Cleaning a C&P Craftsman

Hi Everyone -

My C&P Craftsman arrived yesterday and is now sitting nicely in my garage. I just had some cleaning questions.

How can I clean the chase? It seems to have a lot of caked on dirt/oil… and who knows whatever stuff is stuck on it. I found some Zep (citrus oil) degreaser. Is that safe to use on the chase and the C&P machine to clean? What is recommended?

I don’t seem to see much of a rust problem but there’s just a lot of dirt built up over time. I wanted to give it a general cleaning before working on the machine. I don’t necessarily need the machine to look like it belongs in a museum, but it would be nice to work on it without it looking too dirty or getting dirt on the papers

Any tips or cleaning suggestions are welcome. :)

Thanks in advance!.

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Most chases when putting it in the press hit the rollers, i’ve seen chases with almost 1/4” of dried ink on them., it won’t hurt anything. You can use a wire wheel on a drill to take the ink off the chase, a razor blade, mostly i use steel wool to clean up the disc, bed and platen, these parts you don’t want to use a wire brush or wheel on so they don’t get scratched up. Strong cleaners can damage the paint on your press, i usually just use a press wash and a rag to clean with. I’m a believer in if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, that 100 years of gunk and dried ink adds character to the press. Good Luck Dick G.

Over the past year I have read various comments about cleaning presses. Having been in the trade for 40 years and about half of that as a pressman, nothing got up my dander more than following some one on a press and ending up with ink on my clothes and hands from the last 3 jobs that were run. I was taught as an young man that pride in craftsmanship starts with the equipment, a dirty, oil drenched, ink smeared press will reflect in the finished product. It’s hard to explain to the customer that the dirt on their finished job gives it character. That press is an investment in money, love and time, treat it well and it will treat you well.