Saturday, July 12, 2008

Progress on the Pearl

Hi, it's me.

I managed to get another few hours in with the Pearl today. Mostly it was disassembly and degreasing. There was a layer of grime that settled over the press during the years it stayed in the barn, which may have been a blessing in disguise. Grease repells water, and here in swamp country, your typical cypress board and batten barn is anything but dehumidified. But it did have a high ceiling, over twenty feet, and it was built about three feet off the ground on piers, so such as it was, it could have been worse.

Now this grime was mixed with sawdust, which definately IS hygroscopic. So you have greasy grime impregnated with damp substances. The damp would ultimately congeal and settle to the lowest level, which is near the feet of the press and the table. Thus the areas having greatest rust are those points.

Then there is the exposed metal areas. Those rusted to a degree. Not bad enough to pit, but enough to warrant more than surface cleaning with steel wool. Painted areas of the press fared pretty well, save for the peeling in the low areas.

Following are some shots I took of the work covered today.

This is a three-quarter shot of the rear with flywheel/treadle axle removed. The main gear is a little clogged with dried or old grease. It is probably oil mixed with barn grime. You don't grease these gears, you oil them, usually with 30w.

This is what I call a knee. This is a cottered knee before degreasing. Only the smaller movable connections use the steel cotter pins.

This is the main gear (which I couldn't remove) during degreasing. I went over the whole press with Easy Off oven cleaner after discovering that regular degreasing didn't quite work. I had to use Kerosine, too. Easy Off after a Kerosine cleaning did the job.

This is sort of an "after" shot. This is after degreasing. I then had to take a small flat-head screwdriver and work out the hardened matter between the gears.

This is the Flywheel Axle with the treadle gear still attached. It slid out once I got the Flywheel off. I had to both sand and steel wool the shaft. It fits perfectly even after moderate sanding with an orbital sander and fine grit aluminium oxide paper.

This is a closeup of the treadle gear. This had to be degreased, too. The gear and crank will be painted while mounted on the shaft.

Ready for re-mounting: Gripper bars, Tympan Clips and brass screws for remounting. These items were very rusted, but cleaned up well despite limited pitting of the metal. All these items were cleaned using a rotary wire wheel on my bench grinder.

These are the feedboard supports. These still need to be cleaned and painted. This will be done my next set of days off. And, of course, I need to build the hardwood feed and delivery decks.

This is the cleaned undercarriage of the iron table which supports the press. You may see rust colouring on the inner slide rails for the drawers. It's not rust, that has been cleaned off already. It's just the way the photo turned out.

The top of the treadle has benefitted by some degreasing, the bottom shows signs of rust, nothing too bad. It will be painted as well. Boy, the floor is a mess. This stuff should have been done outside! But alas, we are in the summer rain pattern, plus it's air conditioned and dehumidified inside the room. I'll just have to mop up after I'm done

My NS C&P 8x12 is sort of acting as an ersatz storage table holding tools, steel wool, rags, two forms, and sand paper. After the Pearl, it will be my next project, only all I will do is clean it. It needs no extensive work. Motor needs to be hung and wiring configured. But right now, any surface is fair game!

The Ink Disk is ready for painting. I removed the Dog and lever that rotates the disk. Those too will be cleaned and painted.

Well, this is about all I can keep my eyes open for. It's 1:22 am and I have a Sunday School lesson to teach tomorrow over at Boston Gourmet Coffee.

Good Providence in all your endeavours.

G. Johanson, Settlement Printer.

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