Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 21, 1966

So, You Have A Paper Problem?

R. L. (Bob) Craig

Sit down right now and get your last week's bulletin. Look at it. Compare it with a few others. What do you think? Is it neat? Is it readable? Does it look as good as the one with which you are comparing it? There is no reason why your bulletin cannot look as good as anyone else's. It may take a little time, a little more effort, and a whole lot more desire, but it CAN look as good as his.

First: what about the paper? Unless you have a first-class machine and have exceptional control of your ink, you would do well to use the most porous paper you can obtain. There is a certain kind which comes in various colors (no white) that has a blotter-like feel to it and a kind of weave design. Master Product calls theirs "Masterweave." I used to sell a similar sheet put out by Butler Paper Co. called "Topsham." A. B. Dick Co. has one like it, but I do not know the trade name. This type paper can solve many of your over-inking problems. To do good stencil work, you must use enough ink and, more than likely, you will often get too much. This weave paper soaks it up fast so you have little or no offset on the sheet before or after.

If you do not want to use this colored weave paper, examine a few different brands and get the one that will do your particular job best. Of course, if you are running only one side, it doesn't make much difference what you use. But even then, you will get better feeding and delivery results if you will use a twenty pound paper rather than a sixteen pound sheet.

On running both sides. Some brands of paper are more opaque than others. If you can get a good opaque twenty pound sheet, and are able to keep good control of the ink, it may do all right. Generally, when using white paper and printing both sides, it is more satisfactory (you have less problems) if you will get twenty-four pound paper. Don't let anyone talk you into a water-marked mimeo sheet because the watermark does absolutely nothing for mimeo paper except run the cost up. And don't let an A. B. Dick salesman make you think that his paper is better than all others or that an A. B. Dick machine will not operate with any other kind, because that is just not so. The A. B. Dick Company does not manufacture their own paper so the mill that is making their paper this year, may also be making Masterweave. The only difference may be the price and the wrapping. If you have tried A. B. Dick paper and like it, fine. They have good specifications for their paper, but just don't think theirs is the ONLY good paper on the market.

If you are wanting to mimeograph something on your letterhead and are going to run a thousand or so copies, it would probably be to your advantage to get that letterhead run on some mimeo paper. If you don't want to or can't, then you had better get ready to slip-sheet it (more on that later) because you just cannot keep the sheets from offsetting on one another when run on bond paper---in particular rag bond. And surely anything that you would want to run on a letterhead, generally would be something you would want to look nice, in fact, something that you would want people to kind of think was typewritten. They won't, if you have smudge all over the back. If you could anticipate your needs, it would be well to get a supply of letterheads on mimeo paper when you have such printed. It will cost you no more to get part bond and part mimeo and it will certainly cut down on your problems.

This offsetting of ink of other sheets often presents a real problem, in particular when you use both sides of the paper. In fact, just a little too much ink and the back side becomes an unreadable mess. What to do? Use the more absorbent paper already mentioned. If you have some reason why you don't want to use it, or can't, you can try slip-sheeting. This is done by putting a sheet of paper between each sheet you run through your machine. You can keep an abundant supply of these on hand by putting aside all extras from the last run, or the ones you ruined. These can be used over and over, endlessly. Sure, it takes lots of time, but if I don't solve my own problems on this strange machine (Geha) I am presently operating, I'm going to have to do it myself. Some of the more expensive machines have a slip-sheeter attachment that is synchronized with the printing action, but you don't see many of these anymore.

Another way to cut down on this offset problem is to be sure to not pick up or move your printed stack until they have a little time to dry. Some try to pick them up by the edges but you will still have trouble exactly where you pick them up. If you must move the stack before they get dry, run your hand under the middle of the stack and lift them up just using the other hand to keep from losing the whole bunch.

All right, what about it? Is paper your problem? Well, start doing something about it, because if your bulletin is one of the ones that I get that are so sloppy, you and I (and perhaps your mother) are about the only ones who are reading it. And surely the good stuff YOU write must be important enough to merit a wide circulation. So, help out that circulation by making your bulletin look as good as the one you get from the other fellow.

-Box 1294 Crane, Texas 79731