Fixing Cast Iron book press

Hello Everyone, I recently purchased a nipping press on Etsy that was damaged during shipping. The wheel on the top snapped clean off (see photo below). The press still seems usable—as the actual press part is still intact. However, it’s obviously incredible difficult to raise and lower the press now that the wheel is missing.

Does anyone know if this is something that can be fixed? If so, what range am I looking at for repair?

If it is easily fixed and affordable I would like to keep the press. If not, I would rather just file a shipment claim with the post office to recoup my money.


image: photo.jpg


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If the package was insured, have the seller file a claim and return your money. You have every expectation to receive the press in working condition. It’s the sellers fault it broke, probably poor packing. If it wasn’t insured, ask the seller for your money back. The insurance is to protect the shipper. If there is a problem, contact ETSY or PayPal if you paid through them. They will get you your money back, they are usually very helpful. Many sellers on eBay & ETSY try and make you believe if you don’t buy insurance, they are not responsible. Nonsense. The law is on your side, you might have to fight, but you’ll win in the end.

To answer part two of your question, cast iron can be braised if the pieces fit together well, OR if you’re not missing any chunks i would contact a foundry and ask how much to make a recast… I have a friend who had a wheel recast for their paper cutter (much larger than the one on your book press), and it was only $125. Either way it would be nice to see this piece of equipment avoid the scrap heap!

If you are handy with wood, you could fabricate a handle of Oak or Hickory which would work fine. Many of the copying presses had a straight line handle instead of the wheel-shape (look at the copy presses in the Briar Press Museum area on this website). A handle of this sort would give you ample strength for many applications.

Thanks so much everyone for all of your help. I absolutely love this press and am glad to hear there might be some ways to still keep it in working order. I think I’ll start with a foundry and if that’s out of my price range, then the wood handle sounds like an excellent option.

Thanks again!

if all parts are there, look into having it welded. might not be pretty in the end but it would work. someone/a shop specializing in cast welding is best.

With all the parts there a good welding shop can weld the wheel back together with almost no change in the look of the wheel and it will be strong enough to function aquatically.
I say this with thirty years of owning and operating a welding and machine shop specializing in antique parts rebuild and fabrication.

That’s great news! Thanks so much Don and everyone else!