Archive for October, 2011


An update on how the letterpress type, trays and machinery coped with the three month sea-voyage is long overdue. Were the hours spent Packing, packing, packed… worth it?

It was with much trepidation the London shipment was received a couple of weeks ago.  At first, I was relieved to see the shipping company had ‘export packed’ the furniture and equipment, as promised. The trays and cabinet appeared to be wrapped for maximum protection against knocks and dings.

All wrapped up


But my heart started skipping beats when I noticed there were no ‘this way up’ labels on the trays, and the lads from the delivery company turned them every which-way as they unloaded the truck.

So, the verdict? Partial success.

Some trays travelled perfectly, and others – well let’s just say I’ve put them away and added an item to my ‘things to do on a rainy day’ list. OK – it’s not quite that bad; realistically the trays that got jumbled shouldn’t impact me too much as I’m not in the habit of hand-setting great slabs of text. However, it is a little unsettling to think of so much disorder awaiting (plus it will be very irritating if I ever get around the writing that novel and decided to self-publish…)

Not happy ending


To summarise, the general concept was solid and I’d do it again if I absolutely had to (ie sea or air-freight only!). As a guide, here’s what worked and what didn’t:

– Larger type-faces (18pt+) travelled best (and are less irritating to re-distribute correctly in case of some jumbling)

– Spillage was most likely in over-filled tray compartments

– Where the newspaper was not packed tightly enough, or the cling-film wrap too loose, disaster struck…


The Adana travelled relatively well, however one of the roller arm pins was quite bent such that it was not possible to insert one of the rollers. After a bit of umming and urring, a few well targeted blows with a hammer straightened things out, and when I used the press the other day, things seemed to be in good working order.  Fingers crossed!!


One final note – I had been a little nervous about clearing the ever vigilant Australian customs with such a curious collection of artefacts, including a fair bit of wood. In my mind I was prepared for quarantining notices or worse… I’m happy to report that it was all smooth sailing and my little workshop is now almost fully set up in its new home.

Time to get printing!




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