This question comes via email:
Q: Is the Vandercook letterpress capable of printing forms larger than type high? I have a woodblock that I’ve carved, and it is about 1/8″ higher than the type.
A: It is possible only if you have a press equipped with an adjustable bed (e.g: 219 AB, 15-21, Universal I AB and Universal III AB). Most can lower the bed to 1.060″
.125 (1/8″) + .918 (type high) = 1.043″ Check the dial indicator on the press and the manual to confirm. If you don’t have an adjustable bed you will need to plane you block. Here’s why:
Standard bed: .918
1.043 – . 918 = .125″ above type high
Even if the cylinder undercut (typically .040 or .070″) is subtracted and neither packing nor paper thickness is factored:
.125 – .040 the block is .085″ too high
.125 – .070 the block is .055″ too high
Galley bed .968
1.043 – . 968 = .075″ above type high
Subtract the undercut, and again neither packing nor paper thickness is factored:
.075 – .040 the block is .035″ too high
.075 – .070 the block is .005″ too high
Some individual presses have a deeper custom undercut, but this rare.