Advice on broken press handle

I pulled my very first prints today on my C&P platen press! : )
And I made four of them before I broke the handle. : (
There was already a weld on it, so I’m not too surprised that I broke it.
I’m planning to get a welder to fix it and to affix a tight fitting steel or iron pipe around the broken area to reinforce it.
Any opinions on whether this is a good or bad idea would be most welcome. Thanks.

image: DSC04368.JPG


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Yes, that part is probably more stressed on those presses than any other. One printing technique to be aware of is that there is an impression stop built in to the handle-impression mechanism, and pressure on the handle after you hit that stop will only break the handle, not add to the impression. Heavy, or “deep impression”, also stresses the press a lot.

A sleeve, perhaps a piece of flat steel forged to the shape, forge-brazed in place, with the space between the handle and sleeve filled with brazing metal, after welding the handle back together, would probably be the best and most attractive repair. The ends of the sleeve can be ground smooth after the repair is done so it is not so obvious — a piece of pipe will have huge gaps inside that can not be filled and will prevent adhesion except at the end contact points.

Or if you’re not fussy about appearance you could just have the welder braze a piece of pipe the length of the broken-off part onto the broken stub and braze or weld a stirrup-style shovel handle to the pipe — a more comfortable press handle to use anyway.


We have repaired many broken Pilot levers. Our standard repair for this type of break is to grind both pieces flat, drill a 7/16” hole about 4” deep centered in each piece, chamfer each piece, insert an 8” 7/16” steel rod and TIG braze using nickle filler rod. The centered rod mudt fill the holes drilled to prevent two new weak spots in the repaired lever. Keep in mind the lever is tapered, so a pipe sleeve would be awkward at best.


T and T Press Restoration