Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Refurbishing the Drive Motor for the C&P
It's been somewhat difficult getting out to the shop to do some much needed work on the C&P's drive motor. Just Life getting in the way, I guess. But this week I had a few days off and some spare time. Thus, this most recent installment.
When I purchased the press, the former owner who is himself a professional, and no slouch on Letterpresses, gave me a head's up on the condition of the motor, which was no surprise to me. The deal I got on both the initial purchase and the subsquent hauling more than compensated for any added expense in restoring the motor to, at very least, safe operation.
The motor itself is about one horsepower, single phase, and probably about 40 years old. No doubt I will be facing bearing issues, but at this point it works, albeit a little noisy. I've set the motor up for minimal pressure on the nose, just the weight of the motor itself, which provides just enough traction to turn the flywheel.
Somewhere along the line the protective cover for the motor's wiring harness and starter capacitors went AWOL, so years ago a piece of cardboard was cut and duct-taped over the wiring utility box. An SPST (Single Pole Single Throw) switch is utilised to power the motor off and on, which came screwed into a mis-matched switch housing and held together, if I recall, with an oversized wood screw! It was . . . scarey.
In a prior post you will find photos of my having somewhat disassembled the motor and painting the surfaces that showed signs of rust. I put on two coats of grey Rustoleum, allowing about a week between coats. Today I re-installed the painted sections, and re-wired the electronics. This evening I smoke tested the motor, and she fired right up. The new switch works, and is mounted into a proper housling. The wires to the switch and power outlet run thru flexible metal 'snakes'. I had to custom-fabricate the cover for the utility box, they are not to be commercially found these days. Fortunately I have the tools. After the plate goes back on, I have to fabricate a mount under the feedboard for the switch. Then she's ready to go! All the press itself needs is a good dusting.
So, that was my Tuesday! How was yours?
By the way, if anyone has any inquiries, please - inquire away! I don't bite, and it's great to help somebody out. If you are interested in Letterpress but are sorta intimidated by the larger mail-groups, feel free to join Florida Letterpress. The purpose of this blog site is to provide an educational service to others similarly inspired to learn this flavour of Typography, to help others along as they grapple with their own presses, plates or designs, perhaps to provide some motivation, encouragement or advice as propriety demands, and also to talk up Letterpress! I have a really soft spot for newbies, novices, beginners, whichever term may apply, so remember: the only dumb question is the one un-asked.
Good Providence in all your endeavours!
Posted by Gary Johanson, Printer at 7:00 PM