Page 11 - April 2016
P. 11

We had to pay the rent. We had to buy,      floor, and the only ramp available was

build and service our machinery. We         just 100cm long. The truck capacity was

just had to get more turnover and more      less than two tons, and after this one ton

customers, and maybe one day we could press was at the back corner of the truck

even get our own wages.                     it was at a very interesting angle.

One lucky day the foreman of that           Surely the hardest part should be

printing-house called me. They were in      over by now! I headed towards the

the middle of moving to the other side of scrapyard, 15km to the west of Helsinki.

the street. At the old address they had     There was an odd purring sound coming

a worn-out machine, an old and heavy        from the truck chassis, but maybe it

proofing press.                              was normal with this much of a load. As

“You could print money on that              long as I drove carefully and at a slow

machine,” joked the foreman. Now if         speed, there would be no problem. From

“And silver was what we wanted, indeed.
Recovering the silver was a very interesting
technical challenge, and refining it into high
quality (99.95%) silver was not a thing that
just anyone could do”.

I paid a good price for this press and      Sornainen industrial area to Tuusula
carried it out, I understood that maybe     highway, and then on to Hakkila gravel
we could get their silver waste and         pit, where the scrapyards are situated.
aluminium offset printing plate scrap       Lifting out the press would be easy,
from the new address.                       because they have heavy forklift trucks in
                                            the scrap companies.
   It was February, freezing cold. In the
almost empty business premises was            Then – Bang!
standing this one -tonne monster made         What happened? The truck kept on
of cast iron. I told the customer that      rolling, still at rather a strange angle.
I might get like 0.40 Finnish Mark per      But the speed was reducing, however
kilogram (0.05 euro/kg) for this machine    hard I pressed the accelerator. Luckily,
in a scrap-yard. At that time it was quite  the brakes were all right, so I steered
impossible to discuss any cost for the      onto the hard shoulder to see where the
haulage and transport of the machine.       problem lay.
                                              After some time, I noticed that the
  All the workers in the printing house,    whole cardan shaft [driveshaft] of the
including the foreman, had mysteriously     truck was missing. After a search, I found
disappeared by the time I started to        the shaft at the roadside some 500
move the proofing press. It was a miracle    metres away. Maybe I should consider
that just by myself I could move that       that a lucky escape: just imagine what
narrow and shaky machine into our tiny      could have happened if the heavy steel
Volkswagen truck. The truck platform        shaft had hit another driver’s windscreen
was 40cm lower than the warehouse
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