George Gordon’s ink Shelf

thought some of you would get a smile out of this. Working from a advertisement of Gordon’s new style platen, we manufactured a side shelf. I have never seen one on any Gordon style hand-fed platen and we thought it would be fun to make one. After doing so we can see were lawyers would have had a splendid time as the position is rather dangerous.

image: DSC_2097.jpg


Log in to reply   11 replies so far

Nice work! Any other photos? What about its position makes it dangerous? Is it just easy to run into while moving around the press?

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Hi Mike. With both the under arm and platen arm in the vicinity and in constant motion, whatever one places on the shelf must not protrude left or right as the arms could catch it. Also anything falling off the shelf is a problem. It does seem useful though. We will have some more photos on our website soon too.

here’s another photo

image: DSC_2083.jpg


My Kelsey Union 10x14 press has an ink shelf, but it is lower on the frame of the press.

John Henry

From the *Old Goat* in U.K. We did (effectively) the same a long time ago, of course,! we drilled the main frame of an Arab Press tapped it with 3 fair sized bolts, to accommodate a centre column, which supported a swing out table, incorporating 3 retaining sides, i.e. rear/left/right only, made from 3 sides of ex antique galley,s, (they used to be brass bound with wood inserts) but no good for conventional proof press i.e. zinc base thicker than normal,!
Our Mixing table/shelf, was a piece of marble from a Victorian Wash stand, (Grannie did not need it anymore??) and we utilised a piece of zinc galley, for an extended but crudely bent shield, we also used a small piece of old leather belt, tacked to the rear R/H side, as loops, for 1 or 2 Ink/pallet knives. Mick.
P.S. in commercial houses (Print Shops) there was normally a big, general purpose proof press, inked up permanently in black for house proofs etc, if a particular customer wanted a 2 colour first proof, or more, but NOT black, we would use the back of a Quarto Galley to run up 1/2/3 colours, probably put it back in the rack without washing it up, low down in the rack.???
Now if I sell/try to help a New One starting on a tight or zero budget, to acquire a table top Machine, I suggest or include where I can, the Glass from an ordinary household Arc Lamp, as an ink slab, around 4” x 6” inches (ish) 1/4” thick, double sided, safe, ground edges, very tough, and hopefully Very Cheap!!! Assuming that the same type/style is available Stateside. Small Bathroom mirrors, also turn in well, albeit with one side Silvered,? Apologies if not. O.G.

I see what you mean! Perhaps it needs a short lip around the sides to keep things from falling off with vibration? It looks like the table top was welded from sheet. Is the mounting arm cast to spec or was it also welded? Also, is passing the mounting arm between the bed arm and roller arm based on period engravings? It seems like it would be safer to pass it outside both. Though I suppose if the table bent, it would bend inwards if the support were on the outside. Either way, very nice work and thanks for sharing!

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

we made the thing as close to the advertisement line drawing as possible so its not 100% exact. I agree moving it away to the right would be just as good and safer. In constructing we wanted to make it look original cast but made it from CRS and welded the who thing. Spent considerable time finishing it so it looks cast not fabricated.

that is some excellent fab work! Y’all are talented!

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

I’m not sure how rare these were, but I noticed one in a photo on Instagram, so I thought I’d pass it on.

If you search this individual’s profile, you’ll see a few other photos of it.

image: gordon_ink_shelf.jpg


thanks Tinyfeast, This only goes to show that despite my assuming this shelf was extinct, one shows up. Original to boot. Thanks very much for sharing.

My pleasure! I was just as surprised to see it as I’d never seen one anywhere, apart from your custom version. It caught my eye right away. It’s interesting to learn about these rarities and oddities.