Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A New Delivery Table for the Pearl

Today I decided that perhaps it might be nice to continue on with the Pearl, which still needs a few things. One of them is a new delivery, or 'feeder' board. This is the little table that sets between the operator and the 'clam shell'. Guestimating from prints and photos of the Pearl OS Model 3, I came up with a board that was approximately 13" by 11". It is made of poplar, which I chamfered on a table saw. The "backboard", the vertical piece that stands about one and one-half inches at the rear of the table which is used to serve as a backstop for paper, was also chamfered. Then the "sub assembly" was sanded, the edges rounded, and then glued and screwed together. Meanwhile, I painted the iron castings that serve as brackets for the table with oil based black Rustoleum, matching the rest of the press. These screw to the press frame using one-quarter inch bolts and nuts. The wood came from Lowe's.

Here are some shots I took along the way.

The iron castings were screwed to a 2x6 and spray painted with oil based black Rustoleum.

Normally, I use a brush to apply paint to presses, but these are undercastings, not in plain sight, and there was a sale on the spray Rustoleum. The castings received two coats of paint.

After drying, the castings are mounted. Standard 1/4" nuts screw directly into the press frame, and nuts serve to lock the castings in place. I added washers to the nuts, something not used at any point on this press. I guess washers weren't really used a lot in 1909.

Here is the poplar sub assembly. I already sawed the board to size, and added a 30 degree chamfer on the edges and the backboard corners. These will, in turn, be sanded to a round edge.

After sanding, wood glue was applied to the base of the backboard, and holes were drilled after clamping, through the bottom of the board, and partly into the backstop, so wood screws could be inserted through the base and into the backboard without splitting the wood. The whole assembly was left to dry, clamps, screws and all.

Here's another view. I thought you might like to see the microwave and coffee grinder as well . . . . and the sugar canister.

When the table was sufficiently dry, it was brought out to the press and positioned on the castings, being both centered evenly, and also positioned with the "clam-shell" open, where the platen is brought closest to the backboard. When the proper positioning of the table is determined, it is clamped onto the brackets to await drilling.

Each casting has three eyelets to insert the wood screws through. It was important to clamp the wood onto the castings first, then the wood was drilled, again, to prevent splitting of the wood by the screws. The clamps ensured a tight fit, and also forced the castings to become level with the wood. This meant that they had to be loosened from the frame a bit. After the delivery table is secured, the castings are re-tightened.

Aww. Ain't she priddy? But I am not done yet: I still have to stain the board a deep honey colour, then marine varnish it. I then have to install a second, smaller swivel table. I already have the boards cut for it. I just have to find the swivel mount. After this: Drawers! The final touch!


G. Johanson, Printer.
Florida Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts.


  1. Thanks for sharing Gary. Poplar wood is so beautiful!

  2. It really is, and you can make it look like just about any other wood, too! I like it for it's relative hardness and these days, much as I dislike "box" stores, those big hardware outlets actually have made Poplar more available.

    I need to get a good hard coating on it to protect it from all sorts of chemistry that is liable to be in the vicinity. Either lots of marine varnish like we have up at the Pioneer Settlement, or Envirotex, like they used to use on the cypress clocks of the 1970s.


  3. holy cow, gary, your press looks gorgeous! Pearls must be girls, don't you think? as compared to a C&P?

    anyways, congratulations... all your attention to detail has paid off.


  4. Hi, Staci! How are things rolling over at your studio? Yes, I think you are onto something about the C&P and the Pearl. Hmm, and I have them right next to each other, too. The only real thing left aside from rollers is to reconstruct the drawers, and I already have a connection for the original drawer pulls, recast. Soon, I'll have the motor drive for the C&P back together, and maybe finally I'll be able to print something!