Shipping ideas need for type and cabinet/moving of presses

Does anyone have any helpful hints about the best way to ship type and the cabinet? Is it better to ship the cases separately after securing them? Any experience or ideas you have would be appreciated. I’m starting to get some estimates. Thanks!

Also, if anyone has had experience getting letter presses out of the basement or moving them in general, I’d be interested in knowing. I’m contacting moving companies and getting estimates.

Log in to reply   9 replies so far

The first time I had a company transport type, cases and the cabinet, the driver use a cart and slightly tipped the whole lot, all the type ended up at the bottom of the cabinet. When I prepared type for transport myself, I cut bubbly plastic and thick pieces of grey board to the size of my cases. First, I put the bubbly plastic down, on top I put the board, and I taped it very carefully al the way around the cases, without economizing on tape. I stacked my cases on a pallet, secured them and sent them like that, with the cabinet on a separate pallet.

I have heard of sifting fine dry sawdust or suchlike into the case before packing as above to keep the sorts from battering each other in transport. Probably more important for Typo Script than Brush.


Is it best to get a moving company to move the cabinet and type cases or do Fed Ex or UPS handle items like this?

I moved ten cabinets of type from Indiana to California in a commercial rental truck (U-Haul). I put the empty cabinets along the side walls, then put the cases into the cabinets. I was carefull to put a large typeface in the top space. I made a ‘T’ shaped piece out of two 2” x 4”s that pressed against the cases and stood vertically with the bottom of the ‘T’ shape jutting outwards and the top of the ‘T’ shape against the face of the cases. I used two each 1” ratchet straps which hooked around the boards on the sides of the truck and tightened around the cabinet, pressing the 2” x 4” piece against the cabinet. I checked the straps occasionally to make sure that they stayed taut. I didn’t lose a single piece of type in over two-thousand miles.

Type can be mailed in typecases by stuffing each compartment with styrofoam (not peanuts—cut rectangles to size. Staple cardboard on top of each case and package in groups of three. Wrap and tape in thick plastic sheet (I used plastic that came off a new mattress,fairly thick struff ) and then cover entire package in cardboard.

Never tried to ship a cabinet.

What is most likely best is to remove each case. Cover it with a single sheet of corrugated. Stack them on a skid alternating faces of the case. Then strap them well.

“getting a letterpress out of a basement” will depend largely on the basement and the press. For my Golding I have to remove everything I can then “crate” it with 4x4 runners on the bottom and one side. It gets rolled to the stairs, then as it’s winched up the stairs it ends up laying on it’s side. It then has to be stood up again.

For a recent move of a C&P 10x15 out of a basement, we disassembled the press down to two main halves (bed and platen sides). Then we strapped each half to a dolly and used a comealong to pull the dolly and press up a ramp on the stairs (made of 2 4x10s).

Just let me know if you would like further assistance.


Thanks for all the info. The presses are two C&Ps—one 10x15 and the other smaller (12”?).

go with lammy on the type. I transported 5 cabinets with 24 drawers each across Missouri by stacking then with alternating fronts and putting a thin sheet of plywood on top. Some type shook loose but 98% made it just fine.

On presses 4” x 4” round pipe not conduit and pry bars and winches. You would be amazed on how easy a press rolls once up on pipe.

I loaded a C&P with no problem by myself a couple of years ago onto a trailer with a hand winch (come-a-long) and having the press on 4 x 4’s. It didn’t even rock getting it onto the trailer. Then just strap everything tight.