A friend recently purchased this from a local auction and I was given ‘first refusal!’ Like many things bought at local auctions, this worked but needed a good clean and a bit of TLC. After a settling on a very reasonable price, I am now the owner of an old perforating machine. Yes, a perforating machine. For perforating paper and the like.
It still bears its nameplate too, so I did a little research and found a catalogue and pricelist of theirs from 1902. Apart from that, there doesn’t appear to be much else on Frederick Ullmer Ltd of Farringdon Road, which surprised me as they were manufacturers of Albion presses and were highly regarded.
In the catalogue there is an engraving of a remarkably similar (and much more decorative) perforating machine, which was strangely satisfying!
If anyone knows anything about these machines or the Ullmer Company in general, please get in touch…
A close inspection showed that it was very rarely taken apart to clean or service it. In fact, many of the screws were properly gummed down with a layer of grease and grime, so it was liberally coated with penetrating oil and left to stand for a day or two.
I began to strip it down and found that the majority of the screws were quite happy to remain where they were, but plenty more ‘loose juice’ and some gently applied brute force eventually got things moving.
I was intending to take lots of detail photos of each stage to help me put it all back together, but only managed a few because it was such a mucky job. This was the top of the perforating guide plate just after removal:
It was only when I turned it over that I realised it was made of brass! This part then got a good de-greasing and a polish with the trusty old ‘Brasso’ and it now it even shines a little!
Underneath, the screws holding the lower perforating guide were proving equally as stubborn and needed plenty of lubricant and even more force. These were really tough to remove…
Eventually I got everything apart and gave it a good cleaning. Although the screws were reluctant to come out, they all did – except one which completely disintegrated! Note the seven small screws at the bottom right! Not bad going I reckon.
I’m not sure whether I am going to give this a fresh coat of paint, but I am going to replace the two boards which were very badly worn and probably not original anyway. Thats my next job…
Oh? The perforating? You’ll have to wait for that.