Monday, April 30, 2012

Press Progress

So I've done a little work on the press recently and thought I'd give you a little update on where we are, what needs to happen next, etc. So I meet with a group of printers at the Printer's Guild at the Museum of Printing History Houston. Some of these members are older guys who were pressmen for a living, or have been doing this a long time, and they are a wealth of knowledge and a great resource. In talking to them about my press the consensus was that I should remove the automatic feeder.

The press I have is a Chandler and Price which was outfitted with an automatic feeder made by Kluge, probably around 1939 (according to the serial number.) The automatic feeder would be incredibly handy in that I could set it up, and let it run, and it would hypothetically be able to do all the printing for me. It would pick the paper up, put it in the press, pull it off, etc. I would not have to hand feed it into the press, which is how a lot of other presses work.

The problem, however, comes in getting it set up. The vacuum pump which runs the suction needs restoration (or replacing), and setting up the feeder is a fickle thing. Unless I was doing large production runs, by the time I got the thing set up and adjusted for each individual job, I'd have been able to hand feed it through myself. I was discouraged the first time I heard this. I sought other opinions and they all agreed. The feeder should go. Unless I had bought a turn key operation in pristine condition, I was setting myself up for frustration. So off it came!

Here is the before.
And here is the after.

There are still some small components that need to come off, but otherwise the automatic feeder is laying on my garage floor waiting to be taken to the scrap yard. I feel like a weight has been lifted! 

So my to-do list (that I know about) to get the press printing is:
remove automatic feeder
re-wire and mount new motor and phase drive
build and mount a new feed table
general spit shine/cleaning/oiling
build caster cart
general supplies gathering (ongoing)

I can't wait to get this thing up and running! 

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