How to make your own linocut registration board (step-by-step)
In this tutorial I'll show you step-by-step how to make your own linocut registration board. It's super simple to make and can be made to fit any sized print you want to create. I used this technique to register my Norfolk Broads print amongst other prints.
Let's get straight into it.
Here's what you'll need;
Grey lino sheets (I'm using x2 A4 sized ones in this demonstration and cutting them to size)
A thick cardboard sheet (ideally A3 size if you're making an A4 print. I used the back of an old sketch book for this but it's worth savings any thick cardboard you get through the post to make your boards with)
A thinner card sheet (this can only be A5 in size as you don't need too much of it, ideally it should be at least 0.5mm thick. I use one of the backing boards that I use to post my prints)
A sharp box cutter/blade (please follow all safety instructions and take care when using)
Ternes Burton registration pins (a pair of 0.85 ones)
Ternes burton registration stripping tabs (as many as you'd like in your print edition, these often come in packs of 100.
I purchase my registration tabs from www.handprinted.co.uk.
You want to start by cutting your lino sheets to size. I'm using two A4 lino sheets and cutting approximately the top third off each sheet to leave me with a block of 20cm. These sizes need to be as exact as possible so please use a ruler to ensure all lino blocks are the same size.
Next, I want to take my thinner cardboard and cut it into thin strips. I use the width of my ruler as a rough measurement. The actual width does not matter, just as long as it's wider than 2cm and cut as straight as possible. I then cut these strips in half to leave me with 9 pieces of cardboard, as shown below.
The idea behind this is that you want to create a little stack of cardboard that is around the same height as your lino block. This means 3 pieces of cardboard that I will now glue together, one on top of the other until I have 3 thick chunks of cardboard.
Next, I want to place my lino block onto my large A3 cardboard sheet and put the 3 thick blocks we just made up against the sides, on 3 sides, as shown below.
You want to then use the superglue to glue them to your board. Glue them on the bottom, being sure not to get glue on your lino block as you need to be able to take this out. You want to make sure the sides are pressed against the lino block tightly as you don't want any wiggle room for your block to move. The more precise you are with this, the better your registration on your prints will be.
You then want to take your Ternes Burton registration pins and use masking tape to secure them above your block, as shown below.
As a little extra step, I have used a pretty washi tape to cover my cardboard sides but this is purely for aesthetic reasons!
You are now ready to begin preparing your paper by using masking tape to secure your Ternes Burton registration tabs to the back of your paper. You should prepare all of your blank paper this way before you start printing.
And voilà! You have made your very own linocut registration board. Super simple but so essential to register your prints accurately.
You can view a short video of this process on my Instagram here and watch me use my device when making my own prints. If you like my linocut prints and would like to support me, you can visit my Etsy shop here.