Subaru Piston Press


Subaru Engine, Oak, Acrylic & Aluminum

16" x 23" x 12"

Based on the concept of compression, the Subaru Piston Press is a one of a kind printing press designed and built using recycled automotive parts with the intention of merging two of my loves, printmaking and machines, into one mechanical experiment.

With a background in aviation maintenance and a hobby in classic auto, my thought process is mechanical by nature and my work follows suit by focusing on the individual parts and pieces that make up a whole. I've rebuilt a number of automotive engines and am familiar with internal combustion cycles, so when I discovered printmaking and it's need for pressure to transfer an image from block to paper, something sparked.

Created for the 2017 Southern Graphics Council International Tiny Press Round Up, the Subaru Piston Press uses the internal rotating assembly from a damaged/recycled horizontally-opposed 2.5L Subaru engine, more commonly known as a "Boxer" motor, as the main source of pressure for the press. Using the synchronized rotation of the "Boxer" style crankshaft, two of the original four pistons were welded to a 1/4" aluminum press-plate to distribute even pressure across an 8" x 14" printing surface.

Designed and built with conservancy in mind, the wood baseplate, frame and inking plate were first designed digitally using Rhinoceros 3D software, then carefully cut down and assembled from a single board of red oak. 

Aside from the aluminum plates, acrylic sheets and assembly hardware, the press was created with the intention of recycling as much as possible from the motor to creatively repurpose old parts into something useful such as the press handle and brayer holder.

One man's trash is another man's printing press.

 - Live Printing Sessions -

3/17 - Tiny Press Round Up, SGCI Terminus

             Conference, Atlanta, GA

5/17 - Thieves in the Temple, Nth˚ Degree

            Gallery, Boone, NC

7/17 - Under Pressure: The Print Exhibition,

            VAE, Raleigh, NC

6/18 - Cultural Chaos Artist Market,    

            Easthampton, MA



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