As part of the fifth anniversary of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” we are printing 1,000 signed copies of plans for the chest that are hand-drawn and printed via letterpress.
The project is in conjunction with Steamwhistle Letterpress in neighboring Newport, Ky. As I type this, Brian Stuparyk and his mom are pulling copies of the poster from the Vandercook 425 press and allowing the dark blue ink to dry.
The posters will be $20 apiece (that price includes domestic shipping in a rigid cylindrical mailer) and each one will be personally signed by me. We are making these prints as affordable as possible as a “thank you” for all the people who have bought the tool chest book – allowing me to quit my job without having to live in a cardboard box. They should be available in our store for ordering next week.
The construction drawing of the chest was handmade by Randy Wilkins, a film set designer and the man behind The Designer’s Assistant blog. The print includes all relevant dimensions for building the full-size chest, plus specifications for the hardware.
Our intent was to make the print useful enough (and affordable) so you could use it in the shop. But it is also nice enough that you could tack it on the shop wall or even frame it.
The tool chest print is also our trial run for large-scale letterpress work for the book on Roman workbenches that I’m writing. The process during the last few months has been a real education for me in processing images and type so they could be reproduced on a polymer plate for the Vandercook proof press.
Earlier this week I spent an afternoon at Steamwhistle as they set up the press for the run, which will take several days. Brian hand-mixed the ink (blue with a little black) to suggest a blueprint. One of the many nice things about letterpress is the texture of the result. You can feel every line of the drawing in the paper. It is nothing like traditional offset lithography.
These are printed on smooth 100 lb. cover stock, which is rigid and durable. The finished size of the print should be about 17” x 22”, a typical size for an engineering print.
— Christopher Schwarz