Heat in the Shop and Barkeeper’s Friend

Just a couple of quick questions if you don’t mind sharing some knowledge/experience:

I moved my Asbern proof press (seen below without steel oscillating drum and distribution rollers) into the garage and got to thinking about the heat in there.

I imagine in the summer months it gets up around 100 degrees (although probably averages 85-90), and down to the 30s in the winter months. Would you recommend any precautions at those temps? Investing in climate control or just storing the rollers inside?

Second question is, I’d like to give the press a good cleaning now that it’s in it’s final resting place. It’s in good shape overall, not really any significant rust, but all the metal is a bit dull.

I plan to refinish the wood feed table and polish the brass guide, but was considering shining up the bed with some Barkeeper’s Friend. Is anyone familiar with the product and do you think it would be safe in this case? I use it on the sink, pots and pans (stainless steel and copper) and it does wonders- but haven’t ever tried it on a press. Mainly just wondering if something like that (similar to Ajax) would be any risk to the press bed.

Than you in advance for the advice!

image: asbern-adr1.jpg


Log in to reply   5 replies so far

Any equipment you store in an unheated space will develop rust in a short time,rollers, inks and paper will give you a lot of trouble if not kept warm, my shop is in a garage, i keep the heat at 60 degrees in the winter and bring the temp up to 70 or so when i’m working (almost always). For cleaning the bare metal i use fine steel wool, then a car wax, or bowling alley wax will help to keep it from rusting. Good Luck Dick G.

You could use some abrasive for cleaning, but don’t mix with water, rather mix it in light oil and mineral spirits. Make certain you don’t get any of the cleaner in any of the bearings or oil holes.

You might be best off taking Dick’s advice and use steel wool. Use it with the oil/mineral spirits mix and you’ll be able to get the bed and cylinder back in shape. A brass bristle brush works well for cleaning out “gunk” from gears and racks.

If the press is in an unheated area do leave a film of oil or wax on exposed, unpainted surfaces.

John Henry

Cold alone does not incubate rust. The issue is humidity. In a humid climate the cast iron has an affinity for moisture when either hot or cold.
I am fortunate and live in a part of California with very low humidity.
Ink does not like cold weather. The ink, press and form will all be happier at 60 degrees or better.
One lady recently reported problems printing in very hot weather. I have not had problems to 90.

You guys are great, thank you for the help. We don’t have to deal much with humidity here, but I’ll be sure to get a heater for the winter and some good ventilation for the summertime.

Sound like steel wool and some mineral spirits/oil will be the thing to use, and the bristle brush is a great idea.

Dick- anything you do to keep dust and dirt out of the garage? I’m thinking of installing some rubber around the sides and top of the garage door to get a tighter fit. I’ve noticed a lot of debris getting in despite the already snug clearance between pieces. I may even consider building a wall to enclose the shop part of the garage a little better.

Thanks again!

I tried painting the floor, but after moving my shop around quite a bit most of the paint is gone now. I live at the end of a long dirt road, we have baby chickens every spring on our shipping bench, once in a while they break out, once i entered the garage to find a bunch of chicks roosting all over my kluge, dust i don’t worry about, i have to vaccuum a lot to keep the dust down. I did remove the garage door and replace it with a unit that has 2 doors so its plenty wide enough to move things in and out, one door stays shut until something big has to come thru, most equipment will fit with ease. Dick G.