Letterpress List No. 26: Spacing Out

When the final board had been torn from the wall, the final nail pulled, the last bit of Sheetrock scrapped and all that remained was a bare corner of the Typecast Press studio, Shop Boy stood back a moment and shook his head in wonder.

They just don’t build them like that anymore.

I’m talking about the closet we tore down this weekend, but could just as easily be complimenting Tom Beal, Typecast Press’ ace in the hole. (Mary’s got a few up her sleeve, folks. Believe it.) Anyway, we’ve talked up Tom before. Mary’s lumberjack of a brother-in-law parachutes into Baltimore every now and again with her sister Melissa to help with big jobs and fix the unfixable — machines that Shop Boy has begged Mary not to buy. So, sure, he’s made me look like a namby-pamby wimp at times. But who hasn’t, right?

Well, by the time he’d gone home, Typecast Press had a fully functional hydraulic paper cutter, a functional Miehle vertical printing press (“fully” once we get rollers) and floor space for a Heidelberg windmill press, the next big unit that Shop Boy asked Mary to step away from.

To make room, a storage closet had to come down. And it did, grudgingly and loudly coaxed toward oblivion with a wrecking bar — $10 worth of coercion — a hammer and maybe a wrench or two. Built to last, the closet was. The reinforcements were reinforced. But by Saturday afternoon, there was Tom, the king of schmunder (as he calls spackling or joint compound), erasing any remaining evidence of the closet. A coat of paint and you truly will never know it was there.

Not that Shop Boy should be too surprised. Tom built his own house in New Hampshire, makes machines that don’t speak the same language work together seamlessly and is now prepping for a journey to Ghana on a mission to spread the craft of creating chevron beads. Once he gets out of traction, that is.

How do you say “thank you” in Ghanaian? Whatever it is, Shop Boy, as usual, can’t say it enough. Bon voyage, bud.

***

Letterpress List No. 26

OK, how about an hour’s worth of music to push, pull, prod, yank, slam — or simply clean up — by. Most of these tunes should be available at the usual places. Oh, and if you haven’t had enough of Shop Boy, check out his new blog, Unattended Items.

Dust in the WindKansas (Mary made us mummify the entire studio before the first hammer swung.)
Crawling From the WreckageDave Edmunds (Just because.)
Can’t Touch This — MC Hammer (Nice work pants.)
Let the Bodies Hit the FloorDrowning Pool (For Tom, listening mostly while upside-down beneath some machine or other.)
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap AC/DC (Ha-ha!)
Working for the Weekend — Loverboy (Vacation, Typecast Press style.)
Iron Fist Motorhead (Punching through.)
Monkey WrenchFoo Fighters (Finesse is for wimps.)
Feuer Frie!Rammstein (Bang, bang.)
Between the Hammer and the Anvil Judas Priest (Speaking of closets …)
Goliaththe Mars Volta (Just … weird.)
VicariousTool (And this band knows weird.)
RumpshakerWreckx-N-Effect (For Mary. Couldn’t stop myself.)
Closet ChroniclesKansas (Destiny is done.)
HeroFoo Fighters (There he goes again.)

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