It’s been a long ambition to make paper. In my early twenties I took up bookbinding and ended up working for Don Guyot at Colophon Book Arts Supply in Olympia, Washington. As part of my job, I was able to attend the Paper Book Intensive a couple of times, helping to run the small store and taking amazing workshops with some of the finest teachers in the country. I took classes in hand lettering, box making, paper marbling, alternative book structures, paper decoration and more. It was at the Paper Book Intensive that I was exposed for the first time to hand papermaking. I remember thinking… “I’m going to come back to this.” And I have.
In the last few weeks my partner and I have acquired a Hollander beater (A 1.5 pound Voith-Allis Valley type beater) and have undertaken to restore it. It has been living outside for some time and was in such a condition I almost passed on it. But it looked sound in spite of some rust and dirt. And I had looked for so long for a beater and this one needed some serious and dedicated love. I felt up to the task, especially with Terry’s help. There is no better help than his. He can do anything. And he has been enormously generous with his time and skills.
Down in Waldport, Oregon we slid the hollander into the car on some wooden rails. Heavier than we thought. Not sure why I didn’t trust a document I found online that listed the ship weight. “Naw,” I thought. “It can’t be THAT heavy.” It was.
It was so heavy that there was no way we were going to slide it back out, so we rented a “cherry picker.” The PERFECT thing. Now I want one.
Hanging in mid-air. No biggie.
My parter Terry posing for scale. It’s not that big, really. But it’s CAST IRON.
This shows how degraded… the diaphragm is totally destroyed, and quite a bit of rust.
All the removable parts set aside for de-rusting and TLC. Huge stroke of luck: the grinding-in bracket was with the machine, even though it hadn’t been used by the previous owner. The stand he had built won’t accommodate it.
The weights all cleaned up and ready for some paint.
A bit of primer over the areas treated for rust.
Brand-spanking new diaphragm I cut from a sheet of 1/16″ live rubber from an online industrial supply company. I bought steel punches from Harbor Freight to punch the holes.
I wish I could start my life over again so that I could have owned one of these handy mechanic’s trays earlier in my life.
The old diaphragm was luckily preserved by the previous owner. The one he made was inner tube material, which didn’t last very long, I understand.
Our second trip to Oregon was to pick up the stand.
This time we spent the night on the Oregon Coast so that we didn’t have to do all ten hours’ driving in one day. SMART.
This old carbon paper will be used to test the fit of the bed knife to the beater roll.
A little recreational reading. Great book so far.
The beater stand was in fact quite a beater.
After careful cleaning, the beginnings of a primer coat.
Now upside down, the painting begins in earnest.
New casters and new paint. It looks SO different.
Terry has mad Skilz.
Before the wood has been treated with spar urethane.
The old top used to start the pattern for the new top.
Creating a pattern for the hole that must be cut in the top for the beater.