Using quoins

I’ve inherited quoins with my new press, along with keys. Problem is, I can’t get the quoin to expand but just a little bit. It seems to get stuck and won’t budge. They are old, and haven’t been used in about 6 or 8 years. Any ideas on what the problem might be? Thanks,

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Are these Challenge Hi-Speed Quoins? If so I would say soak them in mineral spirits overnight and then, wearing gloves of course, give them a good workout with the key in the morning. Don’t force the quoin—you’ll only strip the teeth where the key is inserted. If they move freely let them dry out and then give them a light squirt of 3-in-1 or WD40.

Thanks dicharry—we got a few of them to work!

And yes, they are exactly that—Challenge Hi-Speed Quoins.

If a few of the quoins balk after the soak, stand the qouin on end and tap on the wedge which appears closest to the external edge of the quoin. (take a look at one that works to see what should move and you will see what I mean) A bit of rust or grime will make them stick, but with a jar, they will loosen up and work again.

How much is a little bit? High speed quoins only expand a little more than 1/8 of an inch.

Hi-Speed quoins expand ten points. The little pin to the side of the keyhole will show the expansion of the quoin in a very direct manner.

Sometimes the internal retaining spring can break and pieces may jam or limit the quoin. If you (carefully) drive out the two pins with an appropriate pin punch, the quoin halves will come apart and the spring pieces can be removed. The quoin will still work without the spring, but I wouldn’t trust it anymore on a high-speed press.

So I just found out that I was using a low-speed key with these high speed quoins…..which explains a lot. Anyone have a spare key they are willing to part with that I can buy?

I have some for sale. Please contact me off list for prices.