Disposing or Selling Letterpress Equipment

Help get­ting rid of let­ter­press equipment

You might have vis­ited this site look­ing for help to get rid of let­ter­press equip­ment. You’ll find that there are people always start­ing let­ter­press and so a steady stream of poten­tial recip­i­ents for what you have. If you encounter a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem, or would like more spe­cific help in dis­pos­ing of type and equip­ment, feel free to con­tact me

Tak­ing Stock

The first step is to estab­lish what you have. You might have a press, type and some oth­er bits and pieces. It would be wise to make a note of everything and decide what you want to keep, what you want to pass on what you want to throw away.  Print­ers will always want to know what’s on the front of your type cases.

A Strategy

You’ll need to decide how you will dis­pose and what you want from it. On the ques­tion of ‘how’, you need to decide wheth­er to dis­pose in one lump — get rid of everything at once — or if you can afford the time and space to allow people to be selective.

The biggest ques­tion is ‘what do I want from this?, and this falls in to some groups –

  • I want to make money: you should look to list your equip­ment on the web, on a site like eBay or Bri­ar­Press. This will attract the biggest audi­ence and drive prices up
  • I want it to be used by someone start­ing let­ter­press: I’d sug­gest con­tact­ing one of the organ­isa­tions allied to print­ing and its pre­ser­va­tion to get the word-of-mouth contacts
  • I want it to be pre­served: unfor­tu­nat­ley print­ing equip­ment is not a fash­ion­able arte­fact for many museums and few will accept it. Start with your loc­al Council’s museum service

Execut­ing the Strategy

Regard­less of the path you take, there are key things any­one will want to know about what you have –

  • What’s included?
  • How much room does it take up?
  • If type is avail­able, the faces and sizes (nor­mally shown on the front of the type case)
  • How access­ible the things are (is it in a damp shed at the end of a dirt track; or in an awk­ward doorway?)
  • If a press is involved be pre­pared to give an estim­ate of weight and the con­di­tion of the rollers