Sunday, November 9, 2014

My New Toy....


Sorry for the absence. I can't believe it has been over a month!

I've been working the day job and in the evenings updating the website, the blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so that they all have the same look and feel. And, I'm continuing to design and create cards which I hope to be able to share some photos of them with you soon.

Plus, last month I bought a letterpress printing press!!....I love the look of letterpress cards and have been researching printing presses for over a year. My original goal was to purchase a small press to learn on but - WOW - are they expensive.

However, I'm a believer that if there is something I want, and I'm heading down the right path, then everything will somehow work out....it always has in the past....and it appears to still be happening..

I would periodically check ebay and Craigslist to see if anything popped up in my price range and suddenly - there it was - a letterpress printing press. The first coincidence was that it was a short distance from my day job! I contacted the seller and he invited us over that night to take a look.

Coincidence #2 - While we were there, the hubby and the seller got to chatting and they realized they knew each other from their old high school days. It really is a small world.

The press was quite a bit bigger than I had originally planned on starting with, but it was such a good deal - how could I pass it up?

The press weighed over 1500 pounds and I was concerned about how we were going to get it moved - plus it would have to stay in our garage....which meant that I would be parking outside from now on.

Then came along coincidence #3 - My husband works in freight and shipping and he reached out to a few friends to see if anyone knew how we could get the press moved. A friend of his had the perfect truck with a lift gate that could handle up to 2500 pounds.

The press was moved within a week and as we were finalizing the deal, coincidence #4 happened - the original owner was so nice he gave us a lot of press accessories (extra chases, furniture for locking in the type, extra rollers, quoins, keys, pins, etc.) AND an original blue letterpress worktable with a marble top. We offered to pay extra but he was incredibly generous and just gave it all to us.

The press has an automatic feeder already installed - which, by-the-way is incredible too - and it has a motor that requires 220 electric and my garage is only 110. We discussed upgrading and having a plug installed; but the original owner recommended just re-wiring the motor.

Coincidence #5 - I have no idea where we would find someone who could rewire an old motor. One day at work I was talking to one of the guys at work about it and he recommended a co-worker's husband - who just happened to own his own electrical business.

We gave the electrician a call and he said he could re-wire it - no problem! Within a week of getting it home the electrician came out, rewired the motor, and IT WORKS!

The press is incredibly heavy and we've decided to leave it on the pallet so it is level and easier to move. Coincidence #6 - when the press isn't in use we can move it so that it sits sideways and I can park in the garage....which is wonderful, since it is supposed to be a cold and wet winter here in the Midwest this year - they are talking 10 degrees by this coming Wednesday - BRRRR....anyway, we had to have a pallet jack to move the press and my amazing hubby was able to get us a really good deal on one....(Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine myself owning a pallet mover).

I've ordered the few parts I still need - a boxcar base which will allow me to use photo polymer plates for the printing designs rather than having to use type, I've got a lead on a local person who will be able to recover the rollers, still need to order some good cotton paper; and I need an oil can with a handle....my guess is I should be able to find one at a automobile parts store?

My daughter is getting married next year so she will be my first client. I probably won't have anything to show - letterpress wise - for a few months. But you all will be some of the first folks I let see when I get it all to working.

Here is a little video my hubby took of the press running.


video

This is a 1928 Chandler & Price 
with a Kluge automatic feeder 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
JD



1 comment:

  1. wow, that's wonderful, I'd love to work a letterpress printing press! You are obviously meant to have it and I'm looking forward to seeing the results! Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving such a kind comment :)

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