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Re: Standing Presses

I have been calling the small hand-cranked book presses "standing" presses.
 Perhaps I have been in error here.  Although I do believe that they work
in the same way as those huge, wheel-driven presses that are bolted to the

We use those smaller hand-cranked models with brass-edges board pairs.
After finding that the pressure exerted along the hinge area was not so
great in these small presses, I found that if I turned the books and boards
with spines next to the pipe and crank rather than facing the other way (as
shown in the illustrations), I get a nice firm hold.

As for lining up the crank and metal part on the top board, it goes a lot
easier if you insert a flat press board that is included with the press on
the bottom of the stack and one just under the top board and on the last
metal-edged board.  The brass edges tend to limit the flexability to line
up each book.  By placing that flat board top and bottom only you are able
to easily stack as many books as the press can take and still get a good
pressure along the spines.

>    First I think the process of stacking is tedious particularly if you =
>are setting the grooves with  edged boards (cords, dowels, whatever).  You =
>need to keep the pile even, centered and properly shapped (pyramid like if =
>the books are of different sizes).  You also need a set of boards for each =
>book in the stack.  =20
>   Secondly, stacking requires a press of greater strength and pressing =
>capability than a press that only presses one book.   A book resists a =
>press to a degree that requires we apply a certain amount of counter =
>resistance to get the book flat and our materials glued tight.  Hypothetica=
>lly, let's say it takes 50 lbs. of pressure to do the job.  If we stack =
>ten books, each providing its own resistance, then we would need 500 lbs. =
>of pressure to do the job (caveat: I'm sure there are many variables and =
>this is an oversimplification -the point is that more books require more =
>pressure).  Because of this the standing press needs to be built to apply =
>the maximum required pressure for a stack of books (lots of steel, big =
>screw, big heavy platens, large handwheel that can be leveraged, etc.)   =
>On the other hand, a press designed for one book at a time can be produced =
>more economically as a lighter frame, simpler platens, smaller screw and a =
>smaller handwheel or crank are more than adequate for the required job.   =
>Both the standing press and the single book press will do the same job to =
>a single book provided adequate pressure is applied where it is needed.
>    Thirdly, because a standing press is so massive, the work generally =
>goes to the standing press rather than the standing press coming to the =
>work.  A small, lightweight, benchtop press can locate wherever the work =
>is being done.  Rather than taking the work to the press the press comes =
>to the work.    This cuts "travel" time and improves efficiency.  =20
>   The press I use, the Casing Press,  is lightweight, mobile and designed =
>for a single book.  Since it is designed for a single book, the boards =
>with raised edges (polycarbonate rather than brass) are built right into =
>the platens.  I don't have to keep a stack of boards near by as the only =
>two I need are already integral to the press.  The screw is offset toward =
>the front of the platens putting maximum pressure near the joint.  This =
>design allows me to press  books that range from 3"  to  9" wide without =
>having to worry about centering the book under the screw.  My experience =
>over the last 8 or so years (my best guess) I have been using this press =
>is that it is far more efficient than the stacking presses I previously =
>used.    Of course, for this to work in a high volume operation, the dwell =
>time in the press must be short.  With the materials and techniques I have =
>used I have found this to be no problem.  As soon as the next book is =
>ready to be pressed, the previous book is pulled from the press and placed =
>in a freestanding stack to continue drying until the next day.

                                    Claudia Stall
                          Head, Collection Preservation Unit
                               San Diego State University
                             Library and Information Services

             "Be kind, do good work, and touch the earth gently."

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