Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Odyssey of the Press

It's official. I own a press. All 1,500 pounds of a Chandler & Price Old Style 10 x 15 platen press neatly disassembled in my grandmother's garage in New Jersey. It needs some cleaning. New rollers, new motor, but it's in good shape. No welds or other funny business.

The story begins one month ago. I saw a post on Craigslist for an old printing press in a basement for very, very cheap. I called the seller, told him I wanted it and would pick it up in a few weeks. Done and done. Crystal clear... right?

I said, I want that! I mean, don't you?

I won't go into all the details, but fast forward to last Friday, after driving ten hours from North Carolina, my boyfriend and I found ourselves stranded without the address to the house and with a seller who would not answer our phone calls. Not good.

The next morning, we got the address! But the seller had to go into work. We would not be able to start at 9 AM like we had planned. And then later he wouldn't answer our phone calls. Again. Not good.

So like any reasonable individuals would do, we just showed up. With a U-Haul. And the resolve to not leave without a press.

We got very lucky because the seller's brother-in-law showed up, let us in, called the seller and said, hey, these nice people just drove ten hours to give you money, maybe you should be here. Thank you brother-in-law.

We started taking apart the press at 5 PM and unloaded it a 1 AM. The move went fairly well, except for a few baffling moments. Like this classic.

Oh crap.

I'll just say, it's amazing what you can do with a few come a-longs and ratchet straps. Thanks to these brave men, Mike and Dave, we got this beast taken apart without turning anyone's legs into hamburger.

my boyfriend really knows how to roll up ratchet straps.

I really do want to say thank you to my friends and Mike for helping me do this. Thank you to all of you who lent me equipment, lugged things, drove hours and hours, and hung out in a dusty basement for six hours with me. I couldn't have done it without you.

I'll keep you posted on the process of putting this thing back together. If everything goes right, it 'll look something like this.


  1. That six hour dusty basement experience still haunts me, but it was really nice to see you.

  2. I know! I hope next time I see you we won't be moving a giant metal object.