Maximum Protection

Guys tend to buy them a size — or two — too big. They slip on nice and easy. But unfortunately, when you’re just getting busy, the loose fit can cause the latex to overstretch in some spots and rub against the skin in others, increasing the friction and often causing breakage. Now you’ve got a real mess.

What? Did I say something funny?

Shop Boy’s talking about gloves. Oh, you thought …

Let’s keep our minds on letterpress printing, shall we, people?

Anyway, you know what they say about men — big hands, big … um, personality or something. There’s a reason XXL clothing is so popular with dudes. And it isn’t just that we’re all trending toward tubby. When a woman looks in our general direction, we want one word to pop into her mind: Jumbo.


So, Shop Boy has been burning through a lot of latex gloves lately and washing buckets of ink from my hands and scraping a bunch more from beneath my fingernails. We purchased a big batch of latex gloves that just don’t quite fit. So they tear easily, and the ink finds every hole.

And where usually you’d be able to put a pair of latex gloves on to set the greasy impression counter and ink up the press, then pull them off and set them aside for later use … nope. One and done. It’s getting to be like a medical office, where the doctor puts on a fresh set of gloves, you hope, every time he enters a room. In a printshop it’s wasteful, not healthful.

And there’s an even larger problem with the heavy-duty gloves — for dealing with the final press/roller/ink plate washdown with a little bit of solvent. Shop Boy is most comfortable in the big gloves, except when I actually have to use them to clean with. The grip is so clumsy and the rag flops around so much that I’ve got to work twice as hard, cleaning all the extra spots on the press that I’ve smeared ink onto.

The smaller, tighter gloves are great for cleaning but make my hands sweat and are so difficult to remove that I have to pull one off, then use my bare hand to remove the other, solvent-coated one. Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

We’ve tried different sizes and brands, but the perfect fit has been elusive. Shop Boy’s a ‘tweener, you might say. (And don’t you dare snicker when you say it.)

Anyway, there’s a ton of latex left to get through before we can try a new size. So what are you going to do? Complaining won’t change the size of anything.

Besides, you work with what you’ve got, right, fellas?

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