draft screw

ok, just curious as to what this does. i am self-taught and doing pretty well so far with letterpress, but i am wondering about this one. anyone?

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I think it goes in the tap for distributing beer.

I would think it’s when you get drafted you’re screwed.

But seriously, folks…
If you could supply a JPG image of the “draft screw” in question, it might remove some ambiguities (and a lot of the humor ;-)

From my understanding, you are printing on a Pearl? More accurately an “Improved” Golding circa 1900, which is very much like the C&P jobber of the same era.

Where, exactly is the “draft screw” on this press? Is it labeled as such? A visual search for an ancient escutcheon labeled “This Way to Draft Screw.” has netted no results.

With a bit more detail, one or more of the learned veterans on this list can provide you with a detailed answer to your query. We’re smart - and fun-loving, for the most part - but almost never psychic.

Could you give us some help, here? Perhaps a JPG image of the enigmatic “draft screw” that you mentioned?

sorry to be so slow to respond - the piece and i am referring to is in the center of the platen. i can adjust the four screws located on the outer corners, but this is the one in the center. i am assuming it acts just like the other screws: adjusting the impression. it was called out as ‘draft screw’ in an old parts list i found. and yes, my press is a golding pearl ‘improved’.

ps: i wish it was a way to distribute beer.

My Simplissimus has a similar central screw - which sets the overall impression depth (draft, as in ships?), and the four others level things up, using the central one as a sort of fulcrum.

I have a Kelsey Union Rotary Press (similar in many ways to the golding designs) which has four impression bolts for adjusting and leveling the platen and a fifth bolt in the center which is actually tapped into the center of the platen and serves a couple purposes.

It is actually the only bolt which “hangs on” to the platen, the other four simply bear against the back of the platen in blind holes milled for them. It also has a stout spring which holds the platen back against the adjusting bolts, “locking in” the adjustment.

This center screw should be slightly loosened if the adjusting screws are going to be adjusted so the platen is closer toward the bed. Then the center bolt is tightened so that the platen is brought into good contact with the adjusting screws.

It soon becomes very clear to one that it is impossible to adjust one bolt in one corner without having a reciprocal effect on the corner opposite. Cast iron will flex, but not very much. If only one bolt is adjusted, the platen may be only supported at three points, not the four as intended. The task of adjustment is a constant give and take between contact and non-contact of these bolts. Once set, there is little reason to change them, the primary reason being to print on stock of significantly greater caliper, then all four bolts can be turned the same amount and adjustment should be back in the ballpark.

thank you, jhenry! that’s exactly what it is.