Should I pay for new rollers or just get a new press? Pleas Help?

Ok, my golding pearl worked for a while but no matter what I do things just keep getting worse. It has been suggested that I might need new rollers/trucks which would be about $450 and about 4-6 weeks according to the two places I checked.

I already have a bunch of designs and am ready to go. The goal would be to create stationary/wedding invitation for local clients.

Should I invest another $450 in this darn press and just hope that solves my problems OR should I be looking for another press that will do the job I need.

I need to produce a high quality product not larger than a 9 x 12 printing area.

What press is going to get the job done? I dont want to have to buy another one for a long time - I want this to be a press I can depend on and use long into the future.

Thanks in advance for your advice,

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The Golding Pearls are good presses and many people produce very fine work with them. There should be a way to resolve any problems you are having and good rollers and trucks, properly adjusted, are a big part of good printing on any press. I would think you could get new rollers for that press cheaper than the prices you have so far gotten and don’t be afraid of composition rollers which are a lot less expensive than rubber.

But you’re asking the right question at a good time as to whether you will ultimately get long term value even if you spend less than $400. I think you have to determine the following:

1. What size press do you see yourself needing within the next year or two? In other words, where do you see yourself going with printing in that time?

2. Do I have room for a larger press?

You can do small work on a large press. There are some work-arounds for doing large work on a small press but there are still obvious limitations. You don’t say what size your Pearl is but if a lot of your work will be approaching that 9x12 threshold you may start having problems with the strength of the impression needed.

So you may want to consider either an 8x12 or 10x15 C&P which will not only allow you to print a larger form but have more impressional strength for that and other work. Of course, that assumes you have the room, thus Question #2. At current prices I’ve seen you could probably sell the Pearl for enough to buy at least an 8x12 and new rollers for it.

In my case, I don’t plan on printing especially large work but I traded in my C&P 8x12 for a 10x15 because I want to publish a journal and so print at least two pages at a time for a 5x7 folio using hand set type. But of course I can easily do business cards or even smaller work as well. Doing large posters will mean I will need to finally restore my Vandercook Model 17.

Anyway, those are the things I think you’ll need to decide first in order to determine whether invresting more in the Pearl will be of value. Only you can provide the answers but I think you’re looking at it the right way.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Devils - thanks for the tips. I did the the trick you described and I did see a little light/dip. I think it is time for new rollers.

Rich - that is exactly what I was thinking. I am just trying to look to the future. I really enjoy letterpress - A LOT - so I know I need to figure something out. I think a C & P might be a good choice for me. I am trying to figure out who I would call to come check out my house to make sure my dining room floor can handle 1500lbs. I would really like a 10 x 15 C & P. The larger ones are just way too heavy but that one seems large enough for what I want to do while still remaining a reasonable weight.

Thank you again for responding. You both made me feel like you really knew where I was coming from which is so helpful when you are feeling so helpless…


Most of my shop including my 10x15 C&P and 26” C&P paper cutter is in my 12x15 foot living room. I have a full basement and using two adjustable lally columns I bought at Home Depot and 3” x 9” x 4’ hardwood beams to span some of the joints I reinforced the floor. Even if you only have a cral space you can do this. You don’t need to purchase lally columns, 6x6 posts would work too but then you’d have to use wedges to get them installed tightly. The lally columns were easy to adjust and only cost about $26 each. The beams were just scrap wood I got for free from work.

I’d reinforce the floor just to be safe unless your on a concrete slab. It may not break through but might cause sag after a while. In my case the joists ran the short distance (12 feet) so I placed the columns half way at 6 feet. I centered them the long way more or less on the two heavy items, the press and cutter. The beams were about four feet long and so spanned several joists. The floor is now quite solid.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Rich - you are the best. I am working this out right now! I am interested in the exact press you have and with your instruction have found someone to do the work to reinforce my floor.

We will have to see how this plays out.

Thank you so much for your detailed help!