Blaeu's improvement consisted of putting the spindle of the screw through a square block which was guided in the wooden frame, and from this block the platen was suspended by wires or cords.
This block gave a more rigid platen, and at the same time ensured a more equal motion to the screw when actuated by the bar-handle.
The staple was united at the top and bottom, but the neck and body were left open, the former for the mechanism and the latter for the platen and the bed when run in preparatory to taking the impression.
The platen was screwed on to the under surface of the spindle; the table or bed had slides underneath which moved in, and not on, ribs as in the older form of press, and was run in and out by means of strips of webbing fastened to each end and passed round a drum or wheel.
As the platen was very heavy the operator was assisted in raising it from the type-forme by a balance weight suspended upon a hooked lever at the back of the press.