Help just acquired C+P Pilot - need advice

I just bought an old C+P Pilot letterpress on a local online auction - there were no pictures available but I got it for REALLY cheap so figured I could always get parts if needed. I dont know much about this press and I just picked it up and it looks pretty good except the rollers are in REALLY bad shape. Does anyone know where I can get a set of rollers for this?
Also the paper tray thing is missing…anyone know where to get on of those? Everything else appears to be there at least I hope ;) Some of the spring appear rather sprung, but she seems to move smoothly - will these be a problem (see pix)? However this machine has been stored uncovered in a barn and has a fair amount of mud and dirt built up - what is the best way to clean this baby up? I don’t need it to be all snazzy and perfect just want to treat her right and clean her up. Thoughts, ideas, suggestions? Honestly anything you can tell me about this lil girl would be greatly appreciated, I am new to letterpressing so consider me an empty sponge ready to soak it all up! Thanks Sarah

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Congratulations! It even appears to have the chase, frequently missing. The “feedboard” is just a 3/4 inch thick board about 9 x 14 inches, with a board about 2 x 14 inches attached to the side closest to the platen sticking up, and the whole screwed to the support brackets so it clears the handle. A carpenter should be able to make you one easily.

As for cleaning, I suggest first a good brushing with a stiff brush, maybe an old toothbrush for tight places, and fine steel wool to clean the surfaces of the ink disc, platen, and bed. Rollers can be bought from several suppliers - I like Ramco Roller (listing on BP) as their rubber rollers are great ant reasonably priced. If you don’t have the trucks they may be able to supply them, or Todd’s Presstime (also on BP) can.

Enjoy printing!


Fritz at NA Graphics has the correct keyed trucks you will need for this press. That wacky spring you see there is not original and probably was deliberately stretched to make it do something it wasn’t supposed to do. The spring it is replacing is intended to make the grippers lift from the platen when the press opens.


Nice looking press. Craftsmen Machinery should have the gripper spring, feed board, rollers and trucks. They made the Superior press which was a knockoff of the Pilot. Their number is 508-376-2001.

The Pilot gripper bar spring is wound in the opposite direction of the Craftsmen Superior spring. The Craftsmen spring will not work correctly.

Check and inspect for damage to the L/H stub shaft of the yoke allowing the lever to sag. We have a standard repair for these older Pilot presses (no platen screw jam nuts). We mill a slot in the shaft and broach a corresponding slot in the lever, insert key stock. If the cone shaped hole is really bad we cut a “dog point” on the lever set screw and machine a matching flat bottom hole in the underside of the shaft.

Also note that very few of the threaded fasteners on the O.S. Pilot are standard. Don’t insert a 1/2” 13 TPI bolt into a 1/2” 12 TPI hole.


T and T Press Restoration