Rollers for Craftsmen 6.5 X 10

I recently bought my first letterpress, a Craftsmen Superior 6.5 X 10. I am currently looking for some new rollers and I was wondering if anyone could help me find some. I found some rollers for a really good price for a C&P Pilot 6.5 x10. would that fit my press?

Thanks,

Curtis

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Curtis -

Short answer: Yes.
The C&P 6 1/2 x 10 Pilot rollers will fit your Craftsmen 6 1/2 x10.

Long answer:
Craftsmen copied C&P almost part for part when they reproduced this old classic.

Although some purists may disagree, the roller specs can vary somewhat and the rollers can still do a fine job for you.

Even rollers for a 6x10 Kelsey can be used effectively on a Pilot, however the Kelsey roller shaft is 3/8” diameter vs 5/16” for the Pilots, and the rubber is only 1 1/4”, so I would not recommend it as your first choice - but it is a viable option and I just now put a set of Kelsey 6x10 rollers onto one of our Pilots here and found that they fit just fine.

from my notes:
(all specs taken by me, personally from old sets of pilot rollers, and cross referenced with the Kelsey Company roller specs records in our collection)

6 1/2 x 10 Pilot - Craftsman, C&P - Old & New & APE:
1 5/16 - 1 1/2” diameter x 10-11” rubber,
centered on 14 1/4” x 5/16” shaft.

Trucks: 1 5/16” or up to 1/16” smaller than rollers x 3/4” wide (at shaft) as narrow as 7/16” on rail (outer diameter)

note: trucks can be taped to increase roller height for use with shallow (photo-polymer) plates.

BTW - I *do* recommend taping the trucks with black vinyl electrical tape to adjust roller height. If you plan to print with photo polymer plates, you will likely find it helpful to increase the truck diameter to almost that of the rubber.

ref: http://excelsiorpress.org/reference/presswork/smallpresswork.html#taping...

But, if you will be printing from type or photo-engravings, this should not be necessary.

Although it seems popular, I do not recommend taping the rails on smaller presses.

- Alan

P.S. An interesting side-note: While searching my Kelsey Company Roller Specs file for something on the C&P Pilot, I found a card for the 6 1/2 x 10 Prouty Press - and they are almost identical to the measurements above.

There has been some suggestion that Chandler & Price did not originate the Pilot. It may be that this old Prouty Press (made by John Prouty of Boston prior to 1900) might actually be the precursor to that third-generation Craftsmen that you just bought..

… just a little bit of letterpress trivia….

- Alan

Hi Curtis,

I also have a Craftsmen Superior. When I purchased the press, it had composition rollers in sad, sad shape. I ended up getting new rubber rollers on new cores directly from Craftsmen, which is still in operation and has some parts for its presses (I also got a few other bits and pieces to bring my press up to full spec).

See:
http://craftsmenmachinery.com/index.htm

Sherwin Marks is the contact there and is quite helpful.

For your information, my two rollers with new cores came to $195. Trucks were $25 each. Not cheap, but I knew they’d work (and they have). There have been comments (and I’ve had conversations with local letterpress folks) about whether the rollers from Craftsmen are to spec…they seem to be suitable for the press (given I don’t know what the original spec was, I can’t comment beyond that). The cores match the rubber, and I’ve required minimal (if any) rail taping.

I have four cores sitting unused if they’d help and you’re interested.

Good luck,
Matthew

Curtis,

I recommend that you contact:

Ramco Roller Products
San Dimas, Ca.

We have all of our rubber rollers done by them.
They now provide cores and trucks for 6.5 x 10.

Best quality, best price, best service.

Terri
T and T Press Restoration
www.tandtpressrestoration.com

Thank you for all your advice and knowledge, I’m going to go with the rollers for a C&P Pilot 6.5 x10

Curtis

We at Craftsmen make new rubber rollers, cores and trucks for our presses. They are made to exact specs of the original presses.

Sherwin Marks
Craftsmen

Had a brand new set for my Craftsmen press. Left them in a damp environment. Today discovered that mold likes rubber. Now am deciding whether or not the old ones are better or the new ones.

Come tax refund time I guess I’ll be contacting Craftsmen…

I think a little mold can be dealt with. Certainly worth the try.
A good scrub with laundry detergent or TSP followed by a generous treatment with Clorox to kill any remaining mold.

This is a old post
but just for kicks your not doing yourself any favors by using the wrong rollers. the Craftsman has the longest cores without washers on sides the other original designs will fall off rails craftsman also had the largest diameter rubber. being a professional users press the extra ink can come in handy. the Pilot OS was 1.25, NS was1 5/16 rubber same core diameter just a little short. the late models of Kelsey had 1 1/8 rubber smaller 3/8” core and a little shorter overall.
make your life easier your rollers should fit like a good pair of shoes.