Home » Before and After

Before and After

Well, we really cleaned the things up that we got for free from that guy in VA. It took us weeks of scrubbing, but we finally can say that we actually got some stuff in working order. First thing that we did was to clean up a Hamilton Galley Rack. This is a rack that you can just store letterpress stuff in. It was all dirty and covered with spider webs and rust and all of the trays were rusty. We washed off the rack, sprayed it with black rustoleum and scrubbed the rust off most of the trays. We still have a bunch of trays to clean, but the ones that we did do really shine.

Speaking of shining. We also found a nice big aluminum brayer in the bottom of one of the boxes. We thought at first that we would probably have to get the rubber replaced because it was all bumpy and stuff. But I thought that I might give it a wash in some paint thinner and see what I could do. As it turns out, I guess the last person to use it didn’t clean it and so the oil just stayed on and actually created a sort of protective coating (which probably saved it). So it is a roller in perfect condition. I also scrubbed the body of the brayer and polished up the aluminum. You can see in the picture to the right the side before I polished it (on the right) and the side after I polished it (on the left).

The biggest job, however, was getting the Nolan Proof Press working. This little Nolan is the No. 2 Proof Press shown in this Advertisement from approx. the 1950’s in the American Wood Type Manufacturing Co. Catalog.

(Image courtesy of http://vandercookpress.info/nolan.html)

When we first got the press, the roller did not move at all and it was COVERED in rust and dirt. In order to do anything with it, we had to take it totally apart. This proved more difficult than expected as the nuts holding everything together would not budge. We sprayed WD-40 and penetrating oil on each connection and let it sit for a week – still nothing. So Doug had the great idea of getting this nifty little tool called a nut splitter. Since we didn’t have to worry about saving the nuts (they were all rusty and needed to be replaced anyway) we just cracked the nuts open and they came off! We then SCRUBBED AND SCRUBBED to get the rust off the press bed. There is a nice man who can make us a “galley thickness bed plate” for the bed that will make the height even. Even so, we still had to get the raised rust off the bed so that anything can lay flat and even. Here are some Before and After pictures. You can still see what is left of the rust on the bed, but it is SO much better than it was.

Nolan Press - BEFORE

Nolan Press - AFTER

In addition to all the fixing things, we also sorted tons of type and spacers. I do hope I can sell some of the type.

In any case, it was a job well done and I now have a beautiful working proof press on which to print!! I am in the process of designing my next block, so maybe it will get some use soon! And if not from that, at least from Christmas cards!


No Responses to “Before and After”

  1. polar f4 says:

    Hello blogger, good morning. Wonderful post. You have gained a new reader. Pleasee continue this awesome work and I look forward to more of your superb articles.