Oops! This is what happens with too much pressure.

broken wood engraving block This is what happens when the press pressure is too great. A broken block!

For printing I’ve been using my etching press fitted with a carrier – illustrated here – to distribute the immense force generated by the steel roller over my wood engraving blocks. It works very well, producing beautiful impressions, assuming all the other variables are under control.

This engraving shows a crooked building in Dawson City and I was preparing to do a run of these prints tonight until I heard the crunch as I cranked it through my press while setting up the press, etc.

So, what to do? Out with the cyanocrylate glue, otherwise known as super-glue, except in this case it’s formulated for wood repairs. It will hold incredibly well. The two parts mated together perfectly  and after clamping I cleaned the squeezed out glue with acetone. Otherwise I’d be trying to re-work passages filled with dried glue.

wood engraving block repair

On closer inspection I noticed that both halves didn’t line up perfectly so we’ll see what happens when I pull a first print from the repair.

This is a block I prepared myself out of a single piece. A better practice would be to glue re-sawn boxwood onto a substrate like Baltic Birch plywood. It works well with smaller engravings.

Hopefully this repair job will do the trick.

 

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