Second oldest shop in town for sale, but in a basement!

Hi all,
I’m a young letterpress printer from Montreal who is slowly climbing the steps to a fully equipped letterpress shop.
I currently own 1 C&P 10x15 NS (to restore), 1 Challenge 2028KA (working) and 1 Korrex Stuggart (working).

The second oldest printshop is currently for sale here in Montreal, the owner was mostly doing letterpress stuff and stamps (with a 1930’s machine) but also owns a two colour Multi (for what it’s worth today…). They have two Windmills in perfect condition and a Linotype still working (we made some lines while I was in the shop). Loads of type, load of clichés, loads of cool letterpress tools too: lead slaw, miterer etc.

Problem is: it’s in a basement and the owner build the house on top of the Linotype and the two windmills. The owner would be glad to rent the shop as is, in the basement, but that would mean a cramp space and not so much natural light + dismantling and moving my own shop there. Which is a lot of stuff since I have my own type collection, three risographs etc. He said he has someone who can take apart et rebuild the windmills for moving, but I can’t believe something like a Linotype can be disassemble and reassemble?

I find myself in front of a problem here:
on one hand, I love collecting and using old tools, metal and woodtype, etc. But I know Photopolymer is kind of the way to go these day… I just don’t see myself let this guy throw everything away (and it saddens him more than me for sure)

on the other hand, i think there is no way to move these things out of there, especially through a 32” door and a straight staircase.

Anyway, would appreciate some comments, clue, anything really!


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wow….. that would be a probleamatic move. Windmills do not lend themselves to easy disassembly like a C&P…. and that Linotype would be very tough to take apart / reassemble for a move. (unless you know a Linotype technician who can do it for yoiu. Unfortunately, all of the ones I know are as old as I am )

The only real solution I can see would be to alter the house to allow the machinery to come through. Here’s what I’d think about:
1. enlarge the door… then repair it later.
2. rig some rails along the stariway, and use hoists to pull the equipment up. That is assuming that the stairs can take the load
3. make a hole in the floor above, and hoist it out… IF there is some structure in the house from which to hand the hoist.
4. Hire a professional equipment mover, and pay him to do it. (pay him a LOT of money)

If none of those ideas are workable, then maybe it’s time to walk away.

Thanks for the reply!
I’ll think about that, since the house is for sale maybe we can work something out to get everything out of the basement.
I’m thinking about leaving everything as is and work my way through it, but it’s a tough choice, although I’m always keen on letting history in place.

The only answer is for an aspiring letterpress printer to buy the house!

I agree with Bill!

last time i bought several big presses, i had the owner cut a hole in the wall to remove them, then reframe it- was the easiest way for the situation. maybe take out the door frame and replace it later

An old letterpress guy told me 30 years ago to always tear out a hole and pay a carpenter to fix it later rather than take apart a currently working press, and especially a currently working Linotype. Good advice!