Packing and Gripper Bars C&P


I have a newly acquired 10x15 C&P press. I am new to printing on a C&P, with my previous experience all being on a Vandercook No.4.

I am planning to print from both a boxcar base and general type/blocks. I am looking for suggestions on proper packing/pressboard to purchase (How many sheets of each and where to purchase from?). I have packed the Vandercook with packing paper and tympan, and know the process for packing the C&P, I’m just new to press board and not sure where to purchase these items. It also seems I need to purchase a roller gauge?

It has also come to my attention that I do not have gripper bars.
I have looked through discussions and it seems generally they are not completely necessary, but handy in certain moments. If I choose to not purchase and continue without them, will I truly hate myself come the first few runs?

Lastly I have an older motor that needs to be squared, as the belt is drifting off of the flywheel. Any suggestions on the best way to square this up? It seems like it may be a two person job.

Thank you,

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The packing on a C&P depends a great deal on the adjustment of the platen. If it is backed off a bit you’ll need more packing. If you are using pressboard, one plus 4 sheets of paper behind that is probably right, according to Cleeton. Pitkin & Cornwell’s General Printing, but varies with the size of the form. Smaller forms need less packing. I don’t use pressboard. Half a manilla file folder and two or three sheets of paper is typical.

I almost never have the grippers mounted; the get in the way a lot. But they are occasionally handy, as when you need a frisket. You’d have to find a used pair from a parts press or have new ones made. Grippers can be improvised.

I don’t use motors…a treadle is much preferred here…even an improvised one.

The manila file folder will work. A harder piece is better. Look in the stationery/office supply store for the green or blue file folders. They have a good hard finish and approximate the old red/mahogany press board.

Your motor or the board to which it attaches has holes that are either elongated or larger than the other part. This allows for some wiggle. Before you start, note if the belt runs off the flywheel on the inside or outside. This will tell you which way the motor needs to move. Loosen three of the four mounting bolts. Not real loose, just enough to allow the motor to move a little. Strike the mounting base of the motor a tap with a hammer while you have your finger of the other hand in place to feel if the motor moves. If you strike the correct side and enough, the belt alignment will change. If you struck it incorrectly, it will get worse. All this done while the power is off.

Yes, it works better with two people as one can remain seated on the floor while the other turns the flywheel by hand. It can be done by one person.

Of course re -tighten the bolts when you have good alignment.

New grippers and the appropriate bolts are still made and are available for the 8x12, 10x15 and 12x18 C&Ps. The “old” red pressboard is still a stock item and can be had in sheet sizes from 12x18 to the parent sheet size of 24x36. And a variety of thicknesses of press packing is likewise available. It isn’t necessary to improvise, compromise, and reinvent when products are still readily available. See my Briar Press profile for the appropriate link.

grippers are usually needed for very light weight stock, which is more affected by the platen passing through air, or when a very large area form is used creating a lot of adhesion to it.

first remove the belt and reverse the direction of it. if it runs off the other way. the problem is the belt.

Inky, thanks for the tip on alignment. I’ll try that this week and see if I can’t get it properly aligned.

EricM, I have flipped the belt and it runs on the inside no matter which way, which is good because I don’t want to have to buy a new belt.

Fritz1, I know the pressboard is still readily available. I have a friend who recently ordered tympan and pressboard from NAGraphics, but hasn’t had a good experience. As of now, I may start with the manilla envelope and go from there. Although the items are still available, it seems the envelope may keep cost down and is something I can reliably get myself.

As of now I’ll run without grippers and see if I end up wanting them later. Glad to hear they’re still made and available.

Thank you all for your help. I’ll be back on if I have issues with aligning the belt.

I use Manilla file folder and a few sheets of 110gsm cartridge. My top sheet is oiled manilla (probably not around now).For lays I use leads glued to the top sheet position determined by a miss on the top sheet. Yes its all determined by the bolt adjustment. Start thin and slowly build up. That wont take long and its very sweet to watch a press come to life.

AdamBowlin I must say I had a terrible experience with NAGraphics. Its the only time I have had reason to refer to PayPal disputes resolution in over 10 years. I was stunned. i have referred a lot of printers to NA good results from what I have heard, and I too thought I had a working professional relationship but it didnt pan out that way. Pity.

For what it is worth,

I am amazed that anyone could not have had anything but a great experience in dealing with NA Graphics. I’ve spoken with Fritz a number of times, his recommendations are always spot on, and the products arrive as promised and in a timely fashion a perform exactly as they should. Sorry to hear of your disappointment, it does not reflect my experience.

Steve for most of my dealings, in fact all except the last, I totally endorse your comments. it just went wrong so i moved on to other dealers. They have a great range of products and great knowledge but with me it ended badly. i still recommend people to NA.