Feedback wanted on photos of 8x12 C&P

Hi all,

I’m interested in upgrading from my Kelsey 5x8 to an 8x12 C&P. I’ve bought the C&P manual from N/A graphics, “C&P Printing Presses” by Sterne, and “Letterpress Printing” by Maravelas. I’m also scouring Briarpress to read about the C&P.

Though I’ve seen them in person I’m still not completely familiar with their makeup. Attached are photos of a press I’m thinking about viewing next week. I’m looking for feedback from printers with a more seasoned eye than my own.

The seller is not a printer, and shared that the press belonged to a family member. The seller also said that they know it runs, because a relative used it last year. They are fine with my request to print on it. The serial number is 7226 - the seller thinks it was manufactured in 1890, and shared that “one of the levers says 1886.” Which would make this press an old series c&p. The seller also shared that the C&P has a “small set screw in the pulley that attaches it to the motor,” which the seller can’t seem to tighten enough.

Any thoughts/feedback on the photos, or advice on what I should look for when I see the press in person?

Thanks in advance.

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The serial number 7226 indicates that this is a 10x15 press built in 1897. The serial number is located in the upper left hand corner of the bed where the chase goes. So if this is in fact the serial number, it seems they are mistaken about the size of the press.

While it needs a decent cleaning, from the photos it looks good. It has a short ink fountain and a counter which are pluses. It also has trucks and roller cores though since the rollers are sitting on the ink disc I’m assuming they are no good any more, but you never know. The roller saddles do not appear to be worn much. It has grippers and at least one chase, good and good. The delivery board was replaced at some point and does not have the backboard for it but that is easily replaced.

Old vintage pulleys like the one shown had set screws for flat-tipped screw drivers. Often it is difficult to tighten these sufficiently. Just replace that set screw with one that has an Allen hex-head so you can get some leverage when tightening. If the motor shaft does not have a flat spot where the set screw tightens down it is easy to file one. That will also help it stay tight.

It looks like a variable speed motor with that lever on it which would be a big plus. DOn’t worry that the speed controller is only down at the motor. I have one with a foot pedal adjustment but in practice I’ve found it’s rarely necessary to adjust it. If you needed to it would be easy to just reach down and move it. Also, the wiring is all there with a switch under the delivery, etc. so it looks like it’s just about ready for plug n’ play.

A 10x15 is a very versatile size press so if you have the space and the floor to support the additional weight (about 500 pounds more than a 8x12), you may want to go for it.

A photo of the other side would be nice to see what’s going on there. It’s certainly worth going to look and pulling a couple trial impressions. Keep us posted.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Visually comparing the size of the Reddington counter to the ink disk, I’d say it is NOT an 8x12 - which has a smaller ink disk. This would support the 10x15 hypothesis…

Thank you Rich, for the time you took to look at the photos, and your thoughtful response. I really appreciate it.

I am going to take a look at it. I’ve asked the seller to send me a photo of the backside. And I’m hoping and praying that it’s not located in the basement, or anywhere involving stairs. I’ll keep you posted.

Can anyone tell me what sort of amperage this machine requires? Is it 110 volt?

Thanks again.

Thanks for chiming in, Bill. Much appreciated.

It’s hard to say but based on the size of the motor and location probably 110 volt single phase. You won’t really know until you look at the plate on the motor or see what they have it wired to.

It does look like it’s in a basement but that isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. For one thing, it may be a walkpout basement. But even if not, I got my 10x15 out of a basement and have moved other presses in and out. It’s hard work but not impossible and you don’t necessarily need any fancy equipment. The price should certainly be adjusted downward accordingly.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Hi everyone,

An update: I did end up buying this press, and was lucky enough to work with a wonderful letterpress expert/letterpress mover from Indianapolis. I highly recommend him, and would be happy to pass along his info. We met in Cincinnati and packaged the press for transport to Brooklyn, NY. The mission was to palletize the press, take off the flywheel and axle so it could fit through the door of the street level/walkout basement, put the flywheel and axle back on, package it up, and move it to the end of the driveway, where it would await pick up by freighters. Next time I would definitely make the drive from the midwest to nyc myself - working with the freighting company was frustrating, and movers just don’t understand how sensitive these big presses can be. I was very, very lucky to receive my press in one piece, and very lucky that I didn’t have to learn that lesson the hard way.

It’s now safe in my studio, a beautiful sight. It has no visible rust but needs a good cleaning - anyone have suggestions for a cleaning solution? I was going to use a vinegar/lemon solution, and an air compressor to blow off the accumulated greasy dust. I’m also looking for a treadle, though the press came with a motor that I plan on cleaning and rewiring. Today’s set aside for thorough research on briarpress.

Here’s a link to some photos:

Thanks again for everyone’s kind feedback and suggestions.

You have your photobucket album set to private.

Thanks for letting me know, and sorry about that. I changed the setting and it should be fine now.

Hern Iron Works has the Treadle for your 10x15. I just ordered one for my 8x12 on Friday and Joel told me that they were just going into production. I’m not sure if they make the 10x15 at the same time but give him a call. They’re the only place to find a Treadle that I’ve seen - best of luck, it looks like a beauty!

Thanks Steve! Ironically I spoke with Joel last night, and he mentioned treadles going into production. So I luckily got in on that batch, and should get my treadle in a couple of weeks or so. What a service he provides, and he’s so kind and helpful too.

Good luck with your 8x12, and thanks again!