Hamilton Steel Drafting Table

Here’s an interesting auction item coming up at the Alpha Die Co. in Weymouth, MA.


It is listed as a “Hamilton Rolling Steel Drafting Table” but is actually what Hamilton listed as a “Form Transfer Truck” and more specifically as a Mashek Truck. These were used to transfer locked up forms in chases from the stone to the bed of a press, and these tables tilt to a vertical position so that they could be moved into position between the bed of a press like a Miehle flatbed and the paper feeder, then lowered to the horizontal position so that the form could be slid from the truck to the bed of the press. I haven’t seen one of these for sale before, and of course, the auctioneer hasn’t a clue what it really is.

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As an additional note, Hamilton once offered 10 different sizes of this truck, the one in the auction is item 2603C01 listed at 26” x 49 1/2”.

And before I get jumped on for using the U.S. version of form vs. the Brit version Forme, as far as I can determine, it has always been Form in U.S. printing usage, including the Hamilton catalog No. 27 where I found my information.

Mine was a frame welding table in a motorcycle shop.

But for one dog-eared corner it is still in good shape.

It glides around easily under load & the crank turns freely.

I don’t have a large flat-bed press but
with a little reversible modification
it would make a very suitable sign painters’-easel.

Starting bid at Fritz’s link is scrap value.

Looks sturdy! But if you are not a collector, you might get by with one of these. Occasionally I see them on the curb, flea-markets …

image: typewriter stand.jpg

typewriter stand.jpg

Ramble from the U.K. First time around,!!

Early 50,s until the demise of Letterpress, (During the Reign of Big Meihle,s Big Jo`Bergs Big Tirfing,s and more), The Forme Transporter was not only an expensive item, but an
incredibly engineered piece of equipment.?

At the death, when a Print Shop went to the wall, the one item to make good money, was the Forme transporter, (A) for the top plate, normally at least 1/4” thick steel, on a heavily webbed sub frame, often turned in for a Stone/Imposing surface, (B) the main prize was the Hydraulic Ram, usually with remote Master Cylinder (foot operated) which became the motive power for Mechanics/Engineers ENGINE CRANES (transporters)

I sense that maybe a few Briarites are not understanding this discussion because it is well out of current letterpress usage. Here is a picture of a similar Form Truck, but of a European design used in a Swiss printing plant circa 1960. This photo is in our Vandercook collection and shows how the truck moved, in this case an 8 page magazine or brochure form, to the press in the back ground, a relatively new Miehle flatbed:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2490915205/in/photolist-4N7Ai...

And here are some picture of a form truck that I had, until Spring this year, in my workshop in Amsterdam and that I had to sell, to make space for a Sofadi showcard press. Lettergieterij Amsterdam, formerly N. Tetterode sold it.

I seem to have a problem with the pictures, hopefully it works now…

image: P1040743.JPG