I had been using my pasta machine press successfully with monoprints in 2016, but after taking a print workshop in the spring of this year at the National Print Museum Dublin, my husband suggested it might be easier if I did some further adjustments on the pasta machine to turn it into a flatbed printer. This is the happy result, and below I will give some steps to converting a pasta machine into a small press!
My pasta machine had a base that was just screwed on, so it was easily removed.
This is the view from the right side of the machine, resting in the box structure. The hole on the side is where the crank fits in, so this side must be on the edge of the table.
This view primarily shows how the left side of the pasta machine is clamped to the wooden structure.
This is the press and structure turned on its side so that the under structure can be seen. The press is clamped to the structure.
This is a view from directly underneath the pasta machine.
A view from underneath; at either end there is a small plank of wood affixed to the structure to accommodate further clamps needed for affixing the structure to the table. At first I did not attach the structure to the table, but doing so saved me from having to press down on the machine while printing.
This picture is a side view that shows how the structure is attached to the table by a clamp.
This is a further detail view of the clamp attaching the slat on the structure to the table.
I have found that oilcloth makes a good substitute for felt. It is cheap, has a heavier weight for its thin-ness than felt, and is more useful for me, in that I have been doing long prints and needed an unavailable size felt (two pieces of felt left a seam mark in my print!). Be sure to print smooth side up when using oilcloth to avoid any texture inadvertently appearing on your print.
I have tried to make these instructions as simple as possible, but please comment or message me if something is unclear. I have been doing intaglio prints and embossed prints using this machine, so it is working!