Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Find

I had been looking on Briar Press and on Craig's list for months trying to find a press. I knew what I wanted ( a C&P)but the trick was finding it in the condition and price we had in mind. Oh, and did I mention location. It seemed that every "good" press was popping up out west or up north- ironically, many were coming from locations that would have been great- before we moved south that is. Location was important, because shipping those things- well, try and imagine the orchestration of getting a 1260lb brittle cast-iron machine moved across states. Not exactly like checking the UPS box on an online check-out. It would take work. We were considering doing it ourselves- and were even mapping out locations in states as far away as Texas. Over 24hrs of driving. Doesn't seem that far until you factor in kids riding with you ( that adds lots and lots of bathroom breaks) and going extra slow in a rental truck. Hmm. Not so appealing. Yet, we were looking at it. (Another tangent interjection- I am not the only crazy one looking across the country trying to find these large beasts- I know others that are doing the same- they don't make these presses anymore)
Well after months of looking, I had almost given up hope, and then I stumbled across one. A very local one. I saw an ad for one larger than I wanted with a Kluge feeder( Kluge feeder feeds the paper- so you don't have to insert each sheet). So I contacted asking about the press and how easy it would be to take off the feeder. It turned out that that wasn't the only press for sale- there were four total and one was a 8x 12 C&P.
We made arrangements to go see it and ended coming home with a Vandercook No. O proofing press and the plans on how to get the C &P here. Both were in great condition, needing cleaning and oiling- no rust. They had been left were they were, in the climate controlled shop and not in someones garage or barn, as the new presses came into use.
We kept in contact with the owner's as they would be closing their doors and cleaning out shop soon. They ended up being very generous and we helped them clean out lots of good stuff.
So one fine day, Mr.Henry was delivered. A man that specialized in moving presses brought him across town and up our steep driveway. Okay- and that was a blessing. We tried contacting people for the 40 mile drive- we that was about worthless. We looked into renting the stuff and trying it ourselves- a little apprehensive. All the while, I was watching videos on UTube and reading blogs and websites about others moving them. I read plenty of horror stories about presses breaking apart in moves, people watching as they came off balance ( can't really catch something 1200lbs from falling).
No we cleaned out the area and waited as one man moved the press for us without incident. (Maybe I didn't labor over it as others have- but the thought of dealing with a large hunk of cast iron breaking into lots of pieces.)

Mr. Henry...

We have to print at night because of the kids- but sometimes I sneak in just to have a peak at him.

No comments: