Thursday, April 18, 2013

The New Kluge Arrives!

Today was the big day.  Tom and I met Dave and Beth at around 9am at my "satelite" shop, which is really a fair sized storage unit. This unit houses my larger bindary equipment, and was where I restored Melissa's 10x15 New Series C&P.  It also housed my bindary sticher and ancient Grundig Majestic.  Now, it houses a New Open Kluge.  "New" is relative. In terms of Letterpress, it is considered so new, it's barely broken in!  It was manufactured by Kluge just before OSHA encouraged the discontinuation of platen job presses such as these.  All parts are original, and Brandtjen Kluge was kind enough to supply us with a bucket of Factory paint, just to make sure it stays looking show-room clean.  It came with a set of Nitrile Rubber rollers, a set of Composition Rollers, and a spare set of older Composition Rollers which will be sent up to Tarheel Rollers for re-covering.  This press has a sheet metal enclosure to cover the chassis, very little exposure to the inner gears, and the flywheel has a solid steel hub, no spokes.

Ok!  Enough narrative!  On with the photos!

Dave did a bang-up job wrapping the press up with bubble wrap to protect it from the elements.  When he loaded the press up in Michigan, it was snowing! Welcome to the sunny South!

Here is a closer look at the ink disk and rails.  The saddles have finger-locks, an improvement over the lever bars they used on the older machines, which required something like a small pry bar to lift, open the saddle, and slide in the roller/ truck assembly.  The press comes with like-new Morgan Expandable trucks, and solid Delrin trucks.  The expandable trucks are great for roller leveling. Great, that is, until they get old.

The back of the ink disk came rather as a surprise to me.  No pawl and ratchet grabbing saw-tooth ridges like the C&Ps.  It is a direct drive system.  Check out how shiny the unpainted steel parts are!  I've not seen a press in this state of clean-ness in a long, long time!

This is a newer design label from a company that dates back about one hundred years. Kluge is still alive and well, making die cutting equipment.  This was one of the very last presses off their production line.

This is a front shot.  You can see the braces where the front feed board goes.  The cylinder to the right is for the swivel board. The brackets toward the bottom is for a small shelf to keep the oiling cans and other maintenance devices.

The flywheel is grooved to receive the drive belt.  The single-phase motor has a variable speed control.

Of course, there is a foot brake. New brake shoe, too!

Dave performs the art of backing up a trailer square to the  receiving dock.

Slowly, she gets levered in . . . 

Dave lets some slack out on the come-along so the press can roll back onto the pipes.

Two pipes under the 2x6 boards bolted to the press.  Trailer tilts, the press is rolled onto a third pipe, and finally on into the unit.Dave regulates the slide from the tipped trailer with the come-along.

After some positioning, the pipes are pulled, and she sets nice and evenly on the ground.

Here's a shot of Beth and Dave Seat.Very pleasant visit, great folks to work with!

Tom joins the two.  Tom came to be my arms and legs because I am still recovering from surgery.  I was there, being useless and taking photos while Dave and Tom did all the dangerous work.  Tom, I owe you a nice stack of Letterpress QSL cards!  Well done, KG4BWI!

Posts like these will generally be posted from my other blog at, but since this press directly affects the operation of Paper Wren Press, I thought I would sneak in this post, even though it isn't directly product oriented.

Paper Wren Press should be able to start production and taking orders right around June.  We are also building up an assortment of greeting cards, designed by Anna Coleman, a very unique artist in her own right, whose illustrations remind me of  Ramona Falls' video "I Say Fever".  Not seen it?  Click here.

That's it for now.  Stay tuned!  And best of Providence to you all.


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