April 19, 2022 – What hath Don wrought? (or, another fine mess…)
My good friend Don H. offered me a pallet of scrap press parts he had in storage. He had picked it up several years ago when he was moving a press for another friend (since deceased). It’s been stored in the upstairs of his workshop and was starting to get in the way of other storage.
Naturally, since neither of us ever could say no to a pile of free cast iron, we set out to see what we could assemble from it.
Turns out, it was most of an original GP Gordon “New Style” platen press, circa 1870-1880.
After the initial test assembly, I figured this might eat up about a year’s worth of project time. Sure, there were parts missing – important parts too. Some I knew we could make, and some we might be able to figure out how to make if we couldn’t track them down in the wild.
What follows is the story of how my friends and I try to save an antique printing press. As I write this, we’re not done yet, but I believe I need to document this to encourage anyone who wants to try something because it needs to be done.