Most items are currently in stock. We can handle most requests and usually ship within 24 hours.
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We carry more than 1,000 items for all your printing needs.
We have gradually increased our stock. Some things like Kort Gauge Pins are no longer manufactured and the equipment has been disbursed. Butch Kort is 92 and it's time for him to retire.
We are open for business as of December 2nd. We are now in the midst of a multiple day storm with all sorts of white stuff coming down. Our concrete parking is clear because the wind cleans the snow off, but it is piling up elsewhere. In larger cities, this would call for school holiday. Forty years ago today, my partner and I rescued a family of 4 that had been swept off the road some 300 feet down the mountain side. It was a major blizzard that trapped numerous people, but we made it home, although others were stuck for several hours. The ski area now has a good covering of snow, according to my driver in the morning who skied down from the 12,000 foot level over the weekend. The green of the fir trees now commands our views of the surrounding mountains with a mantle of white. The mountain peaks surrounding Silverton are capped with snow and typical of the first snowfalls, the roads don't get plowed. The folks on the last trains were in for some interesting times slogging through ankle deep slush. The train has completed its season to Silverton and it will be next May before we see the trains again. Quiet returns to the high mountain valleys.
There is a new item that we have to contend with. It's called inflation, and rising prices mainly on certain materials are often crazy. The most recent one is stainless steel. Simple things like line gauges and die cutting jackets have sky rocketing price increases. So as stocks of older material are used up, the new replacement stock is much more expensive. Unfortunately, we have to pass on these costs. The other thing is back ordered items that go on for months hoping that they will be available. Case in point is the 4 inch Lamson ink knife which we have been checking on for the last six months.
We received news that Super Soap will once again be available. The owner of Super Soap called that they had found a source of the key ingredient and were preparing a new batch of the soap and that we should receive a shipment soon. We'll put it back on the web page as soon as we have details.
We had some good news about Pressboard. Our mill order was made and it was picked up from the mill in Vermont, Monday, June 19. We began filling back orders by the following Monday, June 26. But the bad news is that the mill has increased its minimum order to 40,000 pounds. That's an awful lot of paper. The mill, formerly owned by Neenah Paper, started us off with pressboard by the 125 sheet carton, then by the 1000 pound skid, and now what amounts to a boxcar load minimum order. We will see what happens.
We operate out of a real store front, with regular hours, pay taxes, nothing under the table, have employees, and all that goes with a business. Some of our competitors in the letterpress field operate from their homes perhaps using a spare bedroom or the garage. Our prices are up front, on our website for all to see.
Our plan is to make it through the new decade alive. So far the plan is working. We face new challenges in 2022 but we are doing ok as we pass into the Fall of 2022.
We finally received several of our die-cut tympans including the Heidelberg 10x15 size. We doubled the amount we normally order to stay ahead of the delays that are happening. We are shipping this week. Our suppliers are all still working and they are all over the country. We continue to have UPS and Post Office service every day even though avalanches across the highway have cut us off for parts of a day. Remember that we do not charge your credit card until we actually ship your order. Rollers are still being made in one or two days with no slowdown and those orders have no delay. We are exercising all the restrictions while still staying open.
The UPS guy stops by daily and so does the FedEx person, and we see the occasional walker and car drive past. Our train that has been our mainstay for so many years ran only two test trains in 2020 and has resumed business this year. Some of our customers are taking on projects, especially their Vandercooks, now that they have time to work on them. We maintain a safe workplace and rarely have contact with outside people. The locals maintain their distance from the tourists to a large extent. Our construction business has remained viable with work on the county courthouse, a high-end hotel, and for our historical society.
Supply issues continue to be a problem as some products are no longer available. We do have adequate supplies of most sizes of tympan on hand. Don't count on anything being available in the future as we have in the past. Almost everyone in the letterpress supply business is past retirement age with few ready to take over. As we venture towards the end of 2022, we have had a reasonable year and look forward to 2023.
We prefer that orders be placed through this website rather than phone calls. Handwritten notes with the wrong hand are sometimes hard to read, so help out your order--there is a place on the web site order form to write about special needs or questions.
Bev Rich, Loren Lew, Rick Hunter, Casey Carroll, Fritz Klinke having lunch in our old restaurant, the Pickle Barrel, 2019. These are the folks who have been instrumental in my recovery. Loren is also my business partner for the past 48 years.
Fritz's house, an 1887-era Victorian, Winter 2018-2019. The winters are very cold with most nights below zero. By a vote of the town last Fall, the use of off road vehicles is now prohibited. The past 2 summers saw a dramatic increase in their use to the point the vehicles overwhelmed the town. The train has resumed running as it comes back from Covid restrictions. We face the same problem as the rest of the country with a serious lack of people willing to work. We used to serve three meals a day seven days a week in our Silverton restaurant but the current owners are reduced to 5 days a week lunch only. Strange times.
NA Graphics Assistant, Missy (in the arcane world of letterpress printing).