Monday, December 03, 2007

Dirty work but someone's got to do it

I spent many happy hours with my new Chandler and Price (C&P) press this weekend. I managed to remove the electric motor and belt arrangement, all but two stubborn brackets with phillips screws that won't budge- someone stronger than me will have to extract those.

As I anticipated, the C&P is much more sleek and handsome without all those cumbersome, ugly, accouterments of the mid twentieth century. It was a simple matter to hook the treadle back into place and start the clickety clack of its manual operation.

Beginning to remove the decades of accumulated filth was my next task, and lubricating its joints, which I suspect had been overpowered by electricity rather than regularly oiled. The cleaning job will take a few more sessions of transferring thick layers of greasy dust (or is that dusty grease?) from machine parts to a new permanent residence under my fingernails, but already the C&P is taking on a proud sheen.

I will have to have a part machined before I can reattach the rollers and print ink, but fortuitously I have a forthcoming project involving screeds of die cutting, which the C&P is already in good shape for. I put a fresh tympan on, locked a die form into the chase and fiddled about with make ready until I could cut little circles with ease. I remember from my last die cutting adventure with Jim, that the make ready succumbs to pressure more quickly from die cutting than from printing and seems to need regular reinforcement in order to keep cutting well.

Now I have a little stack of perfect 5.5cm circles in cream card with which to experiment. Very satisfactory.

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