of the ink and the humidity of the paper. Paper absorbs more ink if it is moistened before hand.
- The proof can now be made by turning the handle (19). The scraper bar is made of a special hard wearing synthetic material. The scraper bar must always be a little shorter than the width of the stone to avoid damage to the scraper bar or stone during printing. When the proof has been printed the box is opened to examine the result. The screw spindle must be adjusted until the right pressure is reached.
- The bolts (18) can be adjusted and secured with a nut. The interior of the box is made of steel, coated with a black finish. The box itself is made of watertight plywood which is finished in transparant varnish, resulting in an aesthetic whole. The required lithographic stones are also available.
The Litho Box with closed lid