Moving large Charles Brand Etching Press

A group of artists in Topeka KS. area are hoping to build a community shop in what was an abandoned building in the NOTO Arts District. In addition to letterpress (will be looking for the right equipment in about a year) we want to provide artists’ presses and I have come across a 36x60 Motorized Charles Brand in California that I would like to purchase and donate. Unfortunately the packing and freighting ‘ball park estimate’ for dismantling and shipping to Topeka was $6K. The press is accessible in a ground level outside door storage area - garage. At this end we can provide a fork lift for ground level unloading.
My questions are 2. 1. Can the press safely be shipped in one piece by a standard moving company (and if so how should we instruct a household mover to blanket/pack/secure)
2. If no to #1, can a couple of old men with some basic mechanical skill take off the motor, roller, bed of the press using something like a 2Ton foldable shop crane and crate and load onto pick-up and trailer ourselves? Obviously not experienced at this!

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Can’t weigh more than a ton or two. Why not just strap it down on a trailer? You may want to block up the middle to save strain on the legs. I just moved a 12 x 18 Kluge and a hydraulic over electric paper cutter on a trailer by myself, although I had to get a large forklift to unload them. They were put on the trailer with a pallet jack. You want the trailer to have working brakes.

I would suggest you speak to Perry Tymeson of Suitcase Press. He is the Charles Brand expert.


Do you have any pictures and or dimensions?
These would help greatly in giving you some pointers on rigging this jewel.

Without knowing more details I believe this could be done with proper trailer and 3/4 or 1 ton pick up.

As an example, I was involved with moving a diesel powered water pump from central Kansas to central Iowa. The engine and pump weighed in at 12,000 pounds. Moved with HD 1 ton Dodge 4X4 and tilt trailer. Would I want to take that combo over the Rocky Mountains, probably not, but anything up to 6-8,000 pounds should not be a problem.

If I can be of assistance, let me know. Have 30 plus years of moving old iron, safely.


Thanks for your comments Steve & Marshall. The press is a bit over a ton, I think, and the roller itself is supposed to be about 800 lbs.

The Charles Brand Presses can be taken apart, a lot is bolted, I would consider taken it apart and solid crate it in a wood crate and than ship it by RAIL, far less than trucking if time is not am issue.