I want to get an early start today. The printer is already up and running and is busy spitting out the 500 patterns that are needed. I remain impressed at the quantity and quality of the printing from this Canon printer. It is a small one from the Canon IP series and cost under $100.
Prior to Canon, I was a big Epson fan. Several years ago I took a Photoshop class at a local college and the instructor swore by them. At the time I had an Epson, and wasn’t too thrilled with it. It seemed that if you didn’t print for a few days, the print heads started drying out and you needed to repeatedly clean it in order for it to function properly. That was a time too when I was paying about $20 for each cartridge of ink and the cleaning process too several cycles to correct the problem. Even after it was better, it wouldn’t last for a significant number of copies. Soon the qualities would decline and once again I would need to clean it.
I went through several lower end models of printers (under $300) before I finally gave up on Epson altogether. My last two models were over $250 each, with me thinking that paying a little more for a printer would get me one of better quality. By that time, the ink was up to almost $30 a cartridge and the results was no better. I never did printing in this quantity before either, and most of the time the printer was in use, it was going through the cleaning cycle. Finally, I got an error message that “the printer had reached its life expectancy” even though ironically at the time I got the message it was working fine. It just quit and that was the end of it. Needless to say it was the end of my relationship with Epson.
We went to Staples office and they happened to have a Canon Pixma IP4600 on sale for about $125. I thought I would try it and it worked very nicely. Then I found a continuous ink system for it for around $50 filled and I tried that too. The combination of the two worked well and after many, many thousands of beautiful color copies, we finally saw the print quality decline and got another. By then they were clearing them out at $75. Since we already had the continuous ink system, we got a couple of them and used them extensively to print our color catalogs for our show last year.
We are on our third now, and so far it has given us over 25,000 beautiful color copies. My decision to once again create painting patterns was directly related to the printer, as having such a system allowed me to economically produce the painting patterns. Unlike the woodworking and scroll sawing patterns, the painting patterns that I produce need to be in color. They all have step-by-step pictures and they need to print out so that those who buy them can clearly see the progressions. That wasn’t possible with the Epson printers that I used. I usually spent more time fighting with them than actually printing patterns that were good enough to sell.
Canon is no longer making the Pixma IP4600 or 4700 (I have both because they use the same ink system and are very similar in functions). They now are producing the IP4900 series and I just recently purchased the Pixma IP4920. In fact, I got two of them and a continuous ink system to go with them.
For those of you who haven’t seen a continuous ink system, here is a picture of one:
I found it on ebay and I have dealt with the store many times and have been very happy with him. The link to the store is here:
He has many different types of systems to fit a variety of printers and the ink refill is very inexpensive (about $25 for five bottles that are approximately 4oz each) You simply fill the chambers and it feeds the ink into your own printer through the thin hoses. It is clean, fast and very, very cheap and great for someone who does a lot of printing. The system filled cost less than ONE set of cartridges and lasts much, much longer.
I showed this in my blog about a year and a half ago, but here again is a link to my Picasa album where I show how it is attached. It may be something you would like to use, and even though the place I get mine from is here in Canada, I am sure if you search Ebay you will be able to find one in your own country, or one that ships to you.
On other things, I did the final changes on my article for the magazine yesterday. I am very pleased at how it came out and my editor liked it too. I really like writing articles and find that it is fun to do. I am happy that I was given so much space in the magazine to be able to present my information properly. It was a great thing to check off my list of things to do.
I am still writing the pattern packets for the two new kits we are getting together. It takes a bit of time because of the amount of photographs that I am including in them. The first pattern has approximately 40 photographs and the second one will be the same. I spent the majority of the day working on the photos for the first pattern and the packet should be finished today. I will then start the second tomorrow.
We are also going to start our cutting today. Keith spent the day yesterday sanding the 800+ sheets of 10” x 10” plywood to ready them for cutting. He got through the 500 we need right now and began hot gluing them together in layers of four pieces so we can stack cut them for the kits. He is almost through with that and then we will be able to begin cutting the wood for these kits. We plan on spending 4-5 hours each for the next several days for cutting and at that pace we should finished by the end of the week.
I will be spending the rest of the time finishing up and printing the packets. I will then take the weekend to pack up the kits and our goal for shipping the 500 kits out will be a week from Monday. That is a very reasonable amount of time we think.
So it will be busy, but not overwhelming and all is under control. It is a good place to be in our business and hopefully we will continue in this direction and be able to grow.
It is another beautiful day out today and the weather is warm, but not too hot. We couldn’t ask for anything more.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Take some time to enjoy the season and your family, or spend some time in the shop creating. It is what summer is all about!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"