Howdy all — I confess upfront that I am a newbee, so for any of my assumptions that are off, bring clarity. I am hoping to tap the knowledge stream here to ask if you can help with getting my press resuscitated from a 20-year nap in a basement. I have managed, with the gracious help of Paul/Fritz/Dan (you know who you are), to get a sad ink drum resurfaced and replaced. Next up is the adjustable bed. The press was shipped with the Hand Wheel removed and initially I was curious if there was a specific reinstall position but discovered there is only the taper pin for the handle that aligns the shaft. So, here is my question:
— the Hand Wheel is very difficult to turn very far in either direction so as to determine where the Bed is in relation to the Bed Scale — short of removing the tapered Beds, any suggestions for your best practice in getting the lower Bed moving? I welcome your input/thoughts and suggestions.
Two comments. One is that in one of the pictures you show the end of the press where the wheel turns. I see scrape marks where the handle has been moved with the handle lock tight. It should the loosened before you try turning the handle. The second comment is that for the bottom wedge there are adjustments in the side of the bed to help keep the bottom wedge straight. If these are too tight the bottom wedge will be very hard to almost impossible to move. Taking both wedges out and cleaning and re-lubricating them is the best most permanent fix. With a helper this is a doable job for most anyone. I have done this several times by myself and I am sure Paul has as well.
Short of removing the bed tapers you can oil the shaft nut (X-5732) and clean and oil the exposed threads on the shaft (X-14647). However, it’s a good bet that you will have to remove at least the top bed taper, clean and lubricate as I describe in my book on the page you cited. Then calibrate the bed high using large type sorts (also described). Your last step is to adjust the scale plate, which is slotted, so .918 aligns with the red painted wire.
The top bed moves up and down rather than back and forth, so the blocks you point to are in a fixed position for the top bed casting, same sort of thing on the cylinder side of the bed. This thing is very tightly machined, but where the two bed sections sit in the bed casting can get gunked up over time from washups of type and forms so that the solvent carries ink and related down between the bed castings and side walls. That’s one problem area. The other is that the ways that the 2 beds slide on between themselves were lubricated at the factory and most likely have never been lubricated again. Paul has done this task and it is not easy as each bed casting weighs in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. Realistically, once you get into printing mode, there is little reason to be constantly diddling with making height adjustments. This was a feature designed mainly for photoengravers and plate makers, but can be useful for general printing.