Where and How

Good morning. I am new to the letterpress community here and recently acquired a press to be sent from the west coast to Texas. Would really like to tap the knowledge stream at Briar Press for two things please:

1) any shipper recommendations for getting the press moved from California to texas?

2) what are the pros and cons for setting up the press once it gets here INSIDE my home vs. my garage? Fumes/general work flow?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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What model is the press?

Inside your home would likely offer a better climate controlled envrionment, but you’re exposing the house to all the various chemicals you use. I guess if you have a big house, it’s not that much a deal. There are other people on here who have presses in their living rooms. Personally, my wife would kill me if I tried that! :-)

It is an SP20 — I will probably be adding a cutter and platen press at some point as well. Thoughts? See image.

Thank you.

image: PressRoomMaybe.JPG


Looking at that room, absolutely put the press in the garage. There isn’t enough working room for one piece of printing equipment, much less two more, and the other things needed: furniture and spacing material are needed even in an all-photopolymer environment. And a platen’s chase might be locked up on the Vandercook bed, but at the expense of your back. The right composing stone might have the storage you will need.

Thanks parallel_imp, I probably should have mentioned that the couch, piano, etc. would be coming out …

That is good news. In a complex polygonal room, you may need to move things around a lot before you find the right working situation; allow room behind the Vandercook for lubrication and adjustment. Here on the west coast I wouldn’t put a press directly under a ceiling fan, but Gulf coasters will have a better idea of what works there.
By all means, pay to get the press skidded or palletized or crated (or at the very least, fully insured). Way too much press damage has occurred when the equipment moves on to intermediates with no clue how to lift it. Vandercooks in particular get forklifted under the center cabinet, which is not a support point.

Here’s the other thing with insurance/freight- deductibles, and maximum damage claims, need to be carefully regarded. A lot of times freight companies will try to pay by the $ per unit of weight on a shipment when doing LTL shipping. The insurance will deal with a cap on weight per shipment and this won’t be indicated immediately either. So you can find yourself with a company not being liable for the full value of the shipment on a technicality. (ask me how I know? i once had a Svecia screenprinting press crated and shipped from TX to NY. The press was uncrated, dropped, rammed, and generally beaten to pieces in transit and was not able to function when it arrived- the freight company paid very little money for it’s responsibilities on this very technicality. It costs a bit more, but on all capitol equipment I now use Rigging companies or have it competently loaded and secured 1/2 or whole truckload shipment when possible. No more LTL for valuable stuff.)

You should look into doing a 1/2 truckload for such a valuable item. This way the item goes on the truck, strapped down, nobody moves it while in transit, and you get it exactly as it was loaded.

With LTL shipping, you will see that your item moves from dock to dock, truck to truck, and frankly there are a lot of hands on it. You want to avoid this, as transfers increase the odds of damage (which between TX and CA may be only a few, but still).

If you were dealing with just eggs, and you could get more eggs, sure- send it LTL. But this is an irreplaceable vandercook….