pulley wheel needed

we are looking for a pulley wheel to attach to our crankshaft so that we can drive our c&p 10x15 old style press with a motor. unfortunately, a previous owner of the press cut off the end of the shaft so that there is only about an inch and 3/4 to work with. this alone is not a problem, but without getting the pulley further away, it will interfere with the large outer most gear. we have been told to look for (or make) a wheel with a long throat which will effectually lengthen the crankshaft and clear the large gear. does anyone have or know of such an item? we would also be grateful for any alternative suggestions to get motorized, however, we’d like to avoid using a belt off of the fly wheel if possible. thanks for any help or advice.

Log in to reply   3 replies so far

You’re in a tough spot if the shaft has been cut off on the right side as far as putting on a drive pulley there. An inch and a bit isn’t much to work with. I’m not sure how you’d get a long throated pulley to stay securely fastened in place. Maybe a large set screw would do it. A pin might be better.

You might go looking for a replacement shaft or have a straight shaft made to replace the existing one.

Or you might try a direct drive wheel pressed up against the flywheel with a variable speed motor. Or give up on the motor and get a treadle from Hern Ironworks (my preference).

A belt on the flywheel isn’t really that unworkable, either

You can probably use what’s called a shaft coupling to extend the shaft. Shafting for various applications is only made up to certain practical lengths so where a line must be extended a coupling is used. While there are different kinds, they usually consist of two halves that are bolted together around the butted ends of two shafts thereby alligning and effectively joining them. Couplings are available from supply houses like McMaster-Carr. In your case you would use a coupling with a short shaft on which the drive pulley would be mounted.

You could replace the entire shaft with a straight one long enough for the pulley but there are certain problems with that. The flywheel and pinion gear are keyed to the shaft as you probably noticed. Unless you wanted and could afford to have a machine shop machine keyways into the shaft you’d have difficulty mounting those parts. Couplings aren’t cheap, perhaps $40 - $80 or so, but probably less expensive than the cost of a large steel shaft and the required machining. Unless you have a machinist friend, of course.

A third opton is to check with some of the printing supply houses like Don Black, Letterpress Things, etc. to see if they have an original shaft. If I were in your place my first choice would be an original shaft if affordable; second a replacement shaft with machined keyways, if affordable; and third the coupling. All will work; it depends on what’s available and what you can afford.

Rich Polinski
Front Room Press

Sometimes the flywheel end of the shaft is pretty long and I have seen motor pulleys mounted beside the flywheel. You might be able to get that to work, maybe by crowding the flywheel to the end of the keyway.