Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Post

If you did not notice already, there has not been much action here for quite some time.
I have moved my blogging to http://artletterpress.wordpress.com - there are a number of reasons for this. And I have regretted it several times over, but there it is...

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Resolve

Talking over the paint disaster with everyone I come in contact with who even might have the faintest interest or knowledge in the subject, I have come to this: I will rent a high pressure/hot water washer and use a hand sprayer with gasoline and caustic soda to soften the paint. That's it so far. I have no idea what or even if I'm going to paint the press.
But here some pictures of the last improvement:

The lock roller rotating on the fixed stud, following the shape in the small head lock cam was quite worn. More than twenty thousands out of round it was likely forgetful lubrication that was to blame since the roller is a bit hidden under the delivery board. The local machine shop did a nice job of cleaning up the stud on the lathe and pressing in a bronze sleeve into the roller. I ended up drilling the lube hole myself as the machinist forgot about it. The roller and lock action is very precise now.
You can see the surfaces with dissolved paint after the gasoline cleanup. One of the mechanics I spoke to suggested a vegetable based spray which leaves a film of wax that will prevent rusting. I'm looking to get a can of that to try out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Paint Disaster

I did a bunch of looking at the paint options before committing to the Tremclad paint, but it is obvious to me now: I did not do enough! The paint is trouble, I can't believe people have used it to paint cars? Last weekend I was moving over to the front of the press. I had stripped off the main gear cover and the throw-off lever and linkage, and painted those black. Now I changed to the dark blue again for the frame and just above the main shaft in front.
There was some old greasy dirt there and I dipped a rag in gasoline to clean the crevices and general area. Vigorously rubbing and pulling the rag through some tight spots, gasoline dripped down over some of the previously painted area. I could not believe my eyes, the paint (more than a month old) wrinkled and bubbled and could be just wiped off! What a mess, now what? I am sure glad I did not paint the press for looks! Having to be that careful not to get any solvent on the frame, when cleaning up the press after every job, is just not going to happen.
I'm having to get used to the idea to remove the paint and start over...

Here is a picture I just found from the day  after I got the press home. Good the neighbor had a strong tree there to anchor the come-along.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reinstalling the Pinion Gib Key

After quite some time now, and a wrong size key purchase, I went to work yesterday to fit the new gibkey. First was the requirement to shorten the key by 3/8" as I did not want it sticking out too far from the pinion, when in position.
Next came filing the bottom side down so that the leading height was just under 5/16" so that the key would fit into the opening. Once I had the right entry height, I discovered the key needed to be filed a little thinner too, so that it would fit into the keyway. During that exercise I discovered that the keyway in the shaft was marked up quite a bit from someone bashing on the previously installed key. So there was some filing and cleaning up of the keyway grove on the shaft in order.

Here is the completed key:

I reduced the taper in the key thickness to less than 1/32" of an inch so that there would be good holding power and more of a spread of the torsional forces along the width of the pinion/shaft keying.

Before removing the old key I tied up the press with my 5 lbs sledge between platen and bed, and marked the gear engagement so that I would not loose mechanical timing when the key was out.
Here you can see how the pinion keyway was distorted by forces on the old key, which was only partially inserted (about 3/4" into the keyway only).

And here it is driven in quite solid, in all it's properly aligned glory:

I'm sure glad I went through this trouble, as the pinion would have come loose, likely at some inopportune time. As well, the gear teeth were just starting to mark up, with the pinion pushed too far over, and with the smaller meshing there was obviously higher load (and wear on the teeth) taking place.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's been more than a month since my last post. Not that I have been lazy about this, but the money making work comes first, and so the work increments on the press have been smaller and with several week interruptions. Then there was the gib-key fiasco for the pinion gear that I ordered wrong, and had to re-order. Then there was the straight edge that I ordered - and that somewhere during shipment punched a hole through the packaging and escaped into the wild (likely in the back of a UPS truck). That too had to be re-ordered, but now I got it and can finally get to work checking the press bed for straightness.
The last week has been like Christmas. I got packages from the seller of the press, with the feed table (with the cast bracket) and the all important chase. Then I received the mini-furniture cabinet that I bought via briarpress from a printer in Florida, with a bunch of metal furniture (still waiting on the wood furniture). Ah, and I got an impression counter, not really needed, but why not.
And then there was a two week holiday in the sun and several weeks away up north.
A new resolution to throw out more stuff from the garage, so that I can fit the new stuff in place and make more room for working the press.

A list of what is required to complete the reworking of the press and make it ready to print:
  • Finish cleaning and painting
  • Polish / straighten press bed
  • Check & correct siderail elevation to press bed
  • Check & correct/adjust platen to pressbed distance
  • Define motor size and purchase
  • Buy and install VFD
  • Buy ink rollers & trucks
  • Buy first zinc plate with backing
  • Buy tympan & pressboard
  • Buy cotton paper
  • Buy ink

Well that's it for now - pictures to come...