2 Plus 2

18 line Plus Sign

In 2007 I was living in Chicago and a message popped up on the Letpress Listserv from a name I was familiar with: Phil Ambrosi. In the previous year I had purchased some type high wood rule that Mr. Ambrosi felt were surplus to his needs. This particular post to the listserv was advertising four red-cross style end grain wood blocks in good used condition. I had been happy with my acquisition of the wood rule and I was intrigued enough by Phil’s rather vague description to take a chance on sending him some cash stuffed into nested envelopes – his preferred method of payment, second only to large batches of homemade cookies. In addition to his penchant for exchanging letterpress goods for cookies, Mr. Ambrosi is renowned in certain small circles for making crates, boxes, and packages for shipping odds and ends. I was eager to put his abilities to the test. Phil Ambrosi did not disappoint. Now, for all of you out there who have never had the pleasure of receiving a package from Phil, I am posting the photographs I took to document the extraordinary care with which he packed four chunks of type high wood.

This is the top of the package

This is the bottom of the package. Oh, did I forget to mention that Phil is also a philatelist?

This is the layer just below the brown kraft paper. Yes, that tape does wrap completely around the box.

Yep, that piece of plywood was cut to fit this box.

Uh huh, that is a custom fitted piece of stiff, corrugated cardboard.

Yeah, each plus sign is individually wrapped, and locked up like a printer’s form with custom cut furniture.

Well, of course each block should have two pieces of chipboard precisely cut and taped from two directions to protect the foot and face.


The two smaller blocks are 18 lines, the larger 30 lines. All four are router cut from end grain wood.