Recently acquired NS C&P 12x18, any and all advice welcome

Hello community of letterpressers,
I recently purchased a C&P 12x18. I don’t have much history on it other than where it was stored for the last few decades. I am starting a small winery/meadery in Dayton, WA and plan to use this to print my labels and various other projects. To get this beast, dubbed “The Heebee Geebee” by my wife, into my new winery space has been a challenge. It came on a pallet of sorts and was hoisted onto a friends trailer. Now it is parked under the carport behind it’s new home. I have removed much of what is easily removable to get it inside. I believe I will need to remove the flywheel and gears opposite to get it off the trailer and into my back door. I may also try to remove the bed frame to break up the weight into multiple trips. If it sounds like I am doing anything absolutely wrong please respond using as much halting foul language as you deem appropriate.

The main questions I have are the following…

Main shaft repair - the small portion of one side of my main shaft, where the side arm slides on, appears to be dented or a bit misshapen. I don’t know if this was my bad while disassembling or if it was existing, but in the case that it does need repair would a metal lathe work to get that side back into true round?

Cleaning and Polishing - I know elbow grease is the best method for getting anything un-dirty, but does anyone have any recommendations for removing all the gunk HBGB has collected in the last half century? I’m using WD40, engine degreaser, and a small scraper so far. I would like to keep it reasonably show quality and polish what I can and paint what I can (i.e. pinstriping, lettering, etc.). Any major “no-no”s I should know about?

Working Space - how much room should I give HBGB to breathe? I have a work space approximately 10’x26’ feet in which to plant it, but I need at least 3’ clearance on the narrow side to meet code for proper egress. What sides should I plan on giving the most room for easy maintenance and operation?

Ink and Paper - I plan on using a decent weight paper, mostly machine made, but occasionally washi. I also plan on using oil based black ink for the majority of my printing. My previous experience with printing is in lino-block, aquatint, monotype, and flat-plate style lithography so I am not certain what products will translate well into letterpressing. Enlighten me, please.

Die-cutting and Embossing - I intend to use Boxcar Press polymer plates for the majority of my printing, but die-cutting and embossing would be great options. Are there any good resources for having dies made or any ruler length restrictions for my specific press I should know about?

Well, that’s about as much as I have at the moment. I’m a new Briar Press member and am quite tickled by all the enthusiasm and knowledge coursing through the letterpress community here. I think I will need to give up some X-Files rerun time to accommodate this new found wellspring of geeking opportunity. To all of you, thanks so much for being here.


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