Press Restoration

Episode 9: Assembling the rear pivot frame

April 7, 2023 – Assembling the rear pivot frame

Having finished painting the rear pivot frame on an odd warm day last week, Steve and John helped me begin assembling the rear pivot frame. Having already cleaned and painted the roller arm assembly, they  just bolt together – but now it’s too heavy for one person to lift. The next step will be to wrestle it over to a chain hoist, move the press under it, and install it on the main frame so it pivots on a low axle. This is the assembly that also holds the ink disk assembly and bed.

Extra credit: Steve and I wrestled the flywheel horizontally onto a sawhorse platform and I was able to clean it. Then Don and I set it upright with a temporary axle so I could mask and paint it. The next step for the flywheel will be to deliver it to Dan Seese, a recently retired sign painter who specializes in Victorian ornamental sign painting.

Episode 8: A week when several things have come together.

February 4, 2023 – several things have come together.

In May, I sent out a pair of gears to be cast (Ep. 4), and in August, I sent out a treadle to a different foundry (Ep. 5).

This week, several good things happened. 

On Tuesday, I received delivery of a pair of cast iron treadles. One was the original I had sent out in August (Ep. 5), and the other one was a freshly cast copy. Because metals tend to shrink after they have been cast, the copy was 1/4” shorter than the original – not enough to change the specs. The casting was really good, but it still needs a bit of machining and boring out before I can use it.  You may remember that the reason I had to have this cast is that a Gordon (or Damon & Peets) treadle has a significantly smaller rear spread than a C&P treadle – only 6 inches between the rear attachment clamps. C&Ps are 9″ for the same size press so it wouldn’t work. 

On Friday, I drove into Denver to pick up the ink disc drive gears I sent out to have cast in May (Ep. 4). The foundry apparently hasn’t been casting much bronze since then, so my turn in line only came up recently. The foundry only had successfully cast two sets, so I will still need two more done – but at a different foundry – I don’t want to wait that long again. After I have those cast, my good friend Don will handle the machining and boring necessary before they are finished.  

It may be of interest to folks playing the home game that my Gordon uses 3/8-16 bolts to attach these gears, and my Damon & Peets uses 7/16-14 bolts. The smaller gear requires a shoulder bolt (the shoulder measures 1/2″ in diameter and 5/8″ high), and the larger gear takes the same size bolt, but no shoulder is required. Apparently, this is not a standard thing since a friend has just confirmed that his D&P bolt holes are different sizes.

Extra Credit: Don measured the “original” gears and compared them to the cast gears. Shrinkage was 0.040″ across the board, which in this case is pretty minimal.

Episode 7: A few spare moments put to use

December 31, 2022 – masking small parts in preparation for painting.

Having cleaned these parts earlier in the month, I had a few minutes which were sufficient time to mask and evaluate some small parts. I had to stop short on the pawl assembly, but I can finish it off next time I’m wearing expendable clothes (cleaning is such a dirty job). 

Throwoff parts, ready for paint.

The pawl assembly still needs a bit of cleaning, which I will address on the next relatively warm day.

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