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this weeks edition:
We have been extremely busy this past week with no letup in sight. It’s a hectic time of year, coupled with the extra projects we have going here at the shop. We just finished printing the ballots for the general election; the delinquent tax is being prepared for next week’s paper; we have the student/parent handbook almost ready to go to press. On top of all that, an old friend is ailing. This old friend isn’t the typical type…
I’m speaking of our old tying machine. We bought the machine used in 1980 when we had our own web press for printing the paper. When we liquidated that operation in 1989, we kept the tying machine and it has been a staple on Tuesday’s when it comes time to get the papers to vendors and the Post Office. Even though it was older than I am now, when I bought it, that old friend has never failed us. With the exception of a new cutting blade once in a while, we have done very little to the machine in all those years.
Well, last Tuesday, it had a big hiccup. A small piece fell off in the floor and the remainder of the papers had to be tied by hand. Jeanine’s brother Lee was here and he and I turned that thing every way but loose and have yet to find where that little piece came from. We finally gave up on it and went on with getting the papers to the Post Office.
Wednesday morning I checked ebay. I have found it a great source for obsolete parts and machines. Sure enough I found a couple and they were cheap. Unfortunately these things are real machines made out of medal, not plastic… they weigh a ton. I soon realized that it would cost far more than I wanted to pay to purchase the machine and have it shipped from either California or Florida, where they were located.
I went back to plan B… I called a couple of fellow publishers to see if they had anything spare in their back rooms. The ones that I found were still in use and of course those publishers wanted to keep them. I put a call in to Don Smith at the Press Association and he sent out an email describing my woos.
While I was waiting on that response, I put in a call to Dave Hashman at the Moorefield Examiner. Dave gave me a printing press some years ago that we were still using till early this year when Mike passed away. When I got Dave on the phone he said he had gotten Don’s email and thought he had a spare, or part of one, in an outbuilding. That would be in addition to the two he was still using in his business. He said he would look and see what he had and get back to me. On Monday he called and said he found it. He said the machine looked perty good but was missing a few parts. During the conversation we decided that with my machine and his parts we might be able to get back in business. So, tomorrow, my project is to get out the air hose, blow off some of that dirt and see if I can figure out where that little part came from. In addition, Dave emailed be a parts manual for the machine which will make it much easier to find this needle in a hay stack.
Will return soon...