What to do with a broken C&P NS 10x15?

I will make a long, sad story very short for the sake of my heart and still-bleary eyes: We recently moved to a new city for a new job and a change of scenery, and in the process of moving, our press was broken. We chose to go with moving assistance instead of moving it ourselves because I am due with our second child in December, and that was, in hindsight, quite obviously not the right choice.

Anyway, once I get photos of the damage off of my camera, I’ll post them, but it won’t be without tears. Much of the press is, in my opinion, very salvageable for those who are looking for parts. The arms that held the rollers and the feeder board arms are the most damaged, shattered even. (Basically, the press fell face-forward despite the warning that it was top heavy and what I thought was a clear understanding of how best to balance the thing for the trip from the truck to the floor of our garage … so much for that.) There is a clean break where the left feeder arm bar meets the body of the press that could be welded, but I would say the that the roller parts are irreparable without replacement. Our ink disk is completely undamaged which is great for those who may need one, and the main body of the press may need checking for alignment issues, but nothing else is broken and it still turns and opens/closes with the motion of flywheel.

We have a Hern treadle, a Boxcar base, a die-cutting jacket, and 3-5 chases (I want to say at least 4). There are other miscellaneous items as well, but some I’d like to hang on to as we’d like to purchase another press (or two). We’d either like to find a couple of tabletops or at least a C&P 8x12.

I’m in Virginia and currently at a loss with what to do about both what’s left of our press and our fledgling business. I will admit that I feel worse about the press, which we originally rescued from being sold for scrap metal and melted in the first place. A lot of good we did the beautiful old thing, right? Yeah. Please don’t post and make us feel worse about our accident—I still cry when typing about it and already regret our decision to let others move the press despite leaving them with clear instructions. We were both shocked and heartbroken and are still in mourning.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions of how best to put the working-order parts of the press into the hands that really need them for restoration or whatever, please let me know here. We want to make sure we can help others keep their presses running despite failing ours.

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I’m really sorry about this tragic mishap.
Hopefully in time you can be able to buy another press.
I’ve suffered from seeing the guys who helped me move my vandercook almost drop it.
I have a question.. was this a C&P Craftsman press? Or just regular C&P?
Thanks, and my best wishes.

It’s just a regular C&P New Series 10x15. Not a Craftsman. I can dig up the serial # when I get home.

It really was (still is!) rather tragic, as we were looking forward to where we moved to as being a great place to settle into letterpress printing as a business together (my husband and I) instead of just a hobby. We’re not giving up, of course, but this is a bit of a set-back for now.

You might want to hang on to it and look for another C&P 10x15 that can make use of your chases, rollers, base, treadle, etc. When you have identified what you won’t be needing for the new press, you can then start to redistribute what remains.

You’ve got most of what you’d need to set up a press that’s been sitting unused and neglected.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

True! Thanks for the encouragement, Daniel. :)

Wiredbids has an auction going on right now with several 10 x 15’s, I will be bidding on one of them myself.

I’m with Daniel, Nifty. Hang on to what you have, in case you find a similarly ailing 10x15 that has different parts broken. Once you get all that settled, I might well be interested in buying your flywheel, if you don’t need it. There are definitely presses out there. In fact, I think I just saw a post here on BriarPress from another Virginian cleaning out his Dad’s shop, and there were two C&P Old Styles amongst the offerings. Maybe you two can get together.

I have a 10x15 that fell sideways onto the flywheel in a similar moving accident. I am awaiting the outcome of the damage claim with the carrier, but have purchased a beauty of an OS 8x12 in the meantime. If you can send me photos of your broken items, I may be able to help you put yours back together!!

Fingers crossed,


@Greg - I’ve been in touch with him, actually. :) It seems to be turning into good news and exciting stuff for us, so hooray for that.

@Magnus - I will post photos hopefully after work today. I want to go back and see if I can take some better detailed photos of the break points, but it’s been so gloomy and rainy out. Our garage light is not very powerful, so better photos may have to wait until the weekend.

@Michael - I checked out the auction, but will admit I’m not sure how it works in terms of arranging transportation for your items.

I was just up at Bindery Tools in New Holland, Pennsylvania (not so very far from Virginia) yesterday, and although I was shopping for a stapler, I did notice that there were quite a number of presses of all shapes and sizes, including a number of 8x12 C&Ps. I think the owner has many of them up for auction at the moment (see his ad in the classifieds section) but there are even more that appear not to be included in the auction. In talking to him, it seems that moving and repairing equipment for clients are also areas of expertise.

I also recently had a good experience having a broken foot repaired on my “new” (to me) Craftsmen press at Krug Iron Works in downtown Baltimore - they have a fascinating workshop (the oldest business in the city, I believe) and they specialize in properly repairing old iron work, mostly architectural. You should have seen the poor lamppost they were completely reconstructing on the same workbench where they fixed my press - it made me feel a lot better about my single broken piece!

Anyway, I don’t know if either of those are close enough to be of use, but good luck in any case! You certainly have provided a good cautionary tale for those of us who haven’t gotten a larger press yet.


I know we’ve exchanged an email or two but hearing the full story of what happened to your press really breaks my heart! I hope you’re able to find a solution. If it was me, I don’t know what I’d do. I’m not sure if fixing it would be so expensive that’d you’d be better off selling the parts and buying a new press or not.

I promise to keep an ear out in Virginia Beach, and if I hear of any local presses (I might own the only one…who knows) I’ll send you a note.

I’m rather far away from PA, though somewhat close to Baltimore. Both are a bit of a drive, especially with 1800lbs to tow when we have to borrow a truck since we don’t own our own, so we’re trying to decide if it’s worth our expense or if it’s better for us to part it out instead. It really seems like it would be easier for us, at this point and especially in our little rental house, to part out the press and recoup our losses while trying to find one or two presses to make up for our lost one.

Thanks, though!

I’ve been in touch with someone who posted their basement legacy here in Briar Press. They live in Falls Creek, VA and it looks like we’ll be getting at least an 8x12 C&P to take home with us while sharing the wealth with a printer friend in Richmond. We’d still like to find a tabletop press or two, but those are ridiculously out of our budget. One day, perhaps. I get that there’s a high demand for them, but ouch. Just looking at the price for some of those nicer tabletop presses makes my brain hurt right now … :P

It’s good news for us, though we do want to get our broken press out of our garage. I’d like to part it out because I know it’s just not feasible for us to repair it at this time, and we’d rather make sure that other people keep their presses running with our parts.

I guess I should make a Classified ad here?

So far, I just have a bazillion people emailing me about the die-cutting jacket … you know, the lightest part of our press. There’s still 1500lbs we need out of our garage! Seriously, who wants it all? Someone here does, I know they do … We’ve got, all for an NS C&P 10x15:

- A perfect ink disk
- A Boxcar base
- A Hern treadle (new in the box)
- An entire press body (I’ll post photos)

I have a handful of people already interested in the die-cutting jacket, but I have no idea what it’s worth.

I said I’d post some photos, so here they are. The very last one is how it ended up on the floor of our garage after the chain broke.

The rest are some of the broken bits, though I need to take a better photo of the clean break where the left feed board arm meets the body of the press … that one came out too dark because our overhead light in the garage is pretty feeble for the moment. Anyway, sad times. I got a little weepy taking these off the camera. :(

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Sad as this post is it will be the saving of a few more presses that are missing parts . If you have to strip it down then strip it and grease the parts and find a place in a corner outsidee if necessary and tarp it for future needs or bitser sale . Like any press of its age its worth more as a bitser , if you get insurance pay back you may offer to buy the wreckage from them , this is possible in the uk . The parts you show do, however ,look repairable ,ask around your farming community for the name of an agricultural fitter it costs nothing for the grapevine to come up with a name !

I am so sorry about the accident. Having just gone through the delivery of our new press, and experiencing the attendant anxiety, I know how I would have felt had anything terrible gone wrong. So I feel like a vulture asking if the treadle is for sale, but there it is. We have a 12 x 18 C and P NS, raised up on 4 x 6s, so I don’t know if it would even be compatible.. . The guy who installed the motor for us and the guy who sold it to us convinced us it would be far better to run it on a motor, but it goes at a terrifying clip! Note to self-trust your instincts. I am accustomed to etching and printing is a very slooooooow process as I know and love it. Again, so sorry about the accident. Here is wishing you joy of your second child and a fresh and happy start to the new year.