Replacement roller springs?

I have a Pearl press that needs new roller springs. Does anyone have suggestions for where to get these or what kinds of springs I could substitute?

I have attached photos of the press.
Many thanks for your help.

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The discussion does not seem to be up loading my images. Sorry about that.

what model do you have

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A really with it engineers tool selling outfit may well have something useable, and I have found such in the past (for other presses.) in such shops.

Many thanks for your suggestions so far.

Here are the photos of the press and the roller springs. I don’t know exactly what Pearl it is - made by a company in Boston. I attached a full photo of the press if that helps.

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very nice.

One of the best places to purchase replacement springs is McMaster Carr. They sell in long length and you cut them to suit. You need to use a micrometer to measure the thickness of the wire, the inside diameter, and the outside diameter and find the closest to those dimensions. You will not find what you need at a hardware store.


Additionally, there should not be any little springs at the ends of the roller hooks as seen in your photo. Only the long spring that sits between the two hook supports. Looking carefully at your photo, I am not sure your long springs are correct and can be used to measure for purchasing new. They look like they are already compressed too much and may have been replaced by someone who didn’t match the originals very well. If I were you, I would have someone else who owns this model and has original springs measure theirs for you.



I do see the odd small spring on top hook hitting the arm bolt. they were most likely added to increase spring pressure. I just got similar early one to fix it even has the same paint and that is what is causing problem. someone put a gallon of house paint on top of 130 years of ink, paper dust and dry grease. nothing is moving good. I think you are having the same issues, I think a disassembly strip and brass wire wheel off everything is going to be needed even with proper springs.

I see what is going on you have original Pearl hooks and improved Pearl press. my test show you will not have needed hook travel to use a rear threaded lock hooks like that.
improved hooks have a pin to hold spring about 3/4 of way up on hook as seen in earlier arm photo. you will need to ad stop pins then match up a spring.
the bigger spring in center of your roller hooks is not doing anything set up like that, you could slide hook out and that spring will not move.

well, i dont think this is a improved pearl. it looks like my pearl no.3 maybe you post the size of the chase (inside) and look for the serial number. you will find it on top of the press bed in the center near the latch that holds the chase.
my pearl has a little different roller holder. i will give you the sizes of my springs inside outside and size of wire in a few days when i have access to my press. meanwhile i will post pictures before and after restauration of the press.
i know john falstrom has a no 3 as well. maybe if you ask him nicely he will also meassure the springs. its a bit of a work to take them off. but it would be better having 2 sizes to compare.

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This press is an ordinary Pearl no. 1 (5 x 8) old style(with a jury rigged gripper actuator). There should be a pin in the hooks in between the two hook supports that is closer to the back support. They may be missing on this press. The photo is not good enough to see. I still maintain that the large springs look too compressed even without the rollers on, so they may not be original. It does look like they are just a bit too long and could be trimmed to correct the issue. The small springs/washers/cotter pins were added and should be removed. With the correct compression springs, and pins installed it will work as intended. I do not have a Pearl no. 1 in my collection at the moment so I cannot measure a spring. Here is a link to my restoration of a Pearl no. 1 Take a look at the picture showing these springs. The pin that holds the spring is visible. The spacing between the spring coils can be compared to the press in question. I would trim small amounts off (1/2”) at a time and reinstall to compare. Use a wire brush or wheel to clean up the old springs. You will be amazed at how well they will clean up.

thank you john.

I have spent years trying to ID the different pearls, I see why no one makes after market roller for them. this is 5x8 original Pearl I just restored, see arm and hook set up. the earlier arm photo I put up was a 11 improved. the golding name and 1882 is on the side of press is its just a earlier one.
it did have the same looking paint as that one, it took over a gallon of stripper and 4 hr. of power washing to remove all that paint plus complete disassembly and repaint.

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toddspresstime, You do great things for the letterpress community. We are indebted to you for supplying much needed parts. I just wanted to be sure Emma was not getting confused and knew her press was in fact an ordinary Pearl no 1. Golding Pearl roller arm design did change on the Pearls. There is an early and late design. Hers is a later model of old style Pearl. Early models had a different design roller arm. This also was the case for the Pearl No 3. Here is a link to a comparison I did on the no. 3. There were many design changes to many parts. I have often warned people about the lack of interchangeability of parts on all the Golding models.
Happy New Year.

Many thanks, again, to all of you for your suggestions. John, yes, this is a Pearl no. 1, 5x8, serial no. 1219.
It does, in fact, have the pins for the springs, though on some of the roller arms someone has added cloth around them to make the space for the springs shorter (I will post photos later). Is it necessary to get the pins out to clean the springs? If so, any suggestions for how to do this?
toddpresstime, your restored Pearl looks beautiful. Macernst, thanks for offering to look at spring sizes though it sounds as though I may not need new springs after all.
Happy 2020.

Emma, Yes, you should remove the pins and slide the hooks out of the roller arm so that you have the springs free. It’s much easier to clean them that way. When you have all four springs off it might be good to compare their lengths. Sometimes they are not all there. Other times slightly shorter springs may be stretched back into original length. If they really don’t match each other it may be new spring time and you should go back to trying to get the dimensions I mentioned earlier. Happy New Year to you as well.

Emma, Pearl no. 1, s/n 1219 was one of the twenty five presses finished on March 17,1890

Wonderful, thanks for all the help. I’ve posted the (not great) photo of the pins and springs.
I’ll have to have a 130th party for the press come March.

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