Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Putting It All Together

The Pearl was re-assembled after about ten days drying time. After assembly, I lubricated her with 40w. Motor Oil, which took over for the WD-40 I had shot into her oil ports to displace any water that may have collected there. All bare metal was coated with WD-40 as well, to prevent rust which so easily forms on bare polished iron even with the slightest dampness.

After assembly and lube, I treadled her for about ten minutes. The only sound that could be heard was the clicking of the gripper bars against the platen as the "clam-shell" closed. She is wonderfully balanced by her design, and if everything goes true to form, once the platen adjustment bolts are re-inserted (and I get rollers and trucks for her) she should level out just fine.

The only thing left is cleaning the treadle thrust rod, repainting it and the feed-board brackets. So I cannot call her complete just yet, but I couldn't resist taking a few more shots as she glistens with her new coat of gloss oil-based black paint.

Just a few notes on the photos: I used my daughter's Cannon digital which is a great camera, but the "red eye" flasher causes any object that has red reflective characteristics to saturate. So you will see a rust-red colouring in some of the photos. That is not rust. I was tempted to Photoshop it out, but heck, just take my word for it. The press is rust free. Some of the areas polished to a silver-metal intensity has saturated to a sort of bronze-gold hue. Usually I can overcome this by shutting off the flash, but because the press is so black, it is hard to pull enough contrast to view details without substantial gamma and contrast manipulation. So I decided to let the photos go with a minimum of correction. When the final mounting of the brackets and treadle bar is completed and the drawers and feed/delivery boards are mounted, I'll take daytime photos with the sun shining through the windows, which provides a more natural image with the Digital Camera.

In case it's unclear what you are seeing here, it's the rear of the type bed. The reflection from the gloss paint in the re-enforcement casting (those little squares things) is a little intense using the flash. But again, without the flash, there would have been insufficient contrast to see any detail at all.

This is another view of the rear of the type bed.

This is a view of the delivery/feed side of the press with the platen closed. Note that I have not replaced the four leveling bolts yet.

And finally, that familiar heart-shaped treadle. It is very, very tempting to paint some Pennsylvania Deutsch "Distlefinks" and other flourishes on the treadle! Now, here is a good example of Art and Form, which was considered in the 19th century to be, in many cases, practical. They could have saved a lot of money just making a plain treadle, and nobody would have complained. But form and function go hand in hand with aesthetic appeal, and in the mind of the Golding Company, this was worth the extra time, effort and expense. Like the Crocus Leaves seen in relief on the iron bridge castings in Atlanta. Those old viaducts date back to the 1880s, and took time and skill to execute. Public moneys, no less. But they understood that beauty, form and function are part of our essential human-ness, therefore desirable. I think we have backslidden in our more sterile "Modern Era".

Well, that's it for now. See ya next installment!


G. Johanson, Printer.


  1. Gary,
    Awesome. Looks real great. I was wondering how heavy the press would be when separated from the table.
    Again, awesome !

  2. Hi, Thomas: sorry about responding so late. The press table could be pretty easily lifted by myself alone, I'd say around 90 - 100 lbs. The press proper needed two to lift, I'd say about twice the table weight. This included the removal of the flywheel, which was an easy 70lbs alone.