Old Printer’s Stone Workbench

A local printing business recently contacted me as they were closing down. They kindly wanted to know if I could use any of their left over paper and ink stash. When I went to have a look I spotted a wonderful old workbench and asked about it.

Antique printers stone workbench

They told me it was a Printer’s Stone used in the days of letterpress printing when metal type had to be laid out and set. The top is a completely flat surface which was needed to ensure that the type was set accurately. This workbench has solid iron top however historically a flat stone was used, hence the name – Printer’s Stone.

Fred Ullmer Printers Engineers

This was one of the original pieces that was bought for the printshop when it was set up in 1922. Although the wooden frame bears the scars of many years of use, the iron top is in great condition. It seems incredible that it is probably over 90 years old!

iron top printers workbench

Now I am excited to say that, after much scrubbing of 90+ years of printshop grime, waxing and polishing, it is has a new life as an island in my kitchen.

old drawer from printmakers workbench

The iron top will need oiling or waxing to keep it from developing rust spots.

The huge old drawer opens from both sides. I’m not sure what I will store in there yet but not anything edible!

I’m very happy to have this wonderful old piece of printmaking history in my house. I love it!

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