I've had my Poco about two years. It took a while to sort out some missing bits (the stops) and get it working smoothly. Boy, it sure does love some lubrication on those gears. I wonder what product everyone likes best for that? My husband thinks I should switch from generic grease to his teflon bicycle chain lubricant.
I got a metal plate the thickness of a galley and the full size of the bed so it's now type high. I'm using Yupo as my tympan--it's durable and wipes clean. So far I've printed some book arts kinds of things with metal type and linoleum blocks and that worked pretty well but I realized registration was a big issue. A friend has a proof press and thinks I should just register on the cylinder but my experiments didn't seem to work. Since it prints from both directions I couldn't just rig up a registration device like a Vandercook would have.
I liked Neil Giroux's idea but didn't have the metal working skills to make that and didn't like the business of hanging it from the ceiling. I'm in a warehouse with a VERY high ceiling and I'm 4'11". After some thought, and looking at any other tympan/friskets I could find, I decided it would be good to have it open across the bed. Hinges need to be small and I thought of those piano hinges I saw at Home Depot. I do some bookmaking and have lots of binder board so I attached a piece to the piano hinge which can then be locked up in with the furniture. One minor drawback is that the piano hinge is a little too short but I can hold it at the right height for the hinge and if I tighten the quoins it will stay at the right height. There are two sizes of piano hinge and I used the narrower one. I make the holes with a Japanese hole punch.
The first prototype was without a frisket. I just cut a hole in the binder board where the type or image was and made registration stops on top of the binder board. I'm printing a wedding invitation right now using a boxcar base and polymer and realized the binder board alone wouldn't be a good idea. So I used some heavy mylar as an underlayer and added it to the hinge instead of making another hinge. It worked but it was a little awkward to use-kind of like opening a two page book. I cut out the print areas from the mylar and put register stops on the binder board.
I'm wondering if I can find a better material than the binder board because it's a little too thick. I like the piano hinge because it is very reliable in that is doesn't shift or wiggle. I use very short flat bolts/nuts. They are sold in the hardware store with a sort of matching sleeve and are what you might use on a photo album and I think it was called a "post". It has a very low profile head and I replaced the sleeve part with the thinnest nut I could find.
One thought I've had would be to use a some kind of sheet metal for the tympan frame/frisket frame with the center cut out so that it would not need corner hardware. I actually wondered if a hinge of duct tape would work. I really like those carbon fiber hinges I saw on the blog. Will the epoxy be strong enough to hold the frame together?
I should mention that my poco was sandblasted by the previous owner and used as a display piece.
Well, that quite enough for one post. I posted on Briar Press (Poco stops and other issues) and if you scroll down there are some more photos.