Harrild & Sons improved round hole treadle perforating machine

Hello, I’m helping a friend assemble her Harrild & Sons round hole treadle perforating machine and we’ve run into several challenges. Does anyone out there have experience with this machine or a copy of a manual? Thanks in advance, Lisa Beth

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Have shifted a couple of these. What are your problems. Any pics ?.
Kind wishes,

Hi Jeremy,
we were assembling it last night, thought we had the tension bar correct, got the teeth lined up, and when we finally got it to punch the paper (after several adjustments to the tension) it wouldn’t come back up and got stuck in the lowered position.
Thanks so much,
Lisa Beth

image: IMG_5190.jpg


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image: IMG_5188.jpg


the 5188 image is before we adjusted the teeth.

Did you try spraying something like WD40 or penetrating oil or kerosene along the block of holes and stuck pins? I am guessing that the holes were probably a bit dirty, maybe corroded as well, and that many pins binding in them would require substantial force to pull them out. If there is much overhang of the bar the pins are mounted in that descends, you could try getting something like a flat thin “wrecking bar” such as is used to dismantle nailed things like packing crates, and a block of wood just shorter than the distance from the table to the pin block, and go up and down the row nudging the assembly upward a little at a time using the block as a fulcrum for the bar, after liberally dosing it with the above lubricant. My guess is that once you get it moving it will come out OK, and a good dose of lubricant will help clean out the holes and keep it moving. But it’s also important that it go straight up — if the pin bar gets cocked that will make it bind more.


Thanks, Bob!
Jeremy (and Bob), do either of you have pictures of the assembled perforator that you would be willing to post?

Sorry I used to have an American-made version years ago, but it is long gone. I’m sure you’ve assembled it correctly, and the problem is dirt or corrosion or both. Had the perforator been used recently before it was taken apart? What kind of conditions was it stored in? Clues.


From Your last published shot looks very much like You have a few bent (out of line) punches
If you have not done so already, perhaps, straighten the bent ones by bringing the punch carrying cross member down to within 1/16” of an inch of the entire *comb*, before entering the - female - punch block receiver.!
Then with 2 plastic Lasso,s around the individual pins & 2 pairs of hands, (pair at front pair at rear) pull >/< gently to realign each pin to correct alignment.
BUT keep in mind the pins are quality steel, not too hard but will have a memory, hence the method is to pull in whichever desired direction + a fraction more because the *memory* will try to revert to the original position.
With a dentist,s mirror and *CARE*with the pin bar in the fully UP position, You should be able to observe that the Pins/Punches are ground/sharpened (the same as monotype keyboard punches) with 2 leading & 2 trailing edges to cut progressively, fore and aft & port and starboard, rather than 360 in one hit.
When the punches have been re-aligned, reasonably accurately, swamp the entire Punch Block receiver with 50/50 spirit and liquid metal polish, Brasso/Bluebel, etc.
Then operate the action, slowly progressively, and *FEEL* the point where binding begins, the metal polish mix should leave tell-tail marks on the pins, by implication a few drips of neat metal polish, per offending pin and receiver.!!
Good Luck.

Hi Everyone,

thanks for all of the suggestions! We’ve got the pins lined up, no problem (replaced a few while we were working) and can get a clean punch. Now the challenge seems to be the tension/tension bar. The tension bar isn’t keeping the foot treadle in the upright position. Is this what’s supposed to happen? Any thoughts?
Your suggestions are truly appreciated-thank you!

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We’re also wondering if we’re missing a part. What are these holes (associated with the foot treadle/rod) for?

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We’re thinking that the treadle may have a broken part on the frame side-it was held together with tape when my friend picked it up.

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Here’s where we’re at. We’ve got it working, just have to play with the tension. This has been an interesting process. We’ll still try and find a manual/diagram for the machine.

Thanks for all the comments!

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Hi everyone! Thanks again for your help and advice. I am the other person working on this with Lisa Beth. We only KIND OF have it working. I am having to use a bungee cord to bring up the foot to the starting position. Something is definitely off in the tension and I am wondering if there is a way to adjust the bottom peddle. Right now, the bungee cord is the only thing letting it work at all. Any more help from anyone who has seen this model is most welcome and appreciated in advance.

Is there a spring connected with the pedal? It seems that perhaps that mystery hole associated with the pedal was for a spring. Many such mechanisms have a long coiled spring, like an (American) screen door spring, to return the mechanism to the starting position. I would expect that in this case, but I have no idea what Harrild would have done. Your bungee cord is the replacement for the spring. If there is one already it may have gotten weak from being stretched. Hardware stores often have assortments of springs from which you can choose something suitable.


Fresh out of ideas & negotiable facts, So keyed into Google or W.H.Y.
Treadle operated stamp perforating machine.!

very first link that appears, shows excellent graphics of ;-
F. P. ROSBACK Co. (Machine)
pat., Aug 7 1888
Benton Harbor.
NOT HARRILD but good yardstick for reference, possibly.

Coloured Schematic shows, very clearly One R.H. side operating rod, treadle pedal to the Cross Beam, with upper and lower Nut adjustment for the stroke of the Connecting Rod, (presumably) plus one substantial treadle return spring, dead centre, which would appear to transcribe perfectly to Your *Bungee* at Right and Empty Hole at Left.

Excuse my (authors) translation(s) but Good Luck. Mick.

Sorry i dont have any pics to hand - i cant think to add anything other than what has been suggested.
There does seem to be a pin missing - try and find something to put through here as it seems to be important, a mild steel bolt would suffice.
From memory there is facility to adjust the drop on the treadle (threaded rod attached to treadle that can be adjusted for height and has lock nut).
Looking at the bent pins may (!) be a red herring as they wont locate at all if one is bent and if you force it, it will snap.

The moving ‘carriage’ as it were runs up and down on two lugs make sure these are well lubricated it doesnt take much crud on metal to metal applications to cause fricttion.
Check this is travelling down level too.
Thats all ive got!

Dear Jeremy, this is massively helpful, thanks! We’ve been “WD-40 Specialist”-ing the heck out of the parts. You are right, the metal on metal friction was a big problem when we were adjusting the pin height. We’ll keep plugging on. Thank you for the lead and suggestions. Your information has been so helpful and we appreciate it. Have a great week!
Lisa Beth & Maureen

p.s. if anything else comes to mind about adjusting the treadle, let us know.