More Letterpress Natter

Yes, more letterpress natter, today with actual paragraphs!  And lots of pictures.

The freight delivery of the larger press arrived at Ron’s office yesterday before he left. When I got home he’d gotten the crate out of the truck onto a handtruck, and was starting  the process of getting it up the front steps.  I helped by heaving the handle end of the handtruck  (which was laid down for use as a cart) up from step to step while Ron pushed the weight up. The total weight of the crate and everything in it was 270 pounds.

We got the crate into the house, but it was too big to make the turn past the computer desk into the living room:


Here’s a picture that’s fuzzy, but has Ron next to the crate for scale:


 So we started the process of opening it. The top panel is particleboard, so trying to pry it up only broke it. So we pried the 2x4s around the top edge off.

Ron and Elrond were on the living room side of the crate. Pippin and I were on the doorway side. Pippin sat on the steps and disapproved:


 Here’s the crate opened up, before unpacking:


 We excavated our way through packing materials and accessories down to the press itself (Ron took this picture from his side, I took the others):


 It was well packed, no issues from shipping. The box under the handle is 5 trays of type, stacked and topped with a piece of cardboard, and plastic wrapped together. No pied type here!

After unpacking the crate, we put it in the front yard, looked at the press, which is grungy/sticky and needs cleaning, but that’s OK. We also looked at the accessories, including the type. There’s two sets of 6-pt/flyspeck capitals, and three other larger fonts. I haven’t tried to identify them yet.

Then I went to the dentist all by myself, without Xanaxx. Dr. Bagel’s assistant didn’t even let me ask for anasthetic. It took a two rounds of shots, mostly I think because the temporary crowns were stuck on really really well so trying to wiggle them off after the first dose got uncomfortable. In the end the temporaries had to be drilled off, after which putting the permanent crowns on went smoothly. What with all the waiting for anasthetic and fussing about with fitting both crowns, the appointment took about an hour.

When I got home, the mailman had just delivered the little press.

After unpacking it, we picked up Robin from Harper, got dinner, and went to Ikea to evaluate our options for a stand. We’d looked at the Groland and Bekvam kitchen carts on an earlier trip, and last night also looked at stacking a couple Besta units with doors. But we ended up debating between the different sizes of the Varde series of freestanding kitchen cabinets/shelves/islands.

At dinner Ron had suggested that we put the presses in the spare bedroom. Before he had that idea we’d been  debating the front entry or the dining room. The spare bedroom is pretty much Ron’s space, but letterpress seems to be a both-of-us thing, and he’s willing, so that’s what we decided to do. So the debate was which size Varde was going to work best for everything we have (including in transit, like the paper creaser), vs. space in the room. We ended up with large “base cabinet”. The one we got has white drawer fronts, unlike the one in this picture:


We also got some silverware trays to keep blocks in. We chose the Varde unit in part because it has a solid wood top, as well as wood legs. The smaller kitchen carts also did, but the TV units were all particleboard.

 It was only 6:30-ish when we got home, so Ron and Robin brought the 3 flat-packs of parts in while I fed the dogs in the bedroom. After Ron and Robin made space in the bedroom, Ron did most of the assembly while I “read” the instructions.

Here’s the finished printing bench, with the presses, paper cutter, and some things already put away on the shelves (and in the drawers, which of course you can’t see). The boxes on the left-hand end are type and borders, which will get put in the plastic many-dividered craft totes we picked up Saturday:


 Packed type is very dense, so we set it above the side/leg.  Paper will probably go on the floor under the bench. Amazingly, even though one leg is on carpet, the bench turned out to be level. Says something about our floors.

The bigger press will eventually be bolted down, so it doesn’t walk in use. I think we’ll probably use threaded inserts into the top, as bolts through would interfere with the drawers. Ron plans to mount the smaller press, which also needs cleaning, but other than the chewed-up rollers is in good shape (and survived sub-optimal packing/and shipping) on a nice board (edged with the router and stained).  That way the small one can go to, say, MuseCon for demos.

SCA event tomorrow, but I packed earlier this week, so there may be more messing about with letterpress tonight. Or not, as Ron came home early with a headache/urpy tummy. At very least I may get paper and cases of type upstairs and put away (they were on my workbench and chair in the dining room as of this morning).