Big Jump Press

Equipment Anxiety leads to Equipment Victory


This is what I have observed about enormous, heavy equipment: It never comes when you are ready for it. When the opportunity to buy this cast iron beast arrived, I committed to buying it without any idea of where it would go. So began two weeks of lying awake at night wondering how I could possibly afford to rent yet another garage. I didn’t know if it would break into easy pieces, if it would be too heavy to get into our flat, if storing it would eventually bankrupt me. But I knew that I’d wanted a board shear since 2005 and that I could have this one for £175. Oh, and that it was in Wales.


After two weeks of anxiety followed by the most beatiful drive in the universe and a night in Aberystwyth, we arrived. And guess what? That beauty broke into pieces like 19th century cast iron flatpack. All of my storage anxiety. . . *gone.*


And then, a miracle. As we were loading it into the van with the lovely guy who was selling it to me, he casually remarked that he was also looking to find a home for some type.

“Oh?” said I. “What type?”

Sometimes you go to Wales for a board shear and you leave with a board shear and six cases of type. And not just any type, mind you. A complete set of roman and italic 14 point Ehrhardt and 12 on 14  Baskerville, including these impossible to find glyphs:


And that’s only the beginning. Another post to come on all of this type, but for now these cases are wrapped in plastic while I try to decimate a woodworm population. Current storage situation: Board shear in pieces in garage next to Ben’s 1966 Daimler and my Western/Vandercook 4c. Type: soon to be relocated to under bed. But someday all of these forces (with the possible exception of the Daimler) will unite and I will finally have a type shop, a studio, a bindery, all in one heavenly place. But where?

I leave on Tuesday for the USA for six weeks of teaching and wearing flip flops. America!

9 comments on “Equipment Anxiety leads to Equipment Victory

  1. Glenn House Sr.
    July 18, 2014

    Congratulations on everything… includind that amazingly beautiful BASKERVILLE. And be reminded, you can store any of that neat stuff in Gordo.

  2. Glenn House Sr.
    July 18, 2014


  3. Metal and Thread
    July 19, 2014

    what a sweet piece of luck scoring the type…if you ever fancy starting your business in asheville,n.c…i own the cotton mill studios in the river arts district,and we’re aching to get a type-master in here…!

    • Big Jump Press
      July 21, 2014

      Hey I wish I was closer! I would love to be the type-master of Asheville. I’ll be in Asheville next month, actually, visiting friends, perhaps I will swing by the cotton mill studios!

      • Metal and Thread
        July 21, 2014

        fab–!!!!–we are open from 11am to 4pm from wednesday through saturday…our ph. # is 718.414.9651……can’t wait to meet…!

    • Big Jump Press
      September 1, 2014

      Hi Denise! I am so sorry that I couldn’t get to you! My plans shifted and I was only in Asheville for the sum total of thirty minutes! So we will have to postpone our meeting for a little while. I head back to England tomorrow after six solid weeks of teaching and traveling. Thanks so much for the invitation to stop by, and I am sorry it didn’t work out!

  4. sappling
    October 7, 2014

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I long for a board shear. I have a Ideal Kutrimmer, and it’s a fantastic piece of German engineering, but there’s nothing like an old cast iron board shear. And the type! And you paid how much?! Oi, to be so lucky.

    • Big Jump Press
      October 11, 2014

      Hi Sarah! Yes I am the luckiest!! I’ve been relying on my kutrimmers for years now and craving a board shear. But we don’t have space for it yet, so it is sitting in a rented garage, waiting for its moment. I hope it comes soon, it feels crazy to own it but not be able to use it!

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2014 by in Bookbinding, type and tagged , , .
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