Saturday, January 7, 2012

This is the year of the Signpress

I acquired a signpress a few years ago and I never got it going. I brought it to the WPA studio thinking someone might get inspired and refurbish it and teach the rest of us how to use the dang thing, but it never found any love there. I've decided to give rehabbing it a shot myself. I went on youtube and found a video, and this little press could work very well for wood and linocuts. I found a user's manual on Flicker--man, I love the internet!!--so there is nothing holding me back. I think this is going to open up some very interesting possibilities.

Unfortunately the press grid is super rusted. I'm going to try and spruce it up today, though I suppose it isn't really necessary since I won't be using blocks of type, but I'd like to return it to it's original splendor. I can't get the roller portion to reattach to the pressbed, so there are other, much bigger issues... But while it's unattached, it's a good time to attack that rust.

The handle that regulates the pressure broke two seconds after I brought it home. It appears to have previously been soldered  and it just crumbled in my hand. Keith thinks he might be able to fix it.

This machine is an absolute beast--the pressbed is unbelievably heavy so moving it from shelf to tabletop when in use, really isn't a feasible option. Still working out its final resting place. I am determined to use this thing in 2012.


Mr. Miller said...

My little Signpress was equally rusty when I started. I used WD40 and a 3M pad to scrub away the corrosion. I used mineral spirits on the roller, and some press wash to remove unwanted ink. I also applied a liberal amount of Johnson's wax to all the machined surfaces.
Wish I had an extra pressure handle laying about. Small parts like that can really hold up a restoration.

Cathy Savage said...

Thanks for the tips! I am so excited about getting started, esp after seeing your work on your Flickr sight. Beautiful stuff! I may contact you down the road if I get stuck, if that's OK.

Mr. Miller said...

Always glad to help. Information is meant to be shared.