Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Caring for Tiny Blocks

Post Sawing Block Care

The exciting sawing process is finished and now everyone probably wonders what next? Very quickly, I will just outline what happens to the tiny blocks next.

Immediately after sawing, the blocks are dusty, with ragged edges and some have some dangerous points and other flaws. All that gets corrected with a little individual attention. Although each block just takes a few minutes, after repeating 92 times an entire day has passed!

Basically, each block gets a dust off with a soft brush and an inspection, just like a cat at the vet but not so fussy. After I determine the gender of the kitten...ooops! wrong story...after I determine what needs to be done, I get to work on each block.
Ragged edges get sanded with 150 grit sandpaper. 
Sharp corners and unsightly drilling holes or saw slips are also sanded down.

Lastly, a final sanding with 400 grit sandpaper on the face of the block, the blank side to be carved, and a wipe with a very slightly dampened towel to eliminate any remaining sanding dust. Happy purring blocks get re-stacked and are ready for packing and mailing.

Here are some Before and After pictures of the blocks:
Blocks as they come off the saw, ragged edges, dusty and crying for attention

After a few minutes, the edges are clean, the dust is gone
Block is beautiful and ready for an eager printmaker!

Sharp points need  taming

After sanding, the point is no longer dangerous
When drilling to "start" the saw, an ugly hole is created

A bit of sanding and the ugly disappears
not really functionally different but a lot prettier

Mailing is next! Very boring pictures coming up...

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