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Jun 10 / Scott

The APA Wayzgoose at Hamilton

The Amalgamated Printers Association, the professional association of people in the world interested in everything dealing with letterpress printing, will be holding their annual “Wayzgoose” convention the 3rd weekend in June.  This year the event is being held at the newly reopened Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

There will be demonstrations on historical machines, lecturers, and workshops.  I will presenting two workshops on the art of cutting wood type in modern times and a historical presentation on the history of wood type.  I will take along one of my small line pantographs and the participants will spend the rest of the morning cutting their own wood type on a pantograph.

Although the Museum has volunteers cutting wood type on their own working historic pantographs, the public is not allowed to use it.  I am one the lucky few non-museum staff to be allowed to cut a piece of type on the Hamilton Pantograph. On a recent visit to the Museum I helped them change the bearings in their air routers that cut the type.  These pantograph routers run at 50,000 RPM, and are old enough to originally specify for maintence that you should “Oil daily with 1 drop of whale oil”. They now have modern high speed sealed steel bearings so no more need for whale oil.

One of the best parts of any APA Wayzgoose is the auction and swappers day.  Some of the best deals on very old letterpress books, equipment, supplies, presses, and both wood and metal type can be found on swappers day.  I will be there selling new pantograph and laser cut wood type at my sales table.  If I can get my daughter to set at my table for a bit of time I will wander around the sale and pick up a specimen book or a tool I’m missing.

This year I have been experimenting with laser cutting historical designs in end grain hard maple.  I have been lucky enough to already have the required vector art files for the laser since I have been creating all my patterns using Adobe Illustrator.  I just now can make things much smaller with no trimming.  I am also trying my hand at a few small line wood type fonts. I will also be selling new catchwords, fancy star box sets, and state outline box sets.  Laser cutting new wood type has been a learning experience just like everything else.

I hope to see some of my on-line customers at Hamilton. It’s nice to put a face with a printshop name. It’s also nice to spend five days with my printer daughter and all m y letterpress friends


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