Tips on Re-building a Seal press
Well sometimes one gets lucky... I was able to pick up a Seal Masterpiece 360M press for $100. It was dirty, didn't work, and looked as if some farmer mechanic had been working on it. But for a beast this size (26"x34") I figured if nothing else I could sell the parts & get my money back.
I started by completely disassembling the thing. I expect many of these are missing some of the snap rings on the pins. They are less than a dime at the hardware store. I had a friend machine a missing pin from a clevis pin, to replace a "way too long" bolt that had replaced it long ago. Pulled out all the wiring, and scrubbed everything with a toothbrush.
One of the wires to the heater had been repaired once in the past, and whoever did it didn't do it right. This left the nichrome heater wire only about 1/4" long on one side. I carefully carved back the insulation to get about 1" of it sticking up, and a quick check with a meter verified the heater had not failed. I checked anyway, and a new heater is about $170. I don't have my notes here, but if someone wants I can get you the part number.
If ever you have to re-wire something that gets hot, make sure you use the correct wire. You can't crimp a copper wire onto a heating element using a brass or copper crimp. Take a trip to the local shop that does appliance repair. They will have wire for use in stoves and the like, which is nickel plated steel with a woven fabric cover designed to withstand very high temps. You will also need to use a nickel plated steel crimp if you want it to last. These crimp MUCH harder than the ones used on your car. For the wiring coming into the unit, copper is OK. Things shouldn't get hot up in the top where the on/off switch is. I bought a heavy shop extension cord with 12AWG wire and used it for the cord.
I ditched the non-working triac, and instead used a solid state relay. Using this will insure the contacts of the thermostat will last a long time. The indicator lights were toasted, so I replaced them also. I moved the "heat" indicating light from the panel where the thermostat knob & thermometer are to the top crossbar. I figured it is cooler up there, so the light should hold up better.
I re-assembled everything using new clips, and a small amount of moly grease on the moving parts. "She's looking good Vern..".
If ever you are struggling with repair on one of these, feel free to ask for help. There really isn't much there to go wrong. Other than a couple weekends of work (mostly cleaning) and chasing down the appliance guy, and the relay, and bribing my mechanic to turn the pin, and about $20 worth of odds & ends, and lifting the darned thing....
So now I have a 240 pound heat generator in my garage. I have yet to figure out where the permanent home will be, but I suppose it will have to be on a cabinet with wheels. I can't afford the beer to coax the neighbor over to help every time I need to move the beast.
Using an old test print, and a meat thermometer to verify the temperature I mounted my first print. Happy days it worked! No bumps in the print even!
And now to mount up the print for the "blind exchange". I like it when things work out
Congratulations! Just shows what a little determination, faith and preserverance can do, as well as a smattering of technical brilliance!
Good Afternoon, rexp,
Congratulations. I did better than you on cost (mine was free!) but you beat me on size (mine's a 210). Did you have to clean the platen? That was the only thing I had to do with mine to get it into perfect working condition. Platen-cleaning on a Seal press is a major pain.
Actually the platen is in real good shape. As I had it completely disassembled, polishing the surface would have been easy anyway. Being aluminum, one could fine sand it starting with about 400 grit, working up to 600 or 1000, then polish it off with a buffing wheel.
One other thing I did... It had some crazy poor excuse for feet on (I believe) a #8 bolt. I drilled out the holes and tapped for a 1/4-20. I now have feet that will stand up to the weight.