Parts and Recreation

A big day of developments in the letterpress world. Or at least in my small slice of it. First thing this morning I headed out to the edge of Charlottetown to Precision Mechanical to pick up the newly-fabricated replacement part for my Golding Jobber No. 8 sent up from their sister company, Kensington Metal Products. I’ll get together with Sergey soon to see how it works on the press.


Next it was out to Tryon to Campbell’s Printing in my friend Nathan’s truck to pick up a Hamilton Type Cabinet that Bill threw in as part of the Golding Jobber sale. The drawers in the cabinet are filled with the kinds of bits and bobs — die cutters, leading, furniture — that it’s always useful to have around a developing letterpress shop. The cabinet is a big honking heaviness of a piece of furniture, and was quite a challenge to move.

To start I attempted to back Nathan’s pickup to the back door of Campbell’s shop. In doing so I only succeeded in chewing up their slightly-inclined and very slippery lawn and not getting within 20 feet of the door that was my target:


Bill has a defter hand at the wheel, and managed to easily manoeuvre his truck into place, onto which we slid the cabinet with little problem. We then backed the two truck beds up against each other and transferred the cabinet from his truck to Nathan’s. Fortunately Bill and Gertie are nothing if not patient and accommodating, so the extra time, the poor driving on my part and the chewed-up lawn did not ruin the day or even cause a ripple of stress (they’re moving out of the house and shop next week, which mitigated the lawn-chewing issue somewhat!).


I strapped the cabinet and its drawers into place, thanked Bill and Gertie for all their generosity, and headed back to town. When I arrived at 84 Fitzroy Street — the “compositing” base for my letterpress operation — and measured the doors I realized that there was no way the cabinet was going to fit through the doors, and so launched into a surprisingly easy disassemblage. Nathan showed up just as I needed someone to help me move the lighter-but-still-pretty-heavy pieces into the house, and 15 minutes later he was on his way and the cabinet’s pieces and drawers sit in the next room waiting to be put together again.


Ken's picture
Ken on December 2, 2011 - 20:06 Permalink

Ben Franklin would be glad to know the lost art of the printing press has another foothold along the east coast.

I was thinking about an education model based on the evolution of the written. Kindergarten would be cave painting skills, then scrolls and make your own ink in grade1, and so on. Letter press, calligraphy, in high school it would be html and web design. Students would live the history over the timeline of their school years. The A to Z of print technology from K-12.

Valerie's picture
Valerie on December 2, 2011 - 20:46 Permalink

Ken, as someone who works with literacy and education —-I love your idea.

Ken's picture
Ken on December 2, 2011 - 21:32 Permalink

Valerie, I really like the Word Garden. I wonder if my kids elementary school could find space for a word garden. I like the idea of a lasting monument that may survive a long time, even school reconstruction, and serves as an anchor of place. I also like the nature/literacy overlap. Monumentally rooted.

Nathan's picture
Nathan on December 5, 2011 - 15:02 Permalink

Try the 4x4 next time you&#39re on wet grass.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 5, 2011 - 17:02 Permalink

Ah, who knew that your truck at 4x4 capabilities!? (Recall that the physical world is largely a mystery to me!)