The press continues come apart – I now have most of the nuts and bolts undone, removed and have got the lower platen to raise up, although not by a method that was probably suggested in the manufacturers handbook!
Given how long this thing has been sat outside, I think that this is quite good progress! A regular squirt of penetrating oil and the occasional pull, twist or thwack did the job nicely!
As well as cleaning up the outside ready for a new coat of paint, I have also cleaned every nut, bold and washer!
After a few days soaking in penetrating oil, I scrubbed each with a wad of wire wool, sandpaper and wet & dry paper, along with a mixture of salt and vinegar for acidity and abrasion.
Once the lower platen was raised (and supported with a stout wooden block) I could take a good look at the shaft that will eventually lift the platen via a handle:
This shaft is currently not yielding to my gentle caresses and promises of a new lease of life, so I will need to resort to more drastic methods I think… I have just arranged for a lever to be made in order to get this moving. I am having it made much longer than I need for regular use, but will give me much more ‘leverage’ in order to get things turning. Once it’s moving freely, I’ll have it cut down to a more practical size.size
The lower platen sits in two ‘v’ shaped slots at either side, and was in desperate need of some lubrication. I will need to get some proper grease for this once were are cleaner.
It’s good to see things moving, albeit very slowly. The aim is to get the press into a useable condition – I am not in a rush and intend to do it reasonably well, although it is tempting to start painting it, but I want to have it in a working state before I start on the aesthetic restoration.