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« Dictionary Index « Definitions under S


— When from any cause at press, the impression on the paper is smeared, it is said to Slur.

This may arise from many causes — if the tympan joints are loose, it will be produced by the least lateral movement of the tympan after it is turned down — if the ear of the frisket touches the inside of the cheek in running in, it will cause it — if the press runs close, so that the inner tympan touches the face of the platen, it is very likely to slur; and I have often observed this in wooden presses that had been altered to obtain the additional power, for the platen was brought so low and near to the face of the letter in the form, as not to allow room to run in clear. In presses where the tympans are large, if the slur pin does not act, that corner of the tympan will come in contact with the form first, and cause a slur, particularly if the tympans are in any way rickety, or twisted by drawing on the parchment. Where the winter has been justified with cards, to produce a greater spring in the pull, it has been known to produce slurring, The first step towards curing this defect is to ascertain from what cause it arises; and then it is not difficult: but it has often caused great trouble to discover the cause.

The following are my old Pressman's directions “To prevent Slurring and Maculing;” and though it will be perceived that some of them apply only to wooden presses, yet the whole may be useful.

  1. “Keep the face of the inner tympan and platen clean and dry.
  2. “Be sure that the parchments are tight both on the inner and outer tympans; also that the tympans are not rickety, nor the joints slack.
  3. Guide cramps are a great preventive to slurring and maculing.
  4. “The tenons in the head and winter must exactly fit the mortises in the cheeks.
  5. “The short bolts must be screwed tightly up, to fix the nut or box firmly in the head, and must not have the least play.
  6. “The garter must fit the spindle and hose, and the spindle must fit the hose, as exactly as possible.
  7. “The hose must work perpendicularly, and steady in the shelves.
  8. “The platen must be tightly and properly tied, or otherwise fixed, so that it shall come down upon the face of all the types in the form at the same moment.
  9. “The wheel must be well justified on the spit.
  10. “The railing of the inner tympan must not rub against the platen, in running in or out.
  11. “The shanks of the points must not be so far over the outer part of the tympan as to rub against the cheeks of the press.
  12. “If a clumsy smith has made the joints of the frisket so thick as to cause the tympan to rub against the face of the platen, he must alter them at his own expense.
  13. “The shelves must be quite steady.
  14. “The press stone must be worked down with hard pulling until it becomes a fixture.
  15. “The frisket must be quite even, and fall flat on the form; and the paper which is pasted on it must not bag.
  16. “Fix the winter as solid as possible.
  17. “Let the tympans fall easily on the form, neither driving them from you, nor pulling them to you in letting them down; neither let the platen touch them till they are quite run in, nor run them out till the platen is quite clear of them.

“Exclusively of the aforesaid, there may be many other causes of slurring, which the pressman can only discover by close attention. I have often found cork bearers a great preventive.

“I have heard many complaints of the middle pages of a twelves form maculing at a two-pull press; but this is not always the fault of the press. The cause frequently is owing to blankets being in the tympan which have been used for folios, quartos, octavos, &c. &c.; and instead of its being a macule, it is nothing more than that part of the blanket which had covered the short cross of other work, and in the twelves form caused a deep and ugly impression, looking like a macule: this evil can only be remedied by new blankets, or confining the use of them to 12mo. forms.”

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