re: Pearl Press restoration

Need information regarding how to attach motor and fix it so that you can have a variable speed. Restoring Pearl Press 1900 circa.

image: pearpress4.jpg


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I’m also in the process of restoring a Pearl.
I just recently had someone attach a motor to it for me. I could take pictures or ask them for instructions if that would help.

Yes, that would be great. Pictures and/or instructions would be extremely helpful. Thanks thatwheel. My budget is limited as I am restoring this for school.

I have a picture of the motor that came with my press somewhere near the bottom of this page: You can see in the photo that it has a little wheel on the side. We built up a stand to get it right up against the flywheel. I’ll take some pictures this weekend of our setup.

Thank you so much for your help. I have sent out the rollers to be redone. A couple of my students have done a great job cleaning it up. We seem to have uncovered some pin striping under the black paint. I would like to completely restore to the original color. Installing a motor seems to be the biggest task I am facing. I will look forward to your pictures.

Thanks, graphics teacher

I would run it with the foot treadle for safety reasons since you can stop it by just pressing down on the treadle. It’s an easy press to treadle.

The best variable speed motor arrangement, in my opinion, is a VFD. That is how modern equipment is designed that requires variable speed. It’s also “greener”. You can run on single phase (regular household) power - 110V or 220V or three phase if available.

The Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is just a little (electronic) box. It has a dial that sets the speed (actually it varies the frequency, which is normally 60Hz.). You can also attach a “STOP” button for panic stops and you can regulate just how quickly you want the VFD to stop the motor/press. You can stop it in say 20 motor rev’s for example or even less, but that might cause the Pearl flywheel to become traumatized! :( You could make the Pearl run almost slower than you can turn the flywheel by hand or you could cause the flywheel to run so quickly that it might explode from centrifugal force. You set high and low limits for motor rpm (an extra safe idea in a school environment). Then lock the box to keep pranksters from causing problems.

You can buy VFD units on eBay, but ultimately you will need someone with professional experience to install it on your press. There are instructions, but they are arcane. You do have to make sure the unit is properly grounded and protected inside a metal box with adequate ventilation.

I bought my unit from Dealers Industrial Plan on spending about $250 for the VFD and a motor. You will probably spend less. Make sure you get a pro to do the install or the VFD might emit “magic smoke” once and final or you could wire in a shock hazard.

There are other postings on Briar about VFDs.