Craftsmen letterpress & type - What’s it worth?

My wife was looking to get into printing letterpress invitations, but has never followed through with it. She’s accumulated a bunch of stuff over the years, looking to sell, but have no idea what its worth?

Craftsmen Machinery Company press, 6.5 x 10, not sure what model?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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This looks like a CraftsMEN (not Craftsman, which is a trade-name of Sears &Roebuck & Co.) Superior. I have one just like it. What’s it worth? Well, I bought mine for $100.00 with a little type and a pair of extra ink rollers. I personally think I more or less stole it at that price, but I wasn’t about to argue and two weeks later we transferred the press from his pickup truck to mine. Looks like you have a pretty good selection of wood type, furniture, a printer’s desk and quite a few California Job Cases. All this adds to the value.

The biggest hurdle you have is going to be shipping. I got mine home in a Ford Ranger pickup, but I only had to drive twelve miles and I didn’t need room for all the rest of the stuff you have.

Putting a value on something like this without actually seeing it and examining it closely is a fool’s errand. That said, I HAVE been called a fool before and probably will be again, so….

It’s a relatively small press. You can move it yourself with a pickup truck. The furniture and printer’s desk etc. might require a little more effort, but it too can be moved by Two Men & a Truck. This is in your favor over one of the really large and heavy presses. This is exactly the kind of platen press that hobbyists are looking for in many cases.

To further sweeten the pot, Craftsmen is still in business and still supplies parts for their presses.

Now, I don’t know how much you have in this package or what you are looking to get for it, but IF it were withing driving range of Green Bay, Wisconsin and IF I happened to have somewhere between $1,000.00 & maybe $1,200.00 or so, AND if the female half of the household would allow it, that would be the offer I’d probably put on the table.

As I don’t have any extra cash at present, this is a moot point for both of us, but it might give you an idea of where to start. Bear in mind that I am far from being an expert on this kind of stuff. If you are going to get top dollar, you will need to find someone who actually wants to use the press, not someone who wants to sell it to someone else. That said, it might be worth five hundred bucks or so just to get it out of the house with minimal hassle.

Good luck with it. I would try Craigslist locally and maybe the classified section of this website.

Days like this I wish I was retired and had an extra room with nothing in it…. (heavy sigh)

If you can find a buyer that wants it all I think $1500 is a good price. Like above I paid less than $500 but it needed rollers and trucks. What makes it worth the extra money is the wood type and furniture. Where are you located?

What’s the condition of the rollers?

Interested —- this would be an ideal press for student teaching purposes with the additional items as well. We are in Madison, WI—-contact us at [email protected] if you are wanting to pursue a cash sale with us picking-up everything.

Thank you all for your comments!

The rollers need to be replaced, but I’ve heard that will only run about $200-$300 or so.

We’re into it for a little more than the $1500 mentioned above, at this point we’re just hoping to get the money back that we have into it.

Going to try to sell on Craigslist locally being that everything is so big and heavy!

Thanks again!

This Press is worth over $2,000 bucks in it’s present condition. The furniture Cabinet I would value at an easy $200 bucks. The wood type - go to ebay and check prices. I have one of these in mint condition and I would not sell it for less than $2500 bucks.

What is the condition of the L/H lever attach boss? There could be a reason the lever is mounted on the R/H side other than preference. Can’t see the L/H stub shaft of the yoke. I have seen more than a few Superiors with broken shafts on the L/H side of the yoke.
If it is broken the value obviously would be less. If it is fine and you choose to market the press for sale I suggest moving the lever to the L/H side demonstrating the usual location.


There is a CMC Superior for sale on Ebay.. The seller wanted $2000 bucks. I said no way - got an email lower price at $1500 bucks. Nope. It looks like junk compared to the IDpress example here. Ink Spot is right in questions about the location of the side lever - you got me on that one Ink Spot! However, if it works - make an offer. Nice side lever presses seem to be very scarce. I was lucky and got a CMC Imperial (5x8) for $1300 bucks fully restored - looks new!

Very easy get lever on the left. One hex screw on the collar to hold opposite side in position and two screws on the handle to get it in position. Took five minutes!

Press is in great condition and we’re located in Boise, Idaho.

I’ll get in contact with the few that showed interest on this post. Any other buyers out there???

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IDPress: Now you got it! So now it’s time to “nit-pick” this press. Dosen’t look like it has the needed paper grippers. Gotta have ‘em. New rollers of course. Weight is about 200lb.
The impression lever can be shifted from right to left. The original had a feed board - no problem here. One chase. I do not like the “straight-arm” style roller carriage as compared to the “split arm” carriage of the Craftsmen Imperial or the really old Kelsey 5x8’s. Kelsey screwed up when they went to the straight roller arms from their “saddle style” roller carriage on their larger presses. However I think this press has a lot of power and would be a good buy for a beginner. The platen is heavy duty- so not lotsa make-ready for large type forms as compared to a Kelsey 6x10. Go for it!