My friends grandfather sadly passed away recently and left various letterpress equipment in his garage. I was just wondering if anyone can identify whether the attached image is a press or a cutter and if so what model, going to view them in a few weeks so wanted to find out beforehand.
Apologies for the poor quality image, any help would be great!
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What can be seen looks like a paper cutter, but few older US-made cutters use a flywheel. I’ve only seen one (from Ohio Iron Works?). It’s more common in Europe.
I think it is clearly a paper cutter — the hand wheel on top for the clamp, and the slotted diagonal bracket on the upper left is a guide for the blade. The flywheel has a crank handle on it, so the technique is probably position the stack of paper, close the clamp, then step around to the side, give the crank a whirl, then return to the front and remove the cut stack. Or have a bot stationed at the wheel, though that could be a bit dangerous. The hand wheel may be intended as a safety feature — it would be pretty difficult to have one’s hand near the blade while making the cut.
With a flywheel cutter, you crank to get the wheel spinning and then hit a release, and the blade cycles through the cut and back up to rest position, as with later motorized cutters.
It actually does produce a strong cut; the people who showed me their machie were cutting through phone books with a not particularly sharp blade.
Thank you all for such a speedy response, I thought it may have been a cutter but wanted to double check. There are various sized chases and cabinets of type in the garage as well so not sure if there is a press amongst all the piles or whether that was thrown out. Eager to see what else lies beneath it all!
Would it be worth investing in this cutter or do you think it may be past its day without a lot of work? Any idea of a price for this?