R. Hoe & Company Press at a scrapyard

I came across this R. Hoe & Company press at a scrap yard today. Anyone have any insight on what kind of press it is?

image: rhoepress.jpg


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Looks to be a press for Stereotyping

could it be a mat roller???

I’d agree with the mat roller idea—an essential tool for anybody wanting to stereotype, but super scarce anymore.

to all

Looks like a (flong) matrix stereo-typing machine, but looks a little lightly-constructed to me; but I am not expert enough to suggest any other kind of press. Perhaps it was intended to stereo-type small formes, smaller than two tabloid newspaper pages together; the stereotype-moulding press we had at the morning daily newspaper was very similar, but about “twice-as-heavy” construction.

The broken hand-lever is probably the handle used to start the machine moving. I would suggest tying the broken part to some obvious place on the machine with plastic tape.

Anyone brave enough to suggest how to make matrix flong? One stereotyper said they made their own at one site.

I used the stereo press at newspaper to print about half-a-dozen special invitation cards to a chapel celebration dinner. Avoided smash printing.

Worth preserving this machine at a museum?

Further note, on our machine, some teeth of the rack were broken, The engineer repaired this by screwing bolts into the place where the teeth were broken,then filling to the profile of the teeth with brazing and careful profile work with a file. Very successful over several years.


To all

I have remembered another point.

The motor on the moulding press at the newspaper was a special type, with high starting torque, but limited to being required for not more than a few minutes each time (less than 10 minutes). If the motor is still with it, look for any unusual words on the plate (if still existent) and do not use the motor for any normal kind of service.


Thanks for all the responses. I have no intentions of saving this thing — I have my hands full with Linotypes. Based on where I found it, I think it’s going to be there for quite some time. The motor is missing, but I suspect it could be located somewhere at this scrapyard. It’s quite a museum in some places.

Hello all, first post here!
With regards the above thread. Thought you might be interested in what I recently bought ( from ebay! )
It’s the same R.Hoe model matrix stereo-typing shown in the first post. But thankfully in much better condition.

I had it shipped from CA to me in WA weighed 3300lbs with its custom made crate!
I’m guessing each of its rollers weigh around 600-700lbs each.
I got it as being an ex printmaker who had moved from the UK to the States about 8 years ago finally found the desire to get back into making some etching, engraving.and embossing etc and though it would make a great press for such work ( the machine I was told by the seller that it had been used by various artists for this for quite some time)

Its fully functional and although it has some surface rust has never been (or so I was told) left outside anytime during its lifetime. However I still have the crazy idea of trying somehow to break it down and getting it fully restored to like new condition somehow and then to move it into my basement studio… ha that’ll be fun!
Any suggestions as who in the country may be skilled and able to do such a job or to at least advise me on where to start would be very appriciated.
Anyway hope you enjoy the pic. Philip.

image: R.jpg


It don’t look like it needs to be restored, just a little wiping down and you are ready to go. Putting it in a basement, ouch, I think if I were you i’d park the car in the basement and leave this monster in the garage. Had a friend that made a large square pit out of his bulkhead so he could remove the stairs and lower large machines into his cellar.

I can see why you would like to utilise it for use as an etching press , looks meaty enough for that !
As for the one sitting in the boneyard thats a project for converting to an etching press adding a bedplate to bring the bed up to the clylinder makes for an easy task . it would certainly be stronger than many that are in use purpose built .


The boneyard press is in pretty good condition, definitely restorable to usable condition.

Your press is in good condition, and I wouldn’t bother taking anything apart. Make sure that the worm gear is properly greased, and the press is properly oiled, and get to work!

Now you’ve got me thinking that I should buy the boneyard press, restore it, and sell it. Sounds like a money losing proposition, though.

Thanks for the advice so far. I think I’ll keep it in one piece at least for the time being.
Keelan, what grease and oil would you recommend.
Also any advice on the best way to remove the light coating of surface rust thats ion both the rollers and on underside of the bed and track.

Although most of the press has a far covering of paint ( black) there are numerous ti spots/patches exposed with very light rusting.
What type of paint would be the best and would I need either scrape paint off first or possibly degrease/treat the press frame first before applying new paint.


Regarding the rust: for flat surfaces, go to the hardware store and buy a box of razor blades and a scraper to hold them. Use that to remove the bulk of the rust — you’ll be surprised how well it works. Finish with Scotch Brite pads and either diesel or kerosene. You can get purple Scotch Brite pads that are a bit more aggressive than the green ones; get both.

I wouldn’t worry too much about any rusty metal showing. I see it as the history of the machine showing. I have a Linotype where, in areas of heavy use, the chrome plating was rubbed off. To me, it tells a story. If you’re worried about the loose rust powder, hit it with a Scotch Brite pad.

Now, you’ll have a machine with all these exposed cast iron surfaces that love to rust. Get some paste wax (Minwax is what I use). Apply it to any surfaces that won’t be oiled or greased (probably the roller and bed). Smear it on, let it sit for a bit and rub it off. It’s amazing what it will do to prevent ‘surface’ rust. You’ll need to re-apply periodically depending on use (every few months or so).

Grease: just about any grease will work. Green, red, blue. Oil: 20 or 30 weight is a good generic starting point. I like ISO 68 hydraulic fluid, because it’s easier to find, and it is basically 20 weight oil. Also, buy an oil can.

Thanks Keelan! great reply and very helpful.
All I’ve done so far was to rub the top roller with a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar. which took some of the surface rust off.
I’ll try the blade/scraper on the bed and bottom roller and then attack all with the Scotch Brite.

I do like/understand your idea of keeping painted finish as is and just use minwax to preserve it. Its what I expect I’ll end up doing.
It makes more sense especially if I don’t take it apart

Although part of me still likes the idea of dissasembleing it to enable me to move it piece by piece into either the basement or a spare bedroom/ art workroom sometime it in the future, and only then to try and get it back into the condition of when it was manufactured.

We’ll see… the important thing of course is to just start using it to produce some prints!.
Thanks again Philip.

Hmm, my comment didn’t show up the first time. I will try again.
I am putting one of these together today. I spent the time cleaning it up and removing some rust from it. Should be done today. More photos to come when it’s completed.

image: rhoe.jpg


It is now up and running.

image: 13914127_10209771886951020_2767017835475633713_o.jpg