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 Post subject: Mimeograph Machines
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 09, 2008 12:49 am
Posts: 451
Location: Iowa
Hello.
I just bought an old Edsion Mimeograph made by the A. B. Dick company. It is all complete, but now I have to find stencils to use with it. They are selling them for around a dollar each. :shock: The ink is expensive, too, being around $20 for a 500 cc bottle. I figure I could just get some thick ink from some place and it would work fine.
There is only one website I could find selling the stencils, which is here...
http://www.repeatotype.com/mimeo.html
I don't know about you, but the prices seem sort of out of line...
Do any of you know where else I could get stencils for a more reasonable price? I just think that's a little steep for a piece of waxed paper...
Thanks,
Brian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 7196
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
I don't know; To me it seems that for the number of copies you can print with a stencil and one bottle of ink, the price per page of printed material isn't bad at all. IOW, you get a lot out of it.
My parents had an A.B. Dick mimiograph when I was a kid. They used it for business. I thought it was a toy. Your post made me wonder whatever happened to it. Probably went in the trash somewhere along the line.
Mark D.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Location: Middle Tennessee,USA 37174
Hi,

EDIT>>
Sorry, I was thinking about the Spirit Duplicators not the mimeograph machines.

The stencil was made using a carbon copy type of thing, wherever you wrote or typed, the 'ink' would be deposited in reverse on the stencil. This is the purple looking copied text.

Image


The fluid dissolved the material on the stencil with each pass of the stencil. A little of the ink on the stencil would be lost. Eventually it was all gone and nothing would be printed.
The fulid dissolved this ink and would dry fast.
==============

For your machine, I would think that you'd still be able to find the stencil material, and the proper inks for your machine. I've seen this method used for lots of stuff like the annual family Xmas newsletters and such.
http://www.repeatotype.com/mimeo.html

I'd use the proper inks, as something else may gum up your machine.


Last edited by gary rabbitt on Jul Tue 27, 2010 8:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 09, 2008 12:49 am
Posts: 451
Location: Iowa
It isn't one of those that uses the chemical with the funny smell, but just plain ink squeezed through holes in the paper. Now that I think of it, one 500 cc bottle is alot of ink. The stencils are a little expensive, but I suppose I will order some anyway. I found what I now know was a mimeo in the dumpster at a local elementary school, but didn't take it because I didn't know what it was. It probably had alot of stencils, too. Oh well. I got this hundred-year-old one for $10 because the guy on Ebay listed it under radios...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 8:12 pm 
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Location: Middle Tennessee,USA 37174
Hi,
Your machine sounds like it's pretty cool to have. You may find a use for it, but it is old and something that people will overlook as the 'old technology'.

I do remember using one of those tyoe od machines in the late 60s. I think it was printing flyers for the Jr. high school dance.

The fluid type, we would use all the time. Never liked that smell, so we'd put the machine near the door for ventilation.

Post a photo of it when you get a chance.

Take care,
Gary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 8:12 pm 
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I've got one of those old Edison/AB Dick mimeographs as well. I bought it a few months back for making Christmas cards (we have a family tradition of making our own holiday cards, and I thought this would be a fun way of doing mine).

If you Google "mimeograph stencil" you can find a few online retailers that still sell stencil sheets... the problem will be finding ink pads. Most mimeographs use a drum that you fill with an ink compound, which you can still buy. However, the really old ones like mine (circa 1905) used an ink pad that you strap to the drum, and I have not been able to find a manufacturer. What you'll probably have to do is find an art supply store that makes and sells custom rubber stamps, and have them cut an ink pad to your specifications. Then you can cut holes or attach ribbon or whatever you need so that it will mount to your machine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 8:52 pm 
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My Dad was a teacher and he used something like this though he called them "ditto's"; He typed tests on the "master" and when duplicated the copies had a distinctive smell similar to spot remover as I recall.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 10:31 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 25381
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
I used to have some packages of stencil sheets in the cellar (I used them as spacers under equipment to keep it off the concrete floor). Maybe they're still there. Should I look? Free for the shipping cost if I have them. No idea if they go bad from age or dampness. I may stil have a can of ink too.

I had my own ditto machine for years and got pretty good at keeping it happy. Mimeos though were much messier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Tue 27, 2010 10:51 pm 
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
For the life of me, I don't understand why someone would actually want to USE one of these things, aside from possibly the nostalgic factor -- and even then I'd wonder.

Some 35-40 years ago, somebody donated an AB Dick model 100 to our church. They asked me to clean it up, and make it run so they could print church bulletins. Yes it had a big drum that you filled with ink, and stencils that you typed on. If you make a mistake, heaven help you. There was this fluid that was not unlike Wite-out, that kinda sealed it back up -- but then to retype, the end result wasn't much more than a blob. This thing was a crummy, crappy, gooey black glob of machinery that I considered way outdated, even then -- although mimeograph machines were still in use to a degree. The "modern" ones were quite a bit cleaner and more refined than the mess I dealt with, but even the newer ones were messy.

I suppose the mimeographs of old were good machines for multiple copies. If you wanted to make 500-1000 copies of one original, this was the way to go. For shorter runs, such as classroom material for 20-30 students, the spirit machines were better suited. Yes, THOSE were the ones with the blue ink that smelled funny.

For me, I have a printer/copier next to my computer. Makes around 20 copies a minute -- not too shabby for a little desktop . . . and if it ever needs service, probably better off to head to the store and buy another.

_________________
Gary Tayman, Sarasota, Florida


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 12:08 am 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 2219
Location: Harviell MO USA 63945 (12 miles S of Poplar Bluff)
When you live in the sticks, you still use old technology.

At the vo-tech in Poplar Bluff where I taught 1997-2003, they had a xerox machine and also a duplicator, I think made by ABDick. The xerox was to be used only for limited copies. For 20+ copies, the other machine was to be used. It had stencils on a roll inside. You placed the original on the glass like a copier, it was scanned a la xerox before digital, exposing a section of the stencil which was then automatically loaded onto a drum and then it spun off the number of copies you needed using ink rather than toner. With the next original, the old stencil was peeled off and deposited in a waste hopper and the process started over again.

Fancy Xerox 200 copy-per-minute machines or not, when you work in a school on an overly tight budget (other than the sports programs, of course), you use the old technology.

_________________
Dean, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing editor emeritus in Poptronics magazine, R.I.P.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 12:48 am 
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Joined: Sep Tue 09, 2008 12:49 am
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Location: Iowa
Alan Douglas wrote:
I used to have some packages of stencil sheets in the cellar (I used them as spacers under equipment to keep it off the concrete floor). Maybe they're still there. Should I look? Free for the shipping cost if I have them. No idea if they go bad from age or dampness. I may stil have a can of ink too.

I had my own ditto machine for years and got pretty good at keeping it happy. Mimeos though were much messier.


That would be great. Thanks a whole lot.
:)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 3:22 pm 
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Location: Port Dover, Ontario
The fluid which was used in spirit (ditto) duplicators was methyl alcohol (methanol). Besides the usual purple colour, the stencils were available in many other colours as well.

The school board which I worked for banned the use of this method of making copies many years ago because it became apparent that using methanol was not the best of ideas.

Joseph


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 4:18 pm 
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Location: Louisville, Ky
After I lost my security clearance in the Army around 1962,( a MUCH more interesting story), I was put in charge of the office that printed orders, such as promotions, travel orders, etc.
There were about 10 A.B. Dick mimeograph machines. Just the MENTION of them brings back that pungent sickly sweet smell.
Ugh!
Who in their right mind would WANT to mess with one of those. And I mean mess. Getting that ink off of your hands requires the loss of skin.
I'll gladly donate an ink jet printer.
Terry


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 01, 2006 9:09 pm
Posts: 600
Location: FORT WORTH
We had a Gestetner memeograph at church. I could play a Bach Fugue on that thing! FAST. And you could hardly tell the results from letterpress. We cut the stencils electronically, so you could print photographs, etc. We even did some three-color work on it, but that was a pain. It broke a cam. Parts unavailable. Off to the dump.

Brings back memories.

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Well, if the ink tubes work with it, yours is definitely a lot newer than my mimeograph, which uses ink pads:

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 09, 2008 12:49 am
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Location: Iowa
Just got it in the mail today. Looks good.
Are these automatic paper feed or do you have to put the paper in piece by piece?
I will have pictures in a little bit...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Location: Louisville, Ky
It should be automatic, especially if it's an A.B. Dick. I don't remember how many pages you can put in at once, (it's been 40 yrs), but it seems like a lot.
Did you get stencils?
Terry


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 8:18 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 25381
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
What I thought were stencils are actually protective covers, sheets you feed in after the job is done, to seal the pad and keep it from leaking ink. Probably not very useful, but I have 200 of them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Location: Louisville, Ky
If they're clear, you could use them as animation cells.
I have about 200 clear sheets. I'm just too lazy to do anything.
(Can you say "Mickey Mouse", or "Felix the Cat?)
You might be able to get stencils on eBay.
Weren't they printed on metal, or am I thinking of something else?
T.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul Thu 29, 2010 12:37 am 
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Joined: Sep Tue 09, 2008 12:49 am
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Location: Iowa
Alan- Thanks for looking for me. I suppose I don't know what I would do with them. Thanks anyway, though.
Terry- I don't know what you are thinking about. Some printing presses were that way, though.


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