Taking an Arab Apart

A step-by-step account of dis­mant­ling an Arab press

This is an account of dis­mant­ling a Crown Folio Arab Platen. The machine is early (Seri­al Num­ber 1086 c. 1892) but has had a num­ber of safety fea­tures fit­ted. The guide below shows the major steps and will be added to. There’s a spe­cial sec­tion at the foot of this page about the brak­ing system.

The main body of the Machine

The start­ing point: a com­plete Arab

Arab: complete machine with spare "Arab Wheel" shown
Arab: com­plete machine with spare “Arab Wheel” shown

Ink­ing Disk Removed (remem­ber to replace the bolt underneath).

Arab: Inking Disc Removed
Arab: Ink­ing Disc Removed

Feed board removed

Arab: feed boards removed
Arab: feed boards removed

One of the ink­ing arms removed. Remem­ber that they are under the pres­sure of a spring so you have to keep hold of the arm as you release. In pre­par­a­tion for this you should have removed the rollers and stocks; and also removed the met­al bar which links left and right roller arms: keep this safe!

Arab: inking arms removed
Arab: ink­ing arms removed

Over-arch­ing guard removed by unbolt­ing one site of the guard bars (not pictured)

There are two strong springs which force the front platen towards to back platen. These need to be un-hooked while the front platen is almost ver­tic­al. The two col­lars and hooks on the platen site need to be loosened so that the bar can be slid out later on.

Arab: Platen Springs Removed (looking from front to back under the machine)
Arab: Platen Springs Removed (look­ing from front to back under the machine)

The two bolts on the left of the front platen must be removed so that the front platen is held only on the sup­port­ing bar. Remove the sup­port­ing bar and lift the front platen out. This is fairly del­ic­ate as it will still con­tain the frisket motion.

Arab: front platen removed
Arab: front platen removed

The Arab wheel can now be slid from left to right and removed from the machine

Arab wheel removed
Arab wheel removed

The ‘rock horse’ is now removed. This is the U‑shaped met­al cast­ing which forces the front platen upwards. This rests in two slots is the frame covered by two semi-cir­cu­lar cast­ings bolted down.

Arab: rock horse removed
Arab: rock horse removed

The back platen is now removed as a single large unit: includ­ing the platen and the sup­port­ing cast­ing. This is very heavy but will save trouble because the back platen will not have to be re-adjus­ted. The eccent­ric is also removed: this is the rod which holds the impres­sion lever.

Arab: back platen removed
Arab: back platen removed

The braking system

Side view of the brak­ing system

Arab: braking system from side
Arab: brak­ing sys­tem from side

Top view of the brak­ing system

Arab: top of braking system
Arab: top of brak­ing system