My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #721: New Printers

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-03-2012 11:08 AM 1037 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 720: Keeping Things in Balance Part 721 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series no next part

All was quiet yesterday and all went well. I spent the majority of the day working on cleaning up the files on my computer as well as backing things up. It was the grand finale of my organization stage of the game and I feel pretty good that not only is everything in order, but duplicated on an external drive. It has been a while since I have done that and while I back up the main PDF pattern files much more frequently, I don’t do the entire system very often.

One thing of note that may be of interest to everyone is that I am looking into a new printer. While my little Canon Pixma IP4700 is still doing a great job, it will only be a matter of time before I wear out the print head with the volume that I am doing for the pattern packets. It has had a couple of ‘hiccups’ in the past few days, and while it has served me well, I am afraid that it is nearing the end of its life and I want to be prepared when that happens and have a new one waiting in the wings.

I only paid about $75 CDN for the printer, and actually we went through a couple of them over the past three years. Between printing several hundred highly saturated color catalogs and thousands of sheets recently for these patterns that I am wholesaling, I feel I more than got my money’s worth out of it. I currently use a bulk ink system for this printer which I found on Ebay several years ago. You can read about the system here:

I have ordered from this gentleman several times and the service is great. He now offers free shipping on everything too, which makes things even cheaper. These ink systems are the way to go if you are printing with these little printer, and I can’t recommend them enough. There are many, many different systems available for many types of printers and the cost of the initial system is less than ONE full set of cartridges. The refill ink cost little over one single cartridge and with one additional set of bottles, I have been able to print probably about 15,000 + full color pages of my painting patterns (complete with step by step photos.) That brings my cost of printing per pattern to literally pennies.

I know I sound like I am doing a commercial for these systems, and in essence I am. Lots of times people ask me what I use and especially in the past couple of months when I showed the piles of patterns for one order in the blog, people wondered how I could print so many copies so cheaply. I can’t say enough good about these systems and while it does take a couple of minutes to set things up and get them working, once that is done, it is really as simple as refilling the ink storage chambers and carrying on.

Unfortunately, the IP4700 isn’t available anymore. Like anything electronic, it has a relatively short life span. They make a model of something for a short period of time, and then discontinue it. I think they do this to keep us on our toes and buying new things all the time, as the newer models are not necessarily faster or last longer, they just need different cartridge sizes.

However, we found a new printer that is quite comparable to the IP 4700. It is again by Canon and is the Pixma IP 4920 model. It is almost identical to the IP 4700 in performance and features and is on sale at NCIX for only about $75.

It also has an ink system available from the place where I currently get my ink. I think I want to invest in it so I have one on hand when this one no longer works. To me, it is a small price to invest in something that I know I will eventually need.

Thinking ahead like this will be something that I will be grateful for in the future. Since the Artist’s Club is going to take two more of the designs that I have done, it is inevitable that I will be doing lots of printing. My painting patterns average approximately 20 pages each, and up to this point (in the last month and a half) I have had nearly 1000 of these patterns ordered. Since the patterns ordered so far are of Halloween designs, they still have a long life ahead of them, as many people aren’t even thinking of Halloween until the end of summer or beginning of fall. I can see doing quite a bit more of these in the next several months. Add to that the two new Christmas designs and it appears that the year will be filled with printing. It is just a good decision on my part to be prepared and have several printers on hand. It would even be nice to have two of them printing at once and getting that part of the job done that much sooner. I can’t see how I could go wrong.

I am excited that the business is growing like it is. It is wonderful for me to be able to expand things in these difficult economic times. While doing this type of production work takes up more time than designing, I am very happy that I have that avenue to follow and I am happy for all the new customers it brings to my business.

Today I will be finishing up the written instructions for the holiday projects for the magazine. I want them waiting for my editor when she arrives at work tomorrow. Then I am clear to continue on with my other work.

I am looking forward to getting a lot done today. I hope you all have a fun one too. Do something wonderfully creative and have a great day!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

3 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile


1995 posts in 2493 days

#1 posted 06-03-2012 01:30 PM


Nice to know you are “settling down” and getting back to the norm.

Have you guys ever thought about purchasing a laser printer? Unless you have looked lately, you probably think they are really expensive, huge and difficult to operate – they are just the opposite!

A month or so ago I purchased a Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser printer from Amazon and WOW am I pleased with it!!!! It was less than a hundred dollars, is REALLY compact and being it’s wireless I was able to put it anywhere I liked in my house and it prints flawlessly! You can get toner cartridges for it for around 20 dollars and they will print 4000+ pages each. As long as you are OK with black and white printing, this is the way to go – especially with the volume you print! :-)

One other fantastic benefit is when you print patterns on an ink jet, they will smear and rub off onto your fingers at times. Not so with a laser printer! Bonus!

Don’t get me wrong – we ALL have need for a color printer. I now use my color printer only once or twice a week though.

Something to think about, I guess.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

180 posts in 1643 days

#2 posted 06-03-2012 03:01 PM

Hey, Sheila. I have been following your blog without commenting up to this point because I don’t have a scroll saw and have not reached the stage in my woodworking development to do other than read, listen and watch.

Having said that, I would like to ask if you have considered a MFP (multi-function printer) instead of a dedicated printer. I would like to reccommend the HP Officejet 4620 e-All-in-One Printer – this is a printer, copier, scanner, and FAX machine that is wireless as well. Hewlett-Packard (HP) retails them for $100.

As Bob stated earlier, something to think about.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8994 posts in 2344 days

#3 posted 06-03-2012 03:13 PM

Hi, TorqNut:
I replied to your comment here:

Somehow the blog got posted twice and there are two conversations going on at the same time – very confusing! Please click on the link to see the response. :)

Also, anyone who wants to comment, do the same. Otherwise we have two parallel conversations going on and neither will make any sense!

Thanks so much! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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