Best way to move a Washington Press?

Hi, all— I have a Washington Press that I’m getting ready to move and am wondering if any of you have some tips for moving it. And recommendations for how much you would disassemble it? And does anyone know roughly how much it would weigh? The bed is about 3’ x 4’. Thanks so much for your help!


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Hi, Lauren,
Disassembly depends on the press. I don’t think I have yours recorded in the North American Hand Press Database — please contact me to check (full name and address, make of press) and I can tell you more about it — I’ve moved half a dozen of them. I made a PowerPoint about it which has been converted to a text-and-photos file available on Briar Press. When do you anticipate making the move?

Regards, Bob Oldham

firebrandpress, allways dissassemble a hand press.
Hire someone 2 do it right.Read the Rummonds book or the Allen book , Bobs advice is sound.
I have recently seen a hand press on ebay without a post,
bed under the platen, rails on ,and to top all that offt it is on a pallet made for light matter. these press’ are more fragile than you think, I have seen rails twist and break along
with their keepers on the frame. best james

I sure Bob will answer in more detail, but here’s a start.

Your press sounds huge, bigger than I’ve heard of before. You should measure the bed (or the size of the platen) carefully. It can help determine exactly what you’ve got.

If it’s anywhere near the size your mention, it will be thousands of pounds. Here’s a page with a little info, including an incomplete table of sizes and weights:

You should get a copy of Rummonds’ book, Printing on the Iron Handpress. Search for it here:
He talks some about how they go together, but you’ll want to get a copy anyway, to help you learn how to use it.

You’ll need to study the press carefully before you try to disassemble it. If possible, have someone knowledgable help you. (Of course, you’ll need help to manage it anyway, since the individual pieces are quite heavy). Plan ahead.

For my press, the toggle mechanism was already disassembled when I started. I removed the tympan and frisket, then the corner irons from the bed. Next I removed the platen (quite heavy), then the bed (even heavier). Next I removed the rails, and finally took the frame off the legs.

I didn’t try to disassemble the frame. Many (most?) aren’t intended to be taken apart. You’ll have to study it closely to get a better idea.

Have fun with it, and be very careful.