Equipment we have and use at the Excelsior Press

Hamilton Type Cabinet - before
Hamilton Wooden
Type Cabinet and Cases
Manufactured by Hamilton Cabinet Company, Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
An Industrial Cabinet with Furniture-like quality of craftsmanship circa 1928

  Cleaned and Restored to its former Glory
filled with an assortment of California, Caps and Open-tray cut or wood type cases

$485 (as is) - $885 (restored)
click on any photo to see larger image

Hamilton Type Cabinet - after

So I had these old Hamilton Type Cabinets in my shop. I'd had them since I was a boy - bought them when I was 17 from Mr. Wallach. They were each filled with 24 cases of type I use in my shop. But I'd been wanting to rearrange the composing room and replace the two full-sized cabinets with a nice double 3/4 cabinet I bought from Hobson Printing last year... But  I needed some incentive to make the change.

And then Melanie contacted me and asked if I had a type cabinet for sale - filled with cases - and I said "yes."

So I dug out these cabinets, emptied all of the cases, put the cabinets on dollys and rolled them out to the wood shop work area.

Chris sanding the topAt first, I had planned on simply sanding down the top of the cabinet, because it was dirty and grimy from years of use in a print shop.

But then I noticed that the varnish on the sides had begun flaking and peeling and it did not look quite as good up close as I had remembered it from 40 years ago...

And then, my energetic friend Chris the carpenter stopped by to see what I was doing and all of a sudden I felt like Tom Sawyer with a picket fence to whitewash...

"Here", he said. "Use my belt sander." (I had my own belt sander nearby, but Chris got his out of the truck and proceeded to show me how it should be done...)
Chris' truck - All Trades
Chris is a carpenter and has a truck full of tools and he loves to use them..

And then, as he sanded the top, we discussed the flaking varnish on the sides. I asked him how long he thought it might take to sand the entire cabinet and refinish it. "A Day - sand in the morning and varnish after lunch. "

Chris SandingSo we continued sanding. By now I had my belt sander out, loaded with 80 grit to remove the old varnish, and his loaded with 120 grit to put a smooth finish on this classic old oak. Then he brought out his slick new orbital sander and began working on the flats of the panels where neither belt sander could really do a good job.

Of course, you only see Chris working in the photos, since I was the one with the camera, but for the better part of about two hours, we both sanded, side-by-side, until we got all of that old flaky 80-year-old varnish off of this beautiful Michigan Oak.

By the time we got done, it was looking pretty darned good.

side detail

Hamilton Cabinet - with type cases  Hamilton Type Cabinet - inside detail

The gentleman I bought these cases from insisted on having the handles back as part of the deal. I don't know what he's going to do with them, but in order to get the cases -and some new type in some of them, I had to agree to remove and return the handles. Therefore, this cabinet now has knobs on the California Job Cases, and handles only on the two double-cap cases on top.

Note the photos to the right. The cabinet has access holes drilled into each side. These are there to allow wiring to be inserted for which could be installed under the lip of the cabinet. But, there are also 4 plugs to cover these holes. Rather than risk having them drop out in transit, they are in the second draw as shown below..
Cabinet Ready to Ship
 most cases with knobs instead of handles
Electrical Wire Access
Plugs in top case
Hamilton Type Cabinet with knobs