As some of you are aware, I recently hauled my No. 3 from the eastern shore of Maryland to my new home in Kentucky. Having thanked my lucky stars that the truck did not tip over (more on this in a later post), I am now faced with trying to restore my beautiful beast. Overall the press is in tip top shape, but to be expected there is a decent layer of grime and cobwebs from top to bottom. I read previous posts stating that I should not remove anything that I can not easily reattach. No problem there.
My question is: What is generally considered to be the best method for cleaning the bed, the oscillating rollers, etc? I remember an old friend using a polish cloth on the bumpers of his 69 Mustang and I wonder if something similar would work for the press. Also, what method would one use for the painted portions of the press? A few of you have seen this press and it appears to have a very unique paint job, almost like an emerald flake. I want to ensure that it remains on the press so if leaving it alone is the best course of action, I am prepared to do so.
Thank you as always. Let the fun begin.
Chris: The next thing to consider is the form roller bearing blocks. The original blocks were made of brass and the holes were bored to the same size as the roller cores. The rotation of the cores wear out the holes, causing play in the rollers. Replacement blocks are made of steel and the holes are slightly larger to accommodate nyliners (nylon bushings).
This description is applicable to the No. 4, 215, 219, 15-21 and the 320 series.
You will probably need to soak some parts in mineral spirits, just make sure you have adequate ventilation.
After you remove the grime from bare metal parts like the side guide, paper guide adjustments, and the handles on the inking system, use Nevr-Dull to polish them. It’s fast working and non-toxic. You can even get a mirror finish on the dead bars and lockup bar.
I use rubber gloves, WD-40 and regular green Scotchbrite pads on the unpainted metal surfaces. Wipe up the yuck with paper towels. Any hardware store metal polish should get the brass looking good.
Automotive polish and some soft rags on the painted surfaces would be better than solvent and/or abrasives if you care to save the original paint job. It will take a lot of work, but there isn’t so much surface are on that little #3. That having been said, I usually use orange hand cleaner for the sake of speed.
Get us some before and after photos!
The Arm Letterpress