C&P 12x18- Talk to me.

Briarpress aficionados:

I have an opportunity to purchase a 12x18c&p and am looking for some advice. Not on printing— I can handle that— but on the ad/disad-vantages of owning a press quite this large. I understand the obvious ad: printing larger forms; but:

What are the thoughts from the very-much-more-experienced printers out there? Do you like (perhaps love?) your 12x18, or wish you had a different one? I’ve been printing on my 8x12 and am pushing my limits (in terms of sizes) with it- looking for additional ‘room’ to grow.

Things I’ve considered: moving costs (this big boy weighs in around 2700-ish lbs), operating space required, lobotomy (for me, in case I really AM crazy…), etc.

Talk to me.

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A few questions:

How far do you have to move the press?
Do you have the space available?
Where are you located?

good questions:
1) pretty far, perhaps a few hundred miles— of which I have the means (through rigging companies in both states), but a significant distance none the less. On the other extreame, perhaps not far at all (perhaps around 50 miles) with a move I am considering.

2) space available: I believe so… but I wonder HOW much space I’ll actually need for the press…

3) located in MA

There’s something to be said for having a “backup” press, especially if you’re making a business out of printing. All in all, I think you’re better served by working with a larger press, but all the accompanying expenses rise, like moving and recasting rollers.

I’d say you really need to think about what you prefer to print and if that fits into needing a larger press. Be practical and remember that bigger may not be better. You may just have equipment fever!

Hello, I have both, the little guy is still used all the time but the big boy is used just as often. I couldn’t get along without both…. some day you will be looking for a 14x20. Skip the 10x15 if you can…thy great presses but why not go for the larger one right off… you will be happier in the long run. Carl.

Evseidl I think you have been infected with the letterpress bug, first a bigger press then more type so you can fill the chase, that means more spacing and longer furniture,more quions, larger tympan, bigger paper to print on, then a larger cutter to handle the bigger stock. The 12x18 is a great press, more impressional strength, better inking. I have a 12x18 Kluge, it has 4 rollers to ink the form. The kluge has a feeder that makes long runs easier. Don’t know if the c&p has 4 rollers, but it will give you a larger area to print, and keep the 8x12 for smaller jobs. If I can help contact me, if you want to see a kluge run you’re welcome to come over, right now i’m in the middle of a large run, the press should be running for the next month or so on the same job. Good Luck Dick G.

you may think it is too big, but, once you get used to the power it has and the area,,, you will like it. MORE! MORE! you will screem into the night,,,HA! lol,,, have fun, be safe…

One thing no one has mentioned is the greater inking capacity of the 12x18. The rollers are of greater diameter, and there is more distribution area on the inking disk, both of which mean you can carry more ink to the form and not have as many problems with ghosting (in the same form you would have run on the 8x12).

The standard 12x18 C&P has only 3 form rollers, but the C&P Craftsman has 4.

The downside of the increased inking capacity is a slightly greater amount of ink required to ink it up for short runs.

As others have mentioned, if you are looking for another press and have the room, go for the 12x18 rather than the 10x15. It will provide you with greater capacity down the road.

John Henry

Ev….. if you are accomplished on the 8 x 12, you will appreciate the larger 12 x 18. It will do everything the 8 x 12 will do plus will ink better, and print a larger form.

If you have the room, I’d go for it.

Ericm, you are cracking me up. This is exactly how I feel each time I crank up my Kluges. Especially when I finally got a 220v line installed into the garage.

Frankenstein’s monster indeed.

Thank you all for the comments— I’m still undecided if the lobotomy is the best way to go (surprised no one started with that portion of my post.. ha). I’ve got some studio shifting to do before considering bringing in a new friend, but these are great comments for me to think about!

… I have the fever.