C&P letterpress

I found an 8x10 letterpress for $600, but it is not a tabletop — it is a full size. Is this a good deal assuming it is in great running condition? Anybody know how heavy it will be, and recommendations on moving?


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If it’s a C&P it’s more likely an 8x12, and it probably weighs about 800 lbs assembled. If it’s in good condition it’s not a bad price but they can be had for less. If it has curved flywheel spokes it is an Old Style; if they’re straight it’s New Style. If you hire a rigger to move it, that will probably cost as much as or more than the press. It can be moved on stout skids if done carefully — see a posting about a week or more ago for what can happen if care isn’t taken! Where are you, and how far from you is it?

I would say $600 is a bit above average for the press itself. However if it has a set of rollers in good condition then it is a good price. AdLib is right—you will spend a good bit of money moving the press, so be sure to figure that into the equation. 8x12s are excellent presses and will serve you much better than a tabletop in the long run.

I’ve seen 8x12 C&Ps go for $400 - $1200, depending on condition and location. Things which can increase their value:

1. a working treadle (+/- $200)
2. good rollers (+/- $150-200)
3. split vs. solid ink disk (solid is easier to clean)
4. no bad welds

Also, there are lots of small presses out there which are NOT C&Ps - look for some identification of the maker - that can affect the sale price too.

The C&P 8x12 Old Style weighs 1050 lbs. I think the New Series press weighs about a hundred more. Prices vary a great deal depending on location, condition and whether the press is easily accessed for removal or in a basement. Basement presses tend to stay where they are regardless of the asking price.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Dan - I think you are quoting the crated weight - I understood 8x12 OS C&Ps were 950 lbs. You’re right about the NS being heavier.

Hi Bill,
The crated weight for the 8x12 Old Style is quoted at 1250 lbs. in the 1912 ATF catalog. This website shows the same crated weight for an early New Series (see option of split ink disk).
My later Western Newspaper Union catalog lists 1050 for the New Series press uncrated and 1319 for a shipping weight.

The weights could certainly change a bit with removal of the treadle and different styles of drive pulleys available. The Craftsman presses were a bit heavier, but I don’t think they made them smaller than the 10x15.

So does this make 1050 lbs. the magic number for any C&P 8x12 with a treadle? I wish I had a better scale!

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

make SURE to look up the earlier post as mentioned above. a Disaster…….

If it’s a Chandler & Price 8 x 12 in good condition, with good rollers, and it’s sitting in somebody’s garage, it’s probably worth the $600. C & Ps are good presses, and they’re pretty common, so you can get a replacement part if you should ever need something. You can easily spend $200+ on new rollers if the old ones are cracked, dried out, or sliced up from printing ruled matter. Be sure to give the platen several good, hard pushes and pulls to make sure that it’s solid. If it moves, there’s a lot of wear.
As for weight, you can quickly reduce it by probably 200 pounds by removing the wedge that secures the small outside gear. Removing that gear, plus one small bolted plate, allows you to remove the heavy cast iron drive shaft and the flywheel.