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.
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!