Hello! Letterpress beginner here - I learned how to print on a Heidelberg Windmill but am currently in the process of buying a Golding Pearl 7x11 (I think a #11 improved based on pics, but not sure). My dilemma is loading the 700+ lb press into my vehicle and traveling 630 miles with it safely.
From what I’ve read, the Golding Pearl can be taken apart into 2-3 easier to manage pieces — can someone give me some more information on this? Pictures showing where/how to take it apart would be incredible. I am hoping to have some sort of game plan by the time I get there this weekend.
I’m also wondering - is it safe to lay the press on it’s side in some way? I’ve seen photos of people loading one into a van on it’s side, but my travel-buddy is worried that this would make the press more likely to break.
Please let me know if there is any other information that would help you answer my questions - I’ve never actually seen a golding pearl in person, so I’m basing a lot of this off of pictures/videos/other posts.
Thanks so much!
Log in to reply 2 replies so far
I would not try to move the press assembled — like most it is top-heavy. You can remove the flywheel after tying the press shut, and remove externals like the supports for the feed table, the ink disc, and such. There are normally four bolts holding the top section/main frame to the base, with nuts inside the base — you will need a helper to hold the heads inside the top section to get the nuts off.. You will want some kind of lifting device to remove the upper section from the base after it’s loose — it still weighs about 400 lbs. I used a hydraulic auto shop floor crane on wheels, which gives a lot of control. Once off the base you can carefully set it on a two-wheel hand-truck dolly and strap it on to move it to your vehicle. But depending on the vehicle, getting it in might be challenging. I was able to use a pickup borrowed from a friend. A van would also be pretty easy, or a small covered U-Haul trailer. You can pick it up and set it in the vehicle with the crane as well. The base is a lot lighter.
Before you do all that I would carefully check the bearings the platen pivot shaft goes through in the upper frame casting. They are the weak point when heavy impression is attempted and will crack, usually on the upper side, or break completely out. Look carefully for any sign of cracking or repair at those two points — I would not accept the press if there is an un-repaired crack. My press was repaired there and seems fine, but it requires a machinist who is good at forge brazing.
I moved my Golding Jobber 8x12 (probably more top-heavy than your Pearl) across country in a UHaul trailer upright with simple strapping to the walls. Only the flywheel was removed. No problem at all. I’ve moved it locally 5 times since with little forethought and no problems.
My press is on wooden skids with heavy duty casters. So I (with a couple friends) can work it up a ramp. We also move it up steps with a heavy duty hand truck. It’s actually a fun endeavor.
So I’d say relax and use common sense for the move. It should go well.