uneven roller tracks on C&P *Old* Style

I’m thinking of buying a Chandler & Price 12x18 *Old* (not New, as stated previously) Style, but it apparently has pretty uneven roller tracks. I’ve attached some pictures that the guy selling it sent to me. Is it worth trying to fix this up? He’s asking $1100 for it, is that a fair price? It’s located within 10 miles of where I work. I’ve never bought a press this large before, so I’m kind of running blind here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve attached a bunch of pictures…

image: rail1.JPG


image: rail2.JPG


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image: 5W55P65X23mc3oa3lcbbu25edd3405bbb112f.jpg


image: 5Y45T25Q03k53pb3l8bbuc339f7017d2c14eb.jpg


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For one thing, it’s not a new series press. New series presses have straight spoked flywheels, and the large bars which connect the upper parts of the platen and bed are not round like they appear to be in the pictures.

As far as the rails (roller tracks) go, it looks like they have already been covered with flat steel bar stock. If the rails are that worn, what might a close inspection of the rest of the press reveal?

I guess it would be possible for a person to restore the rail surfaces to being flat and straight and at the right height, but it would be a project, and perhaps beyond your capability or desire to take on.

For that press, I think $1100 is very high. And, I wouldn’t even make an offer until the machine was thoroughly inspected by a knowledgable person, and no other significant issues were found.

Do you know any knowledgable people in your area who might look at the press for you, and if not, where are you?

I guess I’m is not the most knowledgable person about presses, since it’s actually a different style. I should have double-checked that.

It seems that it’s quite well used, since I thought the flat steel bar stock was original. I don’t know any knowledgeable people about presses, specifically, but I do know a few people who own another C&P floor press.

I’m not sure how it’s possible that the rails could be raised in the areas where they’ve been worn down. Would new material be added somehow? I could understand grinding down the parts that are too high…

I’m in the SF Bay Area.

Steel rollers can wear down the rails over time - if you print the same form area every day for 40 or 50 years, there will be uneven pressure, and therefore wear on the rails. My 8x12 OS had the rails resurfaced at some point, with the addition of some bar stock. Done professionally, it is a reasonable repair, and should not affect the operation of the press.

You should be able to find someone in the SF area who is knowledgeable enough to help you evaluate this press - which seems rather overpriced for it’s apparent condition.

A fair price would be determined by actual condition and location; and larger OS presses should not be as expensive as smaller ones, since they’re harder to move.

Some damage to the rails happens not over time but due to accidents. If a roller jumps from the saddle, it can get caught between the platen and the rails and produce a dent in the rails which someone then must smooth out and fix, also I have seen presses which have had wrenches fall into the press as it closes and get trapped as above.

A friend of mine worked in a calendar factory where slugs were inserted into the form without removing the chase from the press. Occsionally one of the operators, college students, generally, would leave the quion key in the form and the rollers would come down on it and create havoc. My friend never admitted to doing this himself, but he did recall hearing the press next to his come to a stop with a jolt and a loud “clunk”.


I’d ask the seller if he/she knows what is covering the rails. I’ve seen leather strips used on rails before and it could be that this is what is in the photos. However, 1100 still seems high given the overall condition. It also depends on how easy the press would be to move—a 500 dollar press in a basement might be a 1000 dollar press on ground level with easy access.


Accidents causing the uneven roller tracks makes a lot of sense, but it could also just be many years of use.

The seller seems to think that this press is worth more than smaller presses, since it’s “harder to find the larger ones” and “you can print larger or more prints.” Not sure what to make of that.

The seller said that the pieces covering the rails appear to be made of metal.

The press is stored in a warehouse, on a pallet, and the seller has ready access to a forklift. For a 12x18 floor press, I’d imagine that those circumstances alone make it relatively easy to move.

Where should I start looking for someone knowledgable enough about presses to come with me to see the press?

You probably won’t like hearing it, but if I were you I’d walk away from this press. Especially for the price. Have you checked with the Hicks Brothers? They may have something for the same price or not much more that’s in far better condition and they’re good, honest guys that know printing equipment inside and out.


I got one of those for free in similar condition. It was worth every penny.

I was already close to walking away from this before I posted here, but this has pretty much confirmed my fears about this press. I’ll check out the Hicks Brothers — I hadn’t heard about them up until now. I’m not near Fremont, but it’s still relatively close. Any other places that might have presses in the bay area?