Sunday, March 7, 2010

Update: Restoration Begins

I managed to fully disassemble the press today and carry out a basic clean. Progress pictures here.

From the look of the base nuts in particular, I think that at some point in the past the press has actually been in much worse condition than it is today. In fact I realise now that the curved plates bolted to either side of the main arm were added to hold the arm together after it snapped in the middle (that must have been quite some overtightening!) I also wonder whether the main shaft might have been replaced at that time, as it is in very good condition.

Anecdotally that restoration must have been more than 16 years ago, but it seems to have done it in good stead as I had no trouble doing a complete stripdown and reassembly. The only concern was when the entire inside thread on the main arm disintegrated and fell out like an old gasket. There is a vestige of threading remaining, which I'm hoping is enough for light operation. In any case it seems to still work fine after I put it back together, and is now operating very smoothly.

A basic clean up revealed that the upper and lower caps around the main shaft are brass, as of course are the top nut and the handle knobs—they should all polish up nicely. The caps had been painted black but that came off easily, and the remaining paint on the main press is also starting to yield to my sophisticated removal techniques (screwdriver, big wire brush). Lots more scraping and scrubbing lies ahead.

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