Need Help: Buying a C&P 10x15

I am looking to get into letterpress and found a 10x15 C&P locally that i plan to purchase and relocate this saturday. Being that I am new to letterpress i thought i would post here and get some advice on things to look out for when buying a press.

From what I have observed the press is missing rollers, Grippers and the Chase (all of which are fairly easy to replace?). The rotating wood table top is also missing. The press is selling for 1100. Is this a fair price? I have posted some pictures to help in assessing my situation.

I thank everyone in advance for the help and advice.

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Rollers are fairly easy to replace, if expensive…I bought mine from NA Graphics. Grippers a bit less so, but I have taken mine off the 8x12 and never use them. Now I no longer smash type with them. Is should be possible to have some made, but again not really cheap. Chases can be purchased used from places like Dave Churchman’s Boutique de Junque in Indianapolis or John Barrett’s Letterpress Things in Chicoppee, MA. The delivery table is easily made from a piece of 3/4” wood, but the post may be the most difficult item to find, if it, too is missing.

$1100 is a bit steep in my opinion, but if it is local you may not have too many moving costs. I’ve gotten them free when the owner needed to get rid of them quickly, but most that sell seem to fall in the $500 range on eBay.

I’d check the platen by giving it a good shake to see if the press is worn out. You shouldn’t be able to make it move much; a little is ok, but not much.

Agreed, the price seems a bit steep. I believe John Barrett had some grippers last time I was there but I’m not sure what size. I’m always like a kid in a candy store when I’m there so I wasn’t really focused on them! :) He also has a load of chases, I’m sure he’d have a 10x15. It looks to be in pretty good shape and at ground level with forklift availability? Always a plus when moving.
Best of luck and let us know how it turns out


Good to know that 1100 is a little steep. Seemed like a good price, as i have been looking at the Pilot tabletop presses which sell for quite a bit. From the pictures i post can some confirm that the press has the trucks? Do either of the stores/shops you mentioned sell online or only in person?

The press is only 20 miles from my house so even though it priced a little high i think it will be worth it for transportation sake alone. The seller has a forklift on hand so unloading will be the biggest struggle. Will an engine hoist do the job?

The seller has 2 heidelberg windmills and a treadle platen press in his garage that he operates so I’m hoping that means the press has been taken care of.

No rollers are visible, so no trucks either. But they’re considerably cheaper than the rollers. NA Graphics has a web store and will sell you good rollers and delrin trucks.

Churchman’s is worth the visit in person as it Letterpress things; doesn’t matter where you live. But make sure they’re open when you come. Their scheduled hours are limited.

Put the press on skids (4x4 or 2x6” lengths of wood beneath the feet of the press on right and left. Lag bolt them to the press. Have the present owner put them on a low trailer from u-haul and you can lower the press with a come-along and johnson bar down the ramp of the trailer without too much effort. More extensive descriptions of the process are in the archives.

Where are you? There may be a printer nearby to assist or at least consult.

The 10x15 is an excellent press. The price does seem high, if you could get him to throw in some quoins and furniture, a quoin key, and a chase or two, even the grippers might be laying around, then the price would seem a little better. Where were you 3 years ago when i couldn’t even give one away. Don’t know where your located, there is a nice one in Hanson, MA for sale with type and everything you need to start printing. If you are going to buy the press you need to check it to make sure there are no breaks or welds, take off the tympan and make sure the platen has not been welded. it looks like a nice press, whatever you do good luck. Arie has good advice about the low trailer, you don’t want to lift the press any higher than you have to. Good luck Dick G.

this seems quite high to me. make sure you sit down and add up cost of everything you will need to buy. including electric service for it. maybe heat for winter? as stated above, lots of support parts will be needed. good luck! don’t be afraid to shop around on this one though.