This year’s calendar printing was interrupted with 23 runs to go by the most inconvenient mechanical failure. When we moved from Main Street to our new location, the motor that moves the carriage back and forth over the print form needed to be removed. All seemed to be well after the Vandercook was back together, until the carriage would just. not. move.
Initially we thought that it was a bent shaft, but after numerous conversations with letterpress guys in Brooklyn, Ohio, Colorado and New Jersey we dismantled the motor and discovered that the shaft is actually severed in two. And likely all those weird noises and random problems with the machine over the past few years were caused by this problem. The move just made the reality of this moment come sooner. Keep your fingers crossed–there’s another guy in Greenfield, MA who can hopefully make the part we need!
And remember those 23 runs? We have been manually pushing and pulling the carriage over the print forms. The show must go on! There’s no crank to help us, it’s man and woman power at its best. A big shout out to Jonas McCaffery and Isaac Wood for completing some of those runs. They are the reason we will be ready for our release date!