Golding Pearl Improved #11

I’ve recently acquired a Golding Pearl #11 and made a couple of small prints on it successfully. However the last print I made had several thin letterforms that would not show up very well. So I added more packing behind my paper and eventually got the result I was looking for.

The problem is that at one point, I noticed that the throw off bar dis-engaged as it made contact with the lock up, almost as if I had overpacked it. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but after trying to print again tonight it seems that I either have to remove almost all the packing - resulting in a poor print, or I have to hold the throw off bar in place so that the platen doesn’t disengage when it makes contact with the lock up.

Is it possible that I’ve damaged something in my press? I hope all that made sense. Thanks for any help

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Hi Andy,

Not likely you damaged the press from your description, but, you could be close to catastrophy! I think it very ill-advised to continue to try to print by holding the throw off lever until you get to the bottom of the problem. It is possible the throw off lever is not adjusted correctly, and it is also possible you are putting too much packing on the press and in danger of causing some permanent damage. You can break a casting by asking the press to apply too much pressure. If a “portion” of what you are attempting to print is not printing it is not appropriate to just add more overall packing. Have you adjusted the platen for even impression? Is what you are printing actually type high? This does not have to be all guesswork. Both proper roller pressure for good inking and even impression can be achieved before trying to print the desired form. Do you have a roller gauge? For adjusting impression you can lock up a large piece of type in the corners and attain even impression with a normal amount of packing on the press. It sounds like you are asking the press for a lot of impression and the press is trying to tell you to stop “I don’t do deep impression”


Looking at your presses i believe you don’t use ink!!

Listen hear DickG. I do so have ink. Somewhere. I just haven’t seen it in awhile. You do know if you put ink on these presses they get dirty and you have to clean them. You also get your hands dirty. Yuk! They don’t shine and look all pretty with all that black gook on them you know. I use carnuba wax and a buffer on the black cast iron parts, furniture polish on the wood, and tire black on the rubber. I then oil all the proper parts and grease the gears and use a blow dryer to get the grease into areas I can’t get at. Clear nail polish works good on screws that you don’t want to rust. I turn the heat up to 72 degrees in the shop and pose them to take pictures to post on the web. I do this for all nine of my presses regularly. One of these days I will find that little can of ink and try printing again. It’s only been about 30 years so don’t give me a hard time.


PS I also clean other peoples presses, but, I am overwhelmed by your shop so don’t ask.

Thanks for the reply John. I will stop printing asap! I did take concern to not force the press through it’s motion, but realize now that there could be permanent implications from doing so. I think it’s worth my time to properly adjust the platen with appropriate backing - I have not done so yet, and will also check the rollers. I do not have a roller gauge, but should have a friend that I can borrow one from. I’m going to say that - without checking of course, what I was printing last night was indeed type high. I’m not vastly experienced here, but it took very little pressure for the platen to disengage so to me it feels like the problem is deeper than just the platen or rollers being off. It came to the point where I either got a very light print, almost no coverage overall, or as said in the first post, had to work through it by holding the throw off bar. Anyway, I’m jumping to conclusions, I’ll start by your suggestions and take it from there. I assume if the issue is deeper, I will need to get some expert help to identify the problem and fix it?

Of course we’ll help. First, the rollers have nothing to do with the problem of the throw off or impression. I was just pointing out you should set the press up to print properly which includes making sure the rollers are the correct distance away from the form which can greatly impact the finished product. This distance which affects pressure on the form should be changed for different things you print. Forms with heavy solids and large amount of type high areas need more pressure than small forms and small text.

The throw off lever can have impact on the impression and vice versa. One thing you can also observe is when you move the throw off back and forth does the mechanism it moves and is attached to on the bottom rear corner of the body of the press move from stop to stop? That mechanism has two bolts that act as stops. They both should hit the solid projection which is part of the press body. One bolt hits when the you move the throw off forward, and the other hits when you move the throw off back. It’s these bolts that can be turned in or out which makes adjustment to the throw off levers action and could be in need of adjustment. A spring attached to the throw off lever itself helps keep it forward or back. Is that also there? If everything appears as I described I would clamp up type in the corners of the chase, put fresh normal packing on the press. (One piece of press board under the tympan and three pieces of ordinary paper under the press board. Put a piece of whatever paper you normally print on the press and adjust the platen bolts until you get an even light impression of all the type you clamped up on the paper. (throw off lever on) If it still will not stay even with light or no impression showing on the paper I would double check the spring is present, and tighten the throw off adjustment bolts so they allow the lever to move more when pushing and pulling the lever. (Especially the bolt that allows more travel when you push the throw off) Let us know how you make out.


I can tell you that I’m missing the spring you mentioned and the stop screw that would make the contact when the press is engaged. Stupid question, but how crucial is that? also makes me wander what else I’m missing…

I was just downstairs moving the flywheel and it’s weird to me, the throw off bar seems to move around a lot, even in part of the cycle where the platen is moving towards the press but before it makes contact. (maybe this is because I’m missing the spring) I also took out most of the packing I had in it - leaving only two sheets of bristol and put a lockup back into the press - just to run it without ink, and sometimes the platen would make full contact just fine and other times it would disengage itself. Couldn’t find a pattern, it seemed random.

I’m going to re-pack over the weekend as you suggested and make a lock up to test the overall positioning of the platen. Start from square one I suppose and let you all know how it goes.

It sounds like you have a mechanical problem and are missing important parts to the throw off. I don’t think it makes sense trying to adjust the platen with it in this state. That should be done after correcting the problems with the throw off. You need to determine what you are missing and replace those parts and then adjust it. I will take pictures to show you what it should look like and you tell me what you are missing or send pictures of the same areas on your press so I can determine what is missing or incorrect. I may have the parts and can also send you Goldings directions for adjusting the throw off once the missing parts are installed.



Here are the pics showing what the throw off stops and spring should look like.


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image: throwoffspring.jpg


John, as soon as I saw that spring photo, a couple of realizations came to mind. First, I have that spring, but not in that location. When I got the press, it was on the opposite side, attached to the mechanism that controlled the two flat arms that help to pull the paper off the lock up. Only problem was that it didn’t work there, the spring action didn’t make sense. So I just took off that whole assembly thinking I’d figure it out down the road. So when I saw that spring I thought that must be it, and maybe the past owner just had it in the wrong place.

I was missing the bolt to hold the spring to the press, but happened to found one in my garage to suffice for the time being. So I was able to attach the spring just now. It seemed to solve the issue, the throw off doesn’t move anymore and I even put a lock up in and tried it with a little paper and it didn’t pop-off like it was before. So I might be out of the woods, but a true test will tell. I am missing the one stop screw as you described and am guessing I might still be in need of adjusting those. I’ll attach a couple of pics (before I reattached the spring). The spring I have is a little bent up, I think it was stretched beyond it’s capacity in that other location, but it seemed to still function ok.

In another question, the press is quite dirty, and I’m sure in need of a good lubrication. Is there a process or any directions out there I can get my hands on to do that properly?

Thanks again for your help so far.

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That’s pretty funny they had that spring trying to work the grippers. The proper spring is an ordinary extension type. It sounds as if you could use a picture of how that should look as well. Let me know.

Fortunately, the missing adjusting bolt is for adjusting the throw off “off” position, rather than the on position, and it’s easy to install another. Hopefully, replacing the spring has solved the problem, and the platen can be adjusted properly now. I will post Goldings instructions for adjusting the throw off as soon as I can.

A gentle cleaning can be accomplished with kerosene. A more aggressive one can be launched with the purple degreaser cleaner found at auto parts and hardware stores. Be careful if you use that. Wear gloves and watch how far you clean with it. It does have the power to remove everything including the paint and pin stripping if rubbed too hard and long or soaked.



I missed the question on lubrication. There have been many discussions here on what to use on a press. You can search and read and determine what makes sense for you. Any oil is better than none, but, I believe these machines were designed to run on frequent applications of light oil. An old dirty press may need some initial special attention. Clean out dirty oil holes with a drill bit close in size to each oil hole. Twisting it has the action of pulling the dirt out. Fill all oil holes with oil and apply ample amounts to other parts that move. Cycle the press, and refill the holes several times. You may see evidence of the oil flushing out at the location the oil hole is servicing. I use what they used originally which is machine oil, but, many use ordinary motor oil. Hope this helps.


thanks again for your advice. I do have some pictures of the gripper assembly so I think I’m good to go there.