Hello, does anyone here share your shop—maybe rent your space and equipment to another printer part-time? What kinds of things should I be thinking about, in contemplating a share situation? I am most concerned about my presses and type not getting wrecked.

I had to move my shoppe out of my home to a rented space this year. I don’t make any money as a printer (it’s a hobby only), so I’d love to share the cost…but I am quite protective of my gear—I went into a lot of barns, garages, and basements to find it all!

Advice? Many thanks.

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Ask your insurance agent about liability and letting others use your equipment.


The problems arise when the other person doesn’t clean the type or put it back as you would, doesn’t clean the rollers and press as you would, put the lids back on the tins as you would, keeps a job locked up that has the font you want to use, leaves the oil can somewhere that you can’t find, mixes up cleaning rags with oiling rags with ink rags, leaves prints to dry where you want to work and get accused of all of the above by your sharer. Best of luck.

What are you going to do, if the person brakes your equipment and walks out without paying for the damage?
Who pays for the medical issue that comes up if the person gets hurt.

That would put the breaks on that idea. For medical get insurance or have the person show proof they are currently insured. Most letterpress shops have some equipment that only the owner can legally operate.

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I would suggest making a requirement that the person sharing your shop purchase and provide you proof of personal liability and injury insurance covering whatever might happen to them in the shop, and also purchase and verify to you an insurance policy providing for repair to your satisfaction of any damage to any of your equipment in the shop. Those two requirements should cover your bases and perhaps make whoever wishes to share the shop aware of their responsibilities.


All good considerations…thank you.

I might just be too paranoid for this to ever work.

You could get some in who you believe has the potential but charge them for professional training to bring them up to standard required?

Forget the sharing. Just sell a bit of printing to offset your cost. Then you have a business and the tax breaks that come with it to put against any other income.

Another approach, if there is enough room, is to split the cost by sharing with a printer who also needs a place for equipment. If you two have complementary machines, so much the better.

I am going to put this idea on hold while I contemplate why I have so many trust issues. :-D Thank you all again for the good thoughts.

I have my own well-equipped print shop but I also work in a shared space which is used by many others. The latter can be something of a nightmare. People don’t generally tidy things up as they should. They put 16 on 18 type into 18 on 18 (same face) cases and generally mess things up. Would I share my shop? No!

Sharing a business location is like living with your ex-lover. Something bad is going to happen in the near future!

I would say the best way to go about it is to find someone who is MORE competent, and MORE responsible than you are, and invite THEM to share your shop.
But good luck with that!!!