building the print table

we happened upon a lovely and quirky old house when we were looking for a place to live, and since its also a little run-down, it's perfect because the landlord won't really notice if we do things like hangs lots of shelves or put a darkroom in the basement .  it also has this fabulous old living room,that is about sixteen feet long and twelve feet wide, and therefore perfect for a printing table. 

I decided on a thirteen foot table, which makes things a tight squeeze, but bigger is better when it comes to printing tables. this is the frame and cross-bars for support, and to keep the top from warping.

legs with casters, to make moving it around easier.  my casters were the wrong ones, it turns out, because they slide across the hardwood even when locked - should have gotten the soft rubber kind, but they were so much more expensive. note all of ted's 45 degree supports.  lots of them.

this is what my padded top is made up of.  I used 3/8 or 1/2 inch ply for the top, but realized after talking to michelle st-onge  that I should have used MDF, as it warps less.  oh well.  I put in extra cross-beams to make up for it.  The ply is then covered in a layer of carpet underpadding [the multi-coloured foam stuff] and then two layers cotton quilt batting, and then a layer of heavy even-weave cotton stretched and stapled on top. thanks to jenna for the inexpensive printing surface tips - generally a heavy and very, very expensive industrial felt is used.

and here is the finished beast, covered in the much-used drop cloth I purchased when I was a student at NSCAD, because I am so fussy about everything and hated that the ones in studio had holes in the middle. these are dress fronts all pinned and ready for printing. 


sewnut said...

The dress fronts make a great pattern on the print table too!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the carpet underpadding and how much was it? I may need it for my work table because the soy foam I have may start to break down too soon and it cost me over $60!

roisin said...

the carpet underpadding is from home depot - i bought a prepackaged roll of it for about 25 dollars... when i opened the package, the chemical smell was noticeable, but it went away pretty quickly. still holding up well!

roisin said...
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