Asbern AD-1 restoration

I’ve got a 1964 Asbern AD-1 cylinder proof press that’s seen better days. It’s minimally functional (hand-inking, bed’s in need of some love…) and we’d like it to be fully functional.

Some of its issues include:
- Broken thread on the oscillating roller
- Drive chain needs to be replaced
- Pedal cable needs replacement (again)
- Bed needs resurfacing/replacement
- Rollers need resurfacing
- Nut/knob on the adjustable impression deal is gone gone gone
- Generally grimy in places I’ve never been able to get to
- Form rollers (polyurethane) reverted to goo and coated the press about a year before we acquired it
- Etc.

It’s a beautiful machine and seems like it’ll last forever and print forever, even in its current state, but we want it fixed. A restoration would be amazing, but we’re concerned mostly with function, so we’re looking mostly toward repair. The press lives in Tucson, AZ and we’re wondering if anyone knows of anybody in our area who knows about this sort of thing, who could tell us what’s needed, how much it’d cost, all that.


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I will be teaching my Vandercook Maintenance workshop at the University of Arizona in Tucson on Sept 29-30. Much of the information is applicable to other brands like Asbern, Challenge, Reprex. To sign up contact Karen Zimmermann kzim[at] I’ll be there for several days. Send me an email if you want to schedule a consult time in your shop.