Help with a press

I traveled a few hours away this weekend to take a look at this press. 10x15 Chandler and Price. It was used at a newspaper for a good number of years and still sits in the same spot as when it was actually used. There is a page of a mortgage contract still mounted in the chase. They’ve taken the ink plate and rollers off but they’re just laying to the side. It looks as if they were going to take it apart to move it and then decided against it.

To my untrained eye, it looks to be in good condition and all the pieces seem to be present. The person who owns it will probably want me to make an offer on the press. If you could offer some suggestions for a fair price that would be much appreciated.

In order to move this press from it’s current location it will have to be mostly disassembled to get it out the door and down the stairs. Then I’ll mount it in the back of a truck and drive it 4 hours where I’ll then clean and reassemble everything.

Any help, advice, discussion, suggestions, etc… will be much appreciated. I have a feeling that if I don’t get this press it will end up in the scrap yard within 5 - 10 years from now. The date I found on it said 1899. I’d love to see this press working again.

The Chandler and Price wrench I found next to the press made me really excited but I don’t know why. Anyway, here it is…

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Log in to reply   6 replies so far

There really is no “fair” price because people have gotten identical presses free of charge, while others have paid hundreds of dollars or more. My advice is not to make an offer at all. Figure out what it will cost you to disassemble it, move it, reassemble it, buy new rollers (the old ones are no good), and replace missing parts, because there could easily be parts missing or broken. Detail those costs to the owner, then ask the person to tell you how much he wants for it. It is up to the seller to set prices; otherwise, he should try to sell it at auction and take the risk of practically giving it away. When you make an offer it is easy for somebody else to come along and offer $20 more than you, then you’re out. If you were to say something like, “It’s your press. What do YOU think it’s worth?” that will usually get the ball rolling. If the price sounds reasonable, and you want to mess with a project of this scope, go ahead and buy it. If you can’t strike a deal, just move on and keep looking. There are other presses out there, already assembled, working, and easier to move than this one.

It looks to be in good shape and complete, though some cleaning is obviously needed. It has a variable speed motor and roller cores and trucks, grippers, etc. I’ve pretty much been able to account for all the parts including nuts and washers so from that standpoint it looks like a good buy.

In this case the issue is getting it down the stairs. It can be done, in fact it was done when they brought it up. But you’re going to need several strong people and some equipment, even if it’s only a refrigerator hand truck to take the main frame and the bed down seperately after attaching some wooden runners to the press. I’ve done that and it works but you need at least three big men, four is better.

Depending on where the press will end up at your end, you might hire a local (to the press) service to get it down the stairs and into your truck, a rental with a hydraulic lift gate would be best but a pull out ramp or a trailer with a pickup would work. Then you could unload it yourself at your end assuming it will be reasonably at ground level. Or hire seperate riggers at your end. Hiring seperately at both ends with you doing the long trip is probably cheapest. Of course, if you have some strong friends who have at least a reasonable amount of moving experience and common sense, that will save you money too.

The question of how much topay for the press is directly related to what the move will cost. You’re likely to end up paying $400-500 for the move one way or the other. These presses can go for free to over $1000. But about $500 seems average. So if you think it good to make an offer, point out the time and expense of getting it out the door and offer them $100.

Of course, a lot also depends on your financial situation and how much you want this press and are willing to wait and see if one turns up closer. I have this same model press and it is great. I was fortunate in terms of expense but considering the cost of moving it I think you would be getting good value paying up to about $500 for it. But keep in mind that if they scrap it they will have to pay someone to come and get it so you should be able to get it pretty cheap. But don’t underestimate the work involved moving it.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

This looks like a great old press. I am impressed by how clean it is. Your photo, top.jpg is particularly interesting. Most old C&Ps I have seen and the two I have clean had 1/2” of old ink all over this part and into each divided section. One item of suspicion is the bolt on the left. Looks broken. I think that is where the ink disk bracket bolts to the back of the bed.
Even the photo of the underside of the ink desk shows little wear to the pawl and teeth. Rollers cost about $120-each. You should try to make sure all 6 trucks for the rollers are there. Some are shown in the photo but not all. Check the press for wear on the rails and for breaks. Also for missing bolts. The age of this one precludes that most of the bolts had different threading from what you can buy now.
Kevin’s advice on price if good. You are doing him a service by moving it and should be able to negotiate a price around or below $500. If the motor is part of the deal, may be a little more. Good luck on this one, I would jump for it judging by your photos.

Thanks everyone for your quick and great responses. Longdaypress - is there any way you could specifically point out what looks broken? I didn’t notice anything when I was there, but I could have easily missed something.

I’m going to a different place tomorrow to see some more equipment. Hopefully I’ll have more to report on!

thanks again


I looked at the photo again and even sharpened it. It looks like a gray stud on the left side, just under the loop end of the chase lock arm. I am sorry I did not compare to mine, since it is raining like crazy here and I am too lazy to go look. It is probably nothing that is missing.

I am really impressed at how good the frame and body looks over all. The wrench is a bonus and you can get excited. They are hard to find. Originally, one was provided to adjust the grippers, a 5/8” I think and one for adjusting the impressions screws, 1 1/8”. Good luck with your search.

That looks like a small votive candle; they are often made with an aluminum cup. It was probably used for heating the ink disc.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ