C&P 8x12 roller outer dimensions

Hello All. I have a New Style C&P 8x12 press with newly recovered rollers but they are making too much contact with the type in the chase and the bevels are getting over inked. I have added a lot of scotch tape to the rails to raise the rollers but I feel the amount of tape I’ve had to add is excessive. My gut is that some of the rubber needs to be removed. Also the rollers a wider in diameter than the trucks…is this right?

Also does anyone know anything about Horton Variable Speed Clutch? My press came with this clutch and while it works as a brake there is very little control over the speed. It operates very fast or not at all. I’ve done many google searches and am coming up empty.


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Ismith- Rollers and Trucks operate as a set. If the rollers are noticably larger than the trucks, that is your problem. They should be close to the same diameter, with the trucks only slightly smaller. To correct the problem, you have 3 options:

1. replace the trucks with larger diameter ones if you can get them…. or use Morgan Expandable Trucks.
2. tape the trucks to increase their diameter. Stainless Steel repair Tape works pretty good for this. You can get it at auto-parts stores.
3. get smaller rollers.

Taping the rails will indeed raise the rollers, but it can lead to bad inking if the rollers are substantially larger than the trucks. Taping the trucks is better…. but getting the right roller / truck combination is the best solution. Next time you order rollers, send the trucks with them so that the maker can match the roller diameter to them.

Yah! What he say!

Morgan Expansion trucks, available from NA Graphics, and others. $50 USD for a set of four to fit the 8X12 C&P.

You asked: “Also the rollers [are] wider in diameter than the trucks…is this right?” Ideally, the trucks and rollers should be the same diameter, and the rails should be slightly less than type high, but this almost never happens in the real world. Large differences >5% in the diameters of the trucks v. rollers can cause slurring, as the ink rollers skid over the form, and build up ink on the horizontal lands of the type.

The Morgan trucks - with their adjustable diameters - are designed to minimize skidding, and are used where height adjustment of the rails is not an option (lose the tape).

Can’t help you with the Horton VS Clutch, but I can tell from a little surfing that the “two speed” (Fast, and Stopped) problem is fairly common with the Horton speed controller.

Could you post a couple small JPG’s (or, “Courtneys”) of your C&P drive? That always helps.

Hi! I have the same set up but I just ordered a treadle from Hern Iron Works in ID. Send me your email and I will send you the information on the Horton Pulley.


Thanks so much for all your replies. I have a follow-up question…my press has steel trucks. My friend, who has run these type of presses every day for many years, has strongly suggested I keep the steel trucks instead of switching to the Morgan Expandable Trucks. In his experience the rubber part of the Morgan Trucks when left on the rails for even an hour or two got flat on one side and wouldn’t roll smoothly. What do ya’ll think?

Thanks! — Lily

Morgan trucks, dey go bumpidy bump. The new Delrin Poly used in Morgans now have much less of that than the old rubber kind. Welcome to the 21st century.

You wrote: “I have added a lot of scotch tape to the rails to raise the rollers but I feel the amount of tape I’ve had to add is excessive.” And you were worried flat spots on the rubber trucks…

Tape. We’re talking scotch tape here, right? Like the kind you can buy at Office Depot? The Winking Cat mentioned steel tape. Okay, but are we correcting a problem, or just adding to it, with more tape?

Lily, if you insist on using the original steel trucks, the Winking Cat’s solution of providing the diameter of the original steel trucks to the roller supplier is on the right track. Are the rails on your C&P approximately type high? Or maybe few thousandths lower after a century of use?

Send rail height to type bed measurements, and the truck diameters, along with the rollers, and the roller pro’s will do the math. Your rollers are reground to a precise diameter. Problem solved.

I’m more concerned with that Horton Variable Speed Clutch on your C&P.

Thanks Chase.

To be honest all of this is new to me as I am just starting out. I realize the scotch tape is a “no-no” and I intend on getting some UHMW tape.With all of your help, I now know how to measure the height of my rails — which I knew nothing of before. I will swing by my studio this afternoon and take some pictures and post images of the clutch this evening.

Thanks so much!

Here is the information Nils sent me.

“What you have looks like a belt tension clutch. The belt slips on the motor pulley until you pull the bar to increase the tension on the belt, forcing it against the press’ flywheel or belt wheel from underneath, thus transfering motion to the belt wheel of the press. Ain’t seen but one or two such beasts (although I’ve been tempted to build one myself!). The question that comes up in my head is how this one contacts the belt wheel on the press.

Lookin’ at it close up I will venture that the belt did not wrap the belt wheel but was pushed up against the press’s wheel by the idler wheel in the mechanism. I say that ‘cause it’s set up to lever the idler pulley on the mechanism so the belt meets or imparts motion to the press belt wheel. Then if you push it the other way the shoe at the top (between the lever and the belt in your picture) slows the motion of the press by braking against whatever wheel on the press you’ve push the belt onto.

Very interesting system. There was a somewhat similar system used on Golding presses (Pearls & bigger) where the motor had a wheel that could be pushed against the flywheel to turn the press. To stop the press there was a brake pedal. I’d bet there were versions where the speed control (by the amount of slip on the motor pulley and the flywheel/beltwheel) and braking or slowing the press was on the same lever, like your mechanism. It’s a fairly common system from the 1800s built in more modern parts. See the same sort of stuff on steam threshing machines &c.

Best place to see this stuff is in old (1920s-1930s) ATF or BB&S type catalogs.”

image: kimblefriction1.jpg


I went over to my studio today at lunch and snapped these photos of my press. I focused on the Horton Variable Speed Clutch as that is device I need help with. As I posted previously I’ve got it working pretty well but it doesn’t seem to vary the speed. It almost acts more as a brake. Does anyone know anything?


image: LSK_HortonClutch_F.jpg


image: LSK_HortonClutch_E.jpg


image: LSK_HortonClutch_D.jpg


image: LSK_HortonClutch_C.jpg


image: LSK_HortonClutch_B.jpg


image: LSK_HortonClutch_A.jpg


I can tell from your photos that your roller diameter is far greater than your trucks. I am guessing that’s the main problem. I’m guessing you could send them off (with the trucks) to have them reground and come out fine.

I think you’re totally right. Just for fun here are few more pics.

image: LSK_Rollers_B.jpg


image: LSK_Rollers_A.jpg



Is that 021 Orange?

Why yes it is Casey. Why do you ask?

I don’t know anything about the Horton clutch, but looking at the photos I think it’s a centrifugal clutch that engages at a preset speed. I can see what look like adjusters. Is your motor a variable speed one, or can it be controlled for variable speed? If so you could try adjusting the clutch for engagement at slower speed. It doesn’t look like it can be adjusted on the fly — I think it’s meant to stop the press when the motor speed drops below the preset. Also, it looks like the outer pulley is an idler, indicating that the Horton clutch is meant for line-shaft drive.

Your rollers are well oversize. Morgan expansion trucks are one solution, maybe cheaper than regrinding. Or you might try to find a set of steel trucks the size of the rollers. It looks like the rollers are very nearly touching each other, a definite no-no. You could try wrapping the trucks with plastic electrical tape to see if that solves the problem. The tape isn’t a good long-term solution, but I used it for years on one press.

Thanks for the JPG! That helped tremendously!

The Kimble variable rotation motor looks similar to the one that powered my C&P new style.

Unless I’m mistaken, the lever sticking up on the left in the above photo is directly coupled to the brushes. Moving the lever forward or backward a few degrees rotates the brushes around the helical armature contacts, and controls the power supplied to the windings - and the rate of rotation of the motor.

You have the “variable speed” clutch/brake pedal, and that brush lever on the Kimble motor is the gas pedal. Vroom! Happy Motoring!


Is “Kimble” the brand of your clutch? The one I’ve pictured is made by Horton…regardless…the lever in the photo directly above (LSK_rollers_A.jpg) is on the left side of the press and is the trip/print lever. There is a lever on the right side of the press that shifts the clutch. When I move the clutch lever there is a cylinder that rotates and pushes a set of wooden brake pads. I think when the wooden brake pads are engaged they tighten around the axel of the press and control the speed of the opening and closing of the platen. Only…it runs really well at a high speed but sputters out when I try a lower speed. Any thoughts?

The plate on the clutch indicates that 2 hp is the required power. That makes sense since the clutch seems to control the speed by friction. The more friction you create to slow the motor down requires the motor to have sufficient power and torque to keep running. I’d guess that your motor is not 2 hp since if it was it would be wired at 220 volts like an oven in order to reduce the amps it draws so you won’t overload the circuit.

Also, note that the plate indicates that the clutch pulley should be turning at 300 rpm. Your motor is either running at 1725 or 3450 rpm. The clutch was designed to be used with a lineshaft, the average speed of which is usually 500 rpm which can then be made to turn the clutch at 300 rpm by using the correct sized pulley on the lineshaft.

You can use a 1725 rpm motor to get the clutch to turn at 300 rpm by hooking it up to an intermediate shaft called a jackshaft and by using the correct-sized pulleys to slow things down sufficiently. In other words, the motor pulley would be connected to a pulley on a small shaft on which is mounted another pulley belted to the clutch pulley. Varying the size of those pulleys mechanically adjusts the speed to where you want it. There is a standard mathmatical formula to figure out which sizes are needed. I had a similar setup with my old 8x12 though I didn’t have a clutch pulley. My press turned at 14 impressions per minute.

Here’s a photo below of that setup. The pulley underneath the belt is an idler pulley to take up slack. Nice but not essential.

Milford, NJ

image: Press Motor and Countershaft.jpg

Press Motor and Countershaft.jpg


Wow. All of this is way over my head. I’m gonna have to get someone to explain it to me.

Thanks so much for your input!


Basically it comes down to this:

1. The clutch pulley is being turned too fast by the motor to allow it to function properly.

2. The motor is likely also underpowered which is contributing to the fact that it is not working properly.

The answer is to slow down the speed of the clutch pulley and use a motor that has more power. The speed and power you need are indicated on the plate on the clutch.

What I described in my first post was a way to accomplish those two goals. It can seem a little overwhelming and complicated but it’s just that you haven’t had experience with it. Also, I may not have explained it as clearly as I should have.

I’m making an assumption about the power of course since I don’t know what hp your motor is.


I wonder if her pulley is indeed turning too fast. I’m guessing you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that the motor was underpowered (at probably only 1/2-3/4hp).

If the motor is a run-of-the-mill 1725rpm (let’s call it 1800 for the sake of simplicity) and her clutch pulley is 18” (maybe larger? I’m not sure). Then she could use a 2” motor pulley to get a clutch speed of 200rpm.

Considering an 8x12 makes 4 flywheel revolutions per impression this would give a printing speed of 50ipm—way too fast, but under the clutch’s rated speed for proper function, allowing her to slow the press with the clutch. But if the motor doesn’t have enough torque to keep moving under the applied friction then it simply stops dead.

Am I miscalculating? Of course all of this is out the window if we’re talking about a 3450rpm motor.


You’re absolutely right about the speed regarding the clutch pulley. Of course, 200 rpm divided by 4 would give 50 impressions per minute and even a 36” pulley would only slow the press down to 25 impressions per minute. But since once the clutch pulley is turning at the rated speed the impressions per minute can be regulated with the clutch so that wouldn’t matter. I didn’t take the use of the clutch to regulate the speed into account when I mentioned the jackshaft. The main thing therefore is to get a 1725 rpm motor of the right hp and a motor pulley the right size to turn the clutch pulley at 300 rpm or a bit less. From the photo it looks like the pulley on the motor will work as-is so the problem may simply be the hp of the motor assuming it is 1725 rpm already.


Yes… 200/4=50… not sure why I was dividing by 8.

Too early for even the simplest math I suppose!

Alternatively you could try to find a 1” motor pulley, but that’s nearly impossible. The trick to running a 2hp motor, like you said, is that you’d likely need 220v… something which may not already be available at the location.

If the press just needs to be slowed I think your jackstand solution seems best. This would deliver a safe, constant speed. With a variable pitch pulley you could even get a variety of speeds for when feeding the press becomes more comfortable.

No clutch in and of itself is a speed control device; it is a way to start and stop something when the power source doesn’t stop and start. Trying to adjust the speed with the clutch results in the clutch slipping and burning up. Probably the best solution for Lily’s press is to switch to a variable speed motor, like a Kimble, and drive directly from the motor to the flywheel on the other side of the press, switching the motor on to start the press and off to stop it. The clutch can just whirl around and act as another flywheel to smooth out the press’s action.

I would think the hp rating on the pulley is related to the capabilities of the pulley itself and not the particular drive motor which turns it.

I had a Horton Variable speed pulley on a C&P Craftsman with a Kluge feeder about thirty years ago, and I think I did have a 2-hp motor on it, but it was a 12x18 press and much heavier than the 8x12. I recall no particular problems regulating the speed on it, but I also was not hand-feeding the press. I do remember having to clean the oil and accumulated stuff out of the pulley. If there is a lubricant on the surfaces, the pulley will slip more than it should.

John Henry

AdLib is correct in general though in the case of these particular clutches I believe there is a difference. I thought the same thing too when I first saw one of these but apparently they are designed to accept the constant friction. There’s no other reason for it to carry a variable speed label and a number of people, such as jhenry here, have reported using them to control speed with no problems.

Hi Everyone.

I’ve taken some measurements and taken down the info on my motor:

Roller Diameter:
1.5in (prefect according to Tarheel Roller Co.)

Steel Truck Diameter:
1.43in (.0075” smaller than they should be)

Press bed height to rail surface:
definitely less that .918in - that is hard to measure!

Motor Info:
A.C. Smith Corp
L-52, Type 08
1/3-HP, 60 cycles
Volts: 115/230, Phase: 1
AMPS: 6.4/3.2

I really appreciate all your input and ideas. It would seem that my motor has too few horse power to make the Horton Clutch work properly. Based on previous postings a larger motor would also require more power…uggg…which mean I need an electrician. Any other thoughts?


Because the 2 hp rating of the clutch pulley is related to a lineshaft drive it may very well be possible to use a less powerful AC motor, though I would think 1 hp would be the minimum. 1/3 hp is definitely too weak. A 1 hp motor usually draws 16 to 18 continuous amps but when starting will draw more briefly until it gets up to speed. While under load from the clutch pulley it likely draws more than the 16/18 continuous rting.

A normal, modern household circuit is wired for 20 amps so this is a problem. You should buy a motor of the appropariate hp and wire it to run on 220 volts like your refigerator. This will cut the rated amps in half and allow a margin for error. The motor will also run more efficiently. This is really not a difficult thing to do but you should have an electrician explain it and do the work for safety’s sake.

My old 8x12 C&P also had rails that were not type high. There’s nothing wrong with the press, many were made this way as old catalogs as well as exisiting presses bear out. There are several ways to compensate for this.

You can use Morgan Expansion trucks availabe from NA Graphics, adjusting them until the rollers are type high. This is the setup the last owner of my old 8x12 press used for about 50 years in a commercal print shop.

You can use 1 1/2” solid roller trucks with 1 3/8” rollers, but since you already have rollers I wouldn’t do this due to the expense. You would also need new trucks (or wrap the existing ones with tape) since yours are undersized. C&P used to sell oversized and undersized trucks as accessories. A set of undersized just happened to end up with yours. The C&P 10x15 I have now was used by the previous owner for his printing business for about 30 years with rollers smaller than the trucks to compensate.

Finally, you can use 1 1/2” solid trucks with your existing rollers and tape the rails up 1/16” to make them type high. This is what I did for my 10x15. The old 1 5/8” rollers were no longer good and the used replacements I got were 1 1/2”, matching the trucks I had. So the least expensive option was to tape the rails. This has workd just great and you can reqd about how I did it on my blog.

Many say that rollers and trucks must always be the same height but in practise, unless the difference is extreme, I don’t find it makes a difference. Both C&P and Golding made presses designed for rollers and trucks that were a differenrt diameter and I suspect they weren’t the only ones. In any case, if it were me I’d get some 1 1/2” solid trucks and tape the rails. Here’s the link to the post about doing that:



Front Room Press
Milford, NJ