C&P 12x18 rollers, trucks & bearings

Wasn’t sure whether to post this under “beginner” or “troubleshooting?” I recently purchased a C & P 12 x 18 newstyle from a printshop that used it as a die cutter for several years. I am in the process of returning her to letterpress printing status. I received 3 rollers with the press and 3 different pairs of trucks. One of the rollers also had a set of bearings. The presses I have used in the past were already assembled and working so I never studied the roller/truck to press attachment method. I know one set of trucks are morgan expandables, the other two are of similar style but slightly different sizes (which I believe I can correct with a bit of tape.) My first question regarding this issue is what is the correct attachment of rollers to press? It appears I need the bearing otherwise the roller shaft would slop all over, the bearings are 9/16” ID & 1 1/8” OD (the local bearing supplier cannot get anything close.) I also wonder about the trucks, what keeps them from sliding? They rest on 2 tabs that are part of the roller and therefore rotate with the roller but can move laterally on the shaft? Is it simply the spring pressure on the arms that holds them in place? Seems like there should be a collar or something?
Second question: Does my press use 6 rollers? It appears that each arm will hold two printing rollers and 1 rider roller? What is the purpose of the rider roller (if I am even referencing it correctly?)
Looking forward to getting the press operational.

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I’ve got two of these presses, the best I can answer is:

1. The roller cores should fit snugly into the roller saddles on the arm of the press. No bearings are involved with Gordon-style presses.

2. The spring pressure keeps them from moving laterally. No collar.

3. 3 rollers. Not sure how you could think you could fit more than that. Maybe attach a photo of your roller saddles and I can help out. Maybe something non-original is on there. The rollers should be 2” dia. 20” long. All 8 of my rollers have cores which are 9/16”.

4. If you were going to use a rider roller, its only function is to minimalize ghosting on large forms.

I think the Craftsman version of the press has 4 main rollers.

I keep trying to attach photos and can not get them to stick. I have also attempted to copy and paste them into this block and no luck there also.

My rollers are 2” dia., 9/16” cores but overall length (core) is 26.” My saddles are identical, each has two saddles for the main rollers and a spring loaded top connection for the riders.

Thanks for the help, wish I could get photos up.


Sounds like you have a Chandler and Price Craftsman. That would account for the four rollers and bearings. You’ll need the bearings on the ends of the roller cores in order to hold it into the roller saddles. Spring tension will do the rest. This way the roller doesn’t wear on the saddle but instead spins inside the bearing—an improvement over other C&P models that often need new saddles due to lack of lubrication.

Perhaps somebody here can suggest a source for the bearings. I checked McMaster Carr, but it seems like all 9/16” ID bearings have an OD of 1 3/8” (too big for your needs).

Hope this helps,

This should fit the specs you’ve mentioned…


Man this IS the place to ask a question. Thank-you all for the guidance. I’ll order some bearings and hopefully be printing by the end of the year.

I have some literature you may be interested in. I’ve been compiling C&P Craftsman information, and have begun to post it on my blog. The formatting is not perfect yet, but the links work. I’ll continue to add information, and pictures. Please feel free to download any of the documents.


I also have pictures on my flickr stream.

I just noticed the bearings I linked are flanged bearings. They may or may not work, but perhaps the same company offers a standard version.

Let us know what you find.


I have a 12 x 18 Craftsman as well and I’m in search of new bearings for my rollers. Did anyone end up finding anything that works well? Thanks in advance!



These should work…


Hope this helps,

I’d just like to point out that I followed Brad’s advice above for my 12x18 Kluges, and the part does indeed fit. Though, you may have to “relearn” how to load in your rollers, since it leaves less room than running on cores and trucks alone.

James Beard
Vrooooom Press

You’ll also do well to have a roller tool. User ‘ericm’ had some for sale last month—not sure if he has any left.



Thanks Brad! Those look like they should work. Out of curiosity, do you know if there is a tool for removing your rollers on a C&P?


The same tool should work on a C&P Craftsman.


Hello, I have extra original bearings, trucks, and chases for the 12x18 C&P that I am willing to part with.

image: 12x18 kluge rollers, trucks, bearings 009.JPG

12x18 kluge rollers, trucks, bearings 009.JPG

Just in case anyone else stumbles in here looking for information on Craftsman bearings, the press requires 8 bearings. The OEM bearing was made by Nice Bearing in Philadelphia, but they are long out of business.

The part number from Nice was 1209 1/2. The specs coincide with a modern bearing number 1209-22-1/2 which, while having a somewhat different form still fit the saddles, and roller cores.

The link dicharry posted links to bearings priced at $14.14 as of 3/18/13.

They can be had from Action Bearing on Allston, MA for ~$8 each. A not insignificant difference in price if one needs to replace all 8.