Monday, February 14, 2011

Rubber stamp maker conveys!

Thanks to the input of Tiffany and my friend's husband, who emailed me off the blog, I now know that the mystery machine is a rubber stamp maker.  The "gas hook up" is actually a hydraulic oil line.

Here is my friend's husband's opinion. (I hope he doesn't mind me quoting directly from his email.)

The heavy bottom Thing is a hydraulic press, actuated by the levers on one side.   You crank the levers to force the two hot plates towards each other.  There's a pressure indicator on the front panel.  This functionality is what makes the thing heavy - you can increase pressure to probably thousands of pounds per square inch (the pressure dial indicates TONS!).  To withstand that pressure takes a lot of steel.

So this thing is made to press and heat something....

I doubt you can take apart the heavy part of this device - the frame and press and heating plates.  It's going to have to go in one piece.

You'll need to get down there with crowbars, come-alongs or winch, and some cable or chain, build ramps with some plate steel (thick and heavy in its own right), and pull it out of there with a jeep or something.  it probably weighs about 500lbs.
I imagined Jon, at the wheel of a jeep, the thing attached behind by a tow chain.  Then I saw a rubber stamp making machine-shaped hole in the side of the house.  Then I succumbed to a fit of the giggles.  In the wild ride that has been my marriage, massive destruction to our house's foundation fits in nicely.  I may try to freecycle it as Jocelyn suggested, but whoever takes it has to sign a waiver that I'm not responsible for any injuries caused by hauling it away.

Who knew that making rubber stamps is such a heavily industrial process?  And who ever thought of doing it at home?  

So the Thing will sit, until we can muster the materials and manpower to get rid of it, which I predict will be never.  Which means we can never sell our house.  Not that we were planning to, but one has to think of these things.  I don't want to live in Charlottesville forever.  The other day I imagined a chapter of my imaginary autobiography, titled "The Charlottesville Years" and I was comforted by the implication--even in fantasy--that my time in this town is finite, that some day I will live somewhere--anywhere--else.

Even before the problem of the Thing, I'd been apprehensive about putting our house on the market.  It's unthinkable to expose my sweet little vernacular farmhouse to the scrutiny of people who will wrinkle their foreheads and say, "Where is the master bathroom?"  "Where are the closets?"  "Why is the only shower on the first floor?"  (You get USED to it, honey.)

But now this piece is going in a different direction from which I had intended and I will use my mental winch to tear myself away from the "I hate Charlottesville" piece I've been writing in my head for years. 

So thank you Tiffany and Boris, and a special shout-out to bythelbs for the funniest comment:

It's obviously a time machine. Hook up the gas, plug those mangy stray wires in somewhere and warp yourselves back to the day before you closed on your house and tell your younger, more naive selves that when the sellers ask if they can leave their "printing press" in your basement, say "No effing way."


  1. If my husband wouldn't absolutly kill me I would totally take that thing. Just reading about it got my mind whirring. Oh the things you could make. If, you know, it wasn't wedged in a door way.

    And PS. I have those moments with Charlottesville too. Virginia as a whole really. Most of the time I like it here but I can't ever see myself declaring that I'm from Virginia and I can't stand the thought of my kids saying that. Not that Virginia is bad, it's just, not home...

    I feel ya.

  2. I'd like to read the "I Hate Charlottesville" post. Since I live in Stepford, GA, Charlottesville sounds like heaven to me.

  3. Somehow this post slipped by me. I've been wondering about the mystery machine. So glad you finally got an answer.

    And you're not alone in writing an "I hate Charlottesville" post in your head. Been writing mine even before I started blogging. If you ever write it I'd love to read it :)

  4. Really Rubber stamp making is very interesting subject.Thanks for sharing with us.Very useful for for readers.