Price of a C&P

I am new to letterpress and I am not sure the value of presses and accessories. I have found a C&P 8 x 12… not sure if it is an old or new style. Included with it, is 4 type cabinets with about 60 cases. The press is in working condition, but probably needs a little bit of work. There is two weld marks on two of the legs. Is this a cause for concern? What is the top dollar I should pay for this press? Thank you in advanced.

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From my experience, this type of press would start around $200 and go up to $1800 (maybe more) for mint. They usually need a bit of work when you find them. Think of finding a vintage car, the odds of a press being mint or in great shape are far less than this even. Most are covered in years of oil and dirt.

On platen presses, feel the rails to make sure they are flat and smooth, or it will be almost impossible to print with impression with any quality or consistancy. I would avoid anything with shoddy welds and uneven rails.

I think this is the perfect press to start on by the way. A friend of mine just bought one and i just looked at one today that I am buying to restore. Anyways, it will be easy to gain confidence on this small press, or even the slightly larger 10x15, which I would suggest for its size-will allow you to print larger. good luck.

Properly welded legs shouldn’t make much difference. Many of these old presses have been broken and welded through the years, and the legs don’t affect the printing. As Century Printer said, check the rails, but also close the press and tug hard on the platen. It should not budge at all. If it does, there is a lot of wear. Also, be aware that a new set of rollers and trucks can set you back $300 or so. If the press has been sitting for years, chances are the rollers will need to be replaced. Location is key: if the press must be moved up or down a flight of steps, the value plummets. If it is on the floor of a garage that you can back a truck up to, the move is easier and the value goes up. Often, moving one can cost more than the purchase price, and a lot of good presses have been destroyed by movers who didn’t know what they were doing.

C&P presses did not come in 8x10 size. Floor model presses were either 7x11, 8x12, 10x15, 12x18 or 14x22.5. The 7x11 was only made in the Old Series.