USING THE RIGHT PRESSURE
I tell people to use the adjustment knob with your main
hand, and clamp or handle of press machine use with
your weak hand. Do this method at the same time with
both hands: If you cannot close the press with your
weak hand using a limp wrist, its too much pressure
so you slightly back down the adjustment knob with your
main hand as you try to close the press with your weak
hand. If the press won't close with your weak hand,
try backing down the knob a little more counter clockwise
each time until it closes with little restraint. Otherwise,
you risk crushed staples and spines, or staple rub to
the cover. If you can see staple indentations on your
exterior paperstock stacking layer, you have used too
much pressure. Do not use the adjustment knob while
the press is in the closed and locked position. You
will strip out the shaft bolt.
For large staple prongs, larger staples, and mis-staples...
You will need to use 110 cardstock paper + magazine
backer board + 110 cardstock paper at centerfold. Make
sure your cardstock paper is before and after the staples
with the backer in the middle. Quickpress modern age
method. Flip/repeat 2 hours later. Do not replace interior
stacking layers on the flip. (Only exterior layers replace)
Always check your backer boards for staple indentations
to see if you used too much pressure. This damage is
often permanent. Also known as "Staple Push"
- Good luck. Check the 5:02 mark in this video: https://bit.ly/3eyh9if
DIVOTS AND PEBBLING
Do not press comics using only plates. This is not ideal
- due to dust and other particles or contaminants in
the environment. The plates are sanded down from the
machining process and to wipe off lubricants from fabrication.
You should still be using an exterior stacking layer
for protection against divots, dust, and dirt particles.
Use either a magazine backer board, copy paper, cardstock
paper, press board, or poster board alongside SRP paper
on the outside of your books. This creates a clean,
disposable environment for comics being pressed. The
plates are a method of heat transfer, not protection
against divots and pebbling.
REUSING STACKING LAYERS ☠️
I would not recommend reusing backer boards or SRP Paper.
Very prone to dust, hair, and other contaminants getting
pressed into your book covers...no matter how clean
you think you or your workstation is....The "human
element" of this equation is not perfect and will
often make mistakes. If you see staple indentations
on your backer boards (exterior stacking layers) then
you are using too much pressure.
Oversaturation is the #1 cause of wavy books. Using
too much water in your humidity tank or too long in
the humidity tank causes oversaturation. Try cracking
the lid open an inch or two to lower the relative humidity
Too much heat is the #2 cause of wavy books. If it's
not oversaturation, try turning down the temperature
by 5 degrees to see if that helps. Always try to adapt
to your pressing environment.
The #3 cause of wavy books is the removal of books from
press too soon. If you remove the book too soon from
the press machine before cooling down properly, you
will see wavy pages/covers.
Always check the top edge and bottom edge of pressed
book. The top edge and bottom edge should always be
flat and straight.
· Allow 2 hours for 2002-Present books to cool before
removing or flipping. Modern Age Quickpress Method:
· Allow 24 hours for all other books to cool before
removing or flipping.
· You can, however, wait at least 5-6 hours for Pre-2001
books and flip to repeat a second press. Only then remove
from press at least 19 hours later after second press.
This proves to yield successful results.
· 2002-Present modern books do appear somewhat wavy
after press at times. This can depend on the publisher
and paperstock. Brand new books being printed are rippled
and wavy due to warehouse storage conditions or choice
of thin cheap paper.
· To reiterate: You are looking for a super flat and
straight top edge and bottom edge of all books pressed.
DENTS AND CREASES
Tack iron and ball bearing are to be used if a regular
pressing didn't work properly. Try a regular press first.
If you still aren't satisfied with your results, they
the "Ball Bearing and Tack" Method featured
in this video: https://youtu.be/Bd5WpGTjiIU
I see a lot of wavy or flared books in the after photos.
Humidity tanks and steam guns should be used sparingly
and cautiously. Most of the time it's not needed unless
the first press wasn't successful. Region and climate
will impact your results. If you live in the desert,
you might want to consider using humidification. Oversaturated
books are a bigger problem than the original defect.
Try using the "Hot Shot" method for localized
dent removal first if possible: http://bit.ly/383Hqib
USING HUMIDITY TANKS
How do you know if a book is properly humidified inside
the humidity tank? A book should feel dry to the fingertouch.
If a book feels damp right out of the humidity tank,
it is oversaturated. Oversaturated books will become
wavy after pressing. If a book forms waves across the
top of a bagged/boarded book you may have too much moisture
in the air in the room where you store books or press
books. Another factor may be that the book is pressed
too hot and for too long as well. What we do is all
about "adapting to your local environment".
So you need a digital hygrometer inside the tank and
a digital hygrometer in your pressing room. If the room
is above 50% you may have an issue with relative humidity
in the room. Books should be stored and pressed in a
room that is around 40%. If your numbers are above 40%,
you may have to keep your humidity tank lid cracked
1 inch when in use so the inside relative humidity inside
tank will level off around 70-80%. If your pressing
room is less than 40%, you may need to keep your lid
air tight so the inside relative humidity remains at
100% inside the tank. For example, if you live in the
desert, you will need more humidity than someone who
lives in the Pacific Northwest. If it is not a relative
humidity issue, then you may need to press at a lower
temperature like 150F for just 5 minutes and then let
the book remain in press machine for 24 hours. Flip/repeat
the next day using no humidity. Learn how to make a
basic humidity tank by watching this video: https://youtu.be/kYnxNpXMTqk
Tack irons are a valuable tool for dent removal and
spine work. Tack irons can warp covers and pages if
set too hot. 160-180F is the safe temperature rage in
most cases. If your iron's lowest setting is still too
hot, make sure to use extra sheets of copy paper and
an included cloth sock over your iron to prevent scorching.
Keep the dial down to a #2 or a #3 for most work. Take
note which side is F and C for temperatures. Smooth,
fast, circular and steady motions with a tack iron is
safe. Constant heat applied on the same spot for 3-5
minutes or longer can damage the paper.
· Tack Iron:
When a comic book features staples that are 1/8"
too far inside the spine you will need to perform the
"C-Notch" Method to properly press. Instructional
video discussing the "C-Notch Method" when
pressing comic books with staples placed too far on
the inside of spine: https://bit.ly/3gMaZuy
COCKLING AND RIPPLING
SRP paper holds water when pressing oversaturated books.
The water will collect on the opposite side of book
away from the heat platen. This water will remain trapped
between SRP paper and cover, causing ripples or cockles.
Press rippled covers with no SRP paper: Try using only
Backer Board, Cardstock Paper, and 1 sheet of 20 lb
copy paper on the outside of both covers when pressing
book between 2 steel plates. 160F for 300 seconds, shut
off press machine and cooldown for 24 hours inside machine.
Flip and repeat the next day. (low heat for low duration)
Check out the same 5 minute video featuring the C-Notch
Stain removal is not recommended if you are new to pressing.
Stick to the basics as you learn and continue to grow
your comic pressing hobby skills. Even experienced pressers
should tread lightly with this topic. Removing tanning
and foxing from a Golden Age or Silver Age book is not
easy. It requires days or even weeks using a very slow
process with a very steady hand. There is great risk
to destroying the book, the gloss layer of covers, and
lowering the overall value of book. We have developed
a set of methods to make this easier and safer on comic
books. There is still a lot that can go wrong if you
aren't experienced with our exclusive methods. The Heat
Overlay Press (HOP) Method and Blue Light LED (BLED)
Method is intended for experiened pressers. Our methods
are recommended for use only 2 or 3 times on an individual
If you continue attempting stain removal methods you
can go too far on a book and damage it permanently or
get flagged for restoration.
BE PATIENT ⏳
Stop removing books too soon - they cause wavy warped
covers and wavy interior pages. 24 hours for all books
- except modern age glossy interior pages 2002-Present;
they can be removed and flipped after 2-3 hours. If
you want to press books faster and at a faster rate,
considering buying a second or a third press machine.
Pressing books take time and great care to achieve superior
TIME OUT! ⏰
The clam shell and swivel press machines have a timer
maximum setting of 999 seconds, or 16 minutes. If you
need to press a book for 20 minutes, simply set the
press machine timer to 10 minutes. When the timer beeps,
simply switch off the machine and immediately turn it
back on for another 10 minutes. You do not need to open
and close the machine to reset timer.
Experimentation is encouraged. One idea might work,
others not so much. Share your successes and pitfalls.
We all have been there. No judgement.
TAG! YOU'RE IT!
Click here for topic hashtags: https://bit.ly/3qhvIJs.
You can also tag any member of the moderating team for
assistance. Do not be afraid to post or share your experiences.
Ask questions, we do not mind! We typically do not answer
with just "see the announcements" or "just
use the search". I am the type of person who will
search and tag you to help out. I don't mind.
If you wish to post off-topic posts or share your latest
pickups of the weekend, this is fine too. This is allowed.
THE DANGERS OF BAD PRESSING
is worth a read every once in a while to remind yourself
of what can happen if you aren't careful or feel rushed.
I'M NOT GETTING THE SAME RESULTS!
Everything we do is all about "adapting to your
local environment". Try lowering the heat by 5
degrees. Sometimes you should check out the relative
humidity in your pressing room and inside the humidity
tank. You do this by using a hygrometer. (Check recommended
products list) Do you need a dehumidifier in your pressing
room? Maybe you need a humidifier in your pressing room.
How are your books stored? Are they in a climate controlled
room at 40% relative humidity and 70-72F room temperature?
Try cracking the lid 1" open when using the humidity
tank if you live in the NW or a high humidity area.
Conversely, close it airtight when using the humidity
tank if you live out in the desert or a dry, hot climate.
Comics are like people. We like to be comfortable.
The ideal conditions for pressing comics in your pressing
room and storage room for comics are 40%
humidity and 72F degrees.
These conditions can vary throughout the year as the
seasons change. Different heating and air conditioner
systems in homes and apartments can change these conditions
Here are some examples of adapting to your local