I was an excited bundle of nerves during the very early morning drive to Montmorency to finally pick up my new presses. Bill was already there setting up his truck and we didn’t have to do much but watch him in action. He was amazing. He knew exactly what to do and put which ropes where and I couldn’t have been happier with how the move went. I must admit, seeing the presses in the air does fill you with a sense of dread and I was holding my breath until they made it safely on the truck bed. But made it safely they did and it took less than an hour to put two very heavy presses on the back of one truck.
Getting the presses off the truck at the other end was another matter… I always knew it was going to be tough and I was probably in fantasy land thinking the Samson would just glide into our spare room.
I live in a semi-detached terrace, the ones that look tiny on the outside, but the hallway goes for miles. Bill looked at the press. He looked at the doorway. He looked at me and clearly thought I was crazy. Off came the flywheel. Bolts that hadn’t been touched in centuries, were taken out and dropped on the lawn to make way for the crankshaft removal. The press was then lifted over our picket fence and extended partway down the hallway. Having a massive crane arm going through your front door is somewhat unnerving. Having a 700lb press dangling over your landlords’ hardwood floors is downright scary.
The C&P was waiting patiently on the truck until her turn came to come down. As the C&P is approx 1500lbs, she has to stay outside.
So now I have 2 vintage presses sharing my little house. I spent most of the day preparing the C&P for the cold. As she hasn’t been used in a long time, she was crying out for oil and she was quite rusty due to her outside living conditions. I scoured off the worst of it using a lemon and vinegar solution and WD40’d every available surface area. I didn’t want to remove too much built up grime as this will only protect her during the wet/dry/hot/cold weather than can change hourly here in Melbourne. Not ideal, but she is currently under a tarp at the moment until the hubby makes good on his promise to build a room around her.
The Samson is in good condition, but quite a bit of grime. Dusty sheds and oily parts make for some pretty interesting fluff bunnies. This will be removed in stages as I think I have inhaled enough WD40 to last me a lifetime today.
Along with the press, I was given a whole heap of type, furniture and quoins. It never ceases to amaze me at how small the letters can go. It will take me a month of Sunday’s to go through all that type!
I tested the Samson with some coasterboard I had lying around and a make ready that was already in the chase. I must say, wow! The impression (no ink yet) is really deep and lovely. Can’t wait to try it with ink and some gorgeous lettra once we clean her up.