Pressing matters

I've been carting this old Adana Quarto flat bed press around for about eighteen years. It's always been knackered and the roller perished before I was born, I think. It's hard to find out much about this type of Adana, but my persistent foraging in Google convinced me that it was an early model, probably from the 1930s.

Being in need of funds and something to flog,  I dragged it out of the shed. Brian-next-door came round with his tools and inexhaustible knowledge of all things mechanical. It was gradually taken apart. 

Uncovered, the metal looked even worse. But Brian was quite sanguine about it. 'Soon clear that up' he said.

We saved the bits carefully.

I plonked myself on the drive and cleaned the small stuff. 

Brian got busy with a drill and wire brush attachment.

 It was quite astonishing how well it came up. Brian, of course, was right.

Every bit was cleaned, but not overly so; I wanted it to retain its history and life scars. We all wear patinas as we get older.

Then it was mostly  put back together.

 Looking as if it had a new lease of life.

There was a problem with the roller mechanism, which was so jammed up even Brian couldn't immediately undo it. But he took it to his magic shed and after some work, dismantled, cleaned and oiled it so that it will be more user friendly for the next owner.

The wooden top was sanded lightly and soaked in woodworm treatment, just to be on the safe side and I beeswaxed it. Then it was ready for the final assemblage. Which we did in the kitchen, Shropshire style.

We tried to remember what screws went where. Brian confessed that his memory is not what it used to be and what I know about nuts and bolts can be scratched on the head of a pin. (And there would still be space).

But between us we managed to work it out.

And eventually, the final screw went back in.

So this neglected old press went from this - 

- to this. It's now on eBay, as sadly, I need to sell it. So on the off chance that anyone knows anyone who is looking for a simple flat bed printing press, it is on auction on the UK eBay site here until Tuesday 17th November. Keep your collective fingers crossed for me please!


ellen said...

That Brian, he's a keeper. My fingers are all crossed for you. I keep wondering how many miles are on that old roller.

Soozcat said...

That restored press is a thing of beauty. Kudos to you and Brian for sussing it all out.

Mac n' Janet said...

Good luck with the sale, it really looks good, vintage, not just old.

Lin said...

Well, shoot..that looks fabulous! You and Brian are quite the team. I wish you a prompt and profitable sale.

Frances said...

Wow, Gretel...Brian is a wonder worker. Please pass my best compliments on to him.

Best wishes for a successful auction. xo

the woolly dog said...

What wonderful neighbours you have, good luck on the sale. x

Liza said...

Looks wonderful! I'm sure someone will snap it up - wish it could be me! Surprised you weren't tempted to keep it...

Jess said...

What a fantastic job, well done! I'm sure there's someone out there who would give this a loving home. It certainly deserves it. xx

Granny Sue said...

Great save! I love to see things people think are junk restored to be used again and again.

Deb said...

Every one should have a Brian-next-door. We have one too. He's a farmer so if I ever need any farming done.... How lovely of yours to be so helpful :)