Oiling a Challenge Gordon


I’m working with a couple of C-G’s dated from the 1880s. Most of the oil points are fairly obvious and easy to get to, but there must be one for the roller/cam-follower (which turns the platen) inside the right-hand gear. How do you get to it? There aren’t any access holes in the outside face of the gear and feeling around doesn’t turn up anything. I have trouble believing that you have to take the press apart to lube it.

Related to that- are there any parts diagrams or other doc’s for these presses online? All I find is C&P manuals, they’re close but not exact.



Log in to reply   5 replies so far

look close as an oil hole can fill with dirt, crude to look flush. if nothing to be found, get a good thin penetrating lube like “Tri-Flo” and keep adding in between moving parts.

Look on the inner side of the gear, into the way as you slowly turn the flywheel. Eventually the cam follower will show, and you may have to move the flywheel back and forth to get the oil hole of the follower on top. As ericm says, you may need to clean out that oil hole. It is important to get the cam follower lubricated and turning, or it can develop a flat spot and stop turning (this also happens when people decide it is easier to just grease the way).

Also, as with any press (or machine for that matter), oil all the places where the machined surfaces slide or rotate on each other. These surfaces should have a film of oil on them to prevent metal-to-metal contact and thus prevent wear. Also, you should oil enough so that a small amount of the oil runs out. One of the functions of the oil is to flush contaminants and wear products out of the bearings and contact surfaces, and if no oil runs out, it can’t do this. (If you don’t want oil slowly running down your press, wipe up the flushed out oil with a rag). This is why some presses (like Heidelberg windmills) have a drip pan under them.

OK, so there should be an oil hole in the follower itself. I’ll have to look again but I don’t recall seeing it and it’s almost inaccessible anyway…. I eventually may have to take the thing apart just for the level of crud- the whole press needs a lot of TLC (I’d love to have a rather large parts washer….).

Regarding surfaces- if you have more than a trace of oil on the cams and insufficient oil in the bearing, the followers will slide/won’t rotate and they -will- develop flats.

I think that I once came across a diagram that showed 42 points to lube. Good luck!
There is a cam follower that activates the gripper fingers. It is under the platen.
This roller will have an oil hole. My C&P came with this hole in the roller plugged with grime. The roller had worn so badly as to be flat on one side. It would not spin, just followed the groove during movement. I had the roller welded up and then ground/filed down to round again. Works great. When in doubt, clean and keep oiled.