C&P pilot how to adjust Letterpress roller frames that are set too high


I just recently purchased a C&P Pilot and while watching other videos on them realized that my roller arms are set weird. On neutral position, they cover the bottom half of my base and don’t go all the way down. This makes it so that when I ink, the rollers never turn the full rotation making it hard for me to fully ink my rollers. Does anyone know what or where I can adjust to drop my arms a bit more? They sit almost parallel to the ground right now which I think looks wrong based on what I’ve seen on other people’s C&P pilots.

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Check the piece that the arm is attached to is making contact with the back of the press in the open position. Should bump against a rubber bumper. If not check for anything that is preventing it moving to that position. If that is ok then look at the bar connecting the roller arm to the bed. If it has been replaced it may to long. I have a new style Pilot the holes on that bar are 9 1/2 ” apart (center to center) so the distance on your press should be close to that even though your is a old style.

Thank you for your comment @mrgreenjean74!

I just measured and the holes on the roller arm bar does measure exactly 9.5” apart (center to center).

The roller frame is indeed making contact properly with the rubber bumpers. I suspect that whoever put this press back together at one point may have just put the frame in at the wrong angle. I’ve attached photos of places I think may need screws loosen to allow the frame to drop so that it is parallel to the roller arm though I am a complete newb so would love to get some professional eyes on my assessment.

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I looked at your pictures again and in the second photo it looks like the yoke is not against the base and the handle should be past vertical towards the back of the press. It’s possible the bumpers were replaced with thicker bumpers. I checked my press and moving the yoke just a 1/4” from the bumpers put the roller frame in the same position as yours. The closer the yoke is to the frame the lower the rollers will stop. The center of the top roller lines up with the inside bottom of the chase on my Pilot. I think your press is put together correctly but something is keeping the yoke from stopping closer to the frame. I would be looking at the bumpers.

Just gave my bumper a second look. One bumper and it is on a threaded rod. Try running it in to let the yoke move closer to the frame and that will allow the rollers to park in the proper position

Just gave my bumper a second look. One bumper and it is on a threaded rod. Try running it in to let the yoke move closer to the frame and that will allow the rollers to park in the proper position

Do you mean this bumper right here?

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Yes, looks different then the one one my press. I would shorten the rubber bumper say a1/4” if that is the only thing the yoke rest against in the open position. Not sure but I think the bumper was replaced with one that is to long. That should let the rollers park lower. Trim off what you need to get them in proper position. My yoke has a about a 1/4” of space between it and press frame. Hope this solves your problem as this is the only place you could make a adjustment to the movement of the roller arms.

There are no rubber bumpers on a C&P Pilot. That protrusion is cast iron and part of the frame.
I suspect the roller arm link may not be the correct length.
Are the roller arms pinned to the shaft firmly?

Right, my bumper is indeed cast iron and part of the frame.
My roller arm measure 9.5” and is pinned to the shaft firmly.

My other thought was maybe I just need to let the rod that currently holds my roller frame rotate left (downward) a little by unscrewing this piece? (attached in photo)

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So I went ahead and took off my roller arm and I am indeed able to move my roller frame down to the proper height. I can confirm then that the problem is my roller arm length is way too long. It is 9.5 inches but should be around 8.5 inches.

Does anyone know where or how I can purchase a roller arm link?

John I have a new style Pilot with a rubber bumper mounted on a 1/4” threaded rod screwed into the base for the yoke to rest on. The old style pilot may have a cast iron stop. I could not tell from the pictures what the stop was made of. Just assumed it was rubber. So if it is cast iron it to could be shorten allowing the yoke to move closer to the base allowing the rollers to drop lower. Or you could have a longer bar made. If it was my press I would grab the hack saw or file and shorten the stop

Your press is in fact a Chandler & Price?

just looking I only have a old style pilot here.
The side arm dog bone I call it is 9.25 inch center of hole to center of hole.
one can be made. click on my name if wanted.

Thank you everyone! I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions here!

@toddspresstime I’m curious if you would be able to share a picture of your press? I wonder if it’s just something else that needs to be tweaked on my end— my dog bone arm is 9.5” from hole to hole. I wouldn’t think .25” would make such a huge difference?

John, My press is a Chandler and Price, Serial No. P5278 that I think was made in final years of manufacture. I never checked that out. KatT, looks like Toddspresstime has the answer to your problem. The 1/4” difference is all I had to move the yoke on my press to move the rollers to the same position as in your photo. Your press looks like a refurbished press so maybe the arm in question was replaced with one from a newer press. Toddspresstime may know if that may have happened.

can you take one more photo of press closed all the way. I want to see how far the rollers are going back on ink disk.
this should show if the dog bone connector is out of size or if press is not opening all the way.
anyways the dog bone connector would bring rollers down but will change travel on ink disk.
I can make a couple wood connectors with holes in different spacing to to get best final spacing.
you have a very nice late model press it will work again.
I did sell the Pilot this morning, I did take some sizes
of connector.

Yes absolutely. I can definitely post an image tomorrow when I get home!

Thank you!!


Here are the photos. The rollers roll past the halfway point on the ink plate when the press is closed all the way.

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Not what I expected rollers on disk are where they should be. I did make a dog bone with holes at 8.5” and 9.25 you can try if wanted.
But press is not opening all the way. The yoke rod and its spring keep the press from crashing open to hard.
All the Pilots I remember the point of the yoke goes in to a cast cup, no rubber but you do have a late model so could be rubber in there.
If you open press too fast it should bottom out the yoke rod and its spring. Just watch it in operation see if it looks like it is bouncing and if it has a cup cast in to back that point of rod is going in to.
If you can get some more photos of yoke and spring we can try to see if something is installed wrong.

@toddspresstime, I have attached more photos of the yoke and spring in as many angles as I could.

The yoke rod does have a spring and a cast cup, but also a bumper as well. Perhaps as @mrgreenjeans has suggested my bumper is too wide? It measures 1inch where has @mrgreenjeans measures 1/4inch.

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I believe they call that the lug step bump. If it is bottoming out you need to shorten it.
When the presses are assembled, that along with chase, clamp and some other parts
Are all hand fit by grinding till they work good.
Try to estimate, move open space of step bump 1/4” and see how far rollers move.
If you can get an inch of movement with rollers that is it.
A good hand file or Dremel tool would be needed.
Watch yoke and spring do not bottom out.
I think that press is new not restored.

Thank you both @toddpresstime, @mrgreenjeans, and @john horn, I super super appreciate everyone’s time responding to my post.
I will try to file this down.

Can you clarify what you mean by “bottom out”? I just want to make sure I don’t let this happen.

Thanks so much!

[bottoming out] the yoke slows the press down before the bump stop hits. yoke should not bring press to a hard stop wile opening up. needs to bounce on spring.
Hope that helps.

Hello Kat,
I just saw your posting and all of the comments. I would like to know if you solved your problem?
Looking at the photos and experiencing your situation once I believe some time in the past the R/H roller frame (perhaps both along with the shaft) was replaced and you likely have one that belongs on a Craftsman Superior. The ear that links the roller frame to the side arm via the link on a Pilot is set back further. There are two solutions. shorten the length of the link or obtain the correct roller frame.