Archive for the ‘Letterpress machine’ Category

I’m a little embarrassed to say it’s been nearly 12 months since we welcomed the new arrival to the family, yet have been silent on this matter since. The silence has been largely due to the fact there has been nothing to report for the vast majority of those 12 months.

Things started to move forward in May, however. Precipitated by a visit by T’s mechanically minded father, we progressed the replacement of the press’s 3-phase motor to a single phase motor appropriate for my domestic power supply. Needless to say, many powertools and spanners were purchased over the motor-change weekend, and there was plenty of father-son bonding time!

Heidleberg platen letterpress - motor change

Heidleberg platen letterpress - Changing the motor

Heidleberg platen letterpress - Still changing the motor

We took the next step in the journey on the weekend. T impressed me greatly by translating what he’s read from the original press operating manual into ‘action’, which resulted in a few tentative first prints.

We still have a loooong way to go to learn and master the nuances of this amazing machine (and the art of videography!), but if feels great to finally have a play and to see it in action.


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This is a little belated, but I’ve been meaning to post a few pics of the letterpress studio I’ve set up since arriving back home in Oz.

This pic sums up the studio space: letterpress cabinet housing my loose type collection, and shelves for furniture are set against the wall. Most other essential supplies (letterpress related or otherwise) are stored underneath the collections of coffee tables I’ve pushed together in lieu of a continuous work bench. One day, I tell myself, we’ll get a custom bench made with excellent storage built in!


(Can you tell I’ve been playing with some iPad photo app with these pics??!)

The beam set in the wall provides a convenient magnetic board for pinning inspiration. To the left is my book press, (a birthday present from T), and further shelves storing paper, envelope, cello bag and twine supplies.

The Adana sits on the sturdiest table / bench we have at the right height for me to work.


I love the silhouette of the Adana in this picture, looking out towards our balcony, through which lots of natural light floods my work space. If you look carefully, you’ll see a couple of pieces of paper stuck to the balcony walls.

These are pizza menus written by T for an evening with friends the night before I took the studio shots. It would be remiss of me not to include a snap one of the highlights from that evening (fresh fig, honey and goat’s cheese pizza. Devine.)

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I could never have anticipated that my first post upon returning to Australia would disclose the acquisition of Heidelberg platen 10×15 press – but it’s true!  Just three days after landing I was sleepless with jetlag, and late night eBay browsing (‘just to see what’s out there’) led me directly to this letterpress, listed here in Melbourne! Good fortune in bidding fell my way – and whilst there’s a bit of work needed to get the machine up and running (a new single phase motor or transformer is in order) – my mind is spinning with the possibilities this addition will bring.

The letterpress delivery and installation was a sight to behold: firstly a remote controlled mechanical arm lifted the machine from the back of the delivery truck and deposited it in the garage.

Then our expert removalist (ably assisted by T) used two metal rods to set up a roller base, and rolled the press towards its destination.  T was comparing himself to an Egyptian pyramid builder! It was surprising how effective this simple approach was for moving a one tonne press!  I’m happy to report all fingers are intact.

Finally, the biggest crowbar ever and pure brute strength manoeuvred the press into position.

Fingers crossed it’s not too long before the Heidelberg is inked up and printing once again.

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