Which Choice

There are two Goldings that I have opportunity to make an offer on. One is a #7, runs and prints well. The bottom right corner of the bed is broken and missing and it’s missing one roller as well as the fountain and drum. The other is a #9 but has been in a fire. It has no rollers but iirc it has the cores. It has the fountain and drum. The right ear for the piviot of the grippers is busted and as far as I know the front arms for the delivery table are gone. It does still roll over completely and aside from being filthy with soot the rest appears OK.

Most likely I can get the #9 for far less than the #7. I like the idea of having the bigger size. My concern is the cost to restore it to working condition may be too much?

Advice, opinions, rants?

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I know next to nothing about Goldings but hey, why let that stop me from giving an opinion?

I don’t think the corner being broken off the platen is necessarily a big issue unless it’s a really big chunk of the corner. Chances are you’d never use that part of the platen. Rollers usually have to be replaced anyway so that’s not an unusual situation no matter what press one buys. Most presses function fine without an ink fountain and those printers that have them often remove them anyway. I’m not sure what part the “drum” is. So it’s got a few foibles but if in otherwise good condition and the price bears a relationship to the problem issues that might be the better buy.

I’ve restored a lot of antique machines and am not scared by much as far as rebuilding, replacing, or repairing goes. But the problem with a fire is that it can and does warp and twist the metal. There used to be a couple pier warehouses in the Hudson on the west side of Manhattan that had burned down and there was nothing left but a huge pile of giant twisted I-beams and girders that looked like a pile of spaghetti. The frame of the press could be twisted, the platen and bed warped, etc. and it wouldn’t have to be off much to cause lots of trouble. You could go through it with micrometer and straight edge and square but I think it’s better as a parts press. Of course, it may not have gotten very hot at all, but you may never know until you try printing with it. So it’s a gamble. And then there’s the issue of the missing and broken parts that you know about, and perhaps the ones you don’t.

If it ws me, I’d explain the above to the seller and then try and make a deal for both of them that’s still within my budget. Then if you had a problem with the one from the fire you could always part it out while still having the other.

Milford, NJ
Front Room Press

Thanks for the advice.

I managed today to work a deal for the golding #7 and a 24 drawer type cabinet with type for about half what I though they would want. Once I have that home and situated I’ll see if I can check the #9 out more closely. It was hot enough to melt the rubber rollers, but not sure if that’s really hot enough to warp the rest of it. I quick visit with a straight edge should tell me.

Thanks for the advice.