New Equipment!

Vandercook #1

Vandercook #1 Proof Press

Sometimes the equipment you’ve been looking for just appears out of nowhere, and not necessarily at the most opportunistic time (like when you can afford it and when you have somewhere to put it). That seems to be our problem lately. It’s all good though…

In the past 3 weeks, we have acquired 5 (count them 1-2-3-4-5!  — yeah, I KNOW! What are we thinking!?) new print-worthy pieces of equipment.  Some are presses, and some are other critical additions to print shops.  Some are in great condition, some are just ok, and some need some serious lovin’. Don’t worry, we’re up to the challenge.

In no particular order, here is what we have recently welcomed to the family:

Vandercook #1:
Yay! Another Vandercook.  This is early-design model, set to print from “Galley Height” (that’s an extra .050″ of daylight between the bed and the cylinder).  This is an ideal setup for proofing type before hitting the “automated” press.  They’re also really good for printing oversized, short-run jobs, and odd-ball relief prints. This one dates from late 1951, SN 14622, and is only  missing her little gripper fingers.  I think we can fabricate a set with not too much trouble. Will we over-engineer them? Yes. Of course.


A Craftsman Superior Old Style... Ours is decidedly more 50's mod.

Craftsman Superior New Style (a Pilot Press Clone):
This little guy is awesome.  He’s in great shape, and a very valuable press to have in a public print studio.

His history? He started in the public school system up in Bel Air, MD, and was adopted by a school employee who was interested in printing, only to be promptly eclipsed by 2 larger, more automated presses.  Don’t worry, we love you little Superior.

Challenge 19″ Paper Guillotine:
Who doesn’t need a guillotine?! No one, that’s who. These things are critical in any print shop, and this little guy is in good (but not yet great) shape.  He’s been re-welded here and there, and is a little surface-rusty at the moment – but not to worry… we’ve brought worse back to life.  It’s less a matter of how, and more an issue of when we can rehabilitate this little guy.  And of course, by little, we mean about 450 lbs. Anyone have some spare 19″ Challenge Guillotine Blades? Anyone?


A Golding Pearl #1 - not ours, sadly.

Golding Pearl #1 Platen Press:
This is a classic (classic) platen press. Sadly, she has seen some hard days in her life, and is in the most need of repairs of all our equipment. What’s wrong with her? She’s been broken, mis-re-welded, poorly welded, attacked with an angle grinder, and has had all her drawers and tables lost or stolen.  Tragic, I know.  But we’ve seen worse.  Her time will come, and it’ll be like it never happened, we promise.

All that said, she’s little, she’s cute, and she’s filthy dirty. And we love her unconditionally.

CAPS 30×40″ Vacuum Exposure Unit:
Our latest acquisition (and it’s only a half-acquisition) is a CAPS brand vacuum silkscreen exposure unit. We’re sharing her with the fine folks at Red Prairie Press (think joint-custody). She’s bright orange, a little dirty, and suspiciously modern for our shop. Everything about her works great though, including a digital timer (like it’s from the future!) and a nice quiet vacuum pump. There’s also the requisite a few holes in the blanket and some spilled ink.  Nothing that’s un-fix-able for sure.  Heck, it’s what we do. It also means we’re well on our way to being screenprinting-ready!

So – what’s next?  A space. Please, for the love of GOD we need a space.  We are preparing to work with a real estate agent.  We need a split, commercial/residential space. We’re gonna be picky, and we have some very important requirements. Do you think you have a space in mind? Please let us know.

Photo Credits: Depression Press’ Flickrstream and a scan from Personal Impressions.