How do I move/transport a C&P 8x12?

Hi all,

I just bought a C&P 8x12, but I need to go and pick it up a few states a way. What kind of equipment/vehicles/manpower/supplies/etc do I need in order to get my press home safely? It is going from a shed in Kansas to a garage in California.

All advice is appreciated. Thank you!

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Two people, some 2x4s for skids under the press, a low trailer with a ramp, three 3 foot pieces of iron pipe, a floor jack, a come-along, some straps and some common sense should do the trick. And, of course, a vehicle to tow the trailer. If it looks like rain, cover the press with a tarp.

Cut the 2x4s (or larger: 2x6 or 4x4) as long as the press is deep at the feet. I’m not home to measure just now but this is a bit longer than 30”, I think. Lag bolt them to the feet of the press (OK, you’ll need 4 Lag bolts, a wrench and a drill for the pilot hole) ideally you should bevel the ends of the skids. The floor jack will lever up one side then the other to put the skids under the feet. Then put two of the iron pipes under the press and use them to roll the press toward the trailer. Winch the press with the come-along up the ramp and into the trailer. Tie it down with the straps. Reverse the process at the other end.

If the press is in a basement, it all gets a bit more interesting.

C&P presses are top heavy so attaching the come-along is ideally done both high and low at the same time. Most times it behooves you to close the platen and strap it closed.

Someone nearby who has been through this once before could be a big help. Offer to buy a meal and/or beer (after the move).

Listen to Arie and check out the threads here and in other places. There are a lot of photographic step by step shots out there.

Try to avoid lift gates if you can… they tend to wobble and lurk, and have destroyed more than one press.

I have moved 8 X 12 presses in the back of my half-ton Ford pickup truck — no trailer needed. First, the platen should be wired closed and the feed boards and ink disk should be taken off. The easiest way to load it is to hire a tow truck with a winch. The tow truck can lift it straight up and into the bed of the truck in two minutes. The press should be positioned sideways, with the flywheel facing the cab of the truck, and strapped on tightly. I also cut two 2 X 4s and wedged them diagonally between the press and the sides of the bed to serve as braces. You can unload the press with ramps and pipes ( I have done it that way, too) but it is easier and a lot less stressful to again hire a tow truck. Locally, they charge $35 to unload, and it is money well spent. Other approaches may be better, but this way worked for me.

Thank you Arie! Do you know where I can rent a come-along? Or are they inexpensive to buy? And the iron pipe- is that easily picked up rom a hardware store?

Kevin- I am very curious about the tow truck option. How do they attach to the press? What was the process and did you have to instuct the operators much?

All advice is greatly appreciated.

Your best bet for lifting is to use the heavy-duty yellow nylon tie-down straps truckers are always losing on the interstates. I find them regularly — probably a 20-mile cruise on a busy interstate will turn one up. They’re very strong and less likely to damage cast iron than chain, and you can tie them with a square knot that’s very strong. Towing chain with snatch hooks also works but be careful where it bears on parts — the strain can snap cast iron like glass.


bunch of stuff here. fairly cheap. I’m about to pick up somethign to move the 8x12 C&P i’m getting next month.

I wouldn’t recommend harbor freight tools for regular use as it’s mostly all stuff that breaks easily but for a 1-2 time move it fits the wallet.

Ihad a 10x15 moved from 2 towns away by riggers, cost me $600, a year later a nice 10x15 came up 1 town away, someone told me to get a tow truck, i had to help secure the press, he charged me $50, the move went smoothly. If you need it put in a pickup i would look into a tow truck. Dick G.

You should be able to find everything you need at one of the big box lumber stores. For a small fee they’ll even cut up the wood (but probably not the bevels) and pipe. I don’t recommend pickup trucks for moving presses; you have to lift things too high. The tow trucks work well though if a pickup or u-Haul truck is your choice. Trailers are cheaper to rent.

Don’t rent the come-along. It’ll come in handy next time and they’re not very expensive. Same for the straps, pipes, wrenches, drills, etc. Or get to know someone who has all these and buy them lunch every so often and offer to assist them on any future moving projects. A good moving buddy is invaluable.

The tow truck guys have used nylon towing straps and chains to lift with. They didn’t have any problems lifting the presses into the truck.

Ach- I’m so sorry for all of my typos before!

Thank you all for the information! I am planning on renting a flatbed trailer from a uhaul location once I get to Kansas and using it for the one-way move to CA. The rest is stuff that I’ll gather and arrange here before the trip.

Kevin- what part of the press should the towers attach to?

I’ve been looking for iron pipe on home dept’s website. would steel pip work? either way (iro or steel) what diameter is recommended, 3/4 inch?


Wrought iron pipe used for plumbing is thicker walled and stronger, so I would go that route. Mine are 1 3/8 inch outside diameter. what you want is called black pipe on the Home Depot web site.

Apparently it is measured in inside diameter, so get the 3/4 inch.

i use gas pipe, i think it’s only 3/4” outside diameter, the larger the pipe the further it drops when coming off the pipe. Lots of people use larger pipe, but i’ve always felt better with smaller pipe. Dick G.

The strap or chain should go through the openings in the heavy frame of the press.

Thank you everyone!

I am working on gathering supplies before I go pick up the press next month. I’m going to also post to see if there are any printers in the eastern Kansas and southern California areas that would be willing to help with a move. If I can’t find anyone, would any of the experts on here be willing to exchange phone numbers for day-of questions? I know that’s asking a lot of an online community, but as a newbie I would be eternally grateful! Let me know… my email is shineletterpress [at] gmail [dot] com