Our Second Elrod and Second Ludlow

Elrod E (working) & Ludlow L (not working)

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This is not advice on how to move an Elrod, Ludlow, EasyKaster, or any other piece of equipment, or instructions on how to do so. In writing this account I am not advising you to move one of these machines (or any other piece of heavy machinery). Moving machinery such as this is the business of professional, insured machinery riggers with experience moving printing machinery.

In presenting this account, I am merely describing what I did myself. Think of this as you would think of an account of someone who had climbed Everest, or of a war correspondent. An account of climbing a mountain or surviving a war isn't a recommendation that you should try to do the same! It is just an account of what someone did. I have, by the way, also flung myself off a cliff strapped to a set of wings. I don't advise you to do that, either!

So please realize that this is just a personal account. I specifically disclaim all liability for your actions. In no event will I be liable for damages for your use of, or misuse of, or inability to use, any information presented here, whether or not I have been advised of the possibility of such damages.

2. The Backup Trip

The basic point of the trip was to get the Elrod, because it was (a) electric rather than gas, and (b) proobably in working order. Although we already have an Elrod, E 4129G , it doesn't work and has been through some traumatic times. The fact that this new Elrod should work means that it will be the first one I try to bring back online.

It's silly to drive 1,200 miles in a rented truck and get just one machine when there are more, of course - particularly if two of the others are just thrown ("might as well take all three"). So the basic machine list, excluding miscellaneous bits and pieces and parts, was this:

We also helped a friend save a very nice Vandercook 14 (and were in turn helped greatly by him). I commend to your attention the fine work of Rick Allen and Marian Lansky's Kenspeckle Letterpress in Duluth.

In a way, this ended up being a trip for "backup" machines - second Elrod, second Ludlow, second Supersurfacer, second Rouse.

The Ludlow L and the EasyKaster are known to be nonfunctional. The previous owner couldn't remember what had been wrong with the Ludlow when it was taken out of service many years ago. The EasyKaster wasn't heating when powered up. It doesn't have the factory-made "Pig Caster" (the table on which you set ingot molds to use this as an ingot caster rather than a stereotype plate caster), but it does have an interesting homebrew equivalent. Everything else appears to be functional.

[UPDATE, early 2010: Actually, this Ludlow casts just fine. The delivery mechanism sticks, though. It should be relatively straightforward to fix.]

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