i saw an ad on briar press for an 8x12 chandler and price platen press for a good price, but dismantled.. i of course jumped at the chance. after a lovely 20 minute phone conversation with linda miller, the owner of the press, i decided to go see it. so last monday the husband accompanied me to the small town of loves park, il. we drove through two hours of scenic grassland and had some windmill sightings, which perked the husband's interest.
when we got there, it was NOT what i expected. i thought maybe a few things were dismantled-- maybe a lever here, a lever there, a flywheel here, and an ink disk there. oh no. it was almost COMPLETELY dismantled. one good thing though is that the press was a 10x15, not an 8x12 like the ad stated. after looking at the press up and down- all sad and dismantled- i was ready to say my goodbyes, get back on the road and drive two hours back home. but when i looked at my husband and said, "so what do you think?", he gave me this look and said, "sure, get it" what?! i asked my husband warily, "you know this is all you, right? you're going to help me clean it up and put it back together?" the good husband appeased me and said yes. so after an hour of watching the amazingly strong linda miller and my husband pick up and pack the car with over a thousand pounds of cast iron steel in the blistery cold wind, we were ready to lug my new press home. this is what we saw when we arrived
and this is what the dismantled press and all its pieces looked like in the car
am i crazy or what? miss miller kept calling the press "fred", but i have a friend named fred and it just didn't seem fitting. my husband came up with "gertrude"... i like it... gertrude it is. so now gertrude is in our garage, waiting to be cleaned up and put back together.. a big project ahead of us as gertrude is covered with years of dirt, grime, and grease. i'll be sure to post on our progress and of course the finished product.