Thursday, September 13, 2007

Viva Las Vegas...

So I'm almost off to Vegas for a fab long weekend - I am so excited. I really need a break. Lately my schedule has been 1. work all day, 2. eat dinner, and go to the gym, 3. work some more, and 4. go to bed around midnight. I like being busy, but I need a break.

In Etsy news, sales have been doing well and I just got my first order from Sweden yesterday. There must be lots of baby-related action going on over there, as I sold a Bun in the Oven Card, and two Baby Congrats cards. Both were for girls. No boy Congrats sold yet.

In other news, the C&P has more or less been reassembled. My husband and I spent half a day putting things back together, and cursing. Yes, lots and lots of cursing. There are two things I've learned one should not do with a husband - a) tile a floor and b) put back together a 100-year old press.

Grease has become an issue too. Grease everywhere. I'm glad I have an unfinished basement. Unfortunately our boxer walked through some and tracked it upstairs....
more cursing ensued. Getting grease out of a white carpet is not fun...

Putting things back together went ok except for two problems - a bolt just melted before our eyes when we were screwing it back on. Just disintegrated. It seems bolts that sit in grease for 30 years don't last too well. I need to get a replacement bolt - hopefully Home Depot has something the right size.

And the second problem, the flywheel is stuck. We tried to get it on the crankshaft, and it got stuck. Oops. Not good. Now we have to get it off again, and figure out a way to put back on correctly. Technically the press will work without the flywheel if we had to do it that way, but it would be silly.

I do have photos of the reassembly extravaganza, but my camera is currently in L.A. (and I am not) so posting photos will have to wait.

Once we get the new bolt, and get the wheel back on, I should be ready to go. I'm not worried about the bolt so much, but I am about the wheel. The LETPRESS listserv participants have given me lots of suggestions for getting the wheel back on - including using a blowtorch (wahoo! kidding, that scares me), filing off metal burrs, and so on.

I also just ordered a stack cutter for the studio. I just can't handle using the rotary and guillotine cutters anymore, so the stack cutter should make life easier. It's coming from Chicago and was about $350, so I hope it works well :)

Happy letterpressing!


  1. Erin, enjoy your well deserved mini break! And when you come back you'll see how the Chandler flywheel suddenly goes back easily ;)
    Have a great time

  2. You can add "build a fence" to that list of things not to do with a husband.

    Good luck with the wheel and the bolt!

  3. what brand is your stack cutter? looking for one myself ... thanks!

  4. Have fun in Vegas. Though I don't think that'd be too hard to do.

    Let us know how the stack cutter works out!

  5. Good luck replacing the bolt. Often those bolts were threaded differently than modern Home Depot bolts. I have a box of random C&P bolts--if you want me to go digging let me know. If so, try to count how many threads per inch and how wide the bolt iself is.

    Flywheels often get stuck when putting them back on. Often the shaft has "mushroomed" at its end, which makes it thicker--too thick for the flywheel. First you ought to remove the flywheel so that you can take a file to the shaft. Easier said than done, I know. Tap with hammer and a brass drift (or block of wood etc) around the middle of the flywheel to try to gently edge it off. If nothing else works, you can get a large gear puller to drive the shaft through the flywheel--I've definitely had to do this before! Then once the wheel is removed, file down the shaft so that it doesn't cause the flywheel to bind. You really shouldn't have to force the flywheel, and the taper pin will hold the flywheel in place when it's in position.

    Hope this helps!

  6. So how do you like your cutter? I'm looking to purchase one soon.


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